Category: Fashion

Terno Sleeve Pattern Making

After years of rummaging the Internet for tutorials and information on how to make a Terno sleeve, I have finally found the best tutorial that show how to pattern make and also sew this sleeve. I also bought a book (still in the possession of my sister in the Philippine, in which she took photos of important pages for me to study) that show patterns of various Filipiniana dresses throughout history. It includes information on the how to make, maintain and the art of the terno manga (terno sleeve). This book is available for purchase at Artbooks.ph

Page courtesy of Patterns for the Filipino Dress published by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. This is posted for University assessment only.
Page courtesy of Patterns for the Filipino Dress published by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. This is posted for University assessment only.

I’ve applied the instructions onto CAD, which was not as hard as I thought it would be.

I took the arm scye measurements and divided it by four. That dictated the quarter circle seen on the square on left side image. I then copied this curve line to complete the oval shape. This has become the template for the rest of the sleeve. The top half was overset about 3 inches, and then again another 3 inches. The quarter half of the oval was traced to complete the sleeve at the arms and everything was closed with straight lines.

I added the pleats by hand after cutting the fabric, in which I used it to create the notches for the final pattern. Traditionally, 11-13 pleats are created to build the curve of the sleeve. There are many other ways to create the sleeve, however, for this collection, I wanted to emphasize the tradition amongst the modernity of the rest of the design.

This is the first sample of the sleeve using __ fusing. The result show a stiff sleeve, and although it does the job, it can look better. The cardboard-like stiffness also creates certain creases to the sleeve that makes the sleeve look cheap and craft like – far from what the sleeve should portray. I also, if possible, want to omit the glue on fusible for a more sustainable reason. The glue on fusible changed the look and feel of the fabric. I then tried three other interfacings to trial the sleeve stiffness without being too cardboard-like.

1. This one is using Buckram

2. This one is using hair canvas interfacing.

3. This last one is using sew-in interfacing.

All are using a basting technique to hold the pieces together before it gets attached to the bodice of the garment. There is no need to do extensive basting such as the first two sampled, it only needs to attach using straight stitches at the seam allowance, which was used as a technique on the third sample. While both choices create the sleeve look acceptable to the traditional terno, buckram creates the best look that has both stiffness of the shape and softness at the curve.

Tatsulok Final Garments

Barong Shirt dress with Tapis
Baro’t Saya Combination
Balabal dress

Hybrid Form: Dear Rosa, class notes

Dear Rosa is written in a personal letter form to an airport security personnel. The letter contains:

Description writing of a matchbox
Personal manifesto of being a feminist
A little bit of instructional writing

As a reader, I felt as if I was being invited to become as one, especially when the writer mentioned modern women. I am too. I was invited to see beyond the obvious and the properties that made the matchbox a “dangerous weapon” but to look at it deeply and see that there are new properties in it that is beyond what it was originally developed.

I liked how every piece of item is related to something personal and that allowed me to connect with the writer.

As a hybrid form, the differences are in the details that I didn’t notice until it was pieced apart in class. This is the type of writing I really liked.

Review Form Update: Virtual Fashion Show with #RajoRunwayOnline

Last night, for the first time in years, I went on Facebook awaiting a very exciting new experience for the Philippine fashion industry. Rajo Laurel, one of the Philippines’ biggest fashion designers staged his first online fashion show. I was there waiting in anticipation on the same Facebook page the Philippine elites and celebrities he dressed were also viewing. This digital stage disregarded my location so far away from where it was hosted and equalized people. For the first time, I sat front row at a fashion shows I probably would have never seen if it was produced in person. I did not have to crane my neck to have a good look at garments through the shadows of the well off.

This was not the first time it’s done in the industry. Shanghai staged its fashion week virtually this year. The presence of Covid-19 that spread across the world had forced brands and events to be produced digital. Conversation on the future of the industry has been in discussion for so long now. However, early this month it was opened to a wider range of audience for free at the Vogue  Global Conversation held early this month digitally. The people in the industry expressed a feeling of being adamant about the change of show space. Or at least, not fully willing to let go of the old. While there is a common agreement amongst the speakers that a stimulating experience in being part of the community of the brand is still important (and simply nice to have), the possibility and the chance to do something online is not looked down upon, and even inviting. One speaker noticed that having access to the shows online brought in thousands more viewers compared to the 600 invited and ticketed guests in the physical show, allowing for a wider range of customers. Fashion, as always, is open and even adapting to the never ending change in society.

