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  • What are the top 5 Tips for Designing Great Swimwear?

    With a foundation in upcycling and sewing as a child and skills fueled by YouTube videos, designer Hanna Salzberg began to dig deeply into clothing construction at the age of 18 when she started making festival wear and costumes. After graduating from University of Oregon where she studied textile design with a focus on screen printing, she created her own mini fashion collection out of her own screen printed yardage and her passion for a design career was born. Salzberg rounded out her education by studying technique at the Portland Fashion Institute. By then, this self-starting designer was ready to dive into her next big venture—swimwear Inside Fashion Design interviewed Hanna about her swimwear line Mahina Luna Swim. She shares how social media was key to launching her brand, talks about her collaborative design process, her unique — fully reversible! — designs, and shares her five tips for designing swimwear. Let’s dive in. IFD: How did your swimwear line, Mahina Luna, get started? Why swimwear? Hanna: After graduating from the University of Oregon I started making myself swimsuits. I am from Hawaii which is probably the reason I love swimwear so much. I spent my entire childhood on the beach, and I’m inspired by all of the beautiful colors of nature that were around me growing up on the big island of Hawaii. As I would share my swimsuits on my social media people became super interested in buying them from me. It all started very naturally but took off quickly. I sold my first quantities of suits at a backyard house party hosted by my friend. That was the point at which my brand name started to spread by word-of-mouth. IFD: Tell us about your design process. My design process starts with the fabrics I choose. I let them speak to me in terms of the silhouettes I design with them. Bright colors and patterns are the forefront of my design aesthetic. All of my swimwear is fully reversible so the client has the opportunity to pick two coordinating fabrics, that way you get basically two different outfits out of one swimsuit. Everything is custom-made to your measurements.  I sew everything myself in my home studio. My business is completely run solely by me. IFD: What’s behind the name Mahina Luna? The name for the brand came from my fascination and obsession with the moon. Mahina means moon in Hawaiian and Luna is moon in italian. I studied italian for 4 years and I was fluent at the time I created the brand. Sort of redundant but it stuck. IFD: What are your goals and vision for the brand? My purpose and goal for my brand is to create individuality in each suit that I make. I want to empower women to feel confident in what they’re wearing because it’s something we make together and really hone in on the details that they’re either concerned or excited about. I encourage even some of the most shy people to step out of their comfort zone and embrace their true potential and beauty. It’s all about self empowerment over here! I strive to build a community of people by collaborating with other artists, photographers, and makers. My vision for my brand is to see my swimwear sold in boutiques all over the country. And maybe the world! Plans for the future include expanding into kids swimwear. IFD: What’s the biggest challenge you are facing right now? My biggest challenge at the moment is deciding how I want to expand my business. As a one woman show I will eventually need to hire a team to assist me in this endeavor. It’s hard for me to let go of control but I know that if I want to grow I will need to make these steps and these choices. IFD: What other design work are you involved in? On the side I work as an Assistant Tailor for a costume designer. We create garments for TV shows and have worked on productions like Shrill, starring Aidy Bryant. As a costume designer, there are tons and tons of drafts that go into choosing and making said pieces. The head designer does research and comes up with silhouettes that will flatter the character and us, the tailors design and sew up samples. Fittings happen frequently to ensure the next draft is a closer match, and we go on like that until the head designer and actress feel the pieces are perfect. As an Assistant Tailor I helped construct these garments pre-fitting and deconstruct post-fitting to alter the fit as needed. Season 3 of Shrill is out now where you can see all the beautiful pieces designed and created by our team for Bryant’s lead character Annie. I dream that one day I will get my designs on a big-name actress or actor! Hanna’s 5 tips for Designing & Sewing Great Swimwear Use a 4 way stretch fabric  — “I work with spandex nylon Lycra for Women swimwear and activewear as well as polyester microfiber for men’s swimwear, which I have just started releasing this spring 2021.“ Sew rubber swimwear elastic using an elastic foot Use a serger rather than a single needle sewing machine “This allows for maximum stretch and durability in the seams.” Choose designs both based on trend and how they will flatter the body — “For example try a high hip, with thicker waist band and thicker straps for curvier bodies” Use a full body set of measurements for reference and best fit — “Bust, waist, high hip, and hip line.” And one extra tip:  For men’s swim make sure to ask about inseam length preference Right now you can order by messaging @mahina.luna on Instagram where we can discuss in detail the designs and styles you’re looking for. My online ordering website is almost finished, but there is something I love about having those conversations over Instagram DM because it really builds a relationship between me and a client. We can work together to get you the right suit. Thanks for sharing your tips and story with IFD Hanna!   To reach out to Hanna, DM- her on Mahina.Luna IG account. Happy Swim Designing!

  • How Do You Stay Creative in the Corporate World?

