Inspiration Process

Having watched several season of Project Runway (11 so far as well as two All-stars) I’ve come to one conclusion. I am not a designer.

What I like most about Project Runway is seeing the process, from taking in the given challenge to interpret it in lines and fabrics, ending up with a garment that is unique, yourself and that reflects the challenge frames. (However, I don’t like in latter seasons that this process has been toned down to make room for drama.) I find it amazing how differently all the designers interpret the challenge and most time I can’t figure out what I’d make, let alone knowing what fabrics, trims and notions I’d want within that time frame.

Anyway, I’m not the person too see something special, in nature, in the city, anywhere and think how I’d change that into a garment.Well, once when I saw this tulip in our garden last summer. I thought of a yellow skirt in gores, with red highlights along the seams.


But that’s it. I couldn’t sit down and make a sketch of a garment I wish to make or wear. My creative process doesn’t work like that.

I’m inspired by seeing other people’s finished creations. Yes, I need clothing to inspire clothing. Or browsing pattern magazines, knowing I can make almost all those garments. Then I still need to combine it with a fabric, from the selection available. It’s a wonder I make clothes and don’t hate them all, having all of these things coincide.

Just yesterday Little Stone Cottage wrote about the sewists’ equivalent to the chicken and the egg, which comes first, fabric or pattern? In my case it’s mostly pattern. I’m constantly behind everyone else though, since I want to see the pattern made up in several ways before I commit, I bought Colette’s Hawthorn six months after it came out. One of the things I really like about Me-Made-May is seeing patterns made up and worn for regular life, it’s the biggest inspiration of the year!

How does your creative process work? Can you see a picture of something abstract and turn it into a garment in your head? Or do you need concrete inspiration to make your own stuff? Does fabric or pattern come first?


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