I got my bodice block to fit well. I then transferred the pattern, without seam allowances, onto thick card and marked as instructed with notches and holes to identify all the parts of the pattern.
This class isn't about making the bodice though - it's about the ability to design the shapes you want using your block. I was very excited about this. I must admit, I don't have much imagination - I don't see myself as a designer - but I want to be able to create some of the exciting shapes I see onto a pattern to fit me. I've managed to modify paper patterns not too badly on the whole but felt it would be great to have a number of perfectly fitting templates.
I can do dart manipulation - I've now got a pretty good idea of the theory, I think. I can create a princess shoulder seamed or armhole seamed pattern no problem. I can do a number of other manipulations and create pleats and tucks. I can draw in different necklines. However, I don't feel I have enough basic knowledge here as I know from my limited experience that there are limits as to what you can do - when I modified the neckline on my daughter's dress, to her choice of shape, a low back and front square with narrow sides, the neckline at the back didn't have enough material to support the structure and I had to re-draw with more fabric included. I think it worked out fine, though - it would be even better now that I have a clearer idea of what needs to be done.
I wanted to re-create the neckline of Vogue 8593.
|Even on the drawing can you see a semblance of pull across the bust?|
I've seen that now on some of the made up dresses in reviews.
|You can see how wide in comparison to block underneath; the shoulder lines are lined up. |
The paper tore but as I won't need to continue with this, I just left it.
Week 8's class was spent first drafting button plackets for our bodice then drafting collars from our block. I like the mathematical challenge and really quite enjoyed this. We started with a Peter Pan collar. I don't suit this type of collar, I feel - it's too girly for me, or at least this is how I have felt when I try items on, though I do remember one blouse I had way back which I liked with this type of collar, so it maybe depends on the fabric chosen as much as anything. I successfully drafted the collar we were working on.
I think part of my problem with this class is that I wanted to have a physical pattern that fitted me that I could then work on to create variations which would also fit me because they were from the same basic block. Then, of course, as a beginner, I need advice on construction and this class doesn't cover that at all. I had thought that you always needed interfacing when you had a placket but we drafted a double folded one which the tutor said didn't need this. I suppose I need to see this in practice and learn in conjunction with my dressmaking techniques class.
I have since read the appropriate bits in Suzy Furrer's book "Building Patterns. The Architecture of Women's Clothing" and that was really helpful.
Well I left my pattern cutting class last week (week 8) feeling rather dissatisfied. With the teacher saying I was 'nearly there' but feeling I had got nowhere and no prospect of a further class.
However, tonight's class (week 9) was pattern draping onto a model. The tutor demonstrated her draping a design which she made up as she went along. It was very interesting. She told us to get the design the way we wanted it on the model, adding extra material if necessary. Then all fold lines, seam lines plus shoulder seam etc had to be carefully marked. Then the calico would be opened up and used as the basic pattern (with seam allowance added in order to sew it).
Then we had a chance to try it ourselves. I tried to drape a design somewhat similar to my inspiration piece. Obviously, I knew I was using a fairly hefty calico and the dress was recommended for stretch fabrics. However, I wanted to make up a pattern from a woven and just wanted to copy the neckline folds.
I got the basic idea of the draping and did rather enjoy it. However, I was very unhappy with my design. Even taking into account the heavier fabric, there was a LOT of fabric around the bust and shoulders. My model looked as though she was wearing a heavily pleated cape. Instead of a standard size 12 (UK), she looked at least 3 sizes bigger.
Although I could have done some additional work to remove some of the excess fabric, the tutor and I decided that this wasn't a good design for me and I abandoned making this top. As the tutor said, I found out at an early stage that this design was not for me. She sees this as one of the key functions of draping. (Though I've since thought I might make up in a knit as per pattern and see what I feel about it).
Had the pattern worked for me as I draped it, I was very clear about the next steps. I would have ended up with a pattern to fit the model - not me, of course, but that would have been an easier next step.
So I still had a top to design for class. I decided that as time was now short - next week is the last week, I would be better to chose a simpler design.
Here is a picture of my inspiration piece, taken on a shop model. Again, the inspiration top is a knit but it should work okay in a woven.
So my steps are:
- Draw out basic block
- Change armscye dart into shoulder dart Princess seam.
- Change neckline
- Draw two central portions. One to be left unmodified, the other to have three pleats added at side seam.