Saturday, May 26, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tailoring -- Suit Coat


This was the focus of Tailoring II -- creating a men's suit coat. We started by following the recipe for a pattern called "Young Man's Sac Coat." I drafted my pattern with Matt's measurements. Once I had the patter drafted, I created a canvas mock-up of the jacket and we had the first fitting. Everything went really smoothly -- not many changed to be made. We adjusted the balance of where the jacket falls by opening up the shoulder seam and letting it out a little. Then the collar needed to be lengthened a bit to compensate for that alteration. The sleeves needed to be made narrower. I moved the side dart to the front and we moved the buttons a bit closer together. After all the alterations were made in the pattern, it was time to start creating the actual suit coat. We started with the canvas that goes in the front of the jacket. Basically, you create carefully shaped padding to make that smooth look from the shoulder down. It consists of canvas, felt, and french canvas with a hearty helping of pad stitching (which I find incredibly enjoyable to do!). After the canvas front is constructed you place it with the wool front and baste the two pieces together. These basting stitches do not come out until you are completely done. As you can see on the photos above, all the basting stitches are still there. I didn't quite finish putting the button holes in yet. Anyway, in brief, because this could go on for a while -- The lapels are pad-stitched and taped (with tailor's tape) which helps to create a nice smooth line once you cover everything in the wool. You create the under-collar from felt and collar canvas. These are pad-stitched together in order to create the collar shape. I custom made the shoulder pads -- these are inserted under the wool layer of the jacket but on top of the lining. The back of the jacket has canvas and a single vent. The whole coat is lined. Again, this is a quick, very brief explanation of things, but at least it is the gist of it! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Victorian Outfit, Draping Final Project


For my final draping project I draped and constructed an 1870's Victorian outfit based on a rendering. I started as per the usual with a 1/2 muslin mock-up, patterned it and went into my first full muslin mock-up. I mocked up the skirts in the actual fabric because of their quantity and I was fairly confident in their fit. At any rate, I fitted the first mock up, corrected the pattern and mocked up the bodice once again in coutile this time. I could then alter the coutile as need be and go straight into flatlining it with the fashion fabric.  The final bodice is coutile flat lined with the striped cotton.  There are flexible bones at every seam. The bustle and train are lined with a maroon poly-taffeta. Though I didn't completely get to finish everything, the bodice has hand covered buttons and closes with a combination of snaps and hooks. The model is wearing a corset, cage bustle, and petticoat to help create the right shape. These photos are the project in various stages of completion, from the muslin to the fashion fabric.

"Bus Stop" Waitress Uniform

 This is my second production piece for the play "Bus Stop."  The play was placed in the 1950's and kept pretty strictly to period. This was a very challenging assignment for me. I learned how to do a lot of things I hadn't done before -- built in pockets in the skirt, a patch pocket on the bodice, shirt collar with lapels, cuffs, an apron...phew! A lot to be nervous about, but once again, I am happy with how it turned out.

I started with a 1/2 muslin mock up and through a series of conversations with the designer and a few more mock ups we finally arrived at the right silhouette, though it continued to go through many changes. The fittings were difficult but very informative. Every person has a very unique body shape and you have to take this into account. Everything you make, especially with custom costumes, is going to be unique and be very specific to the person. This particular dress has a shoulder pad built into one side and the collar is constructed unevenly so that is falls correctly. It was great to begin to learn how to tackle fitting challenges, though it was definitely daunting and a bit stressful...I'm glad I had to go through it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Billy The Kid" Red Dress

This is a production project that I made for the play "Billy the Kid." It is based on the rendering to the upper right, designed by Sylvianne Sherman (and used with her permission here -- thank you Sylvianne!). This was the first garment I made for a play at school. I have to admit that I was incredibly nervous. I started with draping a 1/2 muslin mock-up. I then took a pattern off of it and created a full muslin mock-up to be fitted on the actress. After the fitting I went right into the actual fabric and made the dress. Everything went pretty smoothly, thank goodness! I was really pleased with the final product -- the dress looked great on stage and the skirt moved great with the actresses movements! For the final look Sylvianne distressed the dress adding mud spatters and torn edges to complete the wild west look. I thought the distressing looked excellent.

Construction-wise, the bodice is lined with generic red lining. There is an invisible zipper at center back. The hem was left as is because it was later distressed to have a jagged, worn and ripped effect.