Sunday, November 17, 2013


One aspect of designing and making clothes that I sincerely appreciate is having the skill and eye for it--knowing what it takes to manifest a garment.  Essentially, this is about understanding what's involved in getting from concept to final product.  

When teaching design/garment making to those new to the field, I often encourage them to take a very basic approach if jumping right in and creating their own patterns is too overwhelming at first.  If there is a certain style or look that you'd like to make--perhaps using a different fabric or color or making the garment better customized to your size--look for commercially produced patterns that can serve as a foundation for the design you're trying to achieve.  A part of doing this is recognizing shapes.  

Here's a jacket.

Pretty neat, huh? 

Anyone wishing to make this outerwear piece specific to their tastes could seek out a pattern that has a similar flow as this one and make any desired alterations.

While searching for such a foundational pattern I came across this one from Vogue.

Although different fabrics are used in the two pieces above, the basic shape is the same.  The bottom of the Vogue pattern could be curved and elasticated bands could be added to the bottom of the sleeves to get a similar effect to the denim jacket. Other changes could be made to the pattern as well.

Anyone new to making clothing may even be intimidated by these minor changes to a pattern, but this example serves  to demonstrate that it's not always necessary to start completely from scratch when working to recreate a look.  Be resourceful and look for shortcuts and/or items--whether they be other garments or commercial patterns--where much of the work that designers typically are faced with has already been done for you.  Using this method will teach you a lot about designing completely from scratch.

Have a great week!

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