Finalizing the Barong Dress patterns & Making the Final


I have final arrived at the design I’m hoping. Therefore, what’s left was to clean up the patterns for the final garments to make and submit. The placket I first toiled with didn’t have enough length to cover the raw edges. So I just added extra length.







Below is the first two layplan created for two different fabric widths. The first was the original silk/linen choice I wanted but was too expensive. Then I found my final pure linen piece. Just like with the Terno lay planning, using Illustrator was faster and easier for me to use for the time to work on the pieces.











Making The Final Garment… and mishaps

This is when it started to become stressful for me. As my first choice of fabric was too expensive, I had to find an alternative. $42 was just too much when I barely make money and I needed about 10 meters for 3 garments. I looked for linen with a bit of shine to emulate what Pineapple fiber fabric would be like. I learned to just stick with the first instinct and go with it and never decide impulsively. I have always been the worst at decision making, I always needed a second person to talk to. I could have saved a lot of stress, worry and I could have loved the pieces even more so. I do love the pieces now, but the original choice would have made more of an impact. The linen sateen was too lightweight for my liking for this and that would have retained more of the shaping I wanted as opposed to the lightweight linen. I don’t mind the creases, I think that adds to the charm. If I were to do this piece again, I’ll use the silk/linen choice. However, the linen sateen’s saving grace is that the garments felt very casual, which is what I like. The silk/linen fabric would have made the designs closer to a more formal feel, which is often what Filipino garments are used for. This project humbles down these garments so more people wear them on an everyday basis.

One of the stresses this fabric gave me was the cutting process. Due to time constraints and having about 8 meters of fabric, I wasn’t able to wash the garment. The grainline warped because of how lightweight it is and the amount of creasing it has, the cutting was compromised. I wasn’t sure what to do. I wanted to fuse the whole length of the fabric just to give it stability, but what was the point of buying the fabric if I would have to alter it. I started making the Barong dress when I was informed to fuse my seam allowances. I did that for my Terno dress, however, not for the Barong. I had so much allowance removed from French seaming to redo my seams.

Another mishap was the front panels. I planned, but not trialed french seaming for the right angles and that caused a lot of trouble. I had to ask Claire for another alternative and rescue me from breaking down. Claire suggested a felled seam, which worked out well because it made the right angles prominent and made the design feel more like a barong.

Lastly, adding the facing seams did not meet the seams of the bodice, because of how much the garment stretched during cutting. I had to work with what I’ve got.




PDF Download

I’ve also created a PDF of the patterns for A4 printing at home. This is raw and still needs to have a title page, details page, instructions page, and, ideally, graded. But this is a start of a pdf in the making.


Click to download PDF

Barong Dress

Final Garment


Editing the Barong Dress in CLO3D

This is the first time I used CLO3D program. I always knew about it but never had the chance to try it out. and since there was only 30 days of trial I can use, I timed it so I can use it for this project. That is if the program is straight forward enough. It took a bit of tutorials before I got the hang of the program.

I didn’t get to take images of the the first few trials of the Barong dress on CLO. I didn’t think at this time that I would use CLO as part of my process. What I first did is started from a block we have at Massey. Transferred the file to Illustrator, then to clo. I explained this part in the Making of the Terno dress post. There I did the pattern the way I did in Accumark. Same results, same feeling.

This is when I decided to make the design into a Kimono sleeve. I remembered from second year that the lower I open the sleeve up, might as well do a kimono. I don’t know why I didn’t start from here. I think I wanted a tailored shoulder look. But as I did it in CLO, it worked out better. I also wanted to add pockets, because, again, modern dress. And I played around in CLO where to place them.

I went back to uni to change the patterns to a kimono style sleeve, added pockets, and applied it back to CLO to have a little bit more fun. This didn’t take long at all. But I was able to fix my patterns and placements in CLO before finalizing the patterns and making my final toile. Here are some of the ones I was able to record:

Transferring the new patterns to CLO3d. I simplified some of them because folds are a bit of a mission when first starting.


I wanted to try what would happen if I give the collar more volume.  I liked the end result, but instead of having rounded shape. I ended up having a final collar piece with shaping at the shoulder. I changed the final piece in Accumark.











