Patternmaking for the Athleisure Wear Challenge
The Athleisure wear challenge is different from past month’s design challenges in two main ways. First of all the design brief required two garments created for one challenge: tights and a hooded sweatshirt. It was also the first brief that required that the fabric used in the challenge to be a knit.
I began the patternmaking process for the hooded sweatshirt and the tights from different places. I used a high stretch knit block I had made at university as my starting point for the tights and for the hoodie I traced the outline of one of my knit cardigans. I might have started from different points, but I think the outcomes were fantastic, in that they, matched my initial sketches.
Patternmaking for the Oversized Hooded Sweatshirt
I started the patternmaking for the oversized hoodie by tracing a cardigan made with stretch fabric. I traced the general shape of the outline of the cardigan making the lines longer and wider than the original garment. I wanted my hooded sweatshirt to be very large and comfortable. I thought I would change my original design, seen at the top of the page, by making the shirt sleeves full length instead of 3/4 length. This design is shown as Design A in the above image.
As the cardigan I started with did not have a hood I used Helen Joseph-Armstrong’s book Patternmaking for Fashion Design to draft the hood. Using a measuring tape, I measured the length of the opening I wanted for the hood. I measured from the centre front neckline up over my head and back down to the same place on the neckline that I had started. I also measured from behind one ear, behind my head to behind my other ear as the instructions indicated. I did not include the darts that the book instructed as I was working with knit fabric. I then constructed the toile and put it on hoping it would be perfect. As usual, it needed some tweaking.
I Want it Big, Bigger, and Bigger-Whoops That’s too Big
When I tried on the first toile, I realized that I had drawn my first draft far too big. I wanted to design an oversized hoodie, not swim in it! I made the changes to the second toile, Design B in the earlier photo, and then tried it on. I had to make a few more changes to this toile as can be seen in the picture above.
- The design line across the top sloped at the shoulder seam and made the design look like a hockey jersey. I am sure the bright colours of my toile fabric did not help. I changed the line, on Design C, to make it appear when my arms were at my sides that the design line went straight across the garment, so it resembled my initial design.
- I shortened the full-length sleeve to be a 3/4 length sleeve. I should have stuck with my initial design. Oh well, revisions are all part of the creative process.
- I narrowed the garment at the side seams
- The front was raised slightly so the design details in the tights would not be covered up when the two garments were worn together.
The third toile, Design C, fit perfectly. I could now start on my final garment, confident that I would not run out of the limited amount fabric I had with the horse print.
No Side Seam-No Problem
The illustration of my design for the tights had no side seams but instead had seams going down the front and back of each leg. To move these seams, and make the tights fit as I wanted, I had to make a few changes to the two-way stretch tights block. The image above is a rough representative of the changes I made.
- A – I started by tracing the blocks with their side seams facing each other.
- B – I lowered the waist 5cm at the centre back (CB) and 8cm at the centre front (CF). I do not like it when my tights ride too high in the front, and I hate it when you are working out and your tights dip at the CB waistline giving you what is universally known as plumbers butt. I went in 2cm at the new CB waist to take in some of the excess that would be created in step D above.
- C – I drew in the design lines to match my initial sketch.
- D – The gaps between where the initial patterns were traced, seen in red on image D, had to be moved to the new seams that went down the front and back of the legs. I took half of the excess and put an equal amount on each new seam except for the excess near the top of the pattern where the excess came off the CB in Step B and some of the seam going down the back leg.
- E – I separated all the pieces and added seam allowances and notches.
I was happy to find that, on this occasion, I did not have to sew a second toile. I love it when patternmaking works the first time. It is like getting a drive through park in a crowded parking lot or the perfect amount of change at the drive-through.
I attached above the Periscope broadcast I did which demonstrates further how I made the changes to the tights. To watch more of my Periscope videos go towww.youtube.com/duellingdesigns
Thanks to everyone who watched the scope for your support and for your comments!
Now I am ready for the photo shoot!