No Rules Draping, Part 4: Create Pattern PiecesEnvision a garment, then use your dress form to drape and make a pattern.
A linen dress I completed earlier this year is an example of how I can turn a design inspiration into wearable reality with the aid of my trusty dress form. This is the fourth installment in the No Rules Draping series in which I have shared ways I use my custom dress form as I design, engineer, and construct garments. Working on the dress form in 3-D has fundamentally changed how I sew.
I used to start from a pattern. Whatever Vogue or McCall’s had put on pattern paper was the limiting factor for my designs. Though I quickly learned how to ‘Frankenstein’ several patterns together to get the details I wanted, I was still relying on what I could get in a pattern catalog. The dress form opened up the possibility of draping my own patterns. Now, I don’t have to cross my fingers and hope that there is a pattern for the garment I want to make. My starting point for a project can be a wonderful piece of fabric, a dress I saw in a movie, or a top on the person sitting across the aisle on an airplane (just be careful not to stare too intently, as it makes fellow passengers uneasy). Knowing that I can create the pattern that I want, instead of having to find it already drafted, is game-changing.
Let’s walk through the process I used to create pattern pieces and construct the linen dress.
Here are some tools I like to use when making new pattern pieces.
• Painter’s tape for marking the dress form
• French curves, or fashion rulers, for trueing design lines
• Tailor’s chalk for marking fabric
• Straightedge and pencil
Rather than use commercial patternmaking paper, I save the paper that comes wrapped around…