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question about design

marthaq | Posted in General Sewing Info on

What is it called when designers create clothing on a small scale?

I have a young friend just learning to sew. She is embarrassed to be designing for dolls, so I want to show her how “real” designers use small forms and work their concepts our smaller first….



  1. marymary | | #1

    Show her information on Madeleine Vionnet.  She designed using a "doll".  Here is a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeleine_Vionnet  I recently bought a "My Size Barbie" for the same purpose. 

  2. decoratrice | | #2

    question about design

    I was fortunate enough to find a half-scale mannequin several years ago.  There is an absolustely marvelous set of half-scale practice patterns--all the elements you can think of--put out by Conselle.  I don't know if the web site is current, but it's http://www.conselle.com.  One wouldn't have to have a mannequin to have a lot of fun and learn a lot  with these.  Definitely not doll clothes.  Good luck!

  3. Ceeayche | | #3


    Your friend should study a little fashion history!  She is part of a sacred tradition that was initiated well over 400 years ago.

    The French began using fashion dolls beginning in the 1300's.  The French court would issue them to set the standards of fashion to their counterparts in other European capitals.  The master designers would create the style in meticulous detail and send them to women to enable them to copy the fashions.  They would be able to examine the construction techniques inside and out and copy it meticulously.  Up through the 1800's that's how fashion made it "across the pond"... before the internet, fashion photography, TV and videos. These dolls were called mannequins.  They would be distributed to stores, where women/dressmakers could come and look at them and examine the clothing and copy it.

    Colored "fashion plates" slowly began to replace the dolls in the 1700's.  It wasn't until 1845 that live models were used to display fashion, though the doll practice continued well into the 1900's.

    More recently the "Chambre Syndicale de la Couture" in Paris, which sets the standards for French couture even today-- and determines who gets to be called a couture designer-- organized a big event in 1945, Theatre de la Mode,  sending the dolls abroad to major cities to boost interest in French Couture... which had been decimated by the wars.  Top milliners and hair dressers and others worked on the dolls to give them exquisite detail.  The dolls were about 36" tall and made it to NY in1946.  This touring collection of dolls is attributed with reviving the couture industry following the great war.  This collection was revived/restored in 1990. 

    Your young friend can look up Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, Theatre de la Mode  (there's a book on Amazon about that collection).

  4. lou19 | | #4


    Use the search box on threads   and "half scale" for some  articles on this


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