Draping: The Final Project

I have successfully finished my course in Fashion Draping at City College of San Francisco!

I actually presented the final project about a month ago, and grades came out two weeks later; I’m catching up on my blogging.  (Rest assured the final article in the Shirt Fitting series is forthcoming).

The Assignment

The final project for my draping class was to create our own original garment, using all of the skills we learned in class over the course of the semester.  It had to be a complete look that covered the body; for example just draping a skirt wasn’t allowed.

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Fitting the BF Oxford Shirt, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 in a series on fitting a shirt muslin for my partner.

In Part 1, we had discussed the importance of balance, as it affects the way the grain of the fabric hangs on the body.  I attempted to drape the neckline, armholes, and shoulders to better match the body, but I made a mistake – I did this all before trying to get the garment into balance.  The balance alterations caused several side effects with the other fitting adjustments, which complicated the fitting process.

In this installment, we get the balance issues sorted out, and then fix the placement of the back yoke and address the sleeves some more. Continue reading

Fitting the BF Oxford Shirt, Part 1

This article embarks on a three-part series, showing how I approached the fitting process for the BF Oxford Shirt.

I’ll start by saying I’m not a fitting expert.  So some of this narrative will seem like a “two steps forward, one step back” sort of process (or even “one step forward, two steps back” in my case!).

As I understand it, that can even be the case for professionals who work their way through fitting a client. Fitting is a problem solving exercise, and sometimes experimentation is in order to find the best solution to a problem.

But what I will do is try to share some of the principles I’ve learned, and how I applied them in this process.  And in fact, while going back over my notes to write these articles, I’ve made some further realizations about the fitting adjustments I made and their effect on the garment.

Comments are welcomed. Continue reading

The BF Oxford Shirt

This article begins a series on a recently completed dress shirt for my partner, Jim (hereafter referred to as “the Client”).

As with many of my projects, this one is a side quest: the original plan was to design a chambray work shirt for him. Since I last made shirts for him based of Kwik Sew 2000, I realized his body proportions have changed due to many hours at the gym.  The shirts are now a touch too small, particularly in length.  Plus, I’ve developed my fitting skills since I made those shirts and I thought the overall fit could be improved.

Six fitting sessions, over a period of several months, got me to the point where I was happy enough to go ahead with this shirt – which I think of as a wearable muslin.  In a reversal from my usual presentation, I’m opening with the finished project.  Future articles will talk more about how I got here, starting with the original Kwik Sew 2000 pattern.

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Bias and Bustiers: Draping Class Update

Please rest assured, this hasn’t (permanently) turned into a women’s sewing blog.  I have a shirtmaking project in the works that I plan a big blog series about – if you want to see the sneak preview I’ve been posting pictures on my Instagram feed, @lineofselvage.

In the meantime, here’s an update on my progress in the Fashion Draping course I’m taking at City College of San Francisco.  Since the midterm, we’ve done projects including draping flared skirts, dartless torsos, fitted torsos, and draping with knits. But two projects stand out.

Bustier

A bustier is a strapless bodice top that fits very closely to the body (though you can add a strap to it once draped).  It is different from a corset in that the bustier sits right on the body, while a corset is actually smaller than the body.

Ideally, the shaping in a bustier is accomplished by seams.  Each seam provides a place where the fabric can be sculpted and shaped over the body.  One requirement is that a seam of some sort crosses the bust point, or the apex of the bust.  This allows for shaping of the bust area.

We use draping tape to mark the style lines of the design.  Each line becomes a seam in the bustier, and is also part of the design.  Everyone was encouraged to make their own original design; mine had many style lines and curves.

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