Previously, as part of my City and Guilds in Fashion Design, I did one term of draping on the stand. I made a seamless coat (apart from the inset sleeves). I have always thought I would like to know more so this term I signed up for classes at Morley college to learn more. Taught by New Yorker Linde Kinne we have been kept busy and have achieved high standards, despite the less than ideal mannequins we have been working with – how I long to get started on Camilla at home!
To be honest the course has been quite hard work after a long day at the office, but after five weeks I have got a draped dress toile completed. Here is how I got started.
After taping the stands at the waist, hip and shoulder we blocked our calico to make sure the grain was perfectly aligned. Then we put some guidelines on to the calico – a CF line, a bust line off it at right angles and the same with the waist and hips. The darting was fun to do – although we were aiming for one underarm and two waist darts my model only really needed one. Once the pinning was achieved (in a specific way) the neck line and armhole were drawn in.
Then we moved on to the back. To be honest I found the process very slow and boring. Obviously there were different levels of experience in the class but I didn’t really see the point of creating a torso block which I could do to my own measurements with flat pattern cutting (paper and pencil). After five weeks, allowing for induction, paper work and fire drills I had the dress pattern completed. Although my stand was not exactly the right shape for me I added a little curving at the hip and managed to produce something that roughly fits. This means I could use this pattern to create a summer dress. However, as you can see from the clock, it was only 7.30, so there was time to move on to the next project. Hurrah!
We have been asked to design a flared or tent dress, with a yoke, and then model it on the stand. Exciting! I was relieved to be going on from the basic pattern to actually draping, and set to work with gusto. I wondered if I might be able to do a version of the Claire McCardell monastic dress, which I wrote about before. Here are three versions of the Monastic or Future dress. I don’t intend to recreate the dress exactly as DaughterFish has, quite brilliantly, done. My brief, which includes a yoke, precludes this exact design. But I will be using it for inspiration (and I have fabric that I think will be suitable). Stay tuned.
I hope that once the course ends I will be able to teach myself some more about draping using a book. I have bought Draping, The Complete Course, by Karolyn Kiisel. Anyone used it? Any experiences of draping?