Behind the scenes of garment creation

  • Cloe-Douglas-e-newsletter-1

  • Cloe-Douglas-dress-e-newsletter-2


Months of hard work and dedication have paid off for Year 11 student Cloe, who has designed and created this beautiful dress for Unit 1 Product Design.
Now to find the perfect occasion to wear it.

Our task was to redevelop an existing clothing design, sustainably. I chose to take inspiration from a dress made by the designer Lirika Matoshi. I identified things I liked and disliked about the original and began sketching ideas for a dress that I would want to wear. My aim was to create a colourful dress, using many different sewing techniques, and to create a perfect fit and a flattering silhouette.

I produced about 15 visualisation drawings (small sketches / ideas) and then three final design options, each taking inspiration from Matoshi’s original design.

Once I settled on a final design, I began the process of making my dress.

I collected a number of sewing patterns and materials. I used two patterns, one for the skirt and one for the top. Both were modified to fit my design.

I then had the challenge of choosing materials. I found a neon pink satin at Spotlight and a chiffon that my teacher, Miss Schmidt gave to me. Together they complemented each other perfectly. Altogether, I used about 10 meters of material.

This project was extremely challenging for me, and a step up from any work I have done before. I spent hours, both in and outside of class, working on my Portfolio and constructing the dress. Because it was made from several patterns, I learnt a lot about modifying patterns to fit measurements. I also made a toile (or test version) of my design and learnt about changing measurements and making the product fit my body.

The dress also needed a zipper, which I had never done before. This took time and research to learn about. Miss Schmidt also walked me through the process, which was a big help. Even though I bought the wrong zipper, Miss Schmidt showed me how to make it work and it turned out better than I expected.

My original design included short sleeves made from the same chiffon on the skirt. When I began making the sleeves however, I found that I could not hem them neatly. The overlocking would not stay on the material, and I did not want to have an unfinished edge on the sleeves so I decided that I would not include them. In hindsight, I’m glad I made that decision. I like the dress without the sleeves, despite the two hours of hand sewing that was required.

I worked hard to complete this dress and learnt a lot about planning and executing the construction of a garment.

I am looking forward to being able to wear it to an occasion some day soon.

Cloe Douglas, Year 11