Our Introduction To Draping Class
This is a one-to-one short pattern cutting course, devoted to the art and techniques of draping on the stand. The course is suitable for beginners. No previous experience is required, just an interest in pattern cutting, dressmaking , or draping.
Our private pattern cutting lessons can be adapted to serve two students, learning together.
What Is Draping On The Stand ?
Draping on the stand, or modelling on the stand is a method of creating garment shapes, using fabric draped and pinned directly on to a mannequin. The resulting shapes are then accurately marked, unpinned, flattened out and pinned to paper. The shapes are transferred to the paper, with all relevant markings, grains, notches and seam allowances.
Fabric draping is an intuitive and artistic form of pattern making, very popular with fashion designers, who dont have the knowledge or temperament for flat pattern cutting.
It does not require understanding of pattern cutting theory, or pattern manipulation, although it does help you to understand the theory.
Experienced, creative manual pattern cutters will combine draping with flat pattern cutting. Even computer pattern cutters will utilise some draping on the stand in order to find a collar shape, or a neckline etc.
Ideally anyone wanting to learn pattern cutting techniques would study both flat pattern cutting, and draping to obtain a full understanding of good pattern making.
Modelling on the stand is not a precise technique – Rather it is a free form method in which you can design your garment as you go. Whatever happens on the stand is what you get. You dont have to think it through.
You need to have a dress form in order to drape on the stand. Good professional forms are not cheap, but do last a lifetime.
It is useful to mark all the major lines and seams on to the dress form if they are not already marked. Lines to mark include:- Centre front; Centre back; Side seams; Neck line; Bust line; Waist line; Hip line; Shoulder.
Draping The Fabric.
Normally pattern cutters will use a suitable weight calico, or muslin for draping. Calico is a cheap, unbleached woven cotton fabric.
Because calico is light in colour, it is easy to draw on. Different coloured pens can be used for marking the calico.
You may draw a light line in pencil to test a line initially. Then if you are confident in the line you have created, you may draw a more bold line in black. Maybe later you decide to change it, so you use a red marker. Then you change it again and use green.
If you have a tried and tested system, then you know which colour to follow when you come to make the paper pattern from the calico. If you have someone copying the pattern for you, they should understand your colour coding.
Modelling On The Stand With Paper.
Sometimes a pattern cutter may use paper to model on the stand. While obviously paper is far more rigid than calico, it can be a useful way to create an initial shape. You can form a rough, initial shape with the paper, then test it more fully with a fabric. Paper will not drape as fabric does, but it is good for simple shapes.
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