Her life as a part-time fashion designer began during the summer. It was never meant to be a full-time job, and it never became one. Initially, Julie (name changed to protect her privacy) only created a few pieces for herself. Then, she began to take requests and struggled to complete them. Finally, she was forced to give up the fashion industry because of time constraints. Here are the top secrets from a struggling fashion designer.
Everything started with a pair of old jeans. She did not want to throw them away, but they no longer fit her. She decided she could turn them into shorts with fringe. They turned out well, and she started to deconstruct other items in her closet. She reshaped other pants, took apart sweaters and redesigned shirts. Next, she experimented with embellishments and felt ready to try something more complicated. She was starting to become a fashion designer.
As she began to experiment with fashion design, she encountered several problems.
1) Don’t try to dye your own clothes
She bought several cheap dyes at a local supermarket because she wanted to transform some older garments. Colors fade and no amount of embellishments can fix this. She decided she could dye the clothes black. It seemed simple. She thought she was prepared.
Although she took several precautions, dyeing clothes was one of her worst experiences as a designer. She wore gloves and covered everything in plastic, but the dyes still ended up on her hands and other items. She could not remove the stains for days. Also, she forgot to prewash the fabrics, and the dyes came out uneven. She used cheap dyes that did not last long. After wearing and washing the clothes a couple of times, they started to fade.
2) You can never have enough thread
She was constantly running out of thread in basic colors. White, black, and beige were the most popular thread choices for most of the garments. She could never buy enough thread, and her advice is to stock up on basic colors if you want to be a designer.
3) Find good scissors
Her first pair of garment scissors was too cheap. They were not sharp enough and were too small. She had to get several other pairs of designer scissors and throw the first one away. You should be prepared to spend extra on a good pair of scissors, and it will make designing clothes faster and easier.
4) Experiment with necklines
One of the most important things she learned as a fashion designer was to change the necklines on clothes. All of your clothes do not need a plain circular neckline. She noticed that changing this aspect of the garment created innovative designs. She recommends you try boat, scoop, linear and square shapes, or you can always invent your own style.
5) Find help
Eventually she felt ready to expand her designs. She started taking requests from people who wanted their clothes deconstructed or refashioned. She designed and completed her first jacket in a week. Then, things became complicated. She did most of the work during the summer, but once fall began she went back to college. It was impossible to balance a school schedule with all the requests for clothes. She wanted to find someone to help with the sewing but was not able to do this and had to quit working as a designer.
Fashion design is a difficult profession. She never achieved fame with her fashion designs, but she did save several pieces of clothes in her closet and helped her friends.