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Your Guide to Sewing Basics:
Your Guide to Fashion Sewing:
Member Since: 10/18/2010
I agree, it probably should be "racerback."
"Are you planning to participate in a historical costume event commemorating Titanic’s sinking?"
Uh, no. I'm also not going to dress up for the anniversaries of the beheading of Marie Antoinette and Anne Boleyn or the murder of Romanovs.
That is a fundamental misunderstanding of home sewers. It is not necessary to know how to sew to be a designer if you have excellent pattern makers and sample makers. They can tell you what is possible, which may be well beyond the designer's own sewing ability. There are many examples: St. Laurent, Lagerfeld, Klebacker are a few that come to mind -- none of them knew how to sew.
As a practical matter, and unless you know you're going to be a superstar who can hand someone a sketch, it is highly desirable to have some garment construction background, as well as knowledge of anatomy, drawing, fashion industry software, industry business customs, and of course, textiles. If you found yourself out of work, wanted to develop samples of your own and couldn't afford sewing contractors, it would be helpful to be able to sew things yourself. But no one I know who is a student in a fashion design or menswear program has any intention of doing much sewing upon graduation. That's not what designers do.
If I were applying to a fashion design school and had no connections, or resources to start a business, I would want to know the school's employment placement history and what kind of internships students got before graduation. I would want to know how hard it was to get someone to look at a portfolio from a graduate of that school.
In this economy, these are essential questions before anyone plunks down big bucks for a B.A. Fashion design, while interesting if it's what you want to do, is not glamorous or particularly well paying for the ordinary person.
I take Continuing Ed classes at FIT and know a fair amount of full-time students. Many of these people are extremely talented. Given the amount of competition for jobs, I'm not sure that the world was crying out for yet another fashion design program, but hey, I don't live in Baltimore.
From what I've seen, a sewing background helps would-be assistant designers understand what quality of work they can ask of sewing contractors and what ideas are realizable, not just renderable in a drawing. If a student decides to pursue couture or bespoke tailoring, a sewing background is a good foundation.
The best schools have faculty with solid professional experience and offer manufacturing and merchandising courses. They try to expose the students to industry methods and customs. The biggest exposure, however, is during internships, because every company is different.
You leave it unfinished. If you turned and folded it under again it would be a bound (double bound?) finish, which is another type of seam finish. That one introduces bulk and is not always desirable. Because the strips are cut on the true bias they tend not to ravel.
I like to cut bias strips with a rotary cutter when possible because I get a much cleaner edge when I do.
Seam finishes are left for uh, the finish because seam allowances may change over the course of constructing a garment. A little extra room may be needed for fitting, the sewer may have gone over by a 1/16 of an inch here and there. At the end, the seam allowances can be checked and trimmed to conform to each other if they're no longer identical.
I prefer enclosed seams, too, but they can't always be used, for example, on an unlined wool jacket. For that I'd use a Hong Kong finish.
This remains one of my favorite Thread pieces, perhaps my favorite. The design, the construction, the styling, it's all there.
Very interesting. Thank you.
I think this is pathetic. If you want to make a dress for a disadvantaged child, spend $5, $10 bucks for some fabric and make a dress. Better yet, just contribute the money.
A website recently revived an article from the defunct magazine "Sassy," in which the making of a pillowcase dress was demonstrated. It was a total joke.
(To the tune of "Defying Gravity")
"It's time to try defying reality."
I dislike reality programming for the same reason. As with sausage and politics, I don't particularly want to see how $500 bags are made.
I have zero interest. I started watching Project Runway in Season Two. My interest peaked the season that Christian Siriano won. I watch fewer and fewer episodes with each coming season.
PR has never been about fashion design, but rather about meeting challenges under artificially created pressure and dealing with difficult personalities.
Although I'm not in love with it, a somewhat, emphasis on "somewhat," more realistic show in terms of the fashion design industry is "All On The Line," on The Sundance Channel.
I stick with colors that flatter me. I get tired of being jerked around by the fashion industry. Change for the sake of change is irritating and wasteful from my point of view. If the season's colors include something that works with my coloring and that I like, I may include it.
I have access to forecasting reports and could check if I wanted, but I don't care.
And Black is always flattering, slimming, and never out of style.
The discussion of the details was interesting. I am not, however, an admirer of the suit, especially the skirt.
The Greenberg and Hammer link you added is not for a site with fabric resources. It's various articles on costume-making.
I was suspicious because the retail store closed quite some time ago.
Furthermore, the "http://www.coltilde.com/" link is misspelled. I think this is supposed to be a link to a company called "Clotilde."
