Design lines and ideas

I know it’s a cliché to say so, but I’ve been very busy lately! So busy that there was no sewing activity whatsoever last weekend (though I did cut and fit an awful lot of insulation for the new boat bedroom, attended two out-of-town barbecues, and raced a new 10km PB in the weekend available to me!). In two weekends’ time I’ve got a friend’s wedding and ever since we were invited, I knew I wanted to apply a Pattern Magic technique onto a sheath dress for this occasion.

Overall, I was disappointed by the June Burda magazine, but I saw dress #129 and knew it’d be a great starting point since I know Burda’s dresses fit me very reliably (and I’ve already raised the waist by 1 inch to make it perfect).

The technique I’m looking to apply here is one I learned on my Pattern Magic 2 course at Morley College, though it’s well documented in the second book, too. Essentially, you make a muslin of a basic block (in my case, I’m using this Burda pattern), draw design lines wherever you like, cut along those lines, and then release any lumps into the curved edges of the new pieces.

So thus far I’ve copied the tech drawing off Burda’s site, raised the neckline a bit, and removed all the darts in Photoshop (since mine will be incorporated into my new design lines anyway), then printed off a bunch of these empty tech drawings onto a sheet of paper.

Having a bunch of “blanks” available gave me the freedom to sketch as many ideas as I could without the pressure of making sure this one was perfect, which I find really stifles my creativity when I’m thinking of designs. In about 15-20 minutes I had quite a few ideas, and a much better idea of what I want to do.

I knew I wanted to use both the shiny and matte sides of some stretch satin in my stash, so that’s why I’ve shaded a lot of these. It won’t be quite as “black and white” as in these sketches, that’s for sure!

These two are my favourite ideas:

The top one is a play on the spiral idea, with the lines continuing along to the back, and with modified asymmetric necklines on the front and back, too (a bit like my wedding gown bodice in that regard). The second is a take on some Thierry Mugler dresses I saw worn at this year’s Met Ball, though I’m not sure if the style lines are a bit too predictable as they’re really just modified princess seam lines. But then again, I really like the way they look, and surely the end product should be more important than my own geeky drafting methods, right?

What do you think?

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