Final Thoughts…

Simple: I am adding 3D into my process as soon as I can afford the subscription. It cancels a lot of toiling process to get to the final, saves on fabric and time. I can even start using it after the sketching process, because I can do iterations while already making the pattern.

Model: Maria Knowles

Making the Terno Dress

The first mentoring session, I knew I needed to ask about the lineup and improve it a little bit. I took Sue’s suggestion to lengthen the dress and make it a maxi length to create drama. Who knew adding a few more centimeters can change the look of a garment. (I always forget this sort of iteration where I can simply change one little detail of the garment). The pattern making began with these suggestion in mind. The length was added with what I think is enough length for an average tall person. However, I expect changes.

Making the pattern for this dress was straight forward. I hid all the darts in the bottom flare and added more. I wanted a generous amount of volume to the hem.

The collar/lapel piece will help determine the weaving length and width that will go on top of it. It may also serve as facing if needed.




Sleeve measurements taken for the terno sleeve pattern making.





Some adjustments were needed, particularly at the sleeve. I need to lower it to make it comfortable. (Spoiler alert: I’m glad I did.)


pre-final garment changes

Finalizing the Patterns

I didn’t change the patterns too much as the first toile worked out well. Fit was good, which I’m glad. While, I did think the length was a little too long, I think, given the change, I would have had it as it was in the first draft. Having it drape on the floor made for a more dramatic effect. The final ended up having a shorter length. 


Making the pocket

It can not be a modern dress if it doesn’t have pockets. It’s just necessary feature. I had to add it. I designed the pocket based on the Pattern making book by Armstrong. It’s the best way I know how to. As I followed it, the pockets had grown on facing at the front and back pattern pieces. However, I decided to remove it as the pocket will be cut from the main fabric anyway. You”ll see these changes in the following photos.

Making the facing

This will perhaps be the first time I will make a facing on my own. I don’t think I’ve ever done facings before. Linings, yes. But not so much facings. I opted for about 5cm facing (did this, cut the fabric before I received feedback to make my facings 6cm). At first I thought I had to straighten the strip of facing by making the sides parallel to grainline. But I researched this before I committed. Unfortunately, I don’t have the source I got the information to just have the facing as it is on the pattern. So I changed it and did not touch the grainline anymore.



Lay Planning

I did a quick lay plan for this so I know how much fabric I should buy. I am using the same fabric for all my white garments so I needed to buy just enough as I can not afford to have too much. I first planned for a 119cm wide fabric, then found the one I used as my final one, which was 142cm wide. So did my lay plan twice. The reason I used Adobe Illustrator is its ease of use and convenience for me. I am very familiar with the program. For what I need to do, it’s an easier and faster method for me.


Cleaning pattern lines

This is the part of the process where I was going through repetitive actions and I was getting overwhelmed with the amount of work. For a bit of break from pattern making, I make the patterns look clean and tidy, then I’d transfer it to CLO3D and just play a bit. It’s unnecessary step, that probably was the reason I had to ask extension. But at the time, I needed something different to keep me going.

Unresolved problems

One of the last things I stitched was the Terno sleeve. It was so straightforward, yet so overwhelming at the same time. While the sleeve length worked out well to fit the arm whole of the dress, the facing didn’t. By this time, I had my photoshoot done, I had to have my garments ready for presentation. There was just not any time. There was barely any energy left and I had to make the decision that this garment will have to have a hanging facing at the arm hole. (I’m still meant to overlock that, woops). It just wouldn’t fit. My theory is, since the main garment isn’t fused, it retained its flexibility and stretch, especially with the curves. The facing, either shrunk in the heat or retained the scye length according to pattern and my calculations were wrong. It was heartbreaking to let an unresolved problem be seen and assessed, but I had to choose sanity. I can fix it after it’s graded, right?


Terno

Final Garment

Overall Thoughts…

Making the terno dress is an enjoyable process. I was able to do one toile and make it work the first time. Even after a little bit of changes without another toile, it has still worked out. Adding the terno sleeve was a whole new ball game, though and that presented different challenges. The fabric definitely put me off guard and I had to work with what I got. The cutting was what stressed me the most. In the end, I just had to make it work. If I ever re-do this piece, it will be done with a different fabric.