    Being a creator in a corporate environment can be a huge challenge. When your schedule is driven by deadlines, filled with meetings, and measured by metrics, you can feel like it’s less about the fashion and more about the forecasts. It’s hard to think creatively and innovate wildly when you’re worried about Key Performance Indicators. With all that outside pressure, it’s easy to get pushed into a rut and stay there, even if we grow to hate going to work each day. On the other hand, corporations and brands can offer money, structure, and a mission that we love! The trick is: how do we hold onto our creative spirit in a corporate environment? To begin, here's a few must-read books that can help: Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace, by Gordon MacKenzie Illustrator and writer Gordon MacKenzie worked at Hallmark Cards for 30 years and managed to find and keep his creative flow throughout the decades. He teaches you how to disentangle from “the giant hairball” — that mass of entwined rules, agendas, and “that’s how we’ve always done it” — and launch yourself into a juicy creative orbit around the central corporate system. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will,” McKeown says. Essentialism guides you to strip down your life to what is truly important, honing in on how you can make the biggest impact. McKeown has plenty of inspiring examples and specific methods for self-editing your life. Sacrifices will be made, but you’ll open yourself to freedom, effectiveness and creativity you’ve never experienced before! Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, by Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA When Emily Nagoski published her book Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life, readers approached her over and over again asking her to elaborate on a small section she’d written in it about stress and burnout. So she teamed up with her sister Amelia to write a book about emotional exhaustion and the terrible damage stress does to a body and offer tips for coping. She breaks down the physical mechanics of the stress cycle and describes how we can save ourselves by closing the loop. Read it if you’re at or approaching corporate burnout. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, by Austin Kleon Don’t have time for a lot of reading? Pick up a book or two by Austin Kleon — we recommend Steal Like an Artist and Keep Going). Kleon’s bold style and slim books are easy to read in short bursts and packed full of motivation and inspiration. How can you increase your creativity while improving your health? Here what these experts have to say: “Whether you are trying to reconcile conflicting stakeholder priorities, finding a solution to a customer’s issue, or launching a new product line, your solution probably won’t come out of a textbook. But it’s hard to keep having great ideas day after day. What do you do when you run out of good ideas? How do you “get your mojo back”? One increasingly popular solution is mindfulness meditation. Google, Goldman Sachs, and Medtronic are among the many leading firms that have introduced meditation and other mindfulness practices to their employees. Executives at these and other companies say meditation is not only useful as a stress-reduction tool but can also enhance creativity, opening doors where once there seemed to be only a wall. To gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of short meditation sessions in boosting creativity, the authors looked first at the literature and then conducted their own experiments. They found that mindfulness mediation works to enhance creativity and innovation, and 10 to 12 minutes of it are enough to boost creativity.” From Harvard Business Review; by Emma Schootstra, Dirk Deichmann, Evgenia Dolgova What are your tips for staying creative in the corporate world? Tell us in the comments!

  • Some Fashion Take-Aways after a Year of Covid

    Article written by  Guest Contributor, Sofia Burner for Trends Aren’t Everything 2020 was all about figuring out what’s essential and what isn’t — and that includes the way we dress. Before the pandemic, fast fashion was king. Instead of seasonal fashion collections, brands like Zara were releasing 24 collections per year, with H&M putting out anywhere between 12 and 16. Clothes went out of style every two weeks or so, which kept consumers buying and disposing of garments just as rapidly. The pandemic upended the fast fashion model. 2020 was the year of comfortable clothing that can be worn around the house. Sweatpants and athleisure were big winners, as well as what’s since been dubbed ‘Zoom fashion’ — or clothing that looked professional on a webcam but are still comfortable enough to lounge around the house in. Loungewear may be basic but these trends are expected to continue, according to the research firm NPD Group. Designers can create with an eye on durability and comfort as consumers continue to buy long-lasting loungewear in place of fast fashion garments. Fashion influencers were quick to jump on this bandwagon. Many began posting images of themselves in loungewear, some even putting out an entire clothing line of comfortable house wear. The amount of engagement these influencers received suggests that there are still homebound fans interested in the current fashion trends — of which there’s been a clear shift from style and design to comfort and practicality. And it’s safe to say that, these days, many people are more interested in pajamas than designer tops. E-commerce is King The NPD Group also predicted that online sales will make up 30% to 35% of industry sales over the following months. This highlights that while physical stores are closing e-commerce is very much alive. Platforms like Shopify have been instrumental in moving fashion products for small and independent brands. Meanwhile, major retailers have set up their own e-commerce platform to try and win back sales they have lost to the pandemic. With a smooth digital transition, rapid adaption to change, and an ever-growing market, fashion brands can be poised to weather the pandemic. The pandemic has changed the way we advertise On a related note, the growth of e-commerce highlights the growing need for digital marketers. In the digital landscape, promoting goods and services can go largely unnoticed if not done efficiently, which is why digital marketing has very quickly climbed the ranks of the most sought after skills in the post-COVID-19 world. This is reflected in how widely the subject is now taught, with top universities around the country offering it as an online course. Those who pursue an online marketing degree are able to blend innovative new strategies with the latest technology, which is seen in how retail is finding new ways to connect with consumers. One example of this is Nike. Instead of advertising a new product, they opted to share a post on social media that urged people to stay in their homes. Other brands, like Allbirds, announced that for every item a customer bought, they’d donate the same item to a health worker. These are just a few examples of how brands are adapting their marketing campaigns to fit the times. Fashion can be kinder to the planet The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to global carbon emissions. Clothing production has multiplied over the last two decades because of the growing demand in fashion. But manufacturing the garments themselves is not the only way the industry harms the planet. Disposal, too, is a major culprit to environmental destruction. Landfills are overflowing with clothing, which are then burned. This practice emits harmful gases and worsens climate change. But because of the decreased industrial activity, the planet was given a temporary respite. Greenhouse gas emissions declined by 7% since 2019, which is equivalent to 2.4 billion tons. The pandemic exposed how current practices are nowhere near sustainable, and they need to change All of these takeaways underscore that major changes need to happen within the fashion industry. The pandemic exposed how current practices are nowhere near sustainable, and they need to change. What consumers can do to help are support ethical brands like Hecho por Nosotros, opt for long-lasting garments, and be conscious of whom they support. Read more about Hecho for Nosotros here “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall

  • What are Masks for Extraordinary People?

    Corinne McManus has been running her textile design studio, Atom Designs, for over 30 years from its base in New Cross, travelling the world selling designs to pretty much every major fashion and sports brands you could name – you’re most likely wearing or seeing one of their prints on yoga pants, swimsuits, dresses, t-shirts, board-shorts, socks, underwear, Hawaiian shirts, umbrellas, tents, wrapping paper, note books, push-chairs and anything else you can put a print on. When the lockdown occurred in March 2020, her company, reliant on international travel, was one of the first to feel clients closing their doors to all visitors. Like many, she started with a top down clean of her studio and came across a large bag of old surplus unique fabric samples she realised could be transformed into colourful patterned uplifting face masks to give to dedicated essential workers whose jobs had become unbelievably extraordinarily challenging for which they hadn’t been trained or equipped. Bus drivers, shop workers, carers, postmen, teachers and many others who faced the public without being provided any protection. After a few days of “are you sure?” from her life partner Ben Roberts, a photographer who also works for Atom Designs, he worked out they had enough unique printed fabric swatches in a huge range of different styles to make the first 1500 limited edition masks before needing to find different outer fabrics. Wherever possible they sought bright funky printed fabrics so as well as being a necessary safety precaution they added style, were less intimidating and could help normalise the need to wear a protective face covering in public as well as lifting the spirits of those they met. Several hours after the first 17 masks were taken on Wednesday 8th April by their bus driver friend Trevor into New Cross Bus Garage a request was made for 700 masks, and that was just for one garage… From one sewing machine, 20 masks and a few FaceBook posts, Masks For Extraordinary People grew to over 60 volunteers. Atom Designs owner and Masks For Extraordinary People founder, Corinne McManus We put a call out on social media for donations of fabrics and bedsheets, t-shirts for making ties and for volunteers to help sew. Soon enough we were able to provide free masks to the local bus companies who were at the time severely lacking in PPE. To meet demand for masks we managed to buy Dutch and African wax print fabrics locally. The bus drivers loved the vibrant colourful prints as they made them feel more positive, safe and stylish. In July 2020, MFEP were commissioned by Stagecoach Bus Company to make 13,000 African print face masks. As the news changed and the public were asked to wear facemarks in shops we started to grow more demand from the public. For every mask brought we could then continue to provide free masks to those vulnerable and less able to afford it. Since the start of our mission in April 2020, we have made well over 42,000 face masks of which more than 20,000 have been donated. We are currently producing 500 masks a week for, a doctor-led organisation campaigning for a better NHS for all, doctors and patients. If or when this situation comes to an end or our operation winds down we intend to distribute any excess funds to a local education based charity we already support. Photos by photoshoot campaign for MFEP Furthermore, We helped our bus drivers make this video featuring a beautiful poem written by Carolyn Pelling, a bus driver. We also thought we should paint a message on our wall… MASKS FOR EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE Corinne McManus 07961 107485 | Ben Roberts 07932 033355 Atom Designs, 443 New Cross Road, London SE14 6TA Caption

  • How to Get Paid what you Deserve!

    Tips for Getting the Right Salary for You March 24th, 2021 is Equal Pay Day in the US, the day when women on average finally catch up to what men earned in a prior year (find out more about Equal Pay Day here). We know what a challenge getting paid your worth can be, which is why we’re sharing tips to help you negotiate the right salary for you. Do you have your own salary story or tips for advocating for yourself and getting paid? If so, we’d love to hear them. Tag us on social media @insidefashiondesign with your stories or email them to Do A Salary Deep Dive You might start with the basics, using online tools like Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth or PayScale’s Salary Calculator. Sites like these can give you a pretty good idea of what to seek out in compensation. But to ensure you’re not going in with a salary ask that’s too low or too high (both bad!) you want to dig deeper into your industry. What skills does this particular job require and value? Can you speak with anyone in a similar position at this or another company? You don’t have to pry into what they make, simply ask, “What could someone in this position expect to make?” Be sure to ask multiple people if you can, as salary gaps exist between men, women, POC and more, and could affect the numbers you are hearing. Know Your Worth It’s time to get real with yourself and make a frank assessment of your own skills and experience. Your past performance reviews can reveal how managers have viewed your work. Notice your strengths and weaknesses then think about what you’ve done to work on these weaknesses since then. Seek endorsements from previous employers — If you left on friendly terms, ask your former manager what makes you a desirable candidate so you can share that with the new hiring manager. Showcase your work with a fabulous portfolio. Building a great portfolio deserves a deep dive of its own, but the basics include inspiration moodboards that show your research and process, sketches if you have them, digital fashion flats, and a sample of your tech pack work if you have it. Good quality photos of finished garments are a plus. Think of your portfolio as a way to show not just what you can create but how you do the work. Talk it Out Whether you’re negotiating salary at a new job or hoping for a raise at your current one, think of it as a collaboration. Everyone is looking to get value on both sides of the equation. You might ask a hiring manager what the most valuable skills are to have for this position. Ask questions about how pay is determined and what you can work on to create opportunities for advancement in the future. Find out more about the ideal starting expectations and eventual goals for the role. This will help both you and your manager discover the right fit for you as well as what you can bring to the position. I hope this article is helpful to you- have your own tips on equal pay and salaries within the industry? May peace and plenty bless your world With a joy that long endures And may all life’s passing seasons Bring the best to you and yours.  An Irish Blessing Enjoyed this article?  Share with a friend! Have a comment or a story to share?  Please send us a note- we love to hear from our readers!

