Friday, 22 January 2016

Introduction to Dorothy Moore's Pattern Drafting and Dressmaking

As the result for my weakness for retro fashion (namely the 1950s-60s...) and after analysing quite a lot of pictures of clothes of that time, I found that one very big issue is the actual accurate fit of the garment. Something I've so far tried to ignore as much as possible. :)

While dwelling in the 18th century (sewing wise...), I found, that the proper fitting of the clothes is the key to the right look... and it made me rethink my rather casual attitude towards fitting of modern clothes. In other words: I would now prefer my 20th/21st century clothes to fit as well as my 18th century clothes. I really want to learn now and understand sewing and start doing it properly (instead of intuitively....)

My first step to understanding more about sewing techniques and patterns is to follow, page by page, lesson by lesson the book by Dorothy Moore "Pattern drafting and Dressmaking" from 1971. The plan is to follow all the instructions, understand what I am doing and to end up with innumerous muslin pieces. :)

- The book is meant to be a coursebook with 15 lesson on pattern drafting, only very basic notes on assembly are included. 
- To help me with the actual sewing techniques, I am using "Vogue Sewing" from 2006 (editor Crystal McDougald) (and the internet....).

The chapters will always be easily accessible via the page "Dorothy Moore's Patterndrafting and Dressmaking" at the top.

Before I could start drafting and cutting and sewing, I had to accomplish a few tasks, though...

1. obviously to do a lot of reading in the afore mentioned books (done that, but doesn't look very exciting, so I will spare you the details)

2. to acquire the necessary tools (fashion rulers, namely a hip curve and a big 90degree angle/set square) and brown paper and scrap fabric for the muslins.

3. to take the my correct measurements (which will remain secret for now)

4. do the preliminary "foundation work" (and take measurement with those, too, where necessary)

(Without being too indiscreet I think I can say, that the correct foundations for the time have an enormous impact on the appearance and fit of the garment. For example, without stays, a robe a l'anglaise (18th century) wouldn't look right. And you can't just use the same 18th century stays in the mid 19th century - it would look completely wrong. You'd have to make a proper corset to measure. So, in all cases, always wear the appropriate underwear. Whatever time you are sewing for: know your undies!)

So after all the preparation work and reading I started with Preparing for Dorothy (link with info about the foundations to follow when finished...) :)

(PS: I am not using a tailor's dummy for now, because I found making the changes on myself (and then transferring them directly to the patterns) works better for me... I just don't get that plastic thing to have my shape...)