New Look Part 2: The Core Pattern Shapes
Featured on the January 25th Episode of Sewing Time Live on the DesignerJoiMahon FB Page
You’re invited to join Joi on a dream sewing journey as she revisits an iconic fashion design. This journey begins with patterning a modern version inspired by Dior Design. Moving on, Joi will walk you through what is needed to achieve a couture-perfect fit complete with pattern fittings, adjustments, and application of fitting techniques. Fabric selection provides many options to customize our designs along with lessons on what constitutes a quality fabric and the best selection. Sewing our replica is the end goal and Joi will share all the techniques you will need to complete your own personal design. Interact with Joi during this adventure and learn how to apply these techniques to your own sewing and fitting of any garment with rewarding results.
Studying a designer garment is a rewarding experience for those who love to learn how clothing is created. The results might include mastering a new technique and elevating our sewing to new levels. For me as a designer, the idea of replicating an inspirational design isn’t to make an exact copy. Realistically, every patternmaker and sewist will have a different interpretation and skillset thus preventing precise duplication. However, for this sewing journey, my personal goal is to make a close visual replica paying homage to the original combined with my personal interpretation and selected techniques. Upon completion, I plan to display this in my studio for years of enjoyment.
How will you apply these lessons to your sewing? What are your goals? As we progress on this journey, you will be pleasantly surprised at how many garments can be created from the same pattern pieces. With subtle modifications, this design will fit into any type of sewing and personal style. How is this possible? The answer is understanding the Core Pattern Shape, or Sloper, and where the design originates from.
A sloper is a basic template for the pattern-making process that includes a bust and waist dart. It is drafted to individual measurements or adjusted to the body measurements if starting with a template. A sloper does not have seam allowance, wearing ease, or any other design elements, and is not meant to be sewn into a garment.
When designing with a sloper the apex is the starting point for any application of flat pattern design and fitting. The importance of this key area has been vastly undervalued for the potential results in many home sewing methods allowing it to be moved around, incorrectly fitted/placed, or not referenced at all. This “home base” for fitting and adjustments should be stationary allowing the designer to have a consistent location for starting and stopping with the changes to the fit or design of the pattern occurring around this point. The apex should never move. Additionally, understanding the importance of this area adds depth of knowledge for how a pattern interacts with the body. In this basic example, the apex is stationary while the dart is rotated to the shoulder. The new shoulder dart will be converted to a princess seam for the design portion of the design.
Tip: Taking the time to fit a sloper before creative adjustments results in better fit of the garment and correct placement of design elements for the scale and shape of the body.
The magic of using a sloper in custom sewing is that once you scale it vertically and horizontally to your individual measurements, it is used to create any stylized pattern that will already match your body shape, size, and proportion. This results in more accuracy and ease in the fitting process.
Understanding the sloper and taking the time to fit one to your body provides unlimited possibilities in sewing. As you start to recognize the Core shape in any pattern or inspirational image you realize that garments are all the same on a foundational level. This opens up a world of opportunities and unlimited combinations for creative design.