Virtual World Fashion Destination

Busy Making Mistakes

I do this disappearing act whenever I’m working on a new project.  This time, I was sitting around the fire at Midsomer in InWorldz on Monday with Leanna talking about how I wanted to make a new dress.  We got to talking about flowers, and I was pretty sure the design I wanted to do would be springy and flowery. 

While chatting about fabric options, I came up with the bright idea of just wandering out into my yard and snapping a pic of some flowers and making my own fabric.  I mean, how hard can this be right? So, here we go, flowers.  Now…. how to make a dress from this?  I loaded it into Gimp then went wild with applying filters until I had a springy floral print in a nice blue color.

If you think taking a pic and turning that into digital fabric, and then making a virtual dress out of that is easy, I suppose it could be. being a do-it-yourself dressmaker has its good points, but it’s also rife with a mess of mistakes and do-overs and not much to show for yourself during the in-between times. So yeah, that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to.  A whole lot of mistakes and do-overs.

The first attempt at fabric came out pretty decent, untill I messed it up doing the shading for fabric folds.  I was going for this gauzy gathered at the shoulders roman goddess kind of look. 

Hmm… not even close.  In fact, this attempt almost made me completely run for the hills, throw away the keys to my shop and give up on digital fashion design.  Ugh….  not pretty!

So back to the drawing board!  I completely scrapped that top, played around with colors a bit, and started with a new design, this time a midriff baring, long sleeve, gauzy top tied at the front.Getting closer!

I like the overall feel and shape of this top, but it needs a lot more work on the shading to make it look and feel more realistic.  The elbow creases for instance, way too dark, but I’m beginning to really like where this is going. I played with the hem of the skirt fabric, not wanting a boring straight line, but a subtle wavy hemmed edge.

Good so far, except now I’ve got the dreaded “alpha” issues to deal with.  Hmm, not sure how to fix that so it may be awhile until this dress is finally done.  You can see in the picture below what I mean, where you can see the “edges” of the other skirt panels showing through because of alpha issues (If there’s anyone out there that knows how to fix this when using an alpha texture, please let me know!).  I may just end up taking the texture back to a boring flat bottomed line, but ugh, not if I don’t have to.

Ok, so I thought, why don’t I try a sculpted skirt.  I like this idea!  Well at first anyway.  It wipes out the dreaded “butt crack of doom” issue that you get when making a flexi skirt over a pant layer.  Why not use a system skirt you ask?  Because in all the 4 years I’ve been in virtual worlds, I’ve always HATED the big butted waist-gaping system skirts common in SL and most other virtual worlds.  I refuse to buy them from vendors, (yeah, that means Nicky Ree, much as I love her designs, please drop the system skirt) and I sure as heck don’t want to make one to sell.  Yes I know you can wear a “no butt” shape to help reduce the “too much junk in the trunk” effect, but it still is not enough for me.  I’ll just have to keep trying to perfect my skills and make it work another way.  Mesh, now that would be something.  But that is neither here nor there, so here we are.
So here we have my attempt at a sculpted skirt, flirty, frilly, fun, great for a photo, but not for moving around in virtual avatar life. Once you hop off the pose stand and actually move around, walk, lean over, anything at all, it looks horrid. 

Sculpts, as you know do not move at all, it’s just like wearing one of those “cone of shame” hard plastic cones that the veterinarian puts on your pet to keep them from messing with their stitches.  Hmm.. maybe I should wear one of those instead.  I’m definitely messing with my stitches and still more stitching to go before this gets to the “I like it” point, if I can be so lucky.

Last Leanna heard from me was Monday morning before I skipped off with my camera.  She probably thinks I’m a bad friend, not even saying hi when I’ve been online the last few days, but it’s just that I get a project going and it’s all I can seem to focus on.  Like a dog, chewing a bone.  I get an idea and then I hound it until I can finish it. Well, here we are, days later, and I’m still at it.  Most sane people would have just given up by now, thrown their hands in the air, grabbed the virtual wallet and zoomed over to Snowpaw to buy up the 3 gorgeous new dresses she announced. Hmm… I may still do that! 

