Friday, February 21, 2014

Draping, Draping, Draping

Getting ready to cut some boning!!
Boning case on coutil and boning drying
I got to campus at 9am on Thursday for class, and then I got out of class at 10:15am, those were the only times all day I saw daylight. I was also working on like 2 hours of sleep from the night before, where I was in the Costume Shop till midnight and parking sucks at my apartment so I had to park on the opposite like a mile away, so yeah I was doing great in the morning. I went straight from class to the costume shop, to work as intern and take a few hour break from my project. I was working on altering a bodice pattern for our up coming production of The Rover, I was only working for about 3 hours so I didn't get anything groundbreaking done. Especially since I had to take all the seams out, retrace, add boning casing, cut boning, and then cut the real fabric that will be flat lined to the coutil. Right now everything is cut out it just needs to be but together. It was a nice break to not have to pattern anything for a few hours. We also had a lovely party that was way over due, there was so much delicious food, but since I had been working till midnight the night before I completely forgot to bring anything.

Front Bodice
Front Bodice with waist band draped
After that I went straight to start draping the women's costume. On tuesday Howard gave me a 20 minute how to drape lesson and then sent me off. Luckily I already have an idea of how it works, its really not difficult. I worked on it for hours, it was actually quiet fun, a nice change from all the flat patterning of the male I've been working on for the past few week. I get to work in the dressing room by myself which is nice mostly because I can watch tv or put on what ever music I like. There is always something strange about watch TV at school, like I feel like your not suppose to. Any way the night before I had discovered on the BBC iPlayer there is this show called the Great British Sewing Bee, so i obviously had to check it out. I was watching it while working and then Howard came in and it was quiet entertaining to hear his comments about the show. Especially since the people on it aren't that good, like half them didn't know what under-stitching was. Like they had 2 hours to constructed a sleeveless top with facing and button loop, they had the pattern already and didn't have to fit it to anyone. Some of them where really struggling, it times like these when I actually start to feel like I actually know shit and this whole college thing actually paid off. 

Back of bodice with same
 gathering effect and waistband
Under Bodice Front
Anyway back to the draping, the female only and has like 3 pieces compared to the males 5 pieces. She has a bodice, over skirt and basic underskirt. The trickiest was balancing the bodice gathering, in the picture you can see that it is gathered on the bodice at the neckline and waistband, but across the apex of the bust it lays flat (or the bust fills that space). I had to find the right straight of grain to be able to figure it out, its not the normal parallel with centre front. I was able to find it pretty quickly and then it was just about making sure there was the right amount of gathering. The women in the rendering has a large bust then my actor does and may dress form does so it was about making it loyal to the rendering, but also make sure it fits my actor.
That is a common problem one will face in costumes, a designer will design before there is an actor and as the person constructing it you have to make sure the costume fits the actor and is still what is on the paper. 

Me on the table 
Once I got the bodice front, back and waistbands done I had to relocate as there was a dress parade for Hedda Gabler starting at 5:30pm. Since the shop closes at 5pm no one is in there was it worked just a niceley. I actually really love being in the shop after hours just me, it may sound strange but I really like
working when sitting on the table. I'm pretty sure the random people that walk past just think I'm nuts just sitting on table of the table working. But when I moved in there is was time to take what a draped and make a paper pattern. So you basically just mark everything that is on your dressform and when you take it off you lay it flat with all you marking on the fabric, on some oak tag paper. You then have to transfer all the marking, you do this using a tracing wheel that poked little whole through the paper but not the fabric, so that it light marks everything. You then make all you lines and markings pretty use your rulers and curves, now today I accidentally broke a dressmaker curve which suck but whatever, so
I was using a different curve which works just fine. Since the whole bodice its gathered, I when ahead and made an under bodice, that meant it also had to mark a lot of notches to make sure everything gets gathered in the right place. Especially since the centre front doesn't fall straight it will have to attach to the waistband at jus the place.
Do you see all those
safety pins?
Underskirt being draped
All draped

After I was done with the bodice I moved on to the skirts, the underskirt is really, really, simply its just a rectangle gathered straight across. The pattern isn't even the whole one its just a rectangle the is 11" wide that say extend 30" to the floor, so you save paper and time. The over skirt is a little more tricky, like I could see how it was done, it was just find the right way to mark the gather in the middle and pin it the right way so it drapes the right way. I think I got it after a little playing and a 100 safe pins later.
Patterns for the night
All my patterns so far
The pattern looks funny, and since there is a lot of specific gathers in this a lot of notching and marks had to be made and also had to double check that every piece lines up with the other. I got almost all the draping done and into paper patterns, the only thing I have left to drape is the back under skirt and over skirt. I'm then going to have to flat pattern the sleeve, but
luckily I actually did a sleeve very similar to this two years ago for my Pattern Drafting final, and I still have that pattern to look at. So I don't anticipate that being difficult. I still just need to add sleeve to the
males coat and his mock ups will be completely finished until the fittings.

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