Pattern Indy Interview

Pattern Blog July Pics

I am very pleased to announce to you guys that I was recently interviewed for the Pattern magazine blog about designing for a local market and you can check that interview out by clicking the link below.

http://www.patternindy.com/2015/07/30/qa-with-designer-sarah-lalonde/

   This interview tells a bit about my design history, inspiration, my personal aesthetic as a fashion designer, and my process and personal story.

Pattern Indy and Me:

   Pattern Magazine is the first fashion mag based out of Indiana…ever, as far as I know! They put out some killer work-I definitely hand it to them for superior editorial high fashion shoots. Not only is Pattern a magazine, but it’s a collaborative effort to bring together and equip people in any facet of the fashion industry in our area. If you read me very often, you know I’m an unapologetic Christian and when I say “Thank the Lord for Pattern” I don’t just mean it figuratively.

    I touch on it in this interview, but Pattern had a lot to do with my decision to get back in the design game. When I moved back to Indiana after getting my degree in fashion design in California, I planned on it being a temporary hiatus. That is, until I had my twin girls and decided that their stability was more important than my dream. That’s when design became just that to me- a dream. Before becoming a mom, it was my plan. Afterward, it was a very abstract wish that I held onto rather loosely. It’s not that I gave up on design. I just resigned myself to the fact that there was really no fashion industry to get into here. We were just starting out with two babies at once to raise and take care of, and my full time job with good benefits took priority over fashion. Sadly, because the dream was painful to think of since I was so far from it at that point, I removed the reminders-putting away my sewing supplies, sending my final collection from school to Goodwill, and trashing my pattern sloper set (my worst mistake perhaps ever!)

    Then one day my coworker and BWFF (best work friend forever) brought in a clipping from the morning newspaper about Midwest Fashion Week. I was floored. While I had my head in the proverbial sands of data entry and such, a fashion industry had been sprouting up around me. It ignited a thought-a whisper-of possibility. A year or two later, I heard of Pattern. There was now a Hoosier fashion magazine? I sarcastically wondered if they featured Carharts and farm attire. (A little Indiana humor, folks.) They were having regular meetups to establish a cohesive industry within our state, so I went to one- and LOVED it! It was on sustainable fashion, which I’ll admit I hadn’t done a lot of thinking about, since I had abstained from fashion altogether for a few years. It struck me that not only is there growth in the fashion industry around me, but the growing societal conscience for sustainable, responsible fashion was a tremendous benefit for local designers.

    You see, we were taught in college to OUTSOURCE EVERYTHING. It took Pattern to break that mentality for me. After studying about the impacts of large scale “fast fashion” I wanted to not only get back to doing what I loved, but help lead the charge for change in the industry which glamorizes disposable fashion and making the quick buck. Learning to sew really, really well has taken me some time. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m pretty darn good. It took a ton of time to hone my pattern-making and -grading skills…and it will require more still. I’ve also had to change my outlook on the ideals of the design industry.  But you know what? It feels so good. The slow road isn’t glamorous. Operating a mom and pop design business (two people actually would be GREAT!) doesn’t equal overnight success. But I can tell all of you aspiring fashion designers that it is such a great way to develop a really strong foundation and skill set to springboard your line an ideas on fashion once you have the fundamental know-how in place.

   Thanks, Pattern, for the role you’ve played in coaxing me out of my comfort zone to jump into the industry. Here’s to making a splash!!!

Fundraiser Dress

IMG_2895I have a fashion industry fundraiser this Saturday, and nothing to wear. . .as yet. I was on the fence about going because of the price of the tickets. Now that I’m staying home to be with my kids and design, I don’t feel great about dropping a bunch on an event, even though it means networking with people in the industry here in this state. Then my good friend read about the event in the paper, asked me if I had tickets, and told me I have to go when I said I was unsure. Thank God for people like her! Voices of reason, able to prioritize for me when I’m stumped. Sometimes others value my skills and interests more than I do.

This event is a premiere for the new issue of Pattern Magazine, a great Indiana based fashion magazine. The super cool thing about this  is that this issue spotlights race car drivers, some of whom will be there, with the event being held at the Indy 500 track. Admittedly, I won’t know who any of them are, but my husband has been a mechanic all his life. Almost Literally. He grew up with a wrench in his hand, helping and learning from his dad who owns a shop for repairs as well as restoring classic cars. He also did a lot of racing as a kid, so this is right up his, um, alley. (A little junior dragster pun for you there. You’re welcome. Or I’m sorry, depending on how you feel about puns-they’re very polarizing.)

Here’s the problem: I was wavering on my decision to go, so I didn’t get started on something to wear until last Friday. I got some amazing sheer gray fabric tiled with silver rectangles, and some thicker silver fabric for lining.

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I came up with the design using bias tape on my form, then drew it up from there. As always, I play it a little fast and loose with the details as I go along.

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IMG_2893I tried out fringey beads on the shoulder. Very possibly too much. We’ll see.

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IMG_2916Here’s the kicker… since it’s sheer, I really, really want to make a jumpsuit out of the silver to go under it. But I’m extremely short on time. Instead of making the pattern for both and then starting  to sew (and possibly running out of time with two completed patterns, and two half-sewn garments) I resolved to actually complete the dress before starting on the jumper. That way, if I run out of time, I can always add some lining to the dress, or make an easy little slip or bustier to go under. As pressed for time as I am, I still decided to sew a complete muslin of the bodice first – including interfacing, zippers, and all. I have to make sure this ends up with a great fit! The dress form drape ended up needing a ton of alterations- like 3 inches out of the top of the bodice. I’m very excited about getting better at custom fit, but more excited to get this finished! So for this week, at least until I’m confident it will all get finished, I’ll be posting my progress in short little bursts. Next week I’ll post some tips I’ve discovered during this process. I already have a couple to show you.

Wish Me Luck, Guys!