Thursday, 1 October 2009

Pattern Cutting - week 3

Last week on my pattern cutting course we took measurements, this week we started drafting the blocks. My measurements threw up a few interesting statistics. As a size 12 on average most of my measurements were coming out between the averages for size 10 - 14, all fine. My (neck) nape to waist measurement was off the scale, above a size 26, naturally I presumed it was wrong and asked my tutor to check. But no it was right, I am a long backed freak... this makes me wonder if I have unusually short legs to compensate, what a lovely image.

From these unusual measurements we drafted out the patterns which was good fun. Basically following a set of instructions to make half a pattern for the front and half one for the back. The other side being symmetrical. I am going to make a dress (see below) so you start with the 'tight fitting bodice' pattern block and extend it down to make the skirt. There are different blocks for jackets, trousers, and a loose fitting bodice, among others. So once you know how to make the pattern I guess you can make anything?!

Initially I was going to make a skirt, but having been inspired by the complicated ideas of my fellow students I am now going to make a dress. This also gives me the chance to construct a skirt and top at college so learn a bit more. The library is great and I found this amazing book of Chanel designs called 'Chanel the Metropolitan Museum of Art' by Yale University Press which has some beautiful dresses in. I was already thinking 1920's but this has made my mind up.

So, I have gone from unambitious A-line skirt to a 1920's Chanel inspired dress. Gulp.

I have also been looking at fabrics (of course!) Libertys have some beautiful new fabrics in, I love the bold prints, even though a lot of the Chanel dresses are plain.

I have also been researching Celia Birtwell after seeing a program ages ago where she talked about using big prints on her clothes and how she thought where to place the print.

Somehow I'd like to incorporate some ideas like this, but maybe tone it down a bit as these were from the 1970's.

So my blocks are all cut out apart from a few details I'll finish off next week at college. We will be using the sewing machines for the first time next week, learning techniques for seams, darts and other bits.

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