THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

December 9, 2011

Shingo Sato Designer part two

The moment I saw the green dress on Shingo Sato’s website   I felt the excitement to try to copy that dress using “Transformational  Reconstruction” (aka design on 3D)

See the previous post Shingo Sato Designer

At the end of last year 2010 I was invited to make a garment as part of the Dutch tailors catwalk show for the International Master Tailor Conference which would take place in Rome Italy in August 2011. So now I found the opportunity to make such a dress.

My model who would show the  dress in Rome, lives in Amsterdam while I live 200 km away so I was happy with my dress-form, although my model has a more nicely curved body.

I found the right fabric for the dress (“Balestra” which is a high-end quality 100% polyester satin back crepe fabric and both sides can be used since it has a matt and a shiny side. This fabric is often used for evening  and bridal wear.

And I bought a cheap satin back crepe in purple for my test dress.

I drafted a basic dress and my adventure started.

After fitting the basic dress I could start with the design. But since I am not used to draw (permanent) lines onto a 3D form, I started with pinning wool yarn threads instead. The advantages of using wool yarn threads above the permanent pen lines are obvious.

The wool yarn threads could be rearranged easy without having multiple lines on my basic dress that could make it difficult to see the final result.

When I was satisfied with the design lines on the dress-form, and it really helps if you stand away and take another look.   (The perspective is different from viewing in front of it like an arm length away).

(I also used “Paint” to highlight the shiny parts on the pictures on the computer) and I traced the wool yarn lines with a pen.

      

Putting the dress on my ironing board I was able to smooth out the design lines with a curved ruler and marked the reference points. After cutting out the pattern I placed the pattern pieces on the purple fabric matt side and some parts on the shiny side.

Since this one would be my test dress, I could use a tracing wheel and tracing paper to mark the seam lines and reference points. I used 1 cm seam allowances.

Detail view of one of the cutout shiny parts where you can see the reference marks, side seam mark:

The new dress design has design lines which are not corresponding at the end points of the darts  so learning how to deal with that the video easing and forming was helpful.

During the next fitting I was not really pleased with the design lines; moreover, the dress was too tight, probably caused by the shape of the pattern parts (some are cut at the bias due to their shapes).

   

So I marked some new design line points and started with a new drafted dress pattern but now with more wearing ease that would vanish into the design.

The second test dress was better in the fitting but needed some rearranging of the design lines which I could do at home using my dress -form.

The blue lines are the permanent lines which I used for the final dress in blue.

     

pattern parts matte side :                                                                        pattern parts shiny sides:

I was pleased with the final outcome on the dress -form                   Vanished extra wearing ease test dress versus final dress

see below:

                    

Unfortunately when my model was trying the dress for the last time, some wrinkles appeared due to the bias cut pattern parts.

Obviously the purple fabric was a bit heavier than the blue fabric which I should have known but did not recognize in time. Otherwise I should have fused all the pattern parts with a thin fusible interfacing to prevent the wrinkles due to all the curved lines.

But it was too late to make a new dress since the dress was going to Rome in 3 days.

Well lesson learned for the next time.

It was an experiment and a lot of work but I liked the new take on designing the dress on 3D and I enjoyed making this dress a lot.

So thank you Shingo Sato for being an inspiration  in my process to make a dress using this TR designing technique.

The picture of my model on the catwalk at Piazza Campidoglio in Rome Italy August 9 2011.

January 15, 2010

Pumping Up The Volume of a Flat Collar

From this partly shirred polyester taffeta fabric I made a blouse.

I drafted a princess line blouse with a large wide shawl collar to add some drama.

When the blouse was done and I tried it on I was not happy with the collar design and appearance, to me it appealed too flat . I wanted a more voluminous collar and although the fabric has a bit of volume itself due to the shirring it was not enough to my taste.

I shared my dilemma to my good friend and colleague Neeltje  to change the collar design into a more voluminous collar, and she remembered seeing a voluminous collar  in a pattern magazine “Knipmode” where the outer edge of the collar was flat and a narrow tape separated the ruffled upper collar part from the flat outer edge.

