One of my favourite parts of designing is patternmaking. Taking the design elements from a 2-dimensional illustration and creating a 3-dimension garment is a challenge I relish. I likened it last month to solving a Rubik’s Cube. This month’s patternmaking was less like solving a Rubric’s Cube and more like skydiving blindfolded.
BLINDFOLDED FREE FALL
The final garments from each month’s challenges are vastly different at the end, but they typically follow a similar patternmaking path. The relevant pattern block is traced, and then alterations are made. This month I threw caution to the wind and drew the first toile in a way that I had no idea how it would turn out. I did not trace the pattern block but freehanded the first pattern for the toile. I could do this as the pattern is very loose fitting. Initially, I saw this design akin to a poncho or blanket coat. The main departure from a standard bodice block was that there was no shoulder seam on the coat.
WHAT, NO SHOULDER SEAM?!?!
The lack of standard shoulder seam allows the garment to be worn multiple ways. Different parts of the garment fall where the shoulder seam would fall depending how the garment is worn. I initially had thought I would make the front and back pattern pieces as rectangles with areas omitted for the armholes. If the top of the pattern piece were as wide as the hem, then there would be too much fabric around the neck. So the final pattern pieces angled outward towards the hem and narrowed towards the top edge.
STILL TOO MUCH FABRIC
After sewing the first toile, a few changes needed to be made. You can see these changes in the above diagram. As the sleeve changes position depending how the garment is worn I needed to decrease the size of the sleeve head. I also shortened the neck edge as there was too much fabric around the neck. I also increased the curve on the back hem. This slightly shortened the hem at the side seam and front.
The second attempt was fabulous. I love that the garment can be worn different ways and am looking forward to putting the last touches on the final design. Next post I will reveal the final garment.
For a behind the scenes look at the first part of making this garment, check out the two periscope broadcasts below I did for our live viewers.