Restoring the Lost and the Broken

T- minus 4 days until the adventure really begins. 

Let’s see. Questions I’ve been asked recently:

Have you been out of the country before? Why yes I have. I’ve been to Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Belize, St. Thomas. But to be honest, the last time I was out of the country was over 5 years ago. I had to renew my passport and everything!

Have you gotten your shots? Yep. Some of my vaccinations are in the form of pills that I am still taking. It has been a constant reminder of my upcoming trip! 

Are you so excited? The short answer to this question is most definitely YES! If you remember from my previous post, making fair-trade clothing has been a dream of mine for years. It’s why I chose a degree in fashion design in the first place. The other side of the coin, though, is this strange place I feel caught in. Maybe you know it. The just-graduated-college-and-the-world-looks-different thing. Everything is a bit more real. The possibilities don’t seem quite as endless as they did only a few months ago. 

But here’s where it gets good. Sometimes in the strange chapters in our lives we are able to connect with others and God in a completely different way. I feel as though I am more myself than I have been in a long time. I’m not consumed with homework, fashion show preparation, or even really the next step. I have been content to live in this season however long or short it may be. Above all else, I have been challenged recently to really listen for the voice of God. You know the age old, you don’t have to ask God to speak to you because he probably already is, you just need to listen…I can honestly and vulnerably admit that I have never known how to do this. Or how to identify his voice. This is what I have gathered in the last few weeks:

We are called to a life of discipline. This is SO VASTLY different than the culture we live in. Let’s be real. The only thing I do religiously is check my facebook/instagram/email. In the last month, I’ve fasted twice on Mondays. It’s been a challenge and even more difficult than I had imagined. But it was so good to reap the benefits. One of those things was being able to identify the voice of God. Not that I have it down to a science, or that there is a formula, but when you earnestly seek the Lord, he will reveal himself to you. Taking the time to sit down with him will change your life. Which leads me into my next thought. 

Beginning to really know the lord will change your desires. The honest to goodness truth is that glamour is one of the most seductive and false things you can get wrapped up in. I find myself daydreaming about moving to New York and working for some famous designer (there is nothing wrong with this) and feeling jealous towards those who have gone to do that. Money, fame, power have the ability to lure us in and always leave us wanting more. We know this, but I don’t think we realize how easily we can get hooked. When we allow his heart to be our own, we start dreaming in different ways. For me, it is no longer a loft in Manhattan, but a journey of restoration (I love this word so much I have it tattooed on my arm). Restoring the lost and the broken. My sister (a restorer herself in the way of foster care/adoption) once left a post-it note on my bathroom mirror that said DREAM BIG. Chances are, we aren’t dreaming big enough. 

So, this leads me to Haiti. I’m nervous, anxious, excited, and overjoyed that I get to be apart of this experience. I can’t wait to come back and blog all about it and tell you much more worth it the faces of those women are than anything I can dream up on my own. 

-Crista 

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Step by Step

Today, I was thinking, why not share some insider information with you fine folks. Here is a very brief step-by-step list of the process it takes to design a line of clothes from start to finish. 

RESEARCH: Using the power of technology and subscriptions to websites that offer exclusive information on trends, we researched the market. This began in January 2013 even though our line will not launch until Spring 2014. That’s right, we work that far in advance to give you the most perfect product!

INSPIRATION: After browsing our resources, we realized we had 3 solid directions we could go in. We chose our favorite and adapted it to our target market.

THEME: We titled our theme “concrete pioneer”. We continued to focus on exactly who she was; her likes and dislikes, where she lived, what her daily life looked like. 

DESIGN CONCEPTS/ILLUSTRATIONS: This came primarily from our research. We also adapted a few looks to be more specific to our “concrete pioneer”. We started with nearly 50 sketches and chose our favorite as a team. 

FABRIC: Next it was time to choose fabric! This was one of the most exciting parts of the process because the garments began to come to life. We pulled our options and began choosing the ones that not only looked like our girl, but also worked well together. The 3 prints in our collection were the easiest to choose. We all agreed that the Anna Maria Horner field study collection would be a perfect fit (www.annamariahorner.com)!

PATTERNS: We used a technique called flat patterning to create all the patterns for the collection. 

SAMPLES: Once the patters were completed, we wasted no time in starting our samples. We used muslin to create mock-ups to see the shape and fit of the pieces. 

GARMENT SEWING: After patterns are finished and any needed adjustments are made, we sewed the garments using our designated fabric. This was the most gratifying step! We could finally see the finished pieces in all their glory!

There are several more steps in the process, I assure you! Things like tech packs (illustrations created on the computer to display construction details), line sheets and order forms (needed to sell the line), and of course pricing the garments (you must know the cost per garment + the cost of labor etc.). 

And now you know (hopefully) a little more than you did about producing a line of clothing! 

Hope you all are well! We sure are because we GET to go to HAITI in 18 days! Continue to follow along with us as we prepare for the trip of a lifetime!

-CristaImageSweet Emery wearing our Madeline romper

 

Begin Today

Hi, Crista here (see previous post if necessary). I hope you will allow me to tell you our stories on Wednesdays. It’s MY day to fill you in on our latest goings on.

I’ve racked my brain and searched google high and low to find a quote or a story that seemed fitting for today’s post. This is what I have come up with:

“Begin today. Declare outloud to the universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy.” Sarah Ban Breathnach 

Let me set the stage. Yesterday, 6:45 p.m. at the beautiful Juel Salon in Franklin, TN. Martha, Taylor, plus two lovelies from our Design for a Cause class at O’More, Ashley and Maarika, and I are scrambling around to put the finishing touches on our display and presentation. Over and over again, the hospitable staff at Juel continuously offered their assistance in any way possible. They helped with the set up, moving tables, beautifying our displays, and made us smile. And just like it was 7. Go time. And we were excited and ready to share all our hard work. (Let me take a moment to give you some insider perspective. This was the moment we had been waiting for! Graciously anticipating! The moment we not only got to share the collection, but we would be able to sell it as well! Armed with clipboards, order forms, and our trusty squares, we were prepared to sell the garments in order to further our dream of empowering 10 beautiful Haitian women, which, wait for it, we can’t do unless we are able to sell the line!)

…7:10….7:20….and no one has entered the room. It’s your biggest nightmare! You spend weeks planning a party and no one comes. Well, let me explain to you that in this dream (not nightmare), you have nothing to be afraid of. I wish I could explain to you how much support was in that room. In fact, it was the safest place we could have been. Our friends at Juel handled the night with more grace and compassion than we could have ever imagined. They even offered to help us continue to sell the collection throughout the rest of the week! All in all, we sold 7 pieces and 4 items from our silent auction AND we now have 4 new trunk shows in the works!

Some would have only seen struggle, but here at WeAreDAR we find ourselves humbled and grateful. We are (more than) eager to learn through joy, because folks, it takes a village! And a realization that we are on an unpredictable journey. Our friends in Haiti are worth every ounce of perceived struggle and we can feel it in our bones that we are headed in the right direction. ImageImageImage

-Crista, DARling Intern