The way I stumbled into the pattern for the Classic is a bit unique.
My little plastic Singer is what I learned to sew on. Or rather, made up how to sew on. I had no training and used what I vaguely remembered from a middle school sewing class. I bought clothes at thrift stores and altered them to fit me. (Looking at some of my old work now is mortifying!)
I walked through my door with my sandy rose fabric (from last week) and laid out the new wool. I had a vague idea of making a tunic type shirt with it. I decided to cut two rectangles for the front and back, and use a separate sleeve pattern from an old JoAnn pattern. I measured myself shoulder to shoulder and used that as the width of the fabric. I then measured from shoulder to the length I wanted. That was the length of the rectangle. I sewed the pieces together. The neckline looked really dumb (because it was a straight line) so I kept reshaping it and moving it out until I stumbled upon the boat neck you see on the Classic today.
When I was done, the whole sweater looked understandably really bad. I put it aside for about a year. Then, after a few classes I altered it to fit me like the Classic does.
As I began developing the garments for Opaline Hue, I sought out a patternmaker to make the basic patterns for my garments. This altered, sandy rose makeshift Classic was my inspiration for the first patterns.
When I received my patterns in the mail, they came in thick brown paper. I took the patterns and my shiny black fabric (remember last week?) to a dry cleaners around the corner from my apartment. Dry cleaners are often much more chill about things, so I knew they would sew them up for me without me needing to know all of the construction details up front - details I hadn't decided yet.
The samples I got back were hilarious.
Well, they weren't hilarious at the time. The mock was more of a weird boat neck that just came up off my shoulders. I was a little panicky, but understood it always takes a few rounds to make a pattern perfect. It is a science and an art, and really challenging to nail down on the first round, especially from a distance. They gave me a really solid base pattern to work off of. I spent the next month adjusting the patterns. I dropped one style because it just wasn't coming out like I wanted, and focused on the Classic and the Mock.
I first used muslin, a cheaper fabric to test the general fit. Then I used a fabric that was similar to my final fabric. This is to save money and not waste the final fabric, which is always the more expensive one. Once I felt they were ready, I sewed up the samples in the final fabric to test it accurately.
I designed these two styles intentionally to look like streetwear [or everyday wear]:
The fit of the body and sleeves, the necklines, the slits on the sides, are all meant to make the wearer look put together.
I do hope to bring in new styles soon beyond the cropped versions of the Mock and the Classic. The reason that I am not releasing any additional styles yet? Many reasons - this is a slow fashion brand. I want to test the market and see what people love. I am spending my time doing things other than developing, like getting ready for launch. Also, I hope you buy one or two in your lifetime, rave to your friends, and love your piece forever. New styles will come, but I must be patient in these crucial beginnings.
Additionally, I often get requests for more colors. I'm excited about adding color, but I'll give you some background on bringing in more color. The lead time for making and shipping the fabric is about 4 months. There are minimums to meet - so I can't only order 10 yards at a time. I am focusing more on the strategy behind it all, so I can have enough money to continue this business in the long run! These obstacles are opportunities to me, but like I said, these beginnings are just a little slower. Thanks for hanging with me :)
All the love,