I don’t sketch

21 Mar

Do you remember on Project Runway Season 3 when Angela Kessler (Keslar?) presented to someone and said, ‘I don’t sketch’?  I always thought that was odd. How do you sell your designs to someone if they can’t see it on paper? But, then again, I can’t draw worth a lick. At any rate, for class, we always have to use a croquis and sketch our design. The instructor says that it’s a good way to visualize what you want to do.

So, for my final project I kind of know what I want to make.  We can make a dress, blouse or skirt. I have an idea of at least one dress and one blouse I like. The first dress is this one by Helen Rose in ‘A Designing Woman’. I’ve wanted to make this dress ever since I saw it in the movie 10 years ago when my sewing skills were limited to straight lines and off-grain skirts.


We owe three different design sketches in two weeks and I decided to take a stab at my first idea:


Using the croquis makes it FAR easier. I still don’t sketch, but, I can trace. Not that this croquis is really scale to my shape! I have a beautiful red wool from ‘The Carol Collection’ that I could use. But, I actually think we’re only allowed to use wovens for class, certainly not this double knit. Hmmm, I forgot to add darts to the design above. Must remedy before Tuesday.

I’m just not sure how the bottom back goes. It looks gathered in this photo, with the tabs of fabric imitating the front tabs. Or possibly two or three rows of fabric with the tabs. I may have to rent the movie again. It’s been a good 10 years since I’ve seen it.


On Monday we’re measuring to draft our own pants! We’re not supposed to sew them up. But, if we do, the instructor said she would critique the fit. You better believe I’m sewing mine!

Darn those Japanese magazines. Something new I’ve seen and decided my life is incomplete without. Pink and red pattern weights from Bunka.

** Thanks Ginerva for providing the link to Bunka! My friends. Try not to get sucked in. Now, I am dreaming of red, pink and blue pattern weights.


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18 Responses to “I don’t sketch”

  1. Gwen March 21, 2009 at 17:13 #

    It looks like you absolutely DO sketch! I think you’re doing a fantastic job of it! Sounds like you’re having a ball in this class. Love the weights!

  2. ginevra March 21, 2009 at 17:30 #

    Hi Cidell, I was about to write I can’t help you out with the coloured weights this time, I’m back (and really disorganised) in Sydney


    if you really want them, they’re here: http://www.bunka-koubai.com/shop/itemdetail.php?n=74 and I could try to dig up the email address of the really helpful English-speaking staff memeber I met at Bunka ;)

  3. Dei March 21, 2009 at 18:45 #

    Those weights are too cute!

  4. Chicago Sarah March 21, 2009 at 19:10 #

    I think I need them too! :) Is the back by any chance flat and it just looks gathered the way she is standing? I’ve not seen the movie, so I’m just guessing.

  5. phyllisc March 21, 2009 at 20:50 #

    I’m pretty sure most undergraduate fashion design programs have fashion illustration as a required course. Unfortunately too many of these same students never really earn to sew

  6. cidell March 21, 2009 at 21:09 #

    We have illustration too. Which I wasn’t going to take. Now, after seeing my drawing, I better.

  7. brocadegoddess March 22, 2009 at 01:19 #

    Pink and red pattern weights!? Oh my!! Those kick my old film cannisters filled with sand to the curb!

    From the looks of your sketch, I don’t think you’ll have a problem with illustration, it’s pretty formulaic. In the classes I TA, if students are really interested in illustration we suggest that they also go to a drop-in life drawing class or two, as long as they aren’t afraid of possibly naked people, lol.

  8. brocadegoddess March 22, 2009 at 01:22 #

    I was just looking at the back of the dress again, and it almost looks to me like the pleated section is actually v-shaped at the upper edge, pointing down towards the centre back. Hard to tell because of the blurriness, but that’s the *impression* I get. I could also be on crack.

  9. Carol March 22, 2009 at 02:40 #

    I haven’t seen this movie in about 20 years, but boy do I want that dress! I’m going to rent it this week and have a look for myself. Can’t wait to see yours, this will look AMAZING on you!

  10. Jean March 22, 2009 at 09:30 #

    Your sketch looks great and I love the dress! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  11. Tracey March 22, 2009 at 09:52 #

    Legend has it that Edith Head didn’t know how to sketch or sew when started out with Paramont Pictures. Supposedly she got a job as sketch designer for the studio by “borrowing” someone else’s drawings.

    I studied design at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and I always used a croquis or line drawings from back of a pattern envelope because I didn’t think I knew how to sketch free-hand. However, for the last several years I have been doing my own sketching, and I think I’m getting pretty good at it.

    Thanks for allowing me to ramble.

  12. Leslie March 22, 2009 at 10:56 #

    Uh, that’s a pretty darn good sketch. And that is a perfect style for you, how fun!

  13. Karen March 22, 2009 at 11:16 #

    You sketch well enough to get your point across, and that’s the important part. Taking the sketch course wouldn’t hurt, but you already have the important skills for what you want to do.

    I’ve always loved that dress, and that movie. If you turn out a version of this dress, perhaps you could be persuaded to knock off the pattern in my size?

  14. The Slapdash Sewist March 22, 2009 at 23:32 #

    Using a croquis for a sketch is genius! My “sketches” are an embarrassment. They might as well be stick figures from the bathroom door.

  15. Kim Brown March 25, 2009 at 13:59 #

    Girl, don’t feel bad. I don’t know how you do it, work and then have energy to sew. When I was working I was depressed because I didn’t have the energy to sew. The four kids may have contributed to that, but getting the creations completed that you do, I feel, gives you the right to be alittle slack on the organization end.

  16. Trina March 26, 2009 at 10:44 #

    i read a great article online somewhere, about creating a self portrait croquis, you basically print a full length picture of your self, overlay with paper and trace your outline, scan it back into the computer. this would be great to give you a more “realistic” shape. sorry i don’t have a link but a search may yield some results.
    if your really computer savvy you could probably just do it all in the computer using a photo you already have stored.

    good luck, your classes are coming along great! thanks for sharing your experiences.

  17. The Sassy Sewer April 3, 2009 at 22:17 #

    Cidell, I highly recommend that you take the fashion illustration class at the college (BCCC). I took it Spring 2008, it was fab. Before the class, I could sketch nothing. Now I’m pretty good at it. I still need work on a few details. Both Katarina and Dyane Marte are great. I loved the class it was so much fun.


  1. Book Review: Just Make Them Beautiful | Miss Celie's Pants - April 21, 2013

    [...] Even better, you can see some of the watercolors and how they came to life with fabric and needle. I also recognized some of the costumes from movies I’ve adored over the years including High Society and A Designing Woman. There are a few dresses from a Designing Woman that I’ve obsessed over. Especially, this red one. [...]

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