Designing a Linen Collection

Designing a Linen Collection - Pyne and Smith Clothiers

The sewing of our Fall/Winter collection is almost complete! As we work on checking in, inspecting and putting away all of our new Fall & Winter dresses, I wanted to share with you a little bit of the behind the scenes designing process.

The process of producing our dresses takes around 4 months from when we have placed our order with our linen mill. We begin work designing our Fall/Winter fabrics in March, with the goal that our collection will launch in September.

Typically, we will try to set the tone of what the overall mood and aesthetic is that we are trying to create. This year, 2020 (the year of the pandemic) felt anything but stable to me, so I wanted to design a collection of linens that felt grounded - soothing, classic, calm and strong. This F/W collection was influenced by our trip to Scotland - we visited in 2019 and this trip was very much in my mind as we worked on developing patterns and colors.

We knew that we wanted a couple of earthy, solid colors, so we started with a warm, neutral brown ‘Toast’ and a strong, solid green - British Racing Green. Then to add some patterns - a small, classic black and white check felt like a good addition, slowly the collection began to take shape.
I really enjoy drawing the linen colors on my Ipad (in a sketching app) to make sure I can capture the feel of the line, coloring dress designs to make sure each linen will look good on our dress styles.
Other factors that need to be considered as we work on designing new linens: What colors and patterns have we designed previously, which fabrics have been well received and which haven’t, which fabrics will work well on each style of dress, does the collection flow as one, does it look too bitty or dis-jointed?

Typically we work on several different patterns and colors and find that some might not be fitting for this collection, but will work for a future collection. It really helps to put the designs away for several days and then come back to them to view them with fresh eyes, even after we are happy with the patterns and colors, to make sure we really have a strong line.
After coming up with our solids, stripes and checks, we make sure the colors will work on the dresses - I use my iPad to create sketches of the dresses and apply the colors and patterns to them. The collection is complete!

Fall & Winter Linen Names:
Peacock Blue
British Racing Green
Black & White Check
Thistle Check
Islay Check (the name of the Scottish island in English is pronounced; EYE-la)
Midnight Blue Pinstripe
Charlotte Stripe
Sandalwood Stripe 
Cloud white 

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