So last night, in true Filipino spirit of resilience, Rajo Laurel celebrated his birthday with a first in Philippine fashion industry. Together with Saga Events, they revolutionized the industry by staging a virtual show amongst the community quarantine the country is still experiencing. It showed a new collection from the fashion designer where unlike a recorded version of a fashion show, it was shot as if the viewer is right there sat front row. The show was an hour long (including a long wait at the beginning) where emcee sat in a space in her home in Metro Manila (I believe it is), speaking to the designer in his own space in the province of Batangas. Saga Event’s Robby Carmona, the managing director of the show, was also present online to talk about the process of digitalization of the show.

I have to be honest, I expected a show filmed live as it was literally happening. Alas, they were a cut and sewn videos of pre-recorded model walks, projected online live from Saga Event’s Facebook page. The show aired at 6 pm (10 pm NZ time) in the tropics where the sun sets at 5 pm all year round, but the models were walking outside under the blazing sun as though it was 12 noon. The opening remarks were live, however. Although it took too long (typical in a Filipino event), it was the part that made watching the show felt live. Fast forward to the actual fashion show, compared to the opening, it happened in a snap, almost literally. Especially after a brief blip on the connection, which caused me to miss a good chunk of the fashion presentation’s beginning where most of the individual garments were shown. With a triple split-screen effect at the end, it was difficult to catch up on the looks I missed. However, it did make for an exciting virtual show.

I realize now what stimulating, inspiring experience that is missing online. On the one hand it gave me a sort of feeling of being on front row seat allowing me to appreciate the clothes up close. However still lacked that presence of over-dressed people, alcoholic beverage in hand confined in a space to watch people walk by. For a student, this gives a sense of excitement for a potential future.

I don’t know if a live recording of a model walking an empty catwalk is the future. However, the speakers at the Vogue Global Conversation does make a great about this possible future (even after Covid-19 is dealt with): there is room for both physical and virtual shows in the future. The future is not to plan for showing online but to visualize, plan and design a show that both in-person guests and online viewers can appreciate at the same time.

Manifesto Homework: The Vision, A Creative Manifesto

This manifesto is via WGSN. It embodies everything I believe as a fashion designer in 2020 and the future.

Keys are:

Red: Underline what the manifesto is championing, advocating, arguing pleading for or against.
Blue: Highlight significant persuasive or emotive language.
Yellow: Highlight evidence in the text that indicates who the manifesto written for (audience/ reader).
Green: Underline the key points of the manifesto.
Orange: Point out anything you do not understand, and anything you think is extraneous.

Making the Weaving and into the Balabal Dress

Oh the weaving process. Probably the most overwhelming task out of any of my work. Suddenly, I had to unlearn the past few years to make this garment happen. It’s not that I don’t need planning. It’s just a different planning than pattern making. Maths were involved, especially dealing with stretch fabrics. However, the percentage of the stretch doesn’t necessarily work the same way as patternmaking with a stretch fabric as it is dependent on the tension I apply it. All explained in the video. As I’ve never done any textiles paper, except for embroidery, I didn’t know where to start. Everything is laid out open for me to pick and choose and decision making is my weakest trait. I’ve learned to make faster decisions than I previously have ever because of the personal deadlines I gave myself. Part of those decisions were loom making, colors and method. And whether I make a pattern out of the colors or make it free flowing.

The loom was hand made. 1m x 1m  but I placed one of the edges about 70cm. As I needed 50cm length, I thought this was enough for the stretch. Turns out, I needed 10 more cm. Nails were placed 1cm apart, and this also had to be decided. 

