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Eco-Chic Denim Fashion Project

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by

Elizabeth Danvers

on 29 October 2012

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Transcript of Eco-Chic Denim Fashion Project

Initial Ideas Eco-Chic Denim
Fashion EDUC 3037 Assignment 2:
Major Fashion Project Design Brief:
Design and remake, refashion, recycle, reuse, reinvent, rediscover and produce an “eco-chic” outfit created from pre loved denim. The outfit should reflect at least three high quality surface embellishment skills developed during and in addition to this course. The outfit must contain at least four appropriate, high quality construction techniques. The outfit must contain a swing tag and care label abiding by Australian laws. The outfit must be packaged for presentation in an eco friendly package no larger than A3 size. The outfit is to cost no more than $50. Firstly, I did some research into the types of clothing that can be made from denim and embellishment types. Some examples of these ideas are as follows. Research & Testing Beading Applique Embroidery Applique and fabric hem Denim Bows After looking through my initial research and ideas I decided that I would create a skirt for this project. My current sewing skills are quite limited so I thought that by creating a skirt out of pre-loved denim I could improve the skills I already possess and through design, gain some new skills as well. The following slides include some of the research I conducted to assist me throughout the project. The design brief asks that the packaging of the project be eco-friendly as well. Initially I considered using recycled paper or cardboard to create a bag or box for the skirt but then realised that purchasing the paper would increase my spending. To overcome this issue I decided to create a drawstring bag out of pre-loved denim to tie in perfectly with the eco-chic theme. I researched some bag styles to get an idea of what the end result could be. My primary research involved doing some testing and experimenting with denim and the sewing machine to determine which stitches and needle types to use for optimum results. The following photographs document my testing. I tested a couple of different straight stitches to decided which I would prefer. For each I altered the length and width. I decided that I preferred a standard sized straight stitch - 2 length & 6.5 width. This can be seen as the center line in the image. I chose this stitch as it held together strongly and looked neater. The right hand side line of stitching in the image was a test of whether the regular machine needle would stitch through the denim seam. I found that it went through without any problems so I concluded That I would be using a regular machine needle to construct the skirt. Because the denims that I will using for this task all contain 5% Elastane they aren't as thick as traditional denim so sewing will be easier. This image is of a couple of tests I did with zigzag stitch to determine which would be best for applique, one of embellishment techniques I intend to use. I used two different settings for zig-zag & decided that the smaller stitch - length 1 & width 1 - would be best for applique as it is close together & tight leaving a neater finish than the wider stitch. Gathering of Materials In the spirit of recycling I approached my friends and family for pre-loved denim clothes which I could use for my project - the response was overwhelming. I already had a sewing machine, thread, scrap materials, ribbons and spare Vliesofix at home to use for the skirt. Items I would need to purchase included a label for the end product and any other embellishments I decided to use. Sketches & Design Selection The following are some sketches of my ideas for the skirt and placement of the embellishments. I want to ensure that the embellishments are not too overpowering as features on the skirts and keep in tune with today's fashion trends. Following my research, testing and collection of materials I have decided that the best design for me to create will be skirt no. 2 . I feel that this design is in keeping with today's modern fashion more so than the others. Horizontal stripes are appearing everywhere in shops at the moment and i see people wearing them everyday. What I like about this design is that i get to use a variety of denim shades, providing contrast and texture to the product.
I feel that the embellishments are minimal but still evident enough to liven up the overall look with a spash of colour. Skirt 1 Skirt 2 Skirt 3 Production The following slides are the manufacturing process of my skirt. Firstly, I cut up the jeans to decide on the size of my skirt. I based the size of the skirt on the lengths of denim I was able to take from the jeans. This euqates to approximately a size 12-14 in women's clothing. Next I measured each of the lengths of denim out so I had 8 equal sized strips in 4 different shades.
After deciding on the order, i pinned the lengths horizontally together and straight stitched each length together, making sure i left a 1.5cm seam on each. After I had sewn the strips together to create 2 separate panels of 4 I ironed the seams open and did a zigzag stitch on all the exposed edges of the denim to prevent it from fraying. This technique is used in the absence of an over-locker. Laying the right side of the panels together I then pinned the edges. I then used a water soluble fabric pencil to mark out the shape of the skirt before cutting. I did this so the skirt had more shape, coming in at the waist.a Now that the panels have been cut I pinned one side of each panel together & stitched them using a straight stitch, once again leaving a 1.5cm seam which i then zig-zagged to prevent fraying. I only partly stitched the opposite side of the skirt to leave room to install the zip. I have never installed a zip before so i found the next part particularly tricky. I had purchased an invisible zip however as you can see from the end result it is far from invisible. I carefully pinned then tacked the zip in place before using a zipper foot to stitch it in place. To secure the bottom of the zip I turned the skirt at the base and stitched across, then back up the other side of the zip. The next step was to attach the facing for the waist of the skirt. I selected a dark denim for this As i had two strips of it that were long enough. I cut each so they were the same width, approx 3 inches. Laying each strip out on top of the skirt I marked the shape of the waist of the skirt as well as the 1.5cm seam. I then stitched the ends together, forming a loop for the waist. I then pinned the facing to the outside of the skirt, right sides together. I then completed a second row of stitching in the middle of the 1.5cm seam, under sewing, so that the facing would sit flat once turned into the skirt top. I then ironed this flat. Now that the side seams are done, zip is installed and the waistband facing attached, I need to give the skirt some shape. I did this by creating 2 darts at the front, and 2 longer darts at the back of the skirt. It is important that the back darts are longer to allow room for the rear.
I first marked out the darts using the fabric pencil, pinned them, using straight stitch put them together. The final step in producing my skirt is the hem. I completed a double hem by turning the bottom of the skirt, whilst inside out, up 1 cm twice. This was then pinned and sewn using straight stitch.
I then looked over the skirt & zig-zagged any raw edges i had missed. Embellishments Embellishment 1:
For my first embellishment I decided to try applique. I had never done this before but know that i will need to use it in the future. As in my original design I wanted to use birds as my applique, so I drew each free hand onto a small piece of vliesofix and ironed them onto a scrap piece of fabric. I then cut the birds out and after removing the paper backing ironed them into position on the skirt. Using the smallest zig-zag setting I then slowly stitched around the edges of each bird. This proved quite challenging and I did have a few technical issues with my sewing machine. Embellishment 2:
To keep in theme I decided to use one of the leg seams of the jeans to create my second embellishment. I simply trimmed the raw edges away from the seam leaving a ribbon like strip. I was then able to create a bow by crossing the two ends ( Similar to the Breast Cancer Foundation Ribbon) then by bringing the centre of the loop down behind the cross over section I formed a Bow. I secured this using a needle and thread. To add colour to the skirt I created a second bow using the same method & added a gem to the center to hide my stitches. I then stitched the second bow on top of the denim bow and then to the lower right hand side of the skirt. Embellishment 3:
For my third embellishment i decided to do some beading. I was able to find some beads that match the ribbon I already had. The beads were on special so would keep me well within my budget. As previously mentioned, I did not want to make the embellishments too over the top so i decided to incorporate the beading into the applique embellishment, creating a border around the birds. This adds an extra texture and colour to the skirt.

