Category: Blog
#trouserproblems

Trousers! The bane of our lives.

 

I have a pair of skinny stretch jeans which I bought from M&S a good 8-10 years ago (yes, I’m a hoarder  – but one finds it difficult to throw away well fitted items that do not exist anymore)

The past couple of years when I have gone shopping specifically for a pair of jeans, I have returned home empty handed feeling like I must have the most odd shape and proportioned in the most bizarre way.

I always went to M&S in hope to find a pair that fit as well as my old falling to pieces pair – however, I have noticed that sizing within the last 5 years has changed dramatically and it’s getting worse I have to say.

I decided to go to Levi. Now, Levi specialise in trousers and denim, so I had high hopes and I was even willing to pay £90.

The sales assistants where all men and did not have the knowledge to advise me on what style I should try.

I tried to explain that I am a pear shape and my waist is 2 sizes smaller than my hips and thighs – yet still it didn’t sink in.

My waist size in a Levi trouser would not get past my thighs.

I recently tried a pair of jeans on from Whistles; I managed to pull them all the way up and zipped them – yet couldn’t bend my legs as there was not enough fabric movement/give in the upper leg.

If I go to a larger size it would be too large on my waist.

This problem seems to be a reoccurring issue throughout the industry.

AND I KNOW WHY!!!

Fashion companies buy into sizing statistics which (depending on their specific market) the measurements will be used for their base size block patterns and the grading increments.

They will also buy the mannequins that are evenly proportioned from these averaged out size statistics.

So pattern cutters are creating patterns and fitting samples to mannequins that are very skinny representations of female sizes.

Now, don’t get me wrong all  fashion houses will have fit models and conduct wash and wearer trials; but they purposely use women who match the size proportions of the base sizes.

And how many women are there with such perfect measurements and proportions?

FEW.

Don’t get me wrong again, brands can not cater for every single shape and size; there would be hundreds of trouser styles and sizings and brands would not have the time to develop hundreds of trousers each season – so I do, slightly, understand the terrible sizing available on the market.

However, it wouldn’t hurt for brands to do a little more research into female shape and sizing, especially for curvaceous women.

Common issues include, the crutch doesn’t fit well and can look terrible, lack of movement and give in the legs, gaping at the back waist, the rise on the front or back isn’t long enough, leg length.

 

MY AIM IS TO RESEARCH THIS AREA AND DEVELOP TROUSERS FOR WOMEN WITH A MORE EXTREME CURVACEOUS SHAPE.

Women should not have to suffer with ill fitted clothing. Clothing is a way to express yourself, feel liberated and beautiful. Trousers, in my opinion are THE most unresearched, undeveloped garment there is and something needs to be done about it. (because I’m getting sick of it)

 

RANT OVER.

 

L x

Sunday Funday

I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve at the minute, it’s just having the time to fulfil them.

I received a gift at Christmas, a wax pot and tjanting tools for creating batik artwork.

I have not yet been able to get stuck in – HOPEFULLY VERY SOON AS IM SO EXCITED TO START EXPERIMENTING WITH BATIK ON CLOTHING.

Today was occupied with much needed updating of patterns and pattern grading.

It was 0.5 degrees outside though and I could see my breath

in the air; so I didn’t stay for long.

 

Attenborough Nature Reserve

Today I was lucky enough to watch the Starlings’ murmurations over Clifton Pond!

This was the very first time I have ever seen this magical act of nature!

It was such a beautiful night to witness this.

Here are a few photos I took:

#LOVEWHATYOUDO

Some days you struggle, it’s draining being full time employed throughout the week and then finding the energy to get on with your own business in your spare time and at the weekend!

Some days you really enjoy being creative and feel incredibly inspired!

#NottmFW

Last weekend I was able to (last minute) take part in Nottingham’s Independent Fashion Festival.

 

I showcased some of my designs on the Friday night. The models did a wonderful job and even though I wasn’t able to use more curvaceous bodies the clothes still looked lovely on them – just a more “drapey” vibe!

Lobster Necklace – Tatty Devine

Clothing – Laura Worthington Designs

Photography – Spencer Jones

That’s the great thing regarding my shirt/coat designs – I pattern cut to a base size 20 – yet smaller sizes down to a 12 can wear them in a loose fitting style and look beautiful in them. The trousers and leggings were made for myself (size 12/14) so slightly fit the models anyway.

Photography – Trevor Hamilton Photography

On the Saturday it was the Creative market. Which was a struggle to set up. Heres me not knowing what to do…

But with the help of my dear family and Boyfriend Theo we together managed to turn my space into a great exhibition of my work!

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Really pleased with myself for overcoming my anxieties and nerves and show casing my work to the public who were so accepting and gave me a lot of compliments and confidence about what I stand for and what I love doing!

 

 

 

The only disappointing aspect of the weekend was that not many people knew about it and a lot more advertising could have been done. I feel the event depended too much on the designers and artists to advertise through their social medias, word of mouth and family and friends. However, on the positive side I met some lovely creatives with great ideas and products and I gained a few new contacts and followers.

