Thursday, 15 September 2016

Vintage Fashion Designs

Hi everyone.

Weird weather at the moment, isn't it? Ridiculously hot for the time of year, then thick fog overnight and into the morning. I've just opened all my windows again, now that the fog has cleared, ready for the next wave of heat. Roll on something a bit more "normal" soon!

Today I'm posing the question "What did you want to be when you were growing up?"  Was it a ballet dancer? A vet? A brain surgeon? Married to Starsky and Hutch? Or was that just me and my best friend Joy Brelsford?

Although there was no doubt in my mind from the age of seven that I wanted to be a teacher (and I didn't change my mind until my first day in the job) I actually harboured a secret ambition to be a fashion designer. My best friend, prior to Joy Brelsford, was Rosemary Power and we had our own fashion design business called White Swans which later had a dramatic change of name to Lemon Tree. Or maybe it was the other way round. I forget. 

Anyway, we took it very seriously, spending every Saturday afternoon drawing 1970s tank tops, hot pants, chunky bracelets and chain belts while making imaginary calls on a white plastic toy telephone and decorating greaseproof paper bags with our logo. Rosemary was much better at drawing then me so I did a lot of the admin. We even had our own "show", selling our drawings to willing family members for 5d and a grease proof paper bag. Not bad for two nine year olds.

One of the things I'm noticing about my designs for cards and stationery, nearly 50 years later, is that a lot of them are "fashion" related. This is quite surprising considering that my current attire clearly reflects my hatred of clothes shopping and judging by my reaction to the recent TV programme about Vogue magazine, I'd probably get on better working in an abbatoir than I would in the fashion industry.

The digital embellishments that I have created for these card front designs are definitely fashion related though. They were all made from a single photo of a lovely vintage style patchwork quilt that I found on Pixabay. Here is the original photo.

In order to design the cards, I created my own digital punches in CraftArtist 2 Professional from vector graphics of a dress, vintage boot and hat. I used them to punch out sections from the photo and then used existing CAP2 digital punches and other tools to create the heart and flower embellishments. The buttons on the dress and boot were made by drawing out a quick circle in CAP2, filling it with colour and then adding a "texture" style. The little bows on the boot and the hat were created using another punch and the hatband was a crescent shape drawn out and "squashed". (I'm too tired to remember the correct technical term!)

My first design is a DL card front. I used a lace edge digital brush in CAP2 to create the border and re-coloured it with a colour "picked" from the photo.

For the next design which is for an A5 landscape card, I used one of the new topper punches in CAP2 to create a matt for the dress. The background is a rectangle of blue picked from the photo with a texture style added to create that slight woodgrain effect.

This 6 x 6 card was actually designed for the daughters of a friend of mine who had done very well in their A'Levels and GCSEs. I'm hoping that they like vintage fashion!

 All designs copyright Melissa Lawrence 2016

I really enjoyed working with this photo and creating the various fashion-related elements but I don't think Stella McCartney has anything to worry about just yet!

Stop press: The first two designs above have now also been used to create lovingly handcrafted greeting cards and at time of writing are available to buy from the Melissa Lawrence Designs website shop.

I'm off now to try and get some sleep while the temperature is still below 30 degrees.

Stay cool.

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