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Pattern Drafting from Historical Sources

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  • watermac
    Hello, After tiring of the combination of not-quite-right/overly-expensive historical patterns available commercially, as well as looking to add some challenge
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 6, 2003
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      Hello,

      After tiring of the combination of not-quite-right/overly-expensive
      historical patterns available commercially, as well as looking to add
      some challenge to the entire design process, I am looking to embark
      into most likely highly frustrating world of pattern draft/draping.

      This is where you come in. I was hoping that someone in this
      glorious resource of a newsgroup, would be able to give me a bit of a
      push in the right direction.

      What I am really looking to be able to eventually do is to take my
      various historical source images and turn them into real-life, honest-
      to-goodness costumes. While historical accuracy of construction is
      lovely, my main concern is that the general appearance is correct. I
      am, however, looking to construct costumes that would