I completed the beading by hand, adding one bead at a time to a continuous double tread. Packaging & Labelling As previously mentioned I decided to keep with the denim theme and create a denim bag for the packaging of my skirt. I did this by using the flare leg from one of the pre-loved jeans. I placed my skirt folded ontop of the leg first to be sure it would fit inside. I stitched the wider end closed, creating a pillow case like shape. I then created a casing around the top of the bag, folding the edge over twice like a double hem and stitching all the way around. Final Product! References:

Images -

http://homeschoolingfour.blogspot.com.au/2008/07/homemade-denim-skirts.html


http://www.trademe.co.nz/clothing/womenswear/skirts/size-8-under/auction-517098853.htm

http://bestclothinggallery.com/tips-caring-color-of-denim-so-do-not-fade

http://theclothingmenu.com/2010/06/all-types-of-denim/

http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-fashion/gary-harvey-couture-fashion-with-a-conscience.html

http://ashdown.typepad.com/stitchestv_blog/

http://www.ggdesignsembroidery.com/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=107

http://www.sewdaily.com/free-sewing-embellishments-eBook/

http://deemde.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=69_123&products_id=385

http://www.quirkycollective.com/product/mini-rodini-denim-bow-tie
http://www.chicaandjo.com/2009/09/15/fifty-cute-little-denim-bags/


http://www.freekidscrafts.com/recycled_denim_drawstring_bag-e1567.html

http://www.squidoo.com/recycle-denim-jeans

http://funkeangels.co.uk/products/71741--drawstring-bag-up-cycled-denim.aspx To 'jazz' up the packaging I decided to use some more of the ribbon I had to trim the bag & also to cover up the exposed stitching from the casing. I firstly tacked the ribbon onto the bag & then used the same zig-zag stitch as i did for the applique to secure it properly before removing the tacking. I did have alot of trouble with my machine at this point so the inside of the bag unfortunately has an unfinished look.
I then created a bow using the same technique as on the skirt to cover the join in the ribbon, hand stitching it. Because I had sewn the ribbon onto the bag, I had to make an incision to the inside of the casing in order to get the 'string' through to close the bag. I decided to use a seam from the pre-loved jeans for this element.
I used a safety pin to guide the seam through the casing more easily and once it was completely threaded through I folded the ends of the seam & hand stitched them to serve as anchors, stopping the tread from slipping into the casing. I was able to find a cute label that I felt fitted the style of my skirt. This came in a pack of several labelS from Spotlight. I decided this would be the best way to complete my labelling requirements as I did not have access to an embroidery machine. I had saved one of the care instruction labels from the jeans I used in the skirt. I attached each of these labels by hand. My swing tag is made from paper. I purchased the pre-cut label shape from Office works and thought it fitting to simply write on it by hand as the label I attached says 'Handmade, just for you'. I believe this fits into the eco-chic theme as well. Evaluation & Budget I believe that my project has met the design brief quite well. There are several elements to the skirt that can be considered as eco-friendly.
All the denim used in the production was donated & pre-loved, as was the denim used to create the packaging and the care instructions label. The material used for the applique embellishment was from scrap that i already had at home, as was the ribbon I used. The following slide is the total cost of making this project, which has come in significantly under the set budget of $50.00a Budget: $50.00

Spendings:
Ribbon (when previously purchased) $ 2.00
Thread, 2pk black & white $ 3.16
'Handmade' label $ 0.55
Beads $ 2.00
Invisible Zip $ 2.49
Swing tag $ 0.10
Metallic Pen $ 3.50

TOTAL: $13.80 Overall i am quite pleased with the outcome of my project. Having never made a proper garment before I feel much more confident in my abilities, however I am also aware that I still have alot to learn. Areas for improvement include my zip installing skills, I understand that this will improve with practice. I also underestimated the difficulty of finishing of the applique of the birds. The stitching around the edges was difficult to complete accurately and neatly. I realise that a well running sewing machine would assist in this improvement.
I have thoroughly enjoyed completing this project and am happy to take the experiences, trial and error through to the classroom with me.
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