taking something old... making something new.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

draping 101

I've never technically learned how to drape patterns. I've always used pre-made patterns or made my own patterns by combining existing ones. For the longest time, I've looked for local classes or stores that could teach me to make my own patterns or drape patterns, but I have been unsuccessful. Unless I want to attend design school, I am stuck learning by myself. I couldn't even find a good video on the internet. So, I invested in a few new handy tools: some draping tape that is used to tape the desired seam lines on your model, and a french curve ruler. To be honest, this ruler seemed a bit of a mystery to me, but then I kept hearing the people on Project Runway act exasperated when Michael C. didn't even have a ruler so I figured they must be quite handy. Here I go, trying to figure out on my own how to drape a bodice.
I started off simply enough with taping the general seams on my dress form. I changed my idea from my original design to include a yoke. The front and back yoke will be in the lace, while the bodice portion will be in the silk. This tape is pretty fun to use. it is basically really thin-cut duct tape. It follows curves nicely, sticks to the dress form, and is slightly raised so it makes it easy to trace the lines of the dress through the fabric. Which leads me to the next step.

Next, I draped and pinned a piece of muslin over the dress form so it fit snugly. I took a sharpie marker and drew lines over the tape to show where the seam lines would be.

Once I finished that, I took the muslin off the dress form and used my french curve ruler to smooth out the curves and straighten the straight lines.

After adding on a seam allowance, I cut the pattern piece out and pinned it to the dress form.

Once the yoke was pinned to the dress form, I used those seam lines to drape the bodice as well. Before marking the lines, I had to fold the darts in the appropriate place and make sure everything was nice and smooth.

I lay the pattern pieces on the dress form one more time to be sure they all seem to fit together

Now I sew the muslin pieces and try it on myself, adjusting the seams until the bodice fits me perfectly. While wearing it, I tried my best to create a pattern for a sleeve as well. This proved to be quite difficult as I don't currently have detachable arms.

The finished sewn muslin bodice. Please forgive the awful picture. If I knew my camera better, I could adjust for the dark room, but alas, my years of high school photography have gone to waste. I did just order some studio umbrellas on ebay this week so perhaps I'll have some better light in my room for my late night sewing fests.

Now that I've got the bodice perfectly fitted, I unpicked all the seams and created new pattern pieces for the bodice. From here, I am ready to cut the pieces from my actual fabric. That's the part that is scary! I will need every little inch of that gorgeous lace!

1 comment:

  1. Wow Cyd! That is amazing! Sewing is a complete mystery to me, and I love that you watch Project Runway too (of course you do). Thanks for letting me know what ruler they were talking about! :)