When I had first started thinking of inspiration for this project, I wanted to work with something I enjoy and am passionate about. I started thinking about all of the opportunity behind clothing, and how you can make a piece of clothing out of really any material if you design and construct it right. So, for this project I’m going to be designing and constructing a sweatshirt, and maybe a collection of clothing (tee shirt, sweatpants, etc).
With my major being advertising, I am constantly getting to know new brands and learning what is popular in our modern culture. Right now, there is a huge trend of brands releasing very basic, staple hoodies. Even higher end brands, like Supreme, Aime Leon Dore, and Balenciaga are tapping into this trend. I think it would be really fun and an interesting process to find the fabric, create the design, possibly add design, and sew together my own sweatshirt. I would like this project to look cool, feel comfortable, and fit well, but I would be satisfied if it wasn’t perfect because this is my first time trying anything like this.
Vision Mood Board
Initially, I wanted to focus on minimalism for my sweatshirt, and emphasize the quality of the design and material. The minimalist aesthetic maintains a very clean form of beauty, capturing expression in a very neutral way. I want to accomplish the aesthetic by putting little to no graphics on the sweatshirt, but still adding something to make it interesting and unique. I am very inspired by this project and this aesthetic because they are so relevant to my lifestyle. I think this will be very challenging for me to complete (I have never sewed before), but I was excited to put the time into learning the steps and putting together a quality piece of clothing.
Fast forward to our world shutting down, a few things happened that dramatically changed my perspective of this project. Around the time of campus shutting down I got sick with COVID-19, which really put a hold on my life, let alone this project. I already have a very weak immune system, so my priorities quickly became getting healthy. That being said, about 3 weeks later I started catching up in all 18 of my credits, so by the end of this it had been a solid 4 weeks of time taken out of me building this project. However, with a change in aesthetic and design approach, I believe this new aesthetic actually turned out more interesting.
The new aesthetic for my project turned into a mix between Harajuku and “the mode style” fashion illustrates the ability for an individual to express themselves through their clothing. Harajuku is a movement against strict societal rules and pressures to fit in with the norm. It created a sort of subculture community for anyone to be able to express their individuality. Currently, one of the major trends is the idea of taking something old, cutting it up and making something completely new out of it, usually with a new shape as well. The name for these clothing stores is called a “Nincompoop Capacity” and they sell original, vintage, remade clothing. Another trend is called “the mode style,” which takes a more minimalist, monotone approach to clothing.
My own personal aesthetic would not relate to the physical boldness and uniqueness of Harajuku fashion; however, it would relate to the idea of being confident in your individuality. I decided to combine this aesthetic with another Japanese trend that follows a more minimalistic tone that I can relate to, “the mode style.” This style is primarily defined by being black, but has moved into monochromatic colors as well. I believe I am a very simple person, and that the majority of my things aren’t bold and flashy but neutral and relaxed.
The combination of being expressive and confident in creating something new while maintaining a more monotone, minimalist approach parallels my own personal aesthetic of being energetic and confident but easygoing and relaxed.
Function & Form
The basic design of my sweatshirt will follow the measurements and layout of one of my favorite hoodies. I used this to trace five different sections for the sweatshirt- the back, front, sleeves, pocket, and hood. I then sew these pieces together (inside out, so when flipped you cannot see the seams). Once sewn together, I added the string to the inside of the hood. Initially, I planned on the design to look similar to traditional Harajuku hoodies.
Materials & Price:
- 2 1/2 Yards of cotton/ polyester fabric (recycled)
- Sewing Machine & Materials (needle, thread, pins) ($100)
- String for hood (recycled)
- String for back embroidery & embroidery tools ($45)
Total price: $145
My plans for this design were greatly interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As I mentioned before, I have never sewn before and was excited to learn this new skill with the help and resources of the ITLL lab. However, with everything shutting down and my time running out for this project, I had to make a few adjustments. I made simple design sketches to create a flexible idea of how I wanted my hoodie to look, and measured my own sweatshirts to determine the length I would want each sleeve, the main section, the hood and the pocket. I then began to create basic Adobe Illustrator sketches to bring the idea more to life before my fabrication process. I used a blue color pallet, mainly because that was the majority of the colors of fabric I was able to use around my house. I like these colors, but if I were to do it again I would invest in a pastel fabric, maybe pink or yellow. I then began researching videos and tutorials on how to work a sewing machine, and furthermore, how to sew. From there, I just needed to cut my fabric and put the final piece together.
For the design of the hoodie, I had planned to embroider something on the back of the sweatshirt that would make this more of a harajuku style hoodie. Unfortunately, the embroidery supplies I ordered has yet to arrive due to COVID-19 slowing this process down.
- Design process inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2VQNB3S8w8&t=380s
- Sewing help:
I never learned how to sew but from what I’ve taught myself – well – I’m super impressed you were actually able to make something. And not only make it, but have it be wearable! I think the true test will be the washing machine though… it may fall apart there. I like that you didn’t let yourself be hindered by your aesthetic, but created /used one that worked for you and your project. The final product is totally something I’d see in stores, so congratulations
I like how you shifted your aesthetic to match what you were going through and represent more than just an aesthetic, but a whole movement. I think your design is amazing and I am so glad to hear that you are healthy and doing better!
It is so interesting to use clothing to express an opinion. Why did you choose the blue color palette? Do you think there are other ways to use clothing as a form of expression?