 I used my self drafted collar pattern and made a new one by using a so-called slash and spread method to add some volume.

Flat collar pattern

                                             volume collar pattern

Copied the collar pattern included the in and outer edge seam allowance and added 6 inches (15 cm) in length for a half pattern by slashing and spreading the pattern towards the outer edge only.

I also added 1 cm in width and used a scare ½ cm seam allowance for the outer edge.

 So I had to remove the neckline facing and the upper collar at the neckline.

I kept 1 inch (2,5 cm) wide from the  flat upper collar outer edge intact  and  basted it towards the under collar.

Copied the collar pattern included the in and outer edge seam allowance and added 6 inches (15 cm) in length for a half pattern by slashing and spreading the pattern towards the outer edge only.

I also added 1 cm in width and used a scare ½ cm seam allowance for the outer edge.

Since the outer edge of the upper collar will be flat the upper collar needs to be eased in for the extra length and the volume effect is due to the added width total 1 1/4 inch (3 cm).

Made a test sample from another piece of polyester taffeta fabric.

and made a  new voluminous upper collar.

I stitched the 1/4 inch (6 mm) wide bias tape on both outer edges with the new eased in upper collar lying underneath the tape butted at the flat cut off outer edge and finished the collar and facing as usual.

The bias tape and facings for the front, neckline, sleeve and blouse hem are

made using the same fabric but without the shirring (removed the elastic thread shirring with my seam ripper) because I wanted a smooth fabric for the facings and hems.

detail picture back side elastic shirring:

Facing center front:

                                  facing  hem:

The seams are finished with a three-thread serger and bound with a very lightweight nylon tape.

For a more dramatic way I can wear the blouse with the collar standing up:

  

I like my pumped up volume collar and it was worth the effort the work involved.

Flat collar versus voluminous collar:

November 16, 2009

Dressmaking class in Mago Kenya

Filed under: Dressmaking,Els,Machines,sewing,sewing notions — Els @ 11:22 am
Tags:

Last month my HB and I were traveling in Kenya for 3 weeks and I was lucky to visit a dressmaker’s class in Mago, a small village in Western Kenya.

The Dressmaking/Tailoring class  is a department of a Polytechnic school that was built and financed in 2005 by some Dutch people.

We stayed for 6 days in the guesthouse http://www.magoguesthouse.com/

The stay in the guesthouse  guesthouse provide the needed income for the school. Our oldest son is doing an internship for 6 month there together with his girlfriend Linda, as part of their final year of study of Tourism and Management. They will do the marketing and manage the guesthouse .

The Catering & Hospitality students provide services at the guesthouse .

Our son went to South Africa last April to do some shorter studies and internships at a school in Port Alfred for his  Tourism and Management major.  He bought a Toyota Hilux 4×4 and has driven the old jeep through Swaziland, Tanzania, Lesotho, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zanzibar to Kenya where he started his internship late August and we have missed him terribly.  It was a joy to see him again and to see where he is working now.

The polytechnic school has several departments for students (age 18-28) to get an education for 2 years in  Motor Vehicle Mechanics, Carpentry & Joinery, Building & Construction , and Tailoring & Dress making.

Motor Vehicle MechanicsCarpentry class

Building and Construction classsewing classroom

dressmaking students at work

I knew beforehand that the school had a dressmaking/tailoring class so I stuffed some possible hard to get fabrics like stretch lace, sewing notions, books: Fit for real people , Sew Any Patch PocketSew Any Set-In Pocket and some  pattern magazines like Burda, Knip and Diana in my suitcase.

I had the pleasure to see the students at work and was welcomed by the teacher and students as a colleague dressmaker.

There are 36 students in the dressmaking class and they learn  pattern drafting and sewing.

The students learn to sew and make samples not using muslin  fabric but they draft a pattern on brown craft paper and learn to sew that paper garment made on ½ scale and this way they learn to know which steps are going to be sewed first.

