Category Archives: Student: Maxine

few and far between

It’s a this point in the semester that I always feel myself loosing interest in my fashion project of the moment, whether its due to the hours spent pondering hem lines, sleeve shapes and collar sizes, or the days spent cutting, pinning, sewing, changing, moving, and analysing the design that you end up loathing the very thought of stitching the breast plate in for that final time, and hence the lack of my blogging.

Due to a few personal reasons, I fled to Sydney for a week to escape Brisbane and reality for a while and entered into a reality of another sort, a reality where it was always craft o’clock and where the walls were lined with sequins; a place more commonly known as the ‘Romance Was Born’ studio. I was lucky enough to intern with them for the week leading up to fashion week. Mornings were spent threading wire through hem lines, sewing tentacles on to an octopus bonnet and making a dress that looked like an ‘iced vovo’ biscuit.

octopus bonnet
Iced Vovo Dress

So today was my first day back in the reality of studio and despite my Wednesday-night-burn-induced-haze, it was actually super productive. My swimsuit is about 2/3 completed! Hoorah! I am trying to do everything extremely slowly and neatly, and for me, this is a real challenge and I am probably as far from a perfectionist as you can get. Today I unpicked my swimsuit about 7 times… but with a little perseverance I pushed through and am happy with the results thus far. And also the day was made a lot more bearable thanks to Ana and her delicious lemon almond cake yum yum yum!

delicious and nutrious!

delicious and nutrious!

 For more delicious treats; check out and food yes i!

For more delicious treats; check out and

I have purposely left the task of attaching my breast pieces last as the thought of it actually scares me a little, and I have been avoiding it for so long, its almost as though the breast pieces are my ‘Elenor ‘(bad movie reference, sorry guys I’m a massive fan of Gone in 60 seconds)

best 90mins of your life. honestly.

best 90mins of your life. honestly.

I have taken some photos but my camera has decided to not like me today and not agree with the software on my computer, so hopefully it will be more cooperative tomorrow and let me upload supporting pictures, until then, enjoy x x x


Sunday Funday

Getting the motivation to do anything productive on a Sunday afternoon other than drinking tea and reading the papers is an achievement, so heading into the studio to finish my toile was a colossal effort. Especially when the little man follows you there and is determined to make you sew everything inside-out, back-to-front and upside down a trillion times before you get it right. Of course it is his fault and not the fact my I lost Brian last night to a mojito (or 10).

But I was determined to not let him, or the lack of Brians company defeat me and finish my swimsuit.

So list of things still to do were:
– make and insert another breast piece
– bone front
– elasticate legs and back
– finish with top stitch

My orignal idea for the toile was to only sew one breast piece in and leave the other one, so when on the model i could sample different shaped/ directional pieces. But after speaking to my lovely fashion comrades, I decided to run with the asymmetrical shape/direction.

After stitching, unpicking, restitching, unipicking,stitching, unpicking, restitching, unipicking,stitching, unpicking, restitching, unipicking,stitching, unpicking, restitching, unipicking,stitching, unpicking, restitching, unipicking,stitching, unpicking, restitching, unipicking, stitching, unpicking, restitching, unipicking,stitching, unpicking, restitching, unipicking, I finally had the breast piece attached in the right way. Haha little man!



Like my relationship with Brian, the Elasticator and I are a bit touch and go. Somedays we are a match made in heaven, other times Im ready to break all of his needles. Sticking to the theme of my afternoon, of course we chose today not to get along. But once again, after stitching, unpicking, restitching, unipicking,stitching, unpicking, restitching, unipicking, I succeeded! My swimsuit was now fully elasticated, and evenly too!

With my afternoon going the way it was, I almost considered coming home and leaving the top stitching until Tuesday morning, but I would been really unsatisfied, and I thought I’d come too far to leave without the gratification of finishing my toile.

I chose to top stitch using the zig zagger. I thought that this stuck to my theme better than just the straight double, and zig zag is far jazzier than a straight line! I sat down at the machine and prepared myself for the worst. I envisioned having to explain to Dean and Helen Monday morning about how the machine went crazy and ruined my suit and how I then ruined the machine. I put my foot down and took and deep breath. But it was magical! She is a beauty of a machine and worked in harmony with my suit and I.

