Friday, May 1, 2009

3-Dimensional Visualization

School teaches us to think linearly and to identify objects. School teaches us to visualize 2-dimensionally. My artist designer husband has taught me to see the world in what he would call its 4-dimensional glory. Design teaches us to see things in their (1) entirety, within their (2) environment, (3) function and (4) beauty from all perspectives.

Whether one drapes, draws and particularly when one works from a commercial pattern, there is a process of visualizing any fashion creation. When fledgling fashion designers embark on their first fashion sewing project, they visualize their creation floating around a body. Sewing patterns are linear interpretations of a 3-dimensional object. It is nearly impossible to visualize how the mound of folded tissue is going to become their drawn out, dreamed about creation. All have a blank stare when they unfold their first commercial fashion sewing pattern.

We start by separating the pattern pieces from one another, and identifying how they will go together on the body by pinning them into place on a dress form or mannequin.

For those who do not have access to a dress form, try tracing a body onto a large piece of card stock paper.

For this exercise, we used the cover of a binder full of artists' drawing stock. Cut the neck long, and fold it over a hanger. Then pin the pattern pieces into place.

Or, you can purchase from a visualization mannequin to which you can apply your flat pattern pieces.

These will not work for fitting, but they are great design tools for beginning or intermediate sewers.

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