Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Let the Fabric Speak

I rarely draft my own patterns and drape garments even less. Pattern companies have done the job of thinking out the pattern piece relationships, general nuances of fit, and any number of details. It simply saves time and headache to manipulate patterns to my desired end. In this case, the fabric alone is dictating the outcome. To force it into a preconceived shape would not work, so here I am draping the pleated skirt. The inspiration for this garment is the fabric.

It is a patchwork of alternating large squares of cotton voile and muslin. They are sewn together in diamond squares. The selvage runs with the bias of the squares. It is a challenging piece with which to design. Until last week I saw it only as a big loose fitting coat, something like that in Eileen Fisher advertisements, or billowing curtains. Then, it screamed out to me that it wanted to be made into a skirt, but not just any skirt. It wanted to have its boxes manipulated into an interesting play of different sized diamond to box shapes.

So, I pulled out my pins and started to play with how it might respond to pleating. The result was a series of diamond shapes half the size of the original to form a fitted yoke that opens into the full size diamonds.

Then I decided to play with a horizontal side tuck on one seam to visually pull the diamonds to boxes along the hem. This resulted in shifting of the manipulated side seam from bias to straight grain. Along the hem, it shifts from bias to cross-grain, but I want to do this on only one side.

So, now I need to drape a muslin to test:

1) How I am going to keep the design clean around my hips.
2) What am I going to do with the side dip in the seam and peak to the front formed by the horizontal tucks?
3) What is the effect of the shift to bias on the lower right side seam? Will I have to mirror the side tucks on the back? Can I simply mirror the curve on the back side seam, or is this piece so uniquely constructed that it will break the rules and do what I want it to on the side if I keep the back 1/2 of this side seam straight on the bias?

No comments:

Post a Comment