Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Draping ahead! + draping knowledge online

I'm thrilled, excited, bubbly in the tummy!

I've signed up for a draping class at the same school (Folkuniversitet) where I took my pattern construction class about ten years ago!

Here is the draping class I've signed up for. Sorry, but the information on the website is all in Swedish, even though the class will be taught in English. It runs for the first time this autumn, from what I can see, and there will be a follow-up class too, so I can study draping all autumn if I like (well, at least on wednesday evenings)! Yey!

Unfortunately, I'm going to miss out on the first course date (one out of only 6 course dates actually, but it had to be worth it), so I've tried to find information on the internet to fill the void that will be!

First, a big hello, a lot of admiration and most of all a big thank you to this lady (my idol btw, she's not only a great designer, but a kind hearted power-woman, a greenie and a habitual bike-rider):

photo from AP via Riding Pretty

Vivienne Westwood. La grande dame, the master of draping. And Lady Cool, in so many ways (she even matches the colour scheme of my blog in this picture, how cool is that!).

I watched a documentary about her this Friday (Vivienne Westwood: Do it Yourself!), was even more impressed than before (I have tried on her clothes and can only deem them magical) and slowly began to realise that I must (must, must) learn to drape clothes, and that I need to take classes to be able to learn (I've intended to teach myself for way too long now). Thus, on Monday I googled draping courses in Stockholm, found the course, applied and got the last spot, it's now fully booked. 

I feel lucky...! Thank you again, Lady Westwood! 

This is what I mean. I want to be able to make this kind of things, by draping (I spent a couple of hours trying to drape something like the skirts below on Friday night, result: well, I draped something!). All Vivienne Westwood:

Sigh. I wish I could buy some of them, in a study purpose, of course!

As I mentioned, I will need to catch up before I even start, since I am going to miss out on the first class. Here's what I've found:

Cornell University has a very good site with tutorials on how to drape a number of basic styles, step by step. Skirts, bodices, a basic shirt and pants. I think it would be quite easy to follow the steps (maybe not the pants without a dress form... ouch!) and to learn by doing.

Threads Magazine (as always) has some excellent information:

An article about Charles Kleibacker, who was a master of draping on the bias. I've got the issue the article's from, I had never heard of him before, but I was very impressed by him when I read the article.

Instructions on how to drape a skirt sloper.

And finally, instructions on how to transfer the draped pattern to paper (very useful knowledge!).

Most information about draping on Youtube is in Japanese. It's still very informative, at least to get an idea of the priciples of draping.

Teruoka15, has posted 2 video's (in Japanese), on how to drape two dresses with different designs. Quite easy to understand even if you don't understand Japanese:

Sung BNK Studio - I think a fashion college in Bangkok - has posted a great video-tutorial in Thai, totally comprehensible for non-Thai-speakers too, on how to drape a chiffon skirt with soft pleats along the waistline:

Looks kind of do-able, right? I like the trick of first pinning the material to the chest to make it fall right, and then cutting it off above the waist. I wouldn't have thought of that.

The last video, Shingo Sato (TR Pattern Design Studio, Transformation and Reconstruction) in action. Another visual video in Japanese. It's not really draping, but very inspiring, and definitely useful for aspiring pattern designers. This video I found thanks to Evelyne at Hand Sewn Home Grown (I am so jealous of your garden, btw!).

And finally, because this post, after all,  IS a tribute to and celebration of Vivienne Westwood; in her own writning, how anyone can do it oneself (of course, you all can actually sew your own clothes!).

I agree more and more with her last advice: there is status in wearing your favourites over + over until they grow old (patina) or fall apart (I'd like to add: and then us crafty girls - and boys - can make ourselves new copies)!

Image from FOXYMAN via Bits and Bobbins

If you want more of Westwood, read SHOWstudio's in depth interview with her.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Baby Blue, denim shorts

I always seem to lack shorts, and I tend not to buy any since I feel uncomfortable (self conscious) in most of them.

But even in Scandinavia, shorts are a big must for summer! Ie: problem.

A couple of years ago I found a pair that I really like though, a sample pair from Swedish brand Whyred, high waisted, rather tight, with short legs. I love them! Such a rare feeling for me to relate to shorts (love). I tend to just... not like them. On me at least.

So I figured high waisted shorts might be my thing.

I was thrilled to see clioscolors’s version of pattern 111 in the June-issue of Burdastyle magazine (found here). They looked quite similar to my favourite pair in shape.

I've already tried to make a copy of the Whyred shorts once, it took a load of time and I ended up not finihing them. There were too many pattern pieces, and I had too little time, summer was over and I forgot where I put the pattern.

Therefor, the option of a simpler pattern that looked like it fit just like the one I tried to copy seemed like the perfect solution: quicker and still good. That, I like.

Said and done, I picked out the last bits of scraps from a pair of sailor pants I’m working on (a copy of my authentic navy pair), and I had just enough to make myself a pair (it just happened to be almost exactily the same colour as clioscolors’ shorts). I used version b (06/2011 Short shorts with back pockets #111B)

Obviously, I omitted the back pockets! 

For once I used size 36, the size I should use according to the size-charts (it usually turns out too big) sinze I wanted them loose rather than tight, which was fortunate because size 34 would have been tiny! Now they're tight but not too tight.

I made pocket pouches and lined the waistband with a striped cotton I got for the sailor pants (them and these shorts are going to be like sisters!).  One of the more expensive fabrics I've bought recently actually, even the small piece I bought was costly, but it was the only possible choice for the sailor pants, I had to get it! I think it's the perfect match for the light blue denim.

Instead of buttons I used hooks and eyes, out of necessity really, since I had to leave for my vacation before finishing them and it seemed the easiest option to hand sew during a bus ride heading north!

Now I really like it, the hooks and eyes are more comfortable than a button (less bulk), and I like the silver coloured metal with the denim.

I’m happy with them, but I might let the legs down just a tad… they really are short!

Also in the pictures: my brand new wellington boots that I got on sale and just liked SO much more than my nice but hideously expensive Hunter boots that I've already got that I just had to buy them (they were cheap and will get used); my striped silk/cotton sailor tee from La Redoute that I liked so much that I got a second one in another colour (also on sale); and finally the favourite corner of my balcony.

Herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, pelargoniums, dahlias and a magnolia. And above it, the sky.

That, I love.

Dahlia number three. Number one was a blackish burgundy, number two pink with yellow tips, this one a strange but gorgeous red.

I'm an old lady at heart, at least when it comes to flowers.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Yoga Top v2

Well. I needed a new yoga-top since the one I made earlier this summer pulls my neck too much (it's a halter-neck), not good since I'm an OL (office-lady) during the days which results in a tense neck and back. No extra neck tension needed! 
So here's bikram-yoga-top version 2. It's loosely based on a top by Shakti Activewear, a brand popular among Bikram-yogis, so I've seen the top live and in action several times. 
I like the way the ties of their Cross-back-top run criss-cross around the back/shoulders, but the front is too covered for me (hey, there's an advantage with small boobies, lower cuts are more ok!).
No pattern was used, I made two square pieces for the cups, stitched darts to give them shape, and pinned them to the desired shape while wearing them (loads of pins!). 
See how the straps run through casings at the sides of the cups? Clever construction, I say (not my own invention, I'm a copy cat).They're stitched to the tops of the cups and (obviously) tied in the back. It looks like it would ehm, fall off quite easily, but I've tested it a couple of times and nothing fell out, no ties came untied, and I did manage to untie the ties behind my back after class (would have been no fun to have to wear a soaking wet yoga-top cycling home).
And finally I had a photoshoot full of energy after a day full of surprises, with one of my favourite playlists (at Spotify, it's right here ) in the speakers of my stereo = I couldn't resist climbing! 
Got to let you know the surprises!
First I ran into a guy that my friend wants to hook me up with. We live in the same city but last time I met him was 8 years ago! She had called both of us earlier today to arrange it all and then we just bumped into each other on the street, I'm still giggling about that! 
Then I got a surprise coffee-break with my brother who just happened to be in the same block as me when I called him, and finally I got soaking wet in the rain (a real shower!) cycling home, I LOVE summer rain! And I love to get wet by the rain, or to be splashed by the sea come to think of it. Makes me feel alive!
The shorts in the pictures are the very ones I made in my last yoga-wear-project (I know they're teeny tiny, but it doesn't matter when everyone else's shorts are too. And I used to be a swimmer during my teens, so I'm used to wearing very little among unknown people when I do my sports). 
If anyone's wondering just why the clothes are so small: they're meant for Bikram Yoga which is performed in a really warm room = everyone wears clothes similar to these :-)

Monday, 15 August 2011

The briefest post ever (pattern making-scribbles)

Well, I still haven't managed to photograph my new shorts (baby blue denim), and what I'm making now is very closely linked to a sport I had promised not to mention in this post. Add the fact that I screwed up when I partitioned the hard drive on my new computer (well, not really, but I greatly underestimated the size needed in the Windows-partition), so no photoshop yet (=I'm still handicapped).

But lo and behold, I'm at my work computer. Yey. And was inspired to help out over at Burdastyle. Not sure if my help will be used there though (not all people want to make their own patterns, I know), so I thought I'd post it here as well!

Be warned though, this tutorial is very simple, doesn't look very pretty, and doesn't cover it all. But I think it can be useful, and the dress it's based upon is lovely:

Isn't it?

This is the sunny yellow tent dress by Natalia-g over at Burdastyle.

If I liked things to be loose and flowy around my waist I'd copy it in a snap, but I'm not quite there yet. Might be soon, especially with an added belt around the waist!

I’m a BIG fan of the hands on pattern-making method:

- Make a sloper of a basic bodice pattern (in material or in paper, if you make it in paper cut the pattern pieces without any seam allowance, then sticky-tape the "seams" instead of sew).

- Draw the desired shape of your finished garment on the sloper, while wearing it. I usually stand in front of a mirror to see what I'm doing, and draw loads of lines in grey-led, until I find the right one. Easier in the back if you use a dress-dummy, of the help of a friend who can draw. Otherwise, draw the front first, make markings on the back as a guideline (it doesn’t matter if it looks ugly and sketchy!), and draw the finished lines while not wearing the sloper.

-Cut a pattern straight from the sloper. In this case you need to cut and past to get the two pieces for the front, since they overlap. Just copy the missing bit, or make a mirrored copy of the pattern piece that's on top in the overlap.

Make sure you make the pattern identical on both sides (I usually do so by folding the pattern along the center front and/or center back and tracing an average pattern between the lines if the sides differ).

Now that you've got the details, here's my scribble:

Click on the picture to see a bigger version, or follow this link

Oh, and by the way, I've got a Spotify Premium-accont since a while back, which means I've got loads of Spotify invites to hand out. You don't need invites anymore here in Abba-land, so if anyone needs one, let me know! If you leave me your e-mail adress I'll e-mail you one. And if you don't know about Spotify: it's like I-tunes online, only you don't have to pay for each song, if you use the free version it's all for free (you do have to listen to a few ad's though, but it's bearable). I pay for it, to be able to use it in my Iphone (and not hear the ad's), well worth it!

Spotify is currently available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, the US, France, Spain and the Netherlands, so if you live in any of these countries and need an invite to get started, you know where to get one.

Read more here

Best thing of all, if you join, you can listen to my playlists! If you're lucky we even share the same taste in music ;-)

Spotify should pay me, really...
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