THE DESIGN STUDIO: Notions
Notions are all of those other little appurtenances that you need for a garment. It is the zipper and buttons and clasps that are required to make a garment stay together and to be able to get it on and off (which is essential. No one wants to be sewn into a dress. It is really difficult to get off. We have all seen that episode of New Girl right?)
Notions can also be the cups that are sewn into a dress to provide support for the more daring neck and backlines, when ordinary lingerie will not cover or support as needed. In addition, it can be the tools that are used for sewing such as a pin cushion or seam ripper.
So what exactly is the point of going over this technical aspect when we have not yet shown you a finished piece? The answer is simple. If you are designing a garment, you need to pay attention to the notions that you are going to need and make sure that you have a concrete idea of what they are going to be before you prototype.
I always make sure that I have some form of notion before starting on a prototype because the way that a garment is fastened can change the way that it lays on the body. For example, a wedding dress with an internal corset and one with a simple zipper or button closure are going to wear differently. It is easier to see this when you make a prototype with the appropriate notions. If you are not sure what you are going to want, you can try to make a bodice (the top part) with boning (for a corset, it is a tough wire or plastic material to provide structure) or a zipper (we all know what a zipper is).
When you are making a prototype or sewing a piece, it is important to have a concrete idea of the needed notions, but they also do not need to be fixed. You are going to need to know in advance if your piece requires a zipper or buttons because when you cut the fabric out, it needs to match and line up for these to be the right place. That being said, if you get the piece finished and realize that you think gold buttons would be better than the original bronze you had chosen, you just need to make sure that the garment you made can accommodate the new notions you selected.
A few pieces that I make sure I always have:
Elastic (it comes in handy way more than it should)
A pin cushion and pins (to keep everything together)
Buttons (usually just plain black or white so that I can get an idea of size. Frequently these change in the finished piece but they give me an idea of what I will need)
One other thing that is useful: fabric dye. It is not really a notion, but it is incredibly important to repair discoloration and dye fabric to a certain color. We are also going to be creating an incredible collection in the upcoming months that we will be announcing soon!
Ultimately, these little supplies are fundamental to any piece that you are creating. Take a look at our Pinterest board for some of our favorite supplies and studio designs!