Category Archives: Fashion and Style

Fashion, design and style

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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The Pink Shirt, Part 3: Collars

When I made the Blue Gingham Shirt, I intended mainly to test the fit of my pattern draft in a real garment.  So I wasn’t worrying so much about the collar.  I just used the collar I had traced off the original shirt, and didn’t think much of it.

Now that the shirt is done, I’m not happy with the collar.  It doesn’t roll properly, not like the shirt it was copied from. Perhaps I got something wrong when I traced the pattern, perhaps I used too much interfacing and the collar blades are too stiff.  I tried to tame this by making it a button-down, but so far, that hasn’t been successful.

But the main issue with the collar is that I don’t like the style; it’s too large and draws attention away from my face.  So I wanted to find a collar I would be happy with for the Pink Shirt. Continue reading

The Pink Shirt, Part 1

Many, many years ago I had a pink shirt in my wardrobe.  It was a little too pink, the fabric was a little too heavy, and the shirt was a little too loose fitting.  And somehow it ended up with ballpoint pen marks on one of the sleeves.  So out it went.

I’ve been thinking again about making dress shirts in pastel colors – light green, yellow, blue, and pink.  And then I started seeing these little ads in my Facebook feed.

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I Made it Work

My “Make it Work” moment worked!

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, in a cozy Northern California country club with idyllic views everywhere you looked, my client Kevin beamed with pleasure as he married his beautiful bride.  Also not coincidentally, he was the best-dressed man at the event. 

A gorgeous pair of golden cufflinks handed down to him from his grandfather, together with a black satin bowtie and suspenders, finished the look of his bespoke, one-of-a-kind tuxedo shirt.  Both bride and groom were thrilled with the way our project turned out – the shirt added a personal touch to a formal outfit.  And I was thrilled too.

I won’t include wedding photos here, out of respect for the bride and groom, but I’ll illustrate how the project turned out.  I’m planning four installments to this series:

  • construction,
  • fitting,
  • reflections on the experience,
  • and finally some shirt-making tips.

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