For the last day or two I’ve been playing with draping muslins. So far I’ve draped basic muslins, a couple of variations with the darts moved about, and this one, which was my first attempt at a two-piece design:
I have not made any particular attempt to refine the muslins – which is to say that I have yet to true seams, redraw armholes, transfer to paper, etc. on any of my muslins so far. These are important details, but not as important as understanding the principles of draping . Once I have those down, I’ll go back and sort out the details, refining my understanding. I think that probably means another two or three exercises from the book, then fill in details. I’m really enjoying the process of draping, and am not finding it nearly as complex/intimidating as I’d thought. In fact, it’s in danger of being deemed Downright Simple.
Which just goes to show what a long way I’ve come in my understanding of sewing! As “simple” as it is, I couldn’t have figured out this much this fast without a good understanding of pattern drafting – which, as you may recall, I studied intensively during the making of Autumn Splendor. Which in turn would have been harder without an understanding of proper sewing techniques, which I got from the wedding dress.
Along similar lines, I realized yesterday that Sharon hadn’t given me any instructions or guidelines on altering the pattern for, or sewing, the Celtic Braid Coat. This was a little odd, since she’s taught me so much, but then I realized that I really didn’t need her to hold my hand for the coat construction – it’s a fairly simple garment and I already know most of the couture touches that will be needed. And the pattern alteration is simple, something else I’ve done before. The only slightly tricky part is the lining, and working with leather, and I can figure that out for myself. So I am flying on my own! I will of course continue to get her input (it would be dumb not to get the benefit of her experience!), but more to check results than to be walked through the details. I’m thoroughly excited by the prospect of “flying up”, as they say in the Girl Scouts.
The plan for tonight is to read through the book on sewing with leather, and start planning the Celtic Braid Coat. I’ve been holding off on designing and planning, mainly because I wasn’t sure how leather behaves/how to work with leather, but with the leather couture book on hand, I’ll be able to answer some of those design questions, alter my patterns, and and draft my construction plan. (Because it’s not 100% obvious how to construct it, and because you only get one chance when sewing with leather, I’m writing up the full construction sequence, including checklists of what to do, measure, be careful about, etc., before I go anywhere near the cloth.)
And, if I have time, I’ll drape a few more muslins and scan some more issues of Complex Weavers Journal.
Have I mentioned that I am so glad to be (mostly) done unpacking, and back to fiber arts?!?!