Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Newbie to Draping

I've always admired the people who can take a piece of fabric, throw it over a dress form, play around with it, pin it, and make it into something stunning. I'm a flat pattern kind of gal. I design flat patterns, cut my fabric, and sew garments from them. From what I've heard, flat pattern making is a little more difficult because of all the measuring, but for some reason I find it comes easily to me.

Last night I decided it was time to expand my horizons and try draping. Mind you, I have no books, pamphlets, or anything else to help me in my journey. I thought I could just "wing it" and figure things out along the way. I know of some good draping text books, but, call me cheap, I'm not willing to spend $89.99 on a fashion text book right now.

I invite you to join me on my journey in learning to drape. Everything I have done is purely by trial and error. I have a page of directions I am writing along the way. This will be of great help when I start making duplicates of draped garments.

I have this great piece of stretchy fabric with shades of purple, white, and black stripes. There is also a pinstripe of silver in the pattern. I've had this fabric for well over a year and it just hasn't "spoken" to me yet. I dug it out last night and decided to use this fabric to give draping a whirl. I wanted to start with a simple project before delving into something more complex, so my plan was to create a one-shoulder top with a single long bell sleeve.

The first thing I did was drape the fabric on the bias (for that slimming effect!) over one shoulder of my dressform. I pinned the side seams and where I wanted the sleeve to be.

Next I cut the side seams and both sides and left room for the sleeve opening on the other side.

My next step was to sew up the side seams making sure to leave sufficient room for a sleeve opening. My original idea was for a long bell sleeve.

Finally, after sewing up the side seams I realized the sleeve opening I left was too narrow. I'm a small girl and even my biceps wouldn't fit through that opening! Time for some rethinking. I cut the sleeve length off and split the side seam a bit to create a larger opening. Now I'm looking at a flutter sleeve.

So, this is where I am now. I will be finishing the neck edge, sleeve, and hemming the shirt in the following day or two. I'll be sure to post pics on how the process is going. So far, so good!

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