Sewing and lifestyle blog of a wannabe "full-time vixen"

Tag Archives: dress form

Drape, drape, and away!

Still got one more class left in my draping night class. I am going to be really glad when it is over because I believe I am more of a pattern drafter than a draper. The last two classes have been frustrating while working on the skirt portion. So frustrating that I didn’t take photos of it! I blame the shoddy mannequins we have to use and perhaps the mannequins aren’t suited to the directions given to us by our instructor. I think there was really only one girl in the class who could get it right without too many problems…and she had a different type of mannequin. Whatever. I did my best.

Then we moved onto draping a cowl and that was so much fun! Made me feel a lot better about draping. It was more creative as we only had to follow a few general guidelines to ensure a proper cowl was draped but other than that we had free reign to drape however we wanted. Now for a photobomb! The cowl first and then my finished basic bodice drape.

I did these horizontal pleats instead of darts to use up the excess…I’m very obsessed with these kinds of pleats right now! Can’t wait to do this on a skirt and have them all pressed nice and flat.

Resurrecting this blog from the grave…with draping!

I haven’t posted in this blog since the very end of August! So that’s 8 months! 8 months! A lot of things have gone on in my life since then. Some months were very overwhelming, December and January come to mind because of the passing of a beloved and very close family member. Work and night school has also been distracting.

But I really want to start this up again and keep it simple – one post per week. That’s it. I’m not here to be an internet star but I’m here to keep my curious friends and family up-to-date on what I do in the sewing (and now knitting!) part of my life.

I’m going to begin with a post on what I’m doing in my current class which is a fashion draping class! Here, I’ll just show you. We start off with a large piece of fabric, do a few easy preparatory steps like ironing down the selvedge one inch…

Then drape it on our mannequin or dress form!

I am draping the front of a very basic bodice with one bust dart. You start with the basic patterns to build slopers or blocks that you can then design from for all other designs. Basically, you want to get a basic pattern that will fit YOU, and then you can add pleats or peplums without worrying too much about the basic fit.

In the previous photo, I had not yet formed the bust dart. In the photo below, I have pinned it! Isn’t it a lovely dart?

Now we are going to add ease around the armhole. I have marked the original sideseam but we make a mark half an inch towards the back, redraw the sideseam and repin it. Now you can see there is some space around the armhole!

I am having quite a lot of fun in this class. I have never draped before! This is all very new to me, at least the very action of manipulating fabric on a mannequin or dress form. In the sewing profession, we will call mannequins dress forms because the two serve different functions for us. You would put clothes on mannequins and then use them in displays. But you would use a dress form to actually help sew clothes and dress forms are more complex and generally built better. However, in this class we’re actually using mannequins as real dress forms are too expensive for the program. We had to prepare the mannequins with a ton of draping tape (all those lines you see!) to establish where the waist, hips, shoulders, etc, are. A draping dress form would have many of these significant design lines established already and you would just have to add a few more. Also our mannequins are very, very imperfect (mine doesn’t even have a stand!) and not symmetrical. I know humans actually aren’t symmetrical either but putting on the draping tape was a bit of a challenge.

I hope I do well in the class, so far I am! I am finding this quite easy, probably because I have pattern drafting experience. We will be doing cowls, ruching, shirring, and pleating later on. Woohoo!

P.S. If you thought this blog post would be about Mad Men’s Don Draper…well you’re awesome.

My Sewing Studio!

So it’s been a long time again and I apologize for that. My goal from now on is at least one post per week. For my next posts, I’ll take pictures of the projects I’m working on in my classes – Haute Couture Pattern Drafting, Fashion Illustration, and Sewing Level One.

For this post though I took some pictures of my sewing studio. Sure it’s really just a room but I like to think of it as my studio, it’s got EVERYTHING I could ever need in one room. The only qualm would be a larger table for fabric cutting but the one I have in there right now is quite adequate. No more cutting on the floor!

These are my two dress forms! The one on the right is Peggy Sue, my duct tape double/clone and the one on the left is unnamed at the moment but if you have a suggestion I’m open to one. I named the duct tape one Peggy Sue because I was listening to Buddy Holly one time and I just really loved how he mentions this girl named Peggy Sue in a couple of his songs. The red one is an adjustable one I got from Dressew for $125 + tax which is 50% off the original price! Whooooooooooo! It was during Dressew’s 50% off Everything in the store due it being their 50th anniversary recently.

The adjustable one is great for me because I’m not very “shapely” and I actually only need to adjust the waist a little larger, the bust and hips are just fine. Peggy Sue (duct tape dummy) is problematic because she’s a whole inch or two larger everywhere due to the nature of duct taping. Also, she’s not pinnable. But I can’t seem to think of where to put her or if I should just dismantle Peggy Sue. The base is a Christmas tree stand and I used a PVC pipe from Home Depot to mount her. My sewing studio is not very big so she might have to go!

The curtains I made! Wooden dowel is from Home Depot, fabric and lace from Dressew. It’s difficult to see due to my poor photography skills but that is mint fabric with white and pink lace. I love the colour combination of mint and white or cream right now….

My horde of patterns…..I also have a goal of getting through EACH one at least two or three per month after my classes for this term end. Must obtain cute clothing….

Serger! I love her so so much. I think she might need a tune-up although the other day when I was using her, she wasn’t doing so bad.

AND THIS PRETTY BABY! I sold my other machine on Craigslist and actually made a little bit more money than I had originally paid for it. And then I put that money towards this sweet pea. She’s a BEAUT. The machine of my dreams, does I think 5 different buttonholes, including the highly coveted (by me) keyhole buttonhole.

And my fabric and cone thread stash. I am also starting a mini spools of Gutterman thread stash. My fabric stash is actually not as large as other sewists mostly because I like to work on one project at a time and buy the fabric with a specific project in mind. This means I don’t waste money on fabric too! But alas, I cannot control my pattern stashing.

So that’s my sewing studio and I love being in it! It’s a room I’ve rented out from Brianne who lives 8 blocks away from me, it’s a nice jolly little 10 min walk from my apartment! Very convenient, it’d be more convenient if Mr Vixen and I just moved into a two bedroom but we’re kinda attached to our current apartment (despite its many downfalls) and he just doesn’t have the money to move.

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