I am sorry that I am behind on posting this, but of course the closer I was to the fashion show date, the less time I had.
The last post was focused on Concept and Design, this post will be one of my favorite difficult parts.
Did you expect me to say patterning was one of my favorite parts? I bet you did not. I really enjoy pattern making. This is really where the magic happens, where you creativity shines. Once you start learning about pattern-making the more your realize how creative your can be making garments. Yes, there are rules to pattern-making and you have to learn how to make a pattern for whatever your imagination came up within those rules (or try to breaking them). I tend to always want to break them or at least find a difficult way to do things. One of the rules I always want to break is darts. This project I actually embraced darts.
Let me back up a little. In case anyone here does not understand what I mean by Patterning. A pattern is a paper or cardboard template that you use to trace parts of a garment onto fabric. There are varies ways to approach making a pattern; Draping, Flat Pattern-making and Commercial Pattern Customization. There are more ways, but those three are the ways I made patterns for my 1st Collection.
I consider this the fun technique. Using a dressform, a garment could be created with pins and clever positioning. You can actually work in the fabric you intend to use and you can see results right away For this project, I used the draping method to work out tulle part of my top.
This method is what I am most familiar with using. After using body measurements to draft a sloper (master template), I took the sloper and manipulate it to the design I want. I trace my sloper onto a piece of paper and then I freehand my ideas. This time around I freehand on the muslin that I sewed up for the sloper. Then I took measurement from that and plotted it on my sloper.
Commercial Pattern Customization:
This term might be new to you, but the technique is familiar. This technique is probably best if you are not too comfortable with drafting or pattern-making. Taking a pre-existing commercial pattern and making some design changes, which is different from fit alterations. There are some great patterns out there that you can have fun with this techniques, Renfrew, Laurel and Emery just to name a few. After making my very first pant sloper, I decide to use the Clover pant as a base for the pant design.
Muslin & Sample Garments
After you get your pattern drafted, you need to make a muslin of it. By making a muslin, you figure out if the pattern you drafted works. You can solve fit issues as well as finding out that your garment needs some features added. One of the features I found out I needed was a zipper in the center back of the top. My model really could not get properly in and out of top. I really did not want a zipper to show in the back, but at the same time a true invisible zipper was not ideal because the length. The perfect zipper would be an invisible separating zipper. I was told that they did not exist. Yet I managed to find it. I purchased two zippers (1 white, 1 black) from ZipperShipper.com.
Another thing you might figure out during this stage is construction order and most importantly (for me) how to finish seams, necklines and hems. You might not think about that during the designing or drafting stages, but it does come to a reality during this phase.
I went back and forward about whether I was going to line or use bias binding to finish the neckline on the top. I did use bias tape for the arm hole, however because of time, I ended up using steam a seam on the next line. :0
After making the muslin, you will need to make another pattern draft of changes you made in the muslin. You possibly will have more than two drafts. Always mark each draft, and don’t get rid of them sometimes you have to go back to the first one as reference. I only made 2 drafts for this project. I only really had time to make 2 and any other changes I made, I made in the garment.
You also might want to make a sample garment after you worked out everything, and it is best to do this in the fashion fabric or something very similar. I mostly skip this step except for making the pants. I have a mostly finished sample or wearable muslin in a fabric very close to the final fabric. After that, you are probably ready to work on the final garment.
I will go over the final stage in the last post of this series. For now here is a sneak peek into the final garment.
Disclaimer: Sorry about some of the camera phone quality images in this post.