From time immemorial, big effects have always been looked for in little causes. Little causes – big effects. That’s how the saying goes.
From time immemorial, the little things have been ignored, swept aside, the big goal is always glorified, honoured, but with experience we find that without the little things, we could not have the big things – in fact,
The little things are what add up to give us the one big glorious moment we always dream about, the big things could not exist without the little things, it’s very foundation is built on it.
How does this tie in with Fashion design?
I’ll paint the usual scenario.
You have an event coming up, you set up an appointment with a designer, styles specifications are discussed, fitting dates agreed upon, your measurements taken, money exchanges hands.
Come fitting date, your style specifications are muddled up, the garment is ill-fitting, words are exchanged, quivering with indignation and hurt, you make a resolve never to patronise that designer again.
But what really happened here? Did the designer really purposely want to do you wrong?
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The difference between one designer to the next is just – information. If the designer is not grounded in sufficient information, it translates directly to the outfit being designed – and guess what? The designer may not even be aware that they do not have adequate information to produce the outfit agreed upon.
The major issues that bring about “what I ordered VS what I got” can be broken down into 2 solid categories
-Ill-fitting garment/wrong sizing
-Wrong interpretation of style chosen
Each stems from very basic simple things that the designer has incomplete knowledge of.
The tape rule, the simplest tool in the tailoring workshop, If not read properly or the inability to read it properly could cause devastating effects for the garment the designer wants to make.
Tape rule reading is one of the things regarded as the little things, and some fashion design students were not taught how to read it properly, this translates to wrong measurements and ultimately, Ill fitting garments
This is the root cause of most of the major “what I ordered VS what I got” scenarios, in Nigeria, The method of garment construction widely used is what is called “Free Hand” in Free Hand sewing, the designer cuts the design directly on the fabric, it’s faster and saves time, in fact, majority of fashion houses use this method, but unfortunately, only few free hand designers can interpret designs correctly using this method of sewing, although it’s a sound method of sewing, all styles cannot be achieved with it
Pattern Making/Drafting on the other hand is another method of sewing and designing that helps the designer hit the mark more accurately for style interpretations and if learned properly, there is practically no style that will be a serious Challenge for the designer. This method is used internationally and is also slowly creeping into Nigeria, it is not yet widely used
When choosing designer to make your outfit for you, listen closely to the questions being asked of you. A savvy designer will always ask specific questions, they will be almost paranoid about taking exact measurements, your specifications will be thoroughly asked about and noted down during consultations, fitting dates will be set, the questions they ask may even get on your nerves, but you can usually get the best results from these categories of designers
Never be ashamed to say no to a project that your experience has not qualified you to make. Feelings of pride may want to get in the way, but fight it. You may reason that if you don’t make styles that are challenging, you will not improve, that is also true, but try it with your own fabric, or buy a miniature dress form to try styles that seem difficult.