  • Color Story: Pink Lady. Retro yet always “On Trend”

    By IFD Intern Mia Boulukos. Pink Lady, inspired by the 1980’s, yet somehow always seems to be in style- whether a pastel pink mixed with grey and black, or a hot pink statement making piece, Mia’s combinations in this color palette become trendy and classic all at the same time!  Use her palette for inspiring your own new combinations to achive this retro, happy vibe.

  • Color Story: Buttercream

    Featured Designer; IFD Intern Mia Boulukos creates a series of Color Stories as part of her internship work.  Check out her portfolio at: Any baker knows how easy Buttercream frosting is to make- but finding that perfect color takes some experimentation.  Like a baker trying out new combinations, Buttercream color story keeps the color palette within the same hues, while mixing them creates beautiful,  soft, elegant and classic combinations, sure to flatter any personality. Thank you Mia for your contributions to our Color Inspirations!  To check out her work, visit:

  • Color Story: Marigold; Bring In The Color of Sunshine!!

    Featured Designer; IFD Intern Mia Boulukos creates a series of Color Stories as part of her internship work.  Check out her portfolio at: “Marigolds are a favorite, no-fuss annual that can bring the color of sunshine to your garden, as well as butterflies, bees, ladybugs, and other beneficial insects.”  Garden Design, By Linda Hagen Challenge:  Pick an unusual flower or plant- maybe something rare or exotic.  Research it, find images, learn about its climate, then make a collection of images and inspiration from what you find- then send us your work!  You could be our next featured Designer/Student.  We would love to see what you come up with.

  • Color Story: Bold Intentions; Live Boldly & Live Out Loud! + A Reader Challenge

    Featured Designer; IFD Intern Mia Boulukos creates a series of Color Stories as part of her internship work.  Check out her portfolio at: Reader Challenge:  Use Red, White & Black in an athletic collection- including solids & prints.  Can you come up with a graphic, athletic textile print using those 3 colors?  Or does it need shades added in? Research inspiration, find images, learn about its the characteristics of those colors…how do they make you feel?  Do they feel “fast” like speed?  Do these colors make you think of a specific sport? Show us what you come up  with by submitting to us at: You could be our next featured Designer/Student.  We would love to share your work!

  • Color Story; Green Envy. I am so Green with Envy!

    Featured Designer; IFD Intern Mia Boulukos creates a series of Color Stories as part of her internship work.  Check out her portfolio at:

  • Travel back in Time through the Emily Renolds Costume Institute

    Written by Jacey Mayer- NDSU Senior and IFD Summer Intern 2020 Imagine walking into a room and instantly feeling like you’re traveling through various time periods represented by pieces of fashion. Moveable shelving with hundreds of garments, tagged by the decades they were made in, and who it was donated by. A closet, rich in history dating as far back as the late 1800s. The Emily Reynold’s Historical Costume Collection at North Dakota State University represents an endless time capsule in which these pieces have been preserved so they can be admired for years to come. The vision of Professor Emily Reynold’s was to allow students a hands-on experience of learning and recognizing different design techniques, history, and to potentially gain inspiration for their own designs. The collection was started by Emily Reynold’s in the 1970s, and now contains over 5,000 unique pieces including accessories such as shoes, hats, and gloves. Some pieces in the collection have been donated by local political figures such as the past governor’s wives and former state representatives. The collection is a beautiful work of art as well as an informative study tool utilized by students to help gain a better understanding of historical fashion. Each piece has been carefully preserved with the assistance of a Smithsonian consultant, organized, and cataloged to make the pieces easily accessible. Emily was initially a secondary school teacher in Tioga, ND. She then attended the University of Tennessee to receive her Masters of Science. She later returned to NDSU and became a professor. As the Department Chair from 1948 to 1981, she expanded the faculty and curriculum for the Textiles and Clothing department. She was very involved on campus and resonated with the students. While working on an assignment for my apparel construction course, I came across a double-breasted dress from the early 1900 in the collection and thought the top details of the dress would be a beautiful concept as a jacket, with its v-neckline and double-breasted closure. Although I wasn’t able to find a pattern that specifically had the same design concept, I was able to find a 1940s pattern that loosely resembled the 1910s dress and made modifications to the pattern such as extending the sleeve length and implementing a collar to create the same v-shaped neckline. I also adjusted the button placement and eliminated 2 sets of the buttons, creating the jacket I had originally envisioned. Countless students just like me have been inspired by the The Emily Reynold’s Historical Costume Collection at North Dakota State University. Here are some highlights from this gem of a collection: Emerald Green Silk Taffeta Evening Gown One of the most iconic pieces in the Historical Costume Collection is this Emerald Green evening gown. On January 20th, 1961, Jocelyn Burdick wore this beautiful evening gown to John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Ball.  She was appointed to fill her husband, Quentin Burdick’s position on the US Senate after his death in 1992. Jocelyn was the first woman to represent North Dakota in the US senate until a special election was held to properly elect his replacement. During her time in the US Senate, she became a strong supporter of women’s rights and was able to add her name to legislation in support of pay equity and women’s health. Design details: The simple, yet elegant emerald green gown, was made from a Silk Taffeta material fully lined in green satin. The top of consists of a drape bodice with square neckline, shoulder straps, and a zipper closure. The skirt is draped as well, with a boned waist. It is part of the ERHCC’s Women in Politics Collection. Sleeveless evening “Flapper Girl” dress This dress is what one would envision as the stereotypical flapper girl dress. In fact, it was worn by Esther Nesmith Breed during her younger years in the 1920s. During this era, she attended college for one year and then spent the rest of her time traveling around Europe. She was often described as the “flapper girl” by her friends and family. Design details: This “flapper girl” dress consists of many fine details such as champagne-colored crushed velvet, as well as lined with champagne- colored Chiffon lining, and has a scoop neckline. The bodice is shirred into the shoulders with two stripes of beading. The dress also contains intricate beadwork of pearls, silver bugle beads, and clear rhinestones down the sides of bodice front, which then merges into a wide band. The scalloped hem is also heavily beaded with teardrop-shaped cutouts at the waist and hem. The back has a beautiful T-shaped opening and is also outlined in beading. Fuschia/ Black Floral Silk Tapestry Three Piece Ensemble This three-piece ensemble was purchased by Fargo woman, Anne Libby Goldberg during the 1960s. She saw a photograph of First Lady Mamie Eisenhower wearing the coat and dress ensemble and instantly fell in love with the look. She then purchased the Nat Kaplan pieces. After receiving the pieces, she commissioned local milliner, Margaret Steiner to make a hat to match the dress and coat. Design details: Not only are all three pieces made from the same beautiful floral silk material, the dress and coat both have princess seams and bust darts. The dress consists of a rounded neck and short sleeves. The back closure is a zipper with a hook and eye at the neck. The coat has a mandarin collar and three-quarter length sleeves. The coat’s closure has five black rhinestone studded buttons on the front. Both the hat and the coat are lined with black satin. The hat itself, has a turned-up brim, a round crown, and is gathered to back with two self-fabric hat pins. Sleeveless orange/blue/black floral print brocade dress. This brocade party dress dates back to 1924 and was worn by Newlywed Beatrice Burns Zimmerman. In her younger years, she wore it to parties in Casselton, ND especially during the winter of 1924-1925. She graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1922 with a major in Home Economics with a minor in both Chemistry and Physical Education. Shortly after she married Edwin C. Zimmerman. They had three children and moved to Fargo in 1948. Beatrice taught Red Cross Home Nursing at what is now considered North Dakota State University but at the time it was known as NDAC. In 1956, Beatrice became the first person to earn a masters degree in Home Economics at North Dakota State University. Design details: Shots of gold metallic thread run throughout the floral brocade fabric. The neckline is a scoop neck with an attached black velvet capelet which has long points at the front. The dress comes completed with a drop waist with a scalloped edge attached to a short, pleated skirt made from the same black velvet material as the capelet. Blue Rayon Chiffon with White Flower and Butterfly Print Dress and Underdress In the 1940s, military goods made from natural fibers, leather, and rubber were prioritized during production over civilian clothing and shoes. The Regulation L-85 issued in 1942 by the government’s War Production Board, prioritized the conservation of fabric and trims by 15 percent on women’s clothing which created regulations for manufacturers only allowing them to use a yard and three quarters of fabric for the garment. They also prohibited design details such as the use of ruffles, patch pockets, and attached hoods. Although these strict regulations were implemented for manufacturers, home sewing was not affected by the regulations. Most women opted to follow guidelines anyways because fabric was hard to obtain. This dress was made by Helga Olson to be worn by her daughter and followed the regulations placed during the war era. Design details: To accommodate the regulations three snaps were utilized to close the left side of the under dress. To save fabric, the A-line dress also only has pleats on the front of the skirt, short sleeves, a small integral band collar, and uses narrow tucks on the bodice. It also has white plastic buttons for the closure down the front of the dress. The self-fabric belt carriers at the waist so the skirt of the underdress is exposed. Men’s Dusty Rose Polyester suit Professor Peter Munton, former chair of the Design department at NDSU. This suit was purchased at Young