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

Promotional Ideas

The promotional part is a collaborative work with my dear friend Regine Panlilio, who’s been on board with this project since day one. Actually, since second year. I’ve let her have free reign in the media part of the project, visualize it her way, but keeping in line with the brief.  We have had meetings together to talk about the film, which then complements the photos that will be part of the lookbook. We wanted to create a film that not only shows the clothes, but provides more of the story, a summary of how colonial thinking are infiltrated in people’s mindset, and overall, in a community. As a mainly Christian country, the biggest influencer is the church, and thus the white dress. At home, we get to be a little bit freer, thus the woven dress.

The execution of the lookbook, however, was perhaps the last bit I thought of in the entire project. Keeping in mind the whole project, I still made sure that regardless of time constraints, the lookbook still speaks with the theme of the entire project. So many of the project is part hand made, part digital. So I knew that juxtaposition is in there too. I opted for raw edges to get that look and feel.

Film

The film was indeed Regine’s vision, however, we had multiple meetings to make the film capture the message of the collection. As this is a project to empower Filipino culture, I wanted to get as many Filipino creatives I know as possible. I’ve always known the photographs will be great. We’ve worked together since 2011 or so and I knew she’ll be able to portray the images with the message in mind. It was the film that was a little bit harder because it’ll be our first major film to do together. 5 minutes of film can say a lot of things. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A film is made up of thousands of pictures. Also, adding the speech made by Manuel L. Quezon, elevated the film up a notch and pulled together the film.

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https://youtu.be/EYnfUWhSAXE

Music

The music was arranged b y my brother, Renato Robrigado from the original song Tatsulok where the title of the project is based from. Composed by Rom Dongeto and originally performed by folk-rock Buklod. It was the first time I worked with my brother creatively and I never knew how to professionally give him a brief nor did he not ask me for any questions regarding the feel of the music. I was never strong with my music description. I listen to what sounds good, but I can never understand it the way music artists do. So it took a few renditions before arriving at what made to the final film.

Lookbook Ideas

Lookbook Ideas

Pop out style pages, from https://thebookdesignblog.com/book-design-inspiration/shentonista
Stitch bound style, from http://www.ryleyd.com/projects.htm. Originally found at https://pin.it/5XZj92Y
Accordion style, originally found in https://pin.it/5cwQl6E

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.

Speech Homework: Manuel L. Quezon’s Speech to the Filipino People

Upload the url to your blog and add notes that document your observations about how the speech is delivered, use of imagery, sound, gesture, back ground relevance, emotive use of language, volume, pace etc.

This is the first time I have encountered this speech. Not one of my high school teachers ever encouraged us to read or listen to this president speak. This was delivered in 1920s, when the Philippines was under the United States, a time when the foreign nation is gaining great power and had infiltrated their culture into the Philippines through a different method of colonialism. Manuel Quezon was the first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, but he was the second Philippine president in history after Emilio Aguinaldo, who was the president of the first republic.

The content of the speech is so inspiring for someone like me who is putting Philippine culture into every creative work I do, through which I allow myself to absorb my culture no matter where I am in the world. I grew up in a time where the Philippines wasn’t at its best. It was the 90s, every who can left the Philippines in search for a better life, everyone who didn’t wishes they could. But in a time where the American presence is so largely felt in the country, someone fought for the independence. This is the speech, I wish I heard when I was young. I probably wasn’t one who wished for a different life.

The speech was so well presented, so simple yet so strong. Delivered twice, in the languages the locals spoke at the time. I wished though it was spoken in Tagalog or any other Philippine dialect. The Filipino language is the one that isn’t spoken as much without any interference of an English word. It even shares words with the Spanish language as some words never had any translation to Tagalog or another dialect. (For example, cheese is keso in Tagalog, which is also the term in Spanish only spelt differently: queso). We have always been a nation encouraged to speak the English language. It seems like an advantage in a time of globalization, but when it becomes the preferred language, especially of the educated, forgetting our own, then the problem is presented. Speeches as such would help bring the language back on its own pedestal.

I am glad the video reveals Manuel Quezon captured by cameras of the time. He has such a presence one can trust to lead the country. He has a commanding presence, that even though his grammar isn’t according to the rules of the English language, he never flinched or excused himself. He kept speaking showing that Philippines will not be broken.

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