Friday, March 19, 2010

Back after a hiatus--and lots of drafting!

Hi there all my (largely imaginary) blog readers! I'm back after a bit of a hiatus. I may not have been posting, but I have been sewing, and I'll try to get my recent projects up on the blog over the next week or so.

Right now, I'm finishing up the second in a series of three pattern-drafting classes offered at Haberman Fabrics. I've learned a ton, and at this point I know how to draft most of the styles I'm seeing in stores and on pattern envelopes. But since most of our work in the class itself has been practice drafting problems on a half-size sloper, I have a lot of miniature patterns and not a lot else to show for my efforts.

As of right now, I'm finding myself much more inspired to draft patterns than to buy big 3 patterns or Burda mags, and I think there are several reasons for this. One is expense: drafting is time-consuming, but free, and patterns can be pricey! Another is fit: I'm right on the bubble between regular and plus size, and I've had distinctly mixed success with commercial patterns as a result. One example was my attempt to make this skirt from BWOF 8-2009, which resulted in an epic fail (it's still wadded up in a corner of the living room waiting for me to salvage the zipper and trash the rest). If you start with the assumption that you will need to make some alterations to any commercial pattern (and for me this seems to be true), you might as well go to the extra effort of drafting and get a perfect fit. And I think the third reason is creativity/intellectual challenge. I love the puzzle of looking at an outfit on the street, or one of my favorite RTW pieces, and thinking "How would I draft this?" It can be so satisfying to figure it out! And I love the idea of making it exactly how I want it, even though most of my "orginial" designs so far seem to be fairly close copies of garments designed by someone else.

Despite all the half-size drafting, I have done a few full-size, wearable projects over the last few months, and I'll be posting about them soon. My recent drafting successes include a denim tulip skirt and a killer Mad-Men-esque wool dress that fits like a glove. And I'm at work on my first ever pair of jeans--so stay tuned!

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