America, Minnesota, in 1972. Although this suit was trendy for the time it did not remain in style as time went on. It is also a good representation of the Peacock Revolution in men’s fashion, which took place during the 1960s. Design details: The double-breasted jacket is made from a dusty rose polyester material and includes a 12 dark gray button closure down the front. The wide notched collar comes to a point at the center back. The front of the jacket has two slightly curved seams for shaping and two v tab inset pockets also lie along the seams. On the back of the jacket there is a faux topstitched belt that comes to a point similar to the collar. The jacket comes complete with long sleeves with three decorative buttons at the cuff. The inside of the coat is lined with blue, red, and light gray colored taffeta material. The inside of the coat also has a chest pocket at the left with a button closure. The pants are also made from a dusty rose polyester material with brown and ecru vertical stripes. The pants have a slight bell bottom flare with a front fly closure. They also include 2 front pockets, 2 back pockets, and 5 belt loops with a metal hook on the waistband. Two-Piece Green Wool Dress Being one of the oldest pieces in the collection, the two-piece green wool dress worn by Inga Hovland in 1885, was what she wore on board the ship that brought her to America from Norway. Hovland was 33 years old when she immigrated to the US. 5 years later, she married Sam Hovland in Minnesota, but they settled in Trail County, ND where they farmed and raised a family. Design details: The top bodice includes a fitted waist and has a 12-button center closure and includes a blue mandarin collar edged with lace. The long sleeves consist of cartridge pleats at the cuffs accented with three buttons, blue ribbon, and lace. The back of the top has a slight flare in the back and the inside is fully lined. The matching skirt is floor length with 4 rows of cartridge pleats at the hemline and blue-ribbon trim. The back of the skirt is slightly gathered in back to create a bustle. The skirt is also fully lined. Navy Blue Wool Twill A-line Coat Although upcycling has become more of a trend in recent years, this coat from the late 60’s was made by Dorothy Novak for her daughter from a recycled adult’s coat. Dorothy was known for being resourceful and taking old articles of clothing and fashioning them into clothes for her children. Design details: The A-line coat was made from a navy-blue wool twill material with black sharkskin facings, and a blue cotton lining. The coat features a rolled collar and 4 white pearl buttons as the front closure. Blue and White striped Chambray two-piece dress This two-piece dress dates back to the 1940s and was made by North Dakota farm wife, Gladys Olson Pruess. She would wear this dress to run errands in town,  club meetings, or to pickup/deliver grain at the elevator. Design details: Fun fact, the top had originally had blue glass buttons Glady’s had recycled from her wedding dress. However, she removed them and put them on a different dress. The buttons were replaced with white plastic buttons. The blouse has a flat, wide collar with rounded ends, and short sleeves with turned-back cuffs. The bodice has pleats at the lower half on both the front and back. A patch pocket can be found on the left chest. The skirt is a simple A-line cut and has a side button closure at the waistband due to the shortage of material because of the war. Sleeveless floral print Silk Georgette Summer Dress In the late 1920s, this dress was made for Alma Stockstad Gilbertson by her mother. Her mother, Aletthe Stockstad, was a skilled dressmaker and made this dress using a commercial pattern. Because her mother often made her dresses, Alma did not own a ready-to-wear dress until after she graduated high school. Design details:  This multicolored floral print dress is made from a silk Georgette material and has a V-neckline with a self-fabric ruffle down the center front. The unique collar is designed to have a waist-length capelet that attaches to the back shoulders. The bodice side seams are ruched with dropped waist and a gathered skirt. Rosemari Myrdal purchased the dark gray woven wool coat in 1995 to wear during her daily walk to work at the state capitol in Bismarck, ND, where she served as Lieutenant Governor from 1993-2001. She religiously walked four blocks to work multiple times a day regardless of the temperatures, even when the wind chill was below zero. She also served in the North Dakota House of Representatives from 1985-1992. Mid-Calf length dark gray woven wool coat with off-white polar bears The coat was purchased in a shop in Minneapolis airport on her way home from a conference. Since she has a Nordic and Northeastern North Dakota Heritage, the coat quickly caught her eye and she knew she needed to purchase it. The Lillunn company that produced the jacket was founded in Norway in 1953 by Unn Søiland Dale. Dale was inspired by deck blankets on a cruise ship and began designing coats made from Norwegian wool blankets. Design details: The wool coat falls to a mid-calf-length and has a tall stand-up collar that closes with two plastic buttons.  The wrap front closes with plastic buttons at the shoulder and the waist. It has long sleeves with turn-back cuffs, inseam pockets, and the edges are finished with gray machine serging. Emily Reynolds started with a vision and was able to turn a simple concept into a historical masterpiece for people to admire for years to come. After Emily’s retirement in 1995, Professor Anne Braaten from the Apparel Department stepped up to be the Curator for the collection which is also managed by Susan Curtis. The collection is available for tours on a limited basis. If you are interested in visiting the Collection, please contact Susan Curtis at Photo credit: North Dakota State University, Emily Reynold’s Historical Costume Collection. My Personal Inspiration Experience I, Jacey Mayer, from personally being a student at North Dakota State University, and being in the Apparel program have my own special story of how the collection has positively impacted my education. I have spent hours in the costume collection searching for inspiration. I love admiring the craftsmanship and hearing the interesting stories behind the garments. In classes such as history of fashion I have had many lectures where my professor has brought in pieces from the collection to properly show us specific design details. Once while working on an assignment for my apparel construction course, I came across a double-breasted dress from the early 1900 in the collection and thought the top details of the dress would be a beautiful concept as a jacket. I took a picture to capture the specific elements (as seen on the top right) I was looking for such as the v-neckline and double-breasted closure. I then searched for a pattern that had those design elements within it. I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for. Although I wasn’t able to find a pattern that specifically had the same design concept, I was able to find a 1940s pattern that loosely resembled the 1910s dress and made modifications to the pattern such as extending the sleeve length, implementing a collar to create the same v-shaped neckline. I also adjusted the button placement and eliminated 2 sets of the buttons. Therefore creating the jacket, I had originally envisioned. Wrap up! The collection is a beautiful work of art as well as an informative study tool utilized by students to help gain a better understand of historical fashion. Each piece has been carefully preserved with the assistance of a Smithsonian consultant, organized, and cataloged to make the pieces easily accessible. Emily Reynolds started with her vision and was able to turn a simple concept into a historical masterpiece for people to admire for years to come. After Emily’s retirement in 1995, Professor Anne Braaten from the Apparel Department stepped up to be the Curator for the collection and the collection is also managed by Susan Curtis today. North Dakota State University. (n.d.). Emily Reynold’s Historical Costume Collection. Thank you to Jacey for contributing such great content. For more information about NDSU’s Apparel program, visit: Interested in learning more about IFD internships? Send a note to:

  • Turning Lemons into Lemonade; with IFD Founder Britta Cabanos

    Sharing Post from Kristen Anderson @ Thank you for the write up Kristen!!  Check out her services and website to learn more This week, I’m excited to share my interview with Britta Cabanos. She is the Chief Design Director and Co-Founder of CCD – Creative Capital Design. CCD is a design studio that assists brands with everything from strategy to design to development to production management. Additionally, Britta is also the Co-Founder, Director, and Editor in Chief for Inside Fashion Design, a global resource for all things fashion design. Whew! That’s a mouthful. In other words, Britta is an all-around powerhouse! She’s developed a platform that’s valuable for “creative thinkers, makers, and brands.” She created Inside Fashion Design to help fashion designers and creatives better understand the fashion industry’s behind-the-scenes. Here’s a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes of Inside Fashion Design, and the lovely Britta Cabanos! Britta Cabanos, Our Lemons into Lemonade Feature Were you always interested in starting your own venture? What inspired you to start your own business? Britta has always wanted to start her own business. In fact, her entrepreneurial spirit started at a young age. “My first venture was building a “Snack Shack” in my backyard. This was a little wooden hut my dad helped me build, and I used my money from my paper route to buy candy and snacks to sell from this “shack.” I put signs up all over the neighborhood!” Since then, Britta has incorporated her entrepreneurial spirit into every job she’s had. What was the beginning like? Did you have a hard time getting started, or did the pieces fall into place? As it turns out, Britta has started multiple businesses, including her own swimwear line! So, Creative Capital Design was not her first rodeo. “I have started a few businesses, one of them being my own swimwear line. I started this in 2000 and operated that until 2003. The main reason I stopped was because I got the opportunity to move to Portland for a design position as the Nike Swim designer. So I had some experience under my belt of starting a biz before launching CCD. Creative Capital Design was started with my business partner, so we founded this together in 2012.” Although Britta had much experience in the fashion world, it wasn’t until she met a complementary business partner, that she decided to create CCD. Britta had nothing but beautiful things to say about her business partner. “She is an amazing mix of left brain with the right brain, business savvy, and highly experienced in managing design teams. My experiences in managing the design process made for the perfect blend of our skill sets.” Together, they are a dream team! Britta, you work on similar projects to Kristen, but you work with a lot of big-name brands! Was it scary when you first went out on your own? How did you get started? Britta shared how valuable her past corporate experience had been. “Between my partner and I, we had both worked in corporate jobs, so we had the experiences already of working on big brands. This gave us confidence and knowledge so that we could work more closely with smaller clients, as well as bigger firms, to provide our services to them. One thing we did when we launched our company was to reach out to our network, share with them our launch and what we were doing, and from there, we started getting referrals and a lot of word-of-mouth inquiries.” The Creative Capital Design team! What is the biggest failure you’ve experienced in your business? What did you learn from it? Britta’s biggest failure is a devastating loss she experienced while building out her swimwear line. “When I had my swimwear line, I was learning on the fly…which I believe can be great in some ways but also difficult. I was not experienced enough to manage orders and payments – I had 2 cases where I got a fairly large order, and I put money upfront for fabric & production to fill these orders. One of the buyers received the shipment and then completely disappeared without a trace – so they got their order for free – they stole it basically. I never recouped the costs for that order and never heard from them again. I drove to their shop one day, and it was completely shut down- so my suits from that order probably ended up at some discount shop somewhere.” As if that wasn’t challenging enough, Britta experienced something similar later on. “The 2nd experience was similar, where I shipped an entire order, the terms were for them to pay in 30 days, but then they decided to cancel it due to lack of sales in their shop…Again, I paid for all the materials and production and received no payment to cover those costs…. It was a HUGE learning lesson for sure!!” A HUGE learning lesson and a sign that if you don’t learn a lesson the first time…the universe will keep trying to teach you! What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given life or business? Although she has gotten lots of good advice from colleagues and mentors, there is one statement that Britta has carried with her since age 14. “I was a very shy kid….in 9th grade, at that very awkward age, I had a friend/classmate who wrote in my yearbook a message that said, “Always hold your head up and be proud of who you are.” I thought that was such a wise thing to say from a fellow 9th grader…but I felt that she knew the awkwardness I was experiencing at that time, and those words have stuck with me ever since.” Wonderfully said. A Mood Board Britta Created What’s the most recent