But for now I’m still working on the details of making my own creative pixels combine and cooperate in a way that makes me say… “Yeah!  I like that!”, and I get that tingly feeling that says I’ve done a job well. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.  For now, it’s back to the digital sewing machine with me.



11 responses

  1. nice run down of your work process.
    I sometimes wish I could do cute but each time I try, it always ends up completely different from what I had in mind. Guess Im just not the cute type LOL

    April 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm

  2. Talia Fournier

    Bou! You had me giggling, especially with the “cone of shame.” The fabric is beautiful!! I too wrestle with that stupid alpha effect, let me know if you find a solution. If anyone can do it, you can! ❤

    April 13, 2011 at 8:23 pm

  3. I don't think you're a bad friend, you plonker!
    I think you're a great, very talented fashion designer and it's great to see you're working on new outfits 😀

    April 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm

  4. Well thank you =) Lady you do some cute things, I love your designs. Ahh Talia then I've succeeded if I made you laugh, and I think it's pretty damn funny how empty my shop is. Working on that! Now you guys have more of an idea why. I do envy the people that can put out one new release every week. That would be nice! I'll get there, but life and taxes and a zillion other mundane things just keep getting in the way of my fun. Hugs Leanna ❤ thanks my friend. Hopefully something good will come of this. Well it already has... I'm learning! And yeah it actually is fun, mistakes and all. Well I'm off to the dreaded RL grid for the rest of the day. Hugs everyone! ❤

    April 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm

  5. Hehehehe….well…I compost loads of trees and plants weekly, you are not alone.
    Alpha problem can't be solved, you just have to live with it, it's a basic bug in the system (as far as I know)…
    Mesh will not be flexi either, so that won't cure the problem unless you are prepared to wait 5 years for flexi mesh/flexi sculpties….

    I personally think it's looking good, certainly better than anything I could make..

    April 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm

  6. would it make a difference if you used some sort of 'scalped' edging or lace?

    And I loved this whole break down of your process, thank you for sharing it!

    April 13, 2011 at 11:25 pm

  7. No wonder you grow such amazing trees, Soror… all that great compost! Hmmm no flex for Mesh? Darn.. I must have heard the wrong thing. Something about incorporating a frame of “bones” and joints that would then move and interact with physics and wind. Shoot, then what's the big deal about Mesh anyway? Ok yeah, Mesh is still pretty cool, but awwww no movement? *le sigh* I was picturing long flowing tresses of sculpted hair and beautiful folds of fabric that swayed and moved naturally when you walk, or formed to the body when you sat down. So much for that pipe dream! Glad you like it so far and thanks for all the great compliments and suggestions. Hmmm Misty, LACE! I think you're on to something…. I'll have to get back to you tomorrow and see if I have a chance to try that out. Night everyone!

    April 14, 2011 at 3:41 am

  8. It looks wonderful! great idea! And we know u are working, no worries (((Boudica))) xxxxxx

    April 14, 2011 at 6:28 am

  9. Hi Boudica, rosa here 😉

    I hate that whole alpha thing too! I have discovered a little trick that might work though… only just began using this myself… Have a layer of flexi with the flat texture, then over top, one layer with the alpha, it doesnt stop it altogether but has cut down on that whole transparency look to flexi skirts with alpha edges

    April 14, 2011 at 6:56 am

  10. Oh ! I know the alpha thing is a pain in the .?… struggling with that myself 🙂 one time its ok the other isn't, it has its own life I suppose… tried to make the inside of the skirt transparant and that helped… but has a wierd way to work around and if someone looks under your skirt there is nothing lol… anyway we have to live with it :-)) your dress is cute but don't shoot me for not loving blue…
    don't lose your patience and you will arrive, anyway I do not create every week either… I think people do not realize how much work and time spent in a new creation 🙂

    April 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm

  11. Wow I love you all! Thank you so much for all the encouragement and ideas!! Oh Mira, that's ok I'll make it in other colors too. Much more fun that way. Hugs everyone!

    April 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

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