Oh, the medieval romance of the sleeve with the little pointsy-doo that falls gracefully over your hand… So lovely. The problem is that half the time something goes wrong and you end up with a sleeve that looks like it’s flipping you off – the point doesn’t follow your hand (unless you put a loop on it), it doesn’t lie smoothly, it wrinkles at the wrist… It can look so sweet, but it can go soooooo wrong. Here’s a drafting trick I picked up in a Bridal Couture class a few years back.
Ok, so you know I’m gonzo about le moulage, right? It’s basically a princess line dress, with no ease. That makes it a pretty accurate model of a specific human’s torso. But what the heck do I do with that information? I’m working with two remote clients right now, and they’ve sent me back their moulages (with notes – nothing is perfect the first go). For Haley, I need to draft a regency style corset for her Elizabeth Bennet inspired dress. Here’s how to go from Moulage (or any other princess-line sloper you’ve got handy) to the least moulage like thing I can think of – an 1820s corset. ;)
The Conic Block is a great starting point for drafting corsets. This eBook includes instructions for the best way to reduce the Conic Block and for using that reduced block to draft versions of the Pfalzgrafin, Effigy corsets with a smooth waist arc (for comfort). It also includes directions for a Curved Front corset.
I had this horrible, recurring experience with some of my oldest costumes: I’d put a zillion hours worth of work into making something, right, and lace myself into a corset to make me skinnier, and put on enormous skirts that should have dwarfed my waistline, and the bodice and the yadda yadda, and, like, fifty pounds of tightly laced clothing later, my torso looked stumpier and my waist looked wider than it had when I started. That’s a lot of work to go through to look shlumpy, you know? Fortunately, there’s a simple little trick you can play with the waistline on an Elizabethan dress that will help…
Oh, that pesky Pfalzgrafin corset… It’s technically dated to 1598, by virtue of being found on the body of Pfalzgrafin Dorothea Sabina von Neuburg, who was buried then. It would be really-amazingly-super-conveneint if it was older, wouldn’t it? Seriously. I’ve really got an itch to do something from the middle of the 1500s. I’ve started the little chemise (I’m even trying to embroider the darn thing), and I’ve been messing around with recreating the Pfalzgrafin pattern based on the Basic Conic Block.
I’ve been doing some background work for a project, and I had to do up a Conic Block for Lizzle. Her body is a leeeetle bit stylized, and she’s particularly got a relatively wide shoulder and upper back (like a swimmer), and she has a distinct curve at her upper back (a swimmer who spends too much time hunched over a desk, maybe?). Anyway, here’s an adjustment to the Basic Conic Block draft for situations where the upper back is significantly larger than the back bust measurement.
File this under, “Now that you mention it, it’s completely obvious…” Princess seams are long shaping seams often seen in women’s dresses. They create shape in a garment with curves that model the form of the body, particularly in the area between the bust and hip, and the area between the shoulder and bust. To work properly, these seams must run over the fullness of the breast.
Sometimes, you want to make a clone. It doesn’t need to walk and talk; no zombies, no crazy sci-fi psuedo-scientific babble, and no sheep. You just want something the same size and shape as, say, a doll who is too inconveniently vinyl-y to pin into. There is a hard way to do this. It works for any person-shaped form, it gives great results, and I totally recommend it if you’re planning a lot of high-end custom clothing. It’s called Le Moulage – follow the link, buy the eBook, and bust out your calculator. It works so well you can use it to make custom dress forms. There’s also an easy way with no maths and no rulers. (Do not adjust your browser; I really said that…) Interested?
I tend to theme my holiday wrapping paper/ribbon color scheme every year. I’m sure I’m not the only one. The problem is that every year, I end up with off bits of wrapping paper… The great thing is, wrapping paper makes dandy patterning paper!
If you’re looking for a way to draft gored skirts for your costumes, this is the eBook for you. The method shown is one I’ve worked out over the years, in an attempt to find a possibly period way to create a gored skirt. The instructions can be easily adapted to create a pattern using nothing more than a straight edge and notched tape.