That scared you didn't it? I bet you thought I'd disappeared forever, but no such luck

In my last post, which seems like ages ago now, I mentioned that I've been offline while coming to terms with some life changes. But it's all good. The bigger picture is that I've been dealing with depression and burnout for the last year, and to cut a long story short I've lately made a breakthrough in my progress to recovery.

As a result, I've decided to make a major change in the direction of my design practice. For the time being, I'm shelving digital design to focus on clothing. Regulars will know I've been a keen hobby sewist all my life, and by now I'm confident enough in my skills and knowhow to turn pro. I have experience in setting up and running a business to build on, so why not take the plunge?

We only go around once, and I want to work on that one thing I'm passionate about, the thing that I think I do best. I've wanted to try this for many years but never found a business focus I was comfortable with. Lately, though, I've been developing some cutting techniques that minimise material waste and labour costs, and it's taking me in a whole new design direction.

The idea is to create beautiful, wearable, downright covetable clothing from small pieces of the best offcuts I can source. I've been building up a stock of fine materials in the kind of quantities that would be hard to make into anything using standard cutting systems, but can be optimised with this method. For the technically minded, it's a departure from the standard Western blocks that takes its inspiration from a one-piece construction I learned years ago from a certain Japanese designer.

And now I humbly present one of my first wearable prototypes, a cropped white shirt made from a metre of fabric 150cm wide. It's cut in one piece, with two seams on either side and one down the back. I'm currently developing the concept into a basic jacket pattern and working on a couple of menswear blocks as well. I have a pants design I can cut from a metre and they don't look half bad, though I say so myself. And a few more garments in the pipeline.

As you can imagine, I've been extremely busy with this lately and I expect to stay busy for a while to come. But I'm a huge fan of this wonderful community and I want to be a part of it. I feel very lucky to have met Angie, Greg, Inge and all the others this year. Your wisdom and feedback are invaluable to me and I hope to continue to grow and learn with you. I'm going to try to post every month or so, and hopefully look in for a chat once in a while too.

So thanks, Fabulous, for welcoming me into the community and for reading this far. The sharp-eyed will no doubt notice that I finally found a fantastic pair of specs. Not quite such a radical change, but another step in a new direction. And I am in desperate need of a haircut, but who has time for that?

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