Vote, Vote, Vote!

by - August 14, 2011

I am entering the StyleIn competition for designing an Abaya or Jilbab. I would so much appreciate your support, by leaving a comment here and voting for my design/Abaya.

I have worked really hard for this and made this Abaya especially for the competition. It’s rather different and not the usual Abaya, colour wise that is and perhaps the sequinned top. The shape itself is rather different too, the shoulders are padded to give extra shape and make it couture. The bottom part of the Abaya is loose and flows; it adds flair to it.

The fabric is sheer and light yet modest. It’s a blended fabric of silk and cotton. The lining is light polyester, in the same colour of the outer fabric; ivory with a hint of rose. Sequins on top make the whole Abaya an eveningwear, and the golden colour compliments the rest of the Abaya. The visible black & gold zip at the back is the final touch to make it all couture and extraordinary.

My inspirations come from everywhere, there isn’t one place I wouldn’t look and get inspired from. This particular Abaya was inspired by my love for soft pastels, the colour of romance and femininity. It’s a timeless colour and can be worn through any season and any trend, combined with the right colours.

I’ve also got inspired by Zara, my obvious obsession, their garments are such a class! Elegance on its finest, love every shape, cut and detail of their garments. They are rather simple yet so stylish.  If you have seen my blog before or a regular reader, then you know my love for Zara.

Other inspirations include objects and pictures I came across everyday, photographs I took and the 650 pictures saved on my MacBook. It is astonishing how looking at a delicious cupcake can turn into making an Abaya!

It took me more than 3 weeks to create this Abaya, from coming up with the design to the final photo-shoot and editing process.  I am a perfectionist (and yes I am still working on being a better perfectionist, if that’s even possible) and when I heard of the competition, designing alone wasn’t good enough for me…I had to go all the way!

I’ve started with putting my initial idea onto paper. I’ve done a rough sketch, pointing out what I want my final Abaya to look like, its shape, fabric, colour etc.  Of course, that was just an initial idea.

Once that was done, I’ve done the final illustration of the Abaya, inspired by David Downton, tried to make it look artistic and turn it into fashion illustration rather than just a plain Abaya design.
One won’t be able to see the detailed Abaya design by looking at the sketch and illustration, therefore I have done a flat plan, to show the exact pattern shape, the Abaya shape and the individual Abaya piece.
This way, it is not only easier for me to create the pattern but also for the viewer to have a better understanding of how my Abaya looks like.

The challenging part of it all was creating the pattern, creating your own design always involves creating your own pattern. Using an industrial pattern would be rather cheating don’t you think? And where would the fun of it all be? I have used an industrial pattern as a guide, but that’s all. 

Even as a guide, I could not bring my head around with all the measurements, numbers and the 12 pattern pieces that my Abaya required. So I have created a mini pattern, just to see how many pieces my final design would require and how they would fit together.

Once the pattern was done (and trust me I was so relieved) I had to make sure all pieces go together, therefore I’ve tested it on a calico cotton fabric rather than the final fabric (which would cost me fortunes if it would go wrong).

Luckily, the mock-up piece did not require much alteration, and I was good to go!
As mentioned before I have used a fabric blend of silk and cotton for the outer body and polyester for the lining.  

The upper body is sequinned and broke 2 needles when I was sewing it (then finally discovered that with a light fabric on top of it, everything was smooth.) The back includes a visible zip, just for an extra touch of class and couture!

This is the final Abaya; I have put all my heart and soul into it, every detail of it; from sketching it out to making it. This required hard work, sweat and tears, and it was all worth it.

A hijab just had to go with it, so I made one, the front side is 100% linen and the other side is 100% satin silk. 

The detail is hand sewn by me of course haha

Then I had to do a photo-shoot and do a mini video! It just had to happen, glamorous Abaya without the glam? No way!
So I asked for volunteer models and found the lovely Bahashat (who was amazing throughout). My lovely friend who is a make-up artist did the make-up. I’ve done the styling and setting of the scene myself.

The video is just a short story of a woman getting ready to go out. So she puts on her make-up, looks all pretty, puts on my Abaya and turns even more beautiful, ready to go out with her lovely husband.
The rest of the video is just briefly explaining the making of the Abaya.

Please take few minutes to comment on my design/Abaya and vote for me. I would so much love your support. Please feel free to forward the link to all our dear family and friends.
I am very sorry for the long essay, but I had to explain my passion 

Thank you ever so much, I will be forever grateful. Jazakallah khair

Love and Peace,

P.s More photographs :)

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  1. Wow MashaAllah the sketch looks beautiful..The dress came out good too!
    the whole look came together very well :o)

    I like the fact you have put in more effort in making the design a reality for the competition, really goes to show your dedication.

    I've had a quick whizz through some of the other designs (as this wont be fair on the other designers-i think as a voter) I was wondering how many times can you vote? it may sound silly but in some competitions your allowed to vote more than once..?

  2. Jazakallah khair :) really appreciate your love and support!

    I am not sure how the voting works, but I'm pretty sure you can vote for more than one designer :) I've done that, voted for couple of other sisters x

  3. Masha Allah so talented!

  4. Okay Great!

    I'll start voting i'A.. This beautiful Abaya will defo get my vote :o)

    keep up the good work..

  5. OMG, I love everything about the abaya. Such elegance :) And loving the scarf too! Definitely a good touch to the already fab piece.

    You got my vote :)

  6. wowwww THIS IS GORGEOUS! i love it you are so talented :)!

  7. Thank you all so much! Thanks to your support and love, I reached the top 10 and was number 7 alhamdulillah :) it was a great competition!


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