I’ve practiced and sampled this method in the first semester, however, I didn’t account for the little curve ball in the form of colors. I originally decided on using only old clothes to make the weaving as part of the sustainability angle of my project, and some old t-shirts are interwoven in the pieces, it wasn’t enough. With little time at the point of making the weave, sourcing old t-shirts that have colors that work together wasn’t practical. I had to go to a plan B of some sort. I went and bought new fabrics, sadly. And this was where my money went all over the place. I went and bought about .5 to 1 m of different color knit fabrics (weft), and 8 meters worth of pale lavender and pink knit fabric (warp). The colors I chose were more on the dark cool colors, shades of purples and blue. To brighten up the garment, I went for bright warm colors, such as yellow and red and pink. The warp stayed a single color. I wanted to portray the diversity and vibrant culture of the Philippines. For some reason, purple and yellow reminds me of the Philippines the most. Colors of the flag are also in there.



There were two methods that were at play here. First was the typical method which involves longer strips of fabric on all sides of the weaving. The second, which I ended up using, is a continuous strip of warp fabric, then pieces of strips along the weft. This became the choice because it allowed the weaving to drape more.



I put together this video so I can show how the weaving was done. Writing a it down will be a mission. Here’s the process of how the weaving happened.

Making the Dress

As there were no pattern making involved, draping was the best way to put the whole garment together. I popped two panels on a mannequin, and closed the ends, leaving the middle unattached for the head to go through. From there I decided where and how other panels will go. I had to make sure that the back is also is covered. Or maybe lengthen. Those were some of the things I had to think about.

The finished product happened while the photoshoot was happening. While the other garments were being photographed, I was “sewing”my model into the dresss. I used more strips of fabrics to attach ends together and close the garment shut. It’s zero waste, in terms of panels, as they remained the rectangle as woven, but instead of cutting the shape in the whole width of the fabric, I added to make the pieces, making the rectangle work for the body.





Making the Skirt

The skirt went through the same method of “sewing” my model into the skirt draping two panels, attached to one side, and closing in at where the other ends with a strip of fabric. I have no image of how this was done, however, it is pretty straight forward as seen in the final photos below

saya & balabal

Final Garments



Pattern Making the Baro’t Saya Dress Combination

While this may seem like the simplest design, this design perhaps was the one that had so many iterations of the pattern. From using various blocks to changing the back designs to adding new features. There wasn’t any specificity in this design except for three: it’s cropped, it has a terno sleeve and can connect to the skirt. Everything else can be designed anyway. It was the last thing I designed to complete the four-look collection and it was the one I needed to make the collection more cohesive. I was challenged at the beginning of the semester to add another look, and since I have one garment per look, I accepted. However, my design brain cells must have retired for the project and my technical brain took over because designing this look took a while. There were changes here and there, and this took the final seat. That means, more iterations as I pattern make it. See Weaving post for details

Review Form: Virtual Fashion Show with #RajoRunwayOnline

Creative Exposition Update (02/08/20): This review was first written on May 20, 2020 after taking part on this online fashion show that took place during the enhanced community quarantine in the Philippines (at a time when New Zealand was on level 4 quarantine). I chose to include this writing in this sampler after knowing more about the review from in class. I revisited the writing and decided to rewatch the show and fully engage in it. There are simple changes that I believe helped enhance the writing of this review in such a way that it flows better.

Last night, for the first time in years, I went on Facebook awaiting a very exciting new experience for the Philippine fashion industry. Rajo Laurel, one of the Philippines’ biggest fashion designers staged his first online fashion show. I was there waiting in anticipation on the same Facebook page the Philippines elites and celebrities he dressed were also viewing. This digital stage equalized people. Well, somehow. Until you look at the stories in their individual social accounts and you see the Zoom after party held after the live streaming of the show and you’re still not invited. Okay, about 1k plus, plus of us.

Nonetheless, it felt like, for the first time, I sat front row at probably a fashion shows I would have never seen if it was live and in person. A fashion show I can rewatch over and over again. Now, as a fashion design student at the time of Covid-19, we plan our collections day-by-day, questioning what the next few months will present. Normally, at this time, so close to the end of the first semester, we’d be thinking about the final year fashion show. Yet we’re continually faced with I-don’t-knows and still-waiting-for-University-decisions before we can lockdown on any idea.