 

Win/Win

 

L x

 

Arbor Press Arrival

After months of deciding should I or shouldn’t I? I decided that I should!

 

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And I am very very glad that I did! Such a beautiful piece of machinery. Not to mention my beautiful gold brass die stamp!

 

Very excited to make some leather embossed labels for coats and accessories.

Fashion Conference

On Wednesday 24th February, I attended The Second International Conference for Creative Pattern Cutting at Huddersfield University.

I was deeply interested in what Dr. Timo Rissanen spoke about in the opening speech.

“SLOW DOWN! WE ARE CREATIVE”

I am now a Sole Trader, I have my own business doing what I was born to do! Creating art to make people happy and make myself happy! Designing, pattern cutting and manufacturing by myself all in my little studio situated in the quaint countryside of Pleasley Vale.

I also have a full time job. Which as you can imagine is very frustrating sometimes when you have to push aside your creative flow to focus on the main money maker.

What I get stressed about is seeing new fashion brands churning out all these new designs, tops, trousers, dresses, coats. I find myself thinking how the hell are you managing to design, cut and manufacture all these garments and afford to buy surplus fabrics for them plus all the other costs involved?

I see this happening and I feel that this is what I need to be doing!

But I’m wrong!

Timo Rissanen’s speech made me feel a whole lot better about how I am running my business and what my brand is all about.

QUALITY.

Timo spoke about how he believes Fashion is in crisis, how designers have resigned and recently Paul Smith announced that they will only be showing two collections per year.

Fast Fashion is getting faster and with this fastness, quality is lost along the way.

How is a designer supposed to perfect a design or pattern when they only have a short amount of time to finish it ready for production? Corners are cut. I know this from experience.

There was a lot of inspiring quotes used during the speech that I connected with.

“TO CUT IS TO THINK AND SEE.” Celant (1997:21)

I truly believe that in order to be a brilliant designer you need to understand how to pattern cut and understand the body. Without those skills…well, you will have problems. And I do believe that higher education at BA level should focus a little more on creative pattern cutting. During my time at NTU at BA stage I struggled with understanding pattern cutting, I didn’t actually enjoy it, but I wanted to! It was obvious to me, I can draw my pretty little pictures but without a good understanding of pattern cutting I wouldn’t be able to transform it into 3D.

So, I waved goodbye to my very few friends and I stayed at NTU and did a PGCert in Creative Pattern Cutting. This was one of the best decisions of my life and I recommend any Fashion student to do this after their BA. My tutor was Maria Stafford one of the Senior Lecturers at NTU – brilliant pattern cutter and mentor!
Throughout the short projects I did during this, I was taught how to cut from draping on the stand (something I wasn’t at that point very comfortable with), cutting from scratch and creating our own basic blocks, recreating a Vionnet garment and the final project was using your chosen technique but relating it what I wanted to specialise in – Plus Size Womenswear.

 

After these 15 weeks were over I again stayed at NTU and did a Part Time Masters Degree specialising in Plus Size Womenswear. Again, a very good decision and this was the best two years in education I had! I undertook extensive research, I moulded my friends body in mod rock and fibre
glassed it to create my own tailors dummy – which was a more realistic view of todays body. I even won an award for Highly Commended Clothing Design; which was from the first All Walks Beyond the Catwalk: Diversity NOW! competition in Association with i-D Magazine. I am very passionate about the quality of my pattern cutting and the construction and finishings of every design. To hear these words from somebody else in the industry was like music to my ears. I worry to much – it’s a fault of mine – however from now on I will be concentrating on sticking to what I believe in and making garments for my niche without worrying how long it takes to perfect it – along as it is beautiful and made to last then I am happy!

 

Here is a link for the full notes on Timo Rissanen’s speech.

A good read.

Slow Down! We are Creative!

L x

Studio Day

Busy Day Today!

It’s been a bit of a lull for the past few weeks. Practising grading patterns and focusing on my new website – which is brilliant I must say.

Shout out for Stimulate.Digital

Plus the morbid weather hasn’t really helped my creative flow. There was a moment this Saturday I found myself glaring at a dirty puddle outside my window. Woe.

 

Sunday was a better day. I’ve not long since treated myself to a Singer Leather Sewing Machine and I’ve been longing to pattern cut a shearling jacket. Second toile in and it’s looking OK but more work is needed to perfect it.

I spent half the day photographing previous items to put up for sale on my website too!

 

Lx

 

Laura Worthington M.A
As a designer I enjoy designing independent ranges aimed at my customer's personality. I am passionate about being involved with changing the current fashion industries perception of ideal beauty and expanding awareness of all body shapes and sizes, stating that everyone is beautiful. I want my work to enable women to feel liberated, empowered and confident, irrelevant to their size with designs that work well with all body types.
CONTACT

Laura Worthington Designs,
Creative Suite Office 8,
Mill 3,
Pleasley Vale,
Mansfield,
NG19 8RL

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