The students are working in two classrooms, one is for the theory and the other classroom has 24 beautiful Singer treadle machines.

singer treadle machines

Sewing sample

I spend a day at the Dressmaking/tailoring School and shared some sewing techniques, for example I made a sample of a bound buttonhole on a treadle machine that was for me a new experience, since I am used to an electric sewing machine.

I have some vague remembrance of sewing once on a treadle machine in grammar school but since that did happen a long way ago I felt such a beginner sewing on such a machine.

The Singer machines they use are beautiful and well-maintained.

All the dressmakers/tailor shops I saw when we drove through the villages in Kenya are using treadle machines since only a few people are lucky to have access to electricity.

The Dressmaking/Tailoring School is well equipped by Kenyan standards but they could use some better scissors and from my point of view more notions as I happened to find out when I needed to use scissors for cutting some fabric.

As a dressmaker I know that good tools are such a pleasure to work with and will make the sewing part so much more enjoyable.

I tried to find a notion/sewing store in the big cities like Nairobi and Mombasa but I could not find even one.

So once we were home again after our fantastic 3 week vacation traveling in Kenya, I was planning to do some serious shopping for the dressmaking/tailoring class.

I told my parents and sister about my shopping plan and they spontaneously donated money too, so I could buy 36 scissors, thread nippers and seam rippers, plus a large dressmakers shear and pinking shear, plus some other notions which I thought they could use.

notions A

I had some red upholstery leather in my stash from an old leather couch once owned by my sister so I made sheets to protect the scissor blades and made an extra pocket so the seam ripper and thread nipper were all in one place.

sheath36 hoesjes klaar a

It was a lot of work but fun to make since I knew beforehand that those notions would be for a good cause.

Since it is very expensive to ship the 5-kilo scissors to Kenya I was very lucky to find out from one of the Dutch founding member of the board (who started and finance the school)that friends of him would travel to Kenya and could pack the scissors in their suitcases.

So the 165 km drive to another town to hand out the scissors was well spent and was cheaper than shipping with no worry that the scissors could get lost during shipping. The scissors were accepted with great appreciation and will help the students to accomplish their work to become a dressmaker/tailor and start a dressmaking business to earn a living.

The other notions, dressmakers ham and pattern book  Modelling and Flat Cutting for Fashion by Helen Stanley are traveling with the parents of my son’s girlfriend Linda who are leaving tomorrow for their Kenya vacation.

I wish I had the opportunity to do some volunteer work at the Dressmaking/Tailoring school but since that will not be possible I was happy that our family could donate some needed tools to make sewing much more enjoyable and pleasant.

August 1, 2009

Victoria Jones Collection 001 plus Gathering Tutorial

001

I have been wanting to make up something from this indy pattern maker for a long time and decided to make up this pattern when my favorite summer lounging dress, a loose translation of KwikSew 2645 needed mending
KS2645b

I chose pattern #001 because it is being discontinued according to the Postscript at the the Victoria Jones Collection website.

I also wanted to learn:

several pattern making secrets in this design which give you an hourglass shape. The waistline tucks are subtle, and there is still plenty of ease with 6″ of extra room in the waist.

from the pattern description

That cinched it. I must try this pattern! I found the instructions to be great for a beginner with more advanced dressmaking techniques well explained than is usually included in a pattern from the big pattern companies. Indeed the designer urges you to call her if you have any questions or need to size up or down beyond the pattern’s sizing.

The only anomaly I found in this pattern was that I saw no reason to line the lower band, not big deal in my book. You’ll be in good hands following this designer’s directions.

Click the images below for a readable version of the front and back of the pattern envelope. If you need an even bigger version, click on “all sizes” on the Flikr page and then choose the largest size.

pattern back pattern front

I cut size 18 throughout this first version, using linens from my stash in-house store.
Bodice Close-up

bodice-1

This is a classic Victorian “Gibson Girl” shape with extended front yokes and very full sleeves with stiffened, interfaced sleeve heads. The yoke extends beyond the scye line, an example of which is shown below.

