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Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew

Lesson 10 of 14

Pattern Draping: Experiment with Style Lines

Jay Calderin

Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew

Jay Calderin

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Lesson Info

10. Pattern Draping: Experiment with Style Lines

Lesson Info

Pattern Draping: Experiment with Style Lines

Just wanna put this bodice back on and go back to something we said earlier about style lines. And show how different this very simple little bodice can be when we think about the style lines. So if you notice on here, what we're really doing is subdividing a silhouette. We've created the silhouette that forms the body, but here we can start to really come up with a plan for what we're going to do with this. So I can get very strategic and use this however I want, because the pins are the placeholders. And now, if I had made this pattern, I can take this pattern, do another version of it, and add these style lines and have another version of this bodice. But all of the work, it's kind of like with the sketches, that foundation is under there. If you have done all of the work with that pattern, then you are good. Actually it's pulling over a little. I wanna put it onto the fabric. So Jay, you're experimenting with where the cuts that you might make, Right, how I might transform. Bec...

ause I know I want a fitted bodice. Let's say we're doing a great dress, and we want a tight little bodice and a big skirt. What do I wanna do up here in terms of framing her face and cutting up that silhouette so that it does something different? 'Cause I could very easily, with the same bodice, do this and cut all that away. And then I have a halter. But everything else doesn't change. Because it's fitting this particular size, it fits this particular client. So you want to do this first step so you get the baseline, and then you can really play. So those are the style lines, like you said. This is how I would break this up. For instance, I could say I want it to go here, and then I want it to do that, or do that. This is where you can kind of play and experiment with it. Kind of like how you were playing on paper, but now playing in this 3D form. And are those things, not just the style but with color, as well, you're kind of breaking that up- Well yeah, because when you do that it can be a solid thing, where the whole dress just has these style lines. But you can start to break things up. So if I said I want this to happen, maybe this, and this, oh, what was I gonna say? Oh never mind, hold on. If I did this, but then created another style line that cut across, I could decide to get rid of this part, and I could decide to cut this part into two pieces that meet up, but I can do this in red, and this in blue. This is that process that I think is key in taking that basic shape, because, again, there are only so many garments and so many shapes we can do, and start to put our creative input into the shape. So we have this canvas, and then we're breaking it up. I like that, the concept of the canvas. Thank you. So how limited are you, in terms of the actual construction of that, by where you do style lines? Good question. So basically, I would take this pattern, transfer it over, and then I would cut it up and add seam allowance to this side going this way, and to that side going that way, and then join those together. Because you worked from a single pattern you can break it up in a much easier way. If you had tried to drape this piece by itself and then drape the other one separately, it's gonna be a little harder. But if you break up an existing piece and then add the seam allowance you need and all that kind of stuff, is that kind of what you were saying? Yes, so there's very few limitations. I'm thinking structurally, the logistics of cutting it up, or sewing it back together, or what have you. The key, we'll talk about it a little bit when we get to the construction part of it, is the order that you do it in. So, for instance, what I would do with this, this is a real tricky area right here. So if I were cutting across a dart, my first job would be to join this piece to this piece, that piece to that piece, and then I close the dart normally. Whereas if you try to close the dart on this one and then join this one, then you have this seam going across here. That could be something you want, but I'd be more concerned with the dart looking good and matching up. So those intersections, that's why when you get to the flat pattern making stage you want it to be as clear as possible. So there's just, there's steps to the mechanics of it, then. Yes. We'll talk a little bit about that in a minute, when we talk about actually sewing it. Because we can go crazy with pattern making, but then we gotta make it. So we need to figure out how we're gonna make it and put it together. Can I use this with what I do? First do the pattern, and then, 'cause there's many different, I've always wanted to know how to do that. You have your existing patterns, and you want to ask yourself, how do you wanna cut it up. And you also have to figure out, again, the process. So if I was doing a corset, I would do the outside of the corset, the fabric of the corset, split it up however I want, join all those together so that they're fabric again, so that they're a complete piece, and then go the additional process of the structure inside. So the casings for the boning and all that kinda stuff, you would do after that. (laughs)

Class Description

Bring your designs to life with Jay Calderin in Making Fashion: Draw, Draft, and Sew!

Jay Calderin has been called a “a budding designer's best friend,” and in this class he’ll show you exactly what it takes to create and construct custom clothes. 

You’ll learn about:
  • Drawing and planning for clothing production
  • The stages of pattern making
  • Constructing and finishing garments
Jay will help you get started with smart drafting tips and offer insights on working with muslin so your patterns lay and drape properly.

If you want to produce one-of-a-kind garments, join Jay Calderin for a complete primer on getting started in Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew.


Jacquelyn Bradley-Nelson

I love this class, I'm glad I found it. This what I want to learn or add to my knowledge. JayC you are awesome! I need more learning on rendering coloring for illustration for that is. I can't wait to see what's on the other class I will take. Thanks! Signed: rm515jb.

Andrea Leggett

I really enjoyed this and the draping really opened my eyes to what can be achieved. Jay made it look easy so I plan a shot at draping later and will post my effort on Instagram with thanks to him! Thank you Creative LIve for bringing this to me (in the UK) and special thanks to Jay. When I'm in Boston in August I"ll buy you a beer!


Loved the draping information. It was logical and clear enough to make me want to try it.