Of course, the majority of the class would rather have a physical fashion show in a room clad with family members, friends, and industry people, plus, models, students, and University staff volunteers. I mean, when would we ever have a chance to do it. It could possibly be our once in a lifetime experience. Who knows if our future involves fashion shows. However, as the rumors circulate (okay, maybe not rumors but a possible option, just in case) that a virtual fashion show is in our fourth-year future, we wonder, how is it possible? I am always up for the challenge of something new, especially if it involves the digital world. But even I wonder, how?

This year, Shanghai staged its fashion week virtually. Unfortunately, Shanghai Fashion Week online had finished before I even knew it was a thing. I only heard about it during a webinar on the Future of Fashion Show via Vogue  Global Conversation early this month. The idea of a virtual fashion show caught my interest. The conversation, on the other hand, felt somewhat adamant about the change of show space. Or at least, not fully willing to let go of the old. Fashion, as always, is open to the possibilities of change. While there is a common agreement amongst the speakers that a stimulating experience in being part of the community of the brand is still important (and simply nice to have), the possibility and the chance to do something online is not looked down upon, and even inviting. One speaker noticed that having access to the shows online brought in thousands more viewers compared to the 600 invited and ticketed guests in the physical show, allowing for a wider range of customers.

So last night, Rajo Laurel celebrated his birthday with a first in Philippine fashion industry. Together with Saga Events, they revolutionized the industry by staging a virtual show amongst the community quarantine the country is still experiencing. It showed a new collection from the fashion designer where unlike a recorded version of a fashion show, it was shot as if the viewer is right there sat front row. Except with different backgrounds.


I expected a show filmed live as it was literally happening. Alas, videos of pre-recorded model walks were pieced together, projected online live from the events team’s Facebook page. The show aired at 6 pm (10 pm NZ time) in the tropics where the sun sets at 5 pm all year round, but the models were walking outside under the blazing sun as though it was 12 noon. The opening remarks were live, however. It was the part of the show that I least enjoyed as it was the entirety of the one hour event. It was, nonetheless, the bit of the live show that made it feel it was really happening live. Fast forward to the actual fashion show, compared to the opening bit, it happened in a snap, almost literally. Especially after a brief blip on the connection, which caused me to miss a good chunk of the show’s beginning where most of the individual garments were shown. With a triple split-screen effect at the end, it was difficult to catch up on the missed looks. However, it did make for an exciting virtual show. 

Now I realize what stimulating, inspiring experience that is missing online. While it gave me a sort of feeling of being on front row seat, it however still lacked that packed presence of over-dressed people, alcoholic beverage in hand while feeling the atmosphere of being in with a like-minded crowd. Not that bumping into people who you do not know is stimulating and inspiring. But for a student, it gives a sense of excitement for the future. I must say though, I appreciate seeing the clothes more up close than when I could barely see the models walk amidst heads and shadows of those with a better view. In this way, everyone sees exactly the same view.

I don’t know if a live recording of a model walking an empty catwalk is ever possible, but having the possibility of showing a new collection online is somewhat interesting, exciting, and cool, too. Especially when one can barely afford a ticket to a show, let alone a plane ticket to physically see a show. The pieced pre-recorded videos are forgivable given the situation in the country, and, even became a plus as it made for a smooth flowing show and allowed for a show to be produced in just two weeks. And I appreciate that I can revisit the show online and feel the same experience of being there when it went live.

Just like in the Vogue Global Conversations, there is room for both physical and virtual shows in the future. Then maybe the future is not to plan for showing online but to visualize, plan and design a show that both in-person guests and online viewers can appreciate at the same time.

