Lucila is a very keen tennis player. Lucila's entry for the leisure sportswear section of the Fashion category of the Young Designer Awards (YDA) involved designing and sewing an original tennis outfit for herself.
Writing a brief
Her first task was to write a detailed brief. The organisers of the awards stress this is the most important part of the design process and the first thing the judges see. Writing the brief involved a lot of research. Lucila tailored her brief so that she could work within her capabilities, yet still demonstrate creativity and innovation. As the organisers of the YDA point out: "It is better to do a simple brief superbly rather than a difficult one badly."
Attributes of the fabric
When considering what type of fabric or combination of fabrics to use, Lucila noted her choice of material had to move with her body, cover her appropriately (nothing too see-through), and it had to 'breathe'.
Lucila trialled poly-cotton knits, cotton knits, cotton lycra and polyester lycra. She decided on cotton lycra because of its superior ability to absorb sweat. The three metres of yellow and white fabric cost less than $60, well under the $100 cap set in place by the organisers.
Fitness for purpose
In designing her pattern, Lucila had to consider fitness for purpose: whatever design she chose, it had to offer freedom of movement, particularly around the arms and the shoulders, but at the same time be durable and offer appropriate support under her bust. She sought advice from Jo, a qualified clothing designer about the construction. The solution involved doubling the lycra in the body of the outfit.
Experimenting with different stitches
Because lycra stretches and has memory, Lucila had to figure out how best to sew her garment. This involved experimenting with different machines and different stitches, including slight zigzags and top-stitches.
The end result is a feminine, comfortable, good looking, and highly functional piece of sportswear. Her entry made the finals of the Awards and she was in the top three placings.
Lucila's design is highly original, totally fit for purpose and attractive. She kept trialling and changing her ideas through her concept and design development, thinking all the time how she could ensure that free movement. As Lucila plays tennis herself this gave her an added edge in designing for function. She will definitely be in the top three in the country for her age group. She thought that Serena Williams would look great in it as the yellow and white colours would compliment her dark skin and that she would enjoy wearing such a fashionable but functional garment!