Sorry, but mistakes like this are sloppy, unprofessional, and disrespectful of your readers's time.
I've seen photos of that jacket before, on a blog created to chronicle the work. It is indeed impressive.
For the record, I hate the term "seamstress." I think it is sexist and dated. I understand that not everyone shares this view. But it is my view, and seeing it used is an immediate turn-off.
I prefer "sewer," or "sewist," if the focus is on the act of sewing.
I read Peter's blog for a few months. But then he got upset that people commented (and not in a mean way) about personal details that he posted about himself.
He removed the comments. I haven't been back since.
What, no Jennifer Lawrence? Her simple, perfectly fitting red dress was my hands-down favorite.
Very beautiful. The cuffs look a bit big, but that's just my taste. Thank you for sharing these construction details.
I find it easier to use the rotary cutter for pinked edges.
Thanks for the refresher.
It would be nice to have some photos of the book. Did I miss them?
Very nice. I've seen this method before, but the discussion here and photos make is especially clear.
Proper fit is important. If something is gaping or too tight, what's the point?
I once made buttonholes on a machine in a classroom, but never have done it with a home sewing machine. I go to a well-known place in the New York City Garment District. People who do nothing all day but make buttonholes on industrial machines do a much better job. Plus, the price is quite reasonable and the wait short.
When it comes to garment construction, there is no such thing as "overkill." If I'm going to do that much work, I'd like to do everything possible to ensure a good result.
(I've taken a class with Kenneth King as well, although this technique wasn't demonstrated.)
Yes, as doglove wrote, she contacted me through my temporary address. If you and any other NYC-area want to get together to try this, or something related, write me at:
I'll get back to you.
I'm not an expert, but the other day I was reading an article on considerations for home sewers in buying dress forms. It said that a full-body form wasn't as necessary as one might think because most pants were in fact developed though the flat pattern method.
Flowergarden129, Doglove, and any other New Yorkers:
I'd be up for trying this, or at least helping. If nothing else, maybe someone could measure me so I could finally make a sloper.
BTW, here's another method that I've read about, which involves making a block using Saran Wrap. After carefully molding the wrap around the body and marking it up, one cuts it apart and lays it flat, drafting a block from that.
Listen, I've created a temporary email address. If you're interested in pursuing this, send me your contact information, at least an email address:
Hope to hear from you. :-) Thanks a lot, Threads, for sparking this discussion!
Re My Twins Dressforms
The last time I inquired about this there was a New York representative; I assumed it was a relative of the owner of the company.
My Twin Dressforms is a product highly recommended by a former senior editor of Threads, David Page Coffin (can't find the article, but he wrote about it).
I once asked the opinion of users on another forum, and they warned about getting a custom form if one's body will change. There's a price break if you buy a kit and I believe that they will have someone help if there's a group of at least four (I haven't looked at the site in some time).
I once asked the opinion of some professionals and they still recommended getting a Wolf dress form. Maybe they thought it would be more flexible.
What you've said tracks with what I've been told for years, with the exception that I was told to get a Wolf.
Thanks for the feedback.
Thanks for the warning about feeling "smothered." I've read about that as well. Glad to hear you like the Wild Ginger software.
I want a dress form for fitting, and ultimately, draping.
Thanks for the suggestion re the forum. That's a good idea. I'll see if the other person responds.
I know that one can draw lines, but drawing them on the molded shape of a real person is probably trickier than applying a style tape to a dress form, just as draping on an actual human is different and usually harder than draping on a mannequin.
I'm open to trying it, and no part of me is eager to spend hundreds of dollars on a used or new dress form (I've always been told that Wolf makes the best ones.).
But I have worked with professional dress forms a bit, and understand how having a sturdy, pinable form with a collapsible shoulder, heavy metal base and a pedal that allows the form to be raised for tasks like hemming would be more helpful.
I once bought a CD that illustrated a similar method using mailing tape. Only after watching the entire demonstration did I realize that I also had to make a muslin cover, but the website selling the CD didn't offer a pattern in my size. *urgh!*
I'm a New Yorker and I'd be willing to work together. I've always wanted to try this, but I have to be honest, whenever I've asked for the opinion of people who sew or design professionally, they've either not heard of the method, or they think it's silly, compared to padding a form. I've also heard that the forms don't always fit the body, or collapse in short order. In addition, it may be difficult to establish the lines one needs for draping on such a form.
But I'll try anything once.
If you can think of a discreet way for us to exchange email addresses, I'd be happy to contact you.
I'll try to check this space once a day for the next couple weeks.
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