Featured image by Chalo Garcia on Unsplash
20.05.2020[10.28]

Review Form Exercise: Es Devlin, the Art of Design

One of the highlights of the narrative on Es Devlin was how much of her work and her personality life were separated through the director’s choice of music and transitions. It created a balanced mood that it exhilarating (her work) and somber (personal life). As her work is larger than life in a visual sense, often working with cubes, digital devices and light, it is mirrored by the exciting music and a squared lense focusing on a montage of her work. Often this is without a part of an audio clip of  the interview, sometimes it does, but cut in a pace that is as exciting as her work. One bright picture or video clip to another. Then it transitions to a softer music, and the frame expands to a cinematic frame and the audience is transported to her daily life, sometimes personal with family, but most of the time in her own space as she provides us with an insight of how her mind works and her creative process revealed. I think that takes the audience into a journey.

Formal Rustic Wedding Guest Outfit

Wedding season is on full force in New Zealand (even in the Philippines, actually, for it’s the season of family vacation). Working in menswear retail, the amount of wedding suits we’re organizing and wedding guest attires we’re styling were enormous; ceremony dates were almost one after the other. So it’s no surprise, that early this month, I was invited to my friends’ wedding at Manawaru, New Zealand. Such an intimate and simple ceremony amongst friends (including my entire family). A wedding amongst a field of New Zealand’s provincial greenery, a perfect backdrop for their formal rustic theme.

It was designed to be celebrated outdoors against New Zealand’s beauty, yet the priest suggested to go indoors because of the expected rainfall. He was right, though. It did come. But whether in or outdoors, the wedding was simply perfect for the two. There was none of the fluff that made many weddings I was used to attending in the Philippines seemed like an entertainment show filled with advertisements. It was so intimate it was only about them and their guests and families. The venue was simple, the food was enough and the people were having the time of their lives. It was actually the first time I truly appreciated a wedding ceremony as what it was: a bond between two loving couple.

Dressing for the wedding, however, wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be (except menswear. I have styled both my husband and brother for this wedding). My family would disagree if I ever denied complaining about the wedding attire requirements. Guests were asked to wear certain colors that were not the shades of pink and blue, and not to wear a black and white ensemble. These were basically the colors I do not own: green, yellow, orange, purple and everything in between. Even through gritted teeth unnecessary complaints, I had been planning for this wedding for months including my husband’s. Potentially designing my own dress to wear (which I did and sorta failed). My creativity to style myself that is different from the usual wedding guest outfits were pushed to the maximum.

For about a month or so, I have been working on this wedding guest dress project as part of my challenge of making clothes for myself as a practice to enhance my skills. I did the whole process: design and iteration, creating blocks, practice toiles and final toiles. But I failed miserably in fit. My imagination and skill level did not meet, resulting in a half decent dress. Everything was working well, until I had to finish it off with a facing, and the fit changed. My anxiety about design got the best of me that I did not feel proud about the design. At the last minute (almost literally), because as always, I did not have a back up, I had to buy an entire outfit that is unique and cheap. Usually not the adjectives to put together when it comes to clothing.

An hour scouring through four shops at Bayfair Shopping Center in Tauranga later, I found a skirt and top combination from Dotti that is fresh and different from the usual wedding guest outfit. The sheen of the pleated skirt and the lacy black crop top added a more formal feel to an otherwise casual look. The color was a cool green tone, made primary by the ever generous black shade. I almost had it paired with a gold thin strapped crop top, but the shade against my skin made me look as though I was wearing nothing. As always, my very trusty Aldo shoes.

For my husband though, his is easy. Choices simply presented themselves almost everyday at work. His entire outfit, besides shoes (which were from Onesimus, I think), were from Barkers. I had him choose between three choices and this was the best choice for his skin and his personality. A khaki blazer and pants combo, (which, I know, I know. Still needs a lot of alterations to do), paired with a floral Cuban collar linen blend shirt. While I prefer a long sleeve shirt for such an occasion, Barkers didn’t have this particular fabric made in long sleeves and it was the best choice for the blazer that fit Mico’s style.

While the ideal dress did not become a reality with my still novice skill set, I still felt amazing and unique in my final sartorial choices. All while keeping the bridal request in mind (well, sorta) and matching with the husband. Not just a wedding to remember, but a couple of outfits I have fallen in love with.

Aurea’s:
Top & Skirt: Dotti
Shoes: Aldo

Mico’s:
Outfit: Barkers
Shoes: Onesimus
Shades: Unknown

Photo taken by husband