Heath
Illustration #63 from Coat & Skirt Making, by Samuel Heath, 1978, ISBN 0 258 96817 6.

I hard pressed the armscye seams in toward the sleeve as per pattern instructions and was able to turn the sleeves into more width than height. If this pressing had not been done the sleeves would be standing straight up off the shoulders (not a good look for a grown woman…)!

The tucks at the waistline in front and back are a fun way to shape the dress. The back tucks are further held in by the belt

back

The skirt is not excessively full

pleats

And the lower vee cut band and double flounces add some sewing interest to the project

full

I have written a review of this pattern at PatternReview.com, giving a few more details slanted towards the construction of this dress.

As I was gathering the yards of fabric needed for the sleeves and flounces I realized I had a few tips I could pass along.

Make long basting stitches at 1/2″ and just under 5/8″ per the pattern instructions and pull the bobbin threads at one end of your segment to be gathered. Wind them in a figure 8 around the pin holding the piece to be gathered to the straight piece

100_1104

Couture Caveat: I am showing you gathers worked in linen but for tinier gathers in fabrics made of finer threads shorten the gathering stitches!

100_1099

This will allow you to pull the bobbin threads at the other end of the segment taunt enough to fit the two pieces together

On longer segments pin the two ends in place and place a pin in the middle of the piece to be gathered

100_1110

don’t gather where there are seams that need to be matched

100_1107

100_1115

Wind off both ends and at the pin in the center, gently lift up the two bobbin threads

100_1116

pull the threads taunt

100_1119

and after you have shortened the gathered segment, wind off the pulled threads on the center pin. Make the gathered segment a bit shorter than the straight segment. This will make spacing the gathers much easier and the wound off threads will “give” a little as you work the gathers into evenly spaced waves of beauty.

Give gentle tugs downward on the fabric as you work for equal spacing of the gathers along the threads.

The dynamic you want to maintain is the gathered fabric suspended on the basting threads, like sheets hung on the clothes line. Then pin in place as needed and hand baste before machine stitching.

The continued gentle downward tug of the fabric as you machine stitch will help keep the gathers from bunching under the machine foot.

100_1138_edited-1

Happy Sewing!

July 27, 2009

First Fitting, Vintage Sheath

Filed under: Dressmaking,Fit/Pattern Alterations,Georgene,sewing,Vintage Sewing — georgene @ 12:02 am

The first fitting of the vintage Vogue sheath dress went as well as could be expected, I guess. I like to fit with both sleeves, so I asked for help. Thanks to Jennifer and Rose for giving me a hand with it.
sleeve fitting
The right sleeve was pinned in with the seam allowance of the sleeve folded inwards, and the armscye on the body adjusted from the pattern. You can see my left side the sleeve is pinned up the way it was cut (right side on your screen)– it looks too wide at the shoulder and cross chest, really falling off the shoulder. On the next test garment I will work out the new armhole.
bodice
– It may be less of a radical adjustment than this fitting indicates. I won’t really know until I can look at the actual bodice and sleeve pattern on the table. I think the sleeve fits well, I don’t want to increase the bicep… I just have to work on the armhole on the dress side.

I had cut the muslin bigger along the side seams, but not nearly enough for the waist and high hip – I will have to add at least ¾” on for a total of 3” (gulp!)
darts
The bust darts need to be dropped down about 1 ½” – 2” – both at the side dart, and at the bust point of the French darts. I will drop all 3, and lower the waist point as well. There has been a major change in the undergarments one would wear since the 1950’s. I am not just ready for a long line girdle or waist cincher other than for a costume.

The 3 little elbow darts on the sleeve are not in the right place for me. – I will have to raise them higher, so that the center one falls at the blue line marked. Since I have a lot of turn back for the cuff at the hem, I will probably just fold out the excess above the elbow all the way across.
elbow dart
I think I am going to like the dress length, but will peg it at the hem. You can see the difference in these 2 photos – on the right photo I am holding the skirt in as if it were pegged. Without that, it looks almost A-line as it is originally cut.

not pegged pegged

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