Poppy Things

The Beginning

Chelsey Sawallich1 Comment

It's October 14th and it's scary to think that in eight weeks this collection needs to be done, I'll be graduating, and I will hopefully be joining the workforce in the real, adult world of fashion.  Starting now I'll try to be better at updating you in my process--so far this is where I'm at:

My collection is being made for Spring/Summer 2018, titled Poppy House.  I will soon write a blog post explaining the title, the concept, my mood boards, and the reasoning behind my silhouettes, but in this post I will update you on where I'm at thus far.

Every fashion collection starts with what's called a "Mood Board."  I have two because I had a hard time narrowing down the images that inspired me.  My mood board helps to set the tone for my color palette, the details found in the images that reflect on my collection, the "girl" I envision wearing my garments, and key words that suggest the feelings that the collection brings.

After narrowing down my concept, my mood, color palette, and customer, I began sketching silhouettes.  In order to graduate I need to turn in three complete looks.  My goal is to deliver seven.  I couldn't limit myself to just three, I like to challenge myself and really wanted to be able to portray my whole concept which would be hard with just three looks.

What I'm working on now are prototypes or, muslin samples.  I drape my patterns and draft them, and to ensure that the fit works I make the garments in a cheap cotton called muslin first.  Right now pictured, is the "Amelia Dress" in the making.  It was very important for me to make sure that the fit was perfect because I did not want to make any mistakes when cutting and sewing my custom fabric.  

Pictured is my custom fabric that I designed and created.  I commissioned an artist at Kendall College of Art & Design to illustrate the poppies and cornflowers.  Kristin Sturdy is the artist, I chose her because of her extreme attention to detail and her botanical art is just exquisite and really captures exactly what I wanted.   She created the prints using watercolor and pen.  Once the prints were finished I scanned them in and used a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create a repeat print which I then sent in to Spoonflower.  The fabric is silk chiffon.

Throughout my collection I am utilizing couture construction techniques.  All seams are french seams, the zipper seams are bound with a Hong Kong finish, this garment in particular will be fully lined in white silk, and I utilized a rolled hem for this garment because the look of the rolled hem with the ruffles seemed natural.

This collection is going to be a lot of work to balance with my other studio classes and work, but I know it will be so worth it when it's complete.

More information about the concept to follow in a later post.

xoxo Chelsey

Amelia Dress prototype.

Amelia Dress prototype.


Poppy House

Chelsey SawallichComment

The last time my beloved farm house was lived in was sometime in the 70's. Every time I go there I find new inspiration. Things are the same, but different. Sometimes it's bolted shut, sometimes the door is wide open. Sometimes I sit in the back yard and look over Lake Leelanau, envisioning how I'd make the house and property my own if I could ever afford to purchase the $600,000 wonderland. Sometimes I sit and pray for my future, for my dreams to eventually be reality, and for me to continue to have the strength to pursue them. This is my Poppy House. This is my thesis. This is what my collection is about.


More concept development and blog posts to come.

xo Chelsey

Flower Transferring to Fabric

Chelsey Sawallich

I pull a lot of my inspiration for my designs from anything natural or botanical.  For a project for one of my Design classes at Kendall, we had to incorporate an innovative technique or a technology to something that has to do with our major and what we want to do after we graduate from KCAD.  

I've always been drawn to prints and bright colors, and have always wanted to try a method of natural dying or flower pounding on fabric.  For my project I chose to make an outfit using the innovative technique of flower pounding.  Shown below is my process of transferring flowers onto a silk skirt I constructed.

Since it was my first time doing this, there were definitely some errors that I made and some changes I will make for the next time I do this.  My process below was:

  1. Find an arrangement of flowers in your color palette of choice.  The purple and deeper colored flowers transferred the best! The greens and yellows transferred splendidly as well.  Pinks and peaches do not transfer well and end up discoloring to brown. (at least they did for me.)
  2. Lay out your fabric or constructed garment on a hard surface.  Place the flowers strategically in the order you'd like them to be transferred.  I constructed the garment first instead of printing on the fabric before constructing the garment because I wanted to place the print on certain areas of the skirt.
  3. Cover the garment with a cheaper cotton or fabric, or place a fabric you'd like to use for something else to get the complete use out of the flowers.
  4. Take a hammer or mallet, wrap it in a sock or with something to prevent the edge of the tool from transferring onto the fabric.
  5. Hammer away! And reveal the beauty.
  6. I soaked my fabrics in a salt/water/vinegar solution to prevent the colors from distorting and it didn't work, it made my colors fade.  Next time I will try soaking the fabric in the solution before doing the flower pounding.

I did notice that the colors transferred brighter onto the cotton that I layered over the silk.  I'm not sure if that's because it was a natural fabric and the silk was synthetic and had polyester in it, or if the order of hammering had something to do with it.  Either way, more experiments to come!  This was a lot of fun, and I plan to do more over Christmas break.

xoxo Chelsey