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.


  1. There was an amazing Westwood retrospective that came to San Francisco in 2007 (!) that really opened my eyes to her body of work. Very impressive and a fun exhibit.

    Have fun draping! The textbook we used at FIT is here:
    Though I see it's now crazy expensive!

  2. Thanks for the roundup, It always looks so intimidating but I think it's really about the process and playing with the fabric and being able to step away from ones original vision and follow the path the fabric leads you (didn't sound that cheesy in my head).

  3. And I'm so jealous of your draping course!! Wish I was there to attend too. It has been one of my "Wish I Could" things to do, and now you have inspired me to search here in Aussie Land to find a draping course. In the meantime, will check out your videos. Ps: Glad you like my garden pics (more on the way).

  4. what a timing. I just finished my draped skirt today. I've been keen on draping since i saw drape drape, japanese pattern book which you probably know or own already. what a luck you have. I never can find such kind of course in switzerland. Wish you a good luck.

  5. redsilvia: Ah, I wish I had had the chance to see it.
    There are so many exhibitions that I don't see! There is even one here in Stockholm now, about Swedish haute couture-designer Lars Wallin (whose wedding dresses actually made me want to get married in a big, white seeding, only because of the beauty of the dresses…). Thanks for the link to your text book, I'll keep my eyes open for a cheaper copy!

    Katarina: Hehe, it makes sense though! However, I hep to learn to control the process by taking this class (won't mind happy accidents during the process though).

    Evelyne: I hope you find a course! I've wanted to take one for ages too, but haven't searched for real until now, and there it was! Life is a bit of a gamble sometimes… :-)

    Sue: I'm sure you could be able to find a class in Switzerland! I guess it depends on where you live, though (it's probably easier in a capital, which is where I am). I intend to post pictures and stuff from my course, I hope they'll be of inspiration and help to you as well as me!

  6. Draping is fabulous! You'll have an awesome time at your course. I haven't draped in ages due to my total laziness but I should really get back into it again.

    Actually I did a draped skirt tutorial on my blog ages ago. Here it is if you're interested:

    (I don't know how much sense my instructions made but I had a quick look over them again and they look reasonable... haha)

  7. I just love Vivienne Westwood too, she is one of my favourites, along with John Galliano and Alexander McQueen. Her work is soo inspiring! I came across one of her garments once, and had a good poke about and look at it, and it was very complicated, way more than it would appear form a casual glance. I think she is a cutting genius...
    I hope you enjoy your class!

  8. I was so hoping that film would be on Netflix...alas, it isn't. I will keep checking, though!

  9. Where are you? Please come back..


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