Friday, March 18, 2016

Patternwork: Bodices

Midterm season is upon us once again, which seems like a good time to stop collecting photos of work I've done this semester, and start posting them!

When learning the basics of pattern making, we start by working on women's bodices: the sleeveless, upper portion of a dress, from the natural waist to the neckline. This is because it's both the most interesting and the more complicated part of a garment. 

You can do a lot on a bodice, and it covers most of the theory you need to know to design everything else, from skirts and sleeves to complete the garment, to even menswear. Yes, men's fashions! God may have created Eve from Adam's rib, but when it comes to dart manipulation, men's clothing is the theoretical rib. ...I'm really not sure this analogy holds up. It was funny in my head, I swear.

Anyhow, behold! Full-scale designs from our textbook!

1. Basic Bodice Variation
This piece has darts going from the centre front to the bust points, with this funky foldover neckline feature. The brown fabric is linen, and the purple is a linen/rayon blend, which is how it gets that Star Trek-like droopiness.

Please note that this is a pattern-making class, not a construction class, so the sewing is not exactly perfect! Though it does help a lot to know how things go together, in order to make a good pattern.

2. Princess Line Variation
There are several designs in this textbook which everybody in the class has agreed that they may be more theoretical than practical, and this one is on the top of my list for that. When I made it, my first thought was of a bearded lizard in full snarl, or jazz hands at the bust.

I mean, really. Nobody in their right mind would want to wear flaps that wing out and announce the presence of their breasts in the most unflattering manner possible.

3. Dart Flange
Continuing this flappy, Star Trek-y theme is this dart-equivalent flange bodice. The back has added fullness in a flange to the waist, so the shoulder seams match, which also seems like a fitting complement.

This was definitely an interesting thing to create, as I have never seen anything like this before, at least not to my knowledge!

4. Ruffled Neckline Variation
Don't tell anyone, but the truth is that this was actually supposed to be a much fuller ruffle at the neck, like this one in the middle. There is apparently some kind of construction trick to make it fuller, which I would like to do next time. Still, I was pretty excited to make use of the torso block pattern I created... which actually makes this a lie, since it isn't a bodice piece. Oh well!

Fun fact: if your shirt goes past your natural waist, it was probably designed using a torso block. #themoreyouknow

5. Built-up Inset Neckline
I don't think I would wear any of the things I've made this semester, even if they did fit me. Like the flanges, I've never made or worn a built-up neckline. I have a thing about stuff that brushes against my neck. Scarves and cowls are totally fine, but turtlenecks and the like? No way, not ever.

Still, I am OK with the way this one turned out. I put the darts at the centre again, partially to practice sewing it, and partially to parallel the V of the inset neck piece.

That's five full-scale patterns and garment pieces in eight weeks, and I've noticed a marked improvement in each one, too. Practice makes better–at least, I hope, since we have a midterm next week. Eep!

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