Hey Forest Dwellers! I have a new design for you today, which I've really put my heart into.
This dress is inspired by the local deer in the community where I live. Our office is in Ferndale, Washington, near the US-Canadian border. Our homes are surrounded by forests and farmland. It's not uncommon to see deer walking through yards or strolling down the main streets, because they live among us everywhere. In fact, a pair of deer visited the office last month! I saw them behind the building as I was leaving for the day, and it felt like a little blessing from nature. So you could say that the deer are neighbors of Forest Girl Clothing.
I was captured by the idea of using a dappled fawn print in a dress. This drawing is my tech sketch, which is currently being developed into a physical sample by my manufacturer.
The process of taking a design from sketch to reality is a very long one. For this design, I had to create my own artwork to represent the deer hide, because I needed to hold sole copyright over the fabric print. Other deer print fabrics exist, but this one is mine! That also gave me the ability to fine-tune the colors, gradient intensity, and placement of spots. I went through many iterations of artwork, but the results are worth it.
Next I had to designate the specific color palette I'm working with. It's not enough to deliver an art file on its own, because color can be interpreted differently in many situations. Pantone is the leading industry standard for color formulas, so I use their service to determine the exact hues I want, and send that info to my manufacturer. This tells them exactly how to formulate ink and dye colors that will deliver the results I want.
Right now, we're still in the fabric printing stage. I envisioned this deer fabric as a soft velvet that will mimic the texture and luster of short animal hair. That would be such a beautiful combination of tactile and visual elements!
I'm still very attached to that idea, but having trouble making it a reality. As you know, using natural, biodegradable fabrics is important to me on a personal level. My manufacturer has been unable to find a customizable cotton velvet that can be used for this design. They are asking me to choose between plain weave cotton or polyester velvet. Due to my own stubborn obsession with natural fiber, I chose plain cotton.
This is still the sampling stage, and nothing is set in stone yet. It's possible that they will find another fabric vendor that can do the cotton velvet. I know that cotton velvet exists, but getting mass quantities of a custom print is another story. Fabric factories will require you to order hundreds or thousands of yards at a time if you want customization, and it's possible that my business is just too small to meet those minimums. It's also possible that we could keep searching and eventually find what I'm looking for.
In the meantime, I'm expecting a finished sample in plain cotton, sometime within the next month or two! That will allow us to progress with fit tests, pattern tweaks, and approving other details.
No outfit is complete without accessories, so I planned a hair bow to go with this piece. The bow will be made from the same fabric and lace, for a perfect match. Like the other bows in my shop, it'll have a barrette clip on the back.
This dress is destined for production in a full size range, as long as there is enough interest to support it! What do you think? Would you wear a dress that will make you feel like a little deer? I would. I definitely would.
Stay tuned for more updates on a pending release!
Your forest girl,