Behind the Scenes: Fall/Winter 2016
by Emily DeLong
20 October 2016
As we prepare to (finally!) launch our FW16 collection, I wanted to share with you what the design process has looked like from the inside. It began with sourcing fabric and coming up with designs, then moved into a long stretch of patternmaking and grading, then making prototypes and adjusting said patterns, and then finally, a long, long time spent sewing lots and lots of samples. It's so great to be almost finished!
Here's a peek inside what the Margu studio has looked like these past few months.
The infamous FW16 corkboard, which I promised I wouldn't change ... and then continued to keep changing. I can promise I'm not changing anything anymore, though!
All our FW16 fabrics in all their glory.
Making a custom print involves a lot of Photoshop. Here I am toiling away ...
Making a custom print also involves making a lot of prints that don't make the cut. These are a few of the fabrics I developed for FW16 that I didn't end up using (all are based on watercolor paintings of mine!).
Oh, pattern drafting. I start out making a pattern in size Medium in regular pencil, and then grade the other sizes (XS-XL) in different colored pencils.
I try to leave myself good instructions so when I actually begin to use these patterns, I remember what I was thinking weeks ago.
Once all my patterns are drafted and graded, I cut out each individual size of each pattern piece and then string them all together, along with the master pattern piece and an instructional card. I leave them hanging in my studio until I need them.
Cutting out pattern pieces is a lot of fun. I spread out long pieces of fabric, pin the pattern pieces I've made onto the fabric, and cut away.
I cut out pieces for a lot of garments at a time, so during the cutting process I end up making lots of piles, each a different dress, at a time. The pile of maroon twill fabric ended up turning into a Gemma Dress.
So much sewing! I thought it would never end ... and it never really does end.
To make a lining for a dress, you basically have to make a second dress, which you then attach to the main dress near the end. This is a lining for a Gemma Dress in hand-dyed grey double gauze — so soft, so flowy ...
I have a minor thing for button-front dresses and tops, so I end up designing a lot of things with buttons ... which means I end up sewing a lot of buttons! It's quite a soothing, repetitive process.
And finally — oh hey, it's me, marveling at my creation! Okay, maybe not marveling ... more like looking at the fact that I didn't center the dress on the dress form perfectly. If you've never dressed a dress form before, know that it's harder than it looks!
Take a look at our FW16 collection here