How To Become A Fashion Designer

SILVIA ORTEGA – A Sustainable, Slow Fashion Clothing Brand for Women.

What Does It Take To Be A Fashion Designer?

The short answer is – like so many other skills or trades – study and practice. The reality, though, is a bit more involved. It starts with a spark. It starts with a dream, an idea. From there, it’s a matter of honing your skills, learning from experience, and inevitably taking risks. Silvia Ortega’s story is a blueprint for success in the highly competitive field of fashion design. Her approach to slow fashion inspires truly unique and timeless designs for women with a sincere focus on ethical and sustainable sourcing and production.

Baby Steps.

From an early age, Silvia had an innate knack for fabric work – fashioning modest garments, altering fabrics, and exploring various patterns. It wasn’t much more than a hobby, a pastime until she moved to Ireland – leaving behind a career in education for retail and rekindling her love for fashion. With the arrival of her first child, Silvia’s inclinations toward fashion and design came roaring right back and she soon enrolled at the Dublin Institute of Design. If her first child was the spark, her second child fanned the flames. 

In 2019, she changed careers for the last time to follow her passion for fashion design. And we’re all the better for it. The brand that bears her name, Silvia Ortega, was launched to create aesthetic timeless clothes that are suitable for contemporary women to wear for any occasion.

How To Make Your Own Clothes From Scratch.

You’ve already got an eye for style. Maybe you’ve got more than a few ideas, too, sketches even. To make it real, you’ll need the right tools for the job and you’ll need to know how to use them properly. It seems obvious, but really familiarising yourself with the tools of the trade will make the whole journey that much more silky smooth.

Measuring Tape – If this needs explanation, then you’ve got a long way to go.

Sewing Machine – This is a big investment if you haven’t got one. Choose wisely.

Pins – Use sparingly. Too many pokes can damage the fabric you’re working with.

Scissors – Good ones. Only for cloth. Dull scissors can damage or fray your fabric.

Iron and Board – Ensure seams stay open properly by pressing the item while sewing.

Tracing Paper and Rulers – To draft patterns and modify patterns while sewing.

Chalk – To mark your fabric and indicate just where to cut and sew.

Seam Ripper – Mistakes happen. This nifty tool helps to rip out any misplaced stitches.

With a proper kit, you’ll have what you need to turn ideas into drafts, drafts into designs, and designs into tangible style.

How to Get Into Fashion Design.

Just as much as fashion design is a creative field, it’s also highly competitive. Getting your foot in the door is, in itself, an endeavor. That being said, the online marketplace is open to everyone. So, if you’ve got an eye for fashion and the skills to produce your own pieces – maybe beginning with small items for family and friends – you can start small, just as Silvia did. Platforms like Etsy, although saturated, are a great way to test the waters, find inspiration, gather feedback, and maybe make a sale or three.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Fashion Designer?

Like any other business, credentials and experience count for a lot. Design Institutes across Ireland and abroad have a lot to offer and a 4-year degree makes a world of difference. A well-rounded knowledge of materials and fabrics along with an appreciation for the way colour and form relate to one another is essential. Consider courses in slow fashion and sustainability, history of textiles, pattern drafting, or figure drawing. Whatever your vision, there’s bound to be a path for you

For anyone who is ready to take their first steps into the world of fashion design, the origins of the Silvia Ortega brand are not at all uncommon. It starts with a spark. Get inspired and fan the flames by visiting Silvia Ortega’s website and viewing her full design collections, learn more about her approach to sustainable slow fashion practices and techniques.