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I know we’ve had lots of discussions about the organization of the BurdaStyle Discussion Forum into topic areas, but I can’t help feeling that it would be nice to have a kind of “Designer’s Corner” for those of us who are developing patterns and designs as well as sewing… I think we end up finding each other through many different threads, but I sometimes dream about having our own little “corner” (not exclusive, anyone would be welcome!) to talk about design.

Just thought I’d mention it…


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  • Hubble-orion-nebula_large

    Feb 7, 2010, 01.40 PMby meaghanlr92

    I think that’s a great idea!

  • Photoge01_large

    Apr 12, 2010, 10.19 PMby gedwoods

    Right now I am working on about four projects simultaneously, with lots of issues to deal with: 1) an Indian style “kameez” tunic 2) a boatnecked jersey with a cowl 3) a corset, using the Laughing Moon Dore pattern as a basis for learning, and 4) a man’s shirt, for me

    I’ve designed the tunic following several visits to Indian fabric stores while I was in Vancouver earlier this year, to get an understanding of how the kameez tunic is typically put together (i.e. no bust shaping, usually a side zipper up to the underarms, sometimes slit on both sides over the hips, usually with some form of embroidery around the neckline, etc.) and am getting ready to cut the fabric. The fabric I bought originally with the intention of making the salwar pants with them, but the color I bought suits a friend and makes more sense for her as the tunic than the fabric I originally bought for that.

    I’ve looked around on the web for some existing patterns for boat-necked jerseys with cowl – there aren’t very many. It seems to be a design choice that is not very popular for some reason. I have a ton of relatively cheap stretch jersey fabric in a relatively plain grey color – I’m planning to do a “muslin” for the jersey with this fabric, as I need to understand the relationship between the cut of the cowl and the way the fabric drapes. I’m using Chapter 1 of Harriet Pepin’s 1942 book “Modern Pattern Design” available online free-of-charge (at VintageSewing.info) which has a whole section on cowls as a basis for experimentation with this. I’ve also read the relevant section of Wendy Mullin’s “Sew U Home Stretch” book on boat neck tees, and compared her pattern pieces with those I’ve constructed using Winifred Aldrich’s jersey blocks from Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear. I’ve more or less decided to go with the Aldrich block, as it has a little more ease than the one Mullin proposes, and it seems to me that the cowl design requires a bit more ease… but an experimental draping with the stretch jersey should help decide if this is the right choice. My final fabric for the boatnecked cowl jersey is some lovely bright red bamboo fabric I picked up in Vancouver.

    The corset pattern finally arrived in the mail. Making a corset was my spring project, but it has taken me some time to organize myself to do this – reading up on the process, buying a pattern (I decided to do my first corset from an existing pattern and then start playing with corset design later, once I’ve got over the initial learning), acquiring grommets and fabric (both “coutil” and a nice dense tweed cotton-rayon combo), working out what type of boning to use, etc. I’m almost ready to start. I’m going to do the Dore straight seam corset which is the simpler of the two Laughing Moon patterns. I have a deadline – my cousin is coming from the UK late May and she wants me to make her a corset, so I plan to do one before she comes and then do a fitted muslin shell while she’s here and then finalize it after she has gone back home.

    The men’s shirt pattern I am developing aims to consolidate more than two years experimenting with a variety of shirt styles and embellishments into a single pattern with a great fit, with the idea of then making several shirts in different fabrics to the same overall design. The pattern is almost finished – I still have some adjustments for fit to finalize before starting in, however.

    I’m the kind of person who has to have several projects going at once to be happy. One of the things I like about designing and sewing, is that there are so many different phases to a project – early idea conception, making a sloper, manipulating the sloper to get a workable design, laying out the fabric and cutting it, sewing it together, adjusting for fit and finalizing. Each of my ongoing projects is at a different stage, so I can work for a while at one thing, then move onto the next which is at a very different stage. That way, I never get bored!

    Would other designer’s like to share their “cognitions” and/or early development stages? Do you have comments about the choices I have made (none of them are fixed in concrete!). Do others use reference books like I do to help frame a project (I only have two years of experience at this, so I use reference materials as a way of overcoming lack of experience)?

  • 20150117_152733_large

    Apr 14, 2010, 09.37 PMby mlssfshn

    That would be great! I’m concerned about the boat neck jersey cowl, I’m not sure it will stay on the shoulders. In my experience drafting cowls the neckline in the pattern draft is higher than the shoulder not lower and the back neck is high to hold the top of the garment in place.

  • Photoge01_large

    Apr 16, 2010, 02.56 PMby gedwoods

    You’ve raised an interesting point, missfshn. My current design only cowls the front neckline, so as to keep the support at the shoulder and the back in place. Maybe that’s a “half cowl” rather than a full cowl, but the use of the term “cowl” seems consistent with the way Harriet Pepin uses the word in her book, and I followed her guidelines in coming up with the design. I have seen, however, some examples of tops made with both the boat neckline and a full cowl, that runs all the way around, so it must be do-able. For my purposes, though, the front cowl should be enough.

    • This is a question
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