Voila! A completed toile! And a little man with a bruised ego! front-shot1

Now one other thing I have to ask before I have a much needed nap, is which way I should insert the breast pieces. Im not sure which way I want to make the eye move around the body, left to right or right to left???

what do you think?

what do you think?

hmmmm decisions decisions decisions!
x x x

1 step forward, 2 steps backwards

Day two in the studio saw me on a road trip to reverse garbage to get some foam before I even began to move forward with my toile. I found foam and the single most amazing piece of knitwear I have even seen….

i want that jumper!

i want that jumper!

Back to work
Back in the studio, I started cutting and recutting a gazillion breast panels to varying shapes and sizes, and also endeavouring to get a great fit for the base suit. However I took the long way around making the breast pieces; making each part a separate piece, lining, covering them and then stitching them together. After about 3 hours of making the breast pieces using this tedious process, and then having to try to sew everything neatly together at the end, it dawned on me that I should make each breast piece as a whole object and then line and cover it! OH! Why did I not think of this three hours ago! Obviously brian did not accompany me to the studios today.

the (im)perfect breast piece

the (im)perfect breast piece

After about 6 hours in the studio, and making a really perfect breast panel, I stitched it in to what was to be my final toile… only to discover that I stitch it into the WRONG BREAST HOLE! Brian? Home time and beer time for Maxi.

view from my window as i write this

view from my window as i write this

I decided to come into the studios this morning and right my wrongs and to get my toile to the point that I wanted it at yesterday. After getting the breast panels sorted (and stitched into the correct hole), I started playing around with the angles that I wanted them. Both a mirror of each other, or asymmetrical? My original design was to have them as a reflection of each other but now I am not sure… I think I like the look of the asymmetry.
What do you guys think; opinions, comments, suggestions?

x x x

betwixt and between

The beginning was a good place to start, and now we are following the road of tangled thread, crumpled patterns and scraps of lycra.

Following the discovery of the ‘Dot, Line and Squiggle’ video, I scribbled, painted and drew shapes, ideas, lines, symbols that inspired me. I manipulated these on basic swimwear shapes and then made adjustments and my final designs we born! We all came into the semester having just completed an ‘Avant Garde’ unit last year, and I think to some extent, this affected the entire classes designs and influenced us all to push the boardies of the conventional swimsuit to the extreme.

I called my collection The Stitch & The Seam; A Romance in Fabric and Form. Below are the design board and the technical flat of my chosen swimwear design.
My design boards were a bit on the ‘abstract’ side of things and I’m not too sure how they went down at Design Selection, as we were meant to present our swimsuits on ‘figures’. I did, just in a very abstract way. In this particular board, the ‘figure’ is represented by the blue rectangle, and the swimsuit is the red semi-circle, and the yellow rectangle represents the figures’ arms. I chose this way of presenting my designs as I was trying to recreate in a modern context the short film by Chuck Jones in which my concept was based around (see previous post).

I chose to make this swimsuit because, although being quite simple; getting it to sits really nicely on the body will be a big challenge. Also to get the smocking detail perfect may prove to be a big challenge as I am not much of a perfectionist!

Day One of Construction was FUN.

We all were a bit reluctant in the beginning to just start cutting and sewing the garment as in previous units the pattern drafting phase has been very pedantic with each measurement having to be perfect. When creating a pattern for a swimsuit, you are given a lot of leeway with the stretch of the fabric. Lyrca is a new medium for most of us, so it’s sewing and manipulating is taking some getting used to! But the majority of the class were able to create a base shape for their suit; it’s really exciting watching everyone’s garments come to life!

Here’s the progress of my suit so far.

Tomorrow is day 2 of construction… stayed tuned x x x

A Very Good Place To Start

Before I head off on a tangent talking about padding breast cups and matching seams, I should start at the beginning, a very good place to start.

Having been given the brief for Woollen Mermaids at the end of last semester, I could have spent the entire summer on the beach researching first hand the type of swimwear people wear today. Only I didn’t, I jumped on a plane and spent my summer playing in the snow. The only swimwear I saw all summer were those in vintage markets around Europe. This factor influenced my designing for this project heavily.

I chose to focus my attention on the ‘tailoring’ of the swimsuits. The dart placement, the shape of the breast cup, panel lines and seam. I began to look at shapes within the suit and not at the suit itself.

I found this short film by Chuck Jones:
I figured if Chuck Jones can make a 10 minute film about a dot, a line and a squiggle, then I should be able to make a collection of swimsuits based on the same idea….