lesson your business has taught you? In light of COVID-19, Britta has spent a lot of time re-evaluating her businesses. “The most recent lesson is to look at our business, evaluate what we are doing, where we are going, what we need to do to pivot, how to expand our offering of services…so we can determine our business strategy moving forward. This is a lesson we are in the midst of- It’s important to stay flexible and always keep evolving.” Although COVID-19 has been extremely challenging in many ways, it is inspiring to watch Britta use it as a time of growth. What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs? Britta’s advice is simple and solid. “Find a mentor, find your community/tribe, build your support network!” And her advice if you lack specific skills? “Find a way to learn them to expand your knowledge & skill set- keep growing personally and professionally. Some things just come with time, so also be patient.” What’s your favorite part about being a business owner? What’s the hardest part? Like many other Lemons into Lemonade interviewees, Britta’s favorite part is the freedom to run your own company. “I love the freedom and flexibility- that’s probably the #1 reason I wanted my own business in the first place.” The hardest part is similar to many other Lemons into Lemonade interviewees, not getting a break from work! “The hardest part is that it is always with you. When I worked for a company, I was dedicated to that work, but at the end of the day, I could go home, leave work at work, and focus on my family. When you own the business, it is always there…but I will also say that having a business of your own is something you are passionate about, and you won’t mind so much that it is always with you!! Just have to make sure you can take those mental breaks and allow yourself some escapes from time to time.” What are the most important skills or traits you’ve found helpful in entrepreneurship? Are there any traits you’ve discovered that make it harder to succeed if you don’t keep it in check? Although a blessing and a curse, Britta shared how her empathy has been extremely beneficial while running her business. “When we get a client who is passionate about their project or work, I love feeling that energy, and I want to help them succeed. I can get so excited about ideas that I believe have potential and can get really wrapped up in that project. This gives me a lot of motivation and drives to succeed.” The downside, though, is that Britta can be hugely affected by people’s bad energy. “This is where I have learned to work on not allowing someone else’s negative energy or stress to affect me. I believe a lot of creatives have this trait, and we have to remember that most of the negativity that happens out there is NOT personal to us, but its the other persons’ issue…we don’t have to allow them to affect us, so I am reminding myself of…and not always successfully!” Britta, in Her Zone of Genius I noticed you’re also the Chief Editor and co-founder of Inside Fashion Design. Can you tell us more about it, and what made you start working on this? Britta shared her humble beginnings with clear enthusiasm and passion; it all started out with a love of journalism. “I was on the journalism team in high school, and I absolutely loved being “press,” I recall getting press passes to school events, such as concerts and football games. I was also a photographer for my own stories….As I get older and have more years under my belt, I find that people are always asking me about my career path, asking for advice, asking me to look at their portfolios etc. I have built over the years a network of amazing professional industry experts who I can call my friends, so I wanted a place to share advice, share their stories and wisdom, and build a place to offer opportunities for connection, personal and professional growth.” What’s your favorite ‘game-changer’ tool that you can share with everyone? (ie. hellobonsai, airtable, later, etc.). Britta answered in two parts. First, she suggests a platform that helps build and share tech packs. “One is a program called ngnine ( This is a fairly new platform created by a friend in the industry as a tool for building and sharing tech packs with your makers. This makes the process so much easier, and it’s built with live documents, so every addition or update in the system is shared across all involved parties. This is a tool we are using more and more as we add in new clients and will reduce our time spent on building tech packs in excel, for example.” Second, Britta shared WordPress as a resource, which has been a great resource as she learns the ins and outs of website design. “WordPress has been a wonderful platform to build the site on and learn from. They offer support staff, and I often find myself chatting with them live through their chatbox, asking many questions, and getting advice on how to add in things to the site.” Britta also noted that Linkedin has been a valuable resource as well. Where can we find you if we’d like to learn more about you? For Design Services: For Features: Britta notes: “I am always on the lookout for designers and apparel industry folks to feature on our IFD site. Please reach out if you are looking to share your story, experiences, words of wisdom, or if you are a younger professional wanting to get some exposure! We also hold events, classes, and networking opportunities, so it’s a great place to subscribe and be included in all of our happenings and opportunities.” Original article from:

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