Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Design your own clothing....Interested?

Occasionally, the opportunity to review books comes my way. Sometimes they interest me, and at other times....not so much. But as a former dressmaker/designer, I was keen to have a good look at a new, soon to be released, book called Designing Clothes with the Flat Pattern Method Customize Fitting Shells to Create Garments in Any Style.

The 176 pages of this book is filled with the information needed to get you started on the path to designing patterns for creating your own unique garments.  It all begins with a basic commercial pattern ....(something similar to this)
Basic pattern example
From here, you will learn how to create the Master patterns (also known as "blocks" or "slopers") necessary to begin each of your new designs.

The author explains the importance of building a master pattern "library" from which to work. With properly fitting master patterns, (bodice, sleeve, skirt, and pants), you are ready to begin your adventure in bringing to life the look and style of clothing you want to wear. 

Sara takes you through the process with clear, detailed, step by step instruction. Along side these explanations, you will find an abundance of reference photos and many valuable tips to help you understand the process as you work through the exercises.
You will learn about dart manipulation, ease adjustments, lengthening and or shortening, as well as creating design details such as flare, pleats, gathers, yokes, pockets, necklines, collars, plackets, facings and more. Design applications that can be used to create a vast number of different styles, of course, some are more complicated than others and so the author encourages you to start with a few easier design details to help you understand the process and build your skills.

While, the instruction is beautifully presented.....containing a lot of in depth information, I would suggest that you do need to have at least some knowledge of garment construction and terminology.

As someone who has worked in this industry, I want to point out that having the ability to design your own clothing is not something that happens overnight, there is a great deal to be learned, so you do need to be patient, and to understand that you will need to build your skills, starting with some basic changes to style lines, dart manipulation, learning and understanding the importance of ease, and most importantly fit. 
If a well fitting basic garment pattern is not what you are starting with, you can not expect the designs you create to fit, move, and look the way you desire. 
I might suggest that if you are not confident in your fitting abilities, you may wish to enlist the help of a friend or perhaps even seek out a competent dressmaker who may be willing to adjust your fitting shells for you as these will be the base for your master patterns, giving you the confidence of knowing that your master patterns are going to work for you as you dive into the world of fashion design and save you a lot of time and frustration.

Designing Clothes with the Flat Pattern Method,
Customize Fitting Shells to Create Garments in Any Style. 
By  Sara Alm ( author, pattern maker, designer, and sewing instructor )

Release date May 15 2017
8.5"  x 11" 
176 pages

you can find it  at Quarto here or on Amazon  here   or Indigo   here


Robbie said...

Very interesting for sure. But I can see where, as you say, you need to be patient and really study all the detail(s) required. I can also see where you could/would have great results..but you need that desire. Wish I were younger...there's just so much I want to learn, try and perfect! Maybe in my next life!

Createology said...

I agree with Robbie...if I were a lot younger I may give it a go. Being retired my wardrobe is simple and not what I needed in my working days. I do enjoy sewing however the cost of fabrics and notions does not allow me to sew my wardrobe. Maybe a special piece here and there. Good Book Review Dear...Thank you.

Diane J. Evans said...

Ahh, this brings back memories. I used to make all my own clothing -- from college years through pregnancy. You're absolutely right -- it's a patient, learning process with lots of trial and error. Kind of like having children . . .

I sometimes miss the process -- it really is fun to have clothing that no one else has!


Glenda said...

My Gramma would make a dress just by looking at one being worn or in a picture. It wasn't until recently that I realized she likely learned pattern drafting while she was at Olds, an agricultural college in Alberta. My mom went there too and she could whip things up out of thin air too. My oldest sister designs and creates dolls and doll clothing out of the same thinness of air and I have a leaning that way myself. My daughter has graduated with a fashion design diploma and loved pattern drafting the most. I suppose there could be an aptitude involved, DNA is pretty cool that way but I think anyone can learn a skill if they have the heart for it. That book sounds wonderful!

quiltedfabricart said...

for someone interested in doing the project runway thing, this book looks like it is filled with valuable information. Well worth the price. I have often thought it would be fun to learn such a skill but alas there is only so much time in a day! thank you for the review. I would recommend the book to anyone wanting to learn this type of sewing. It really is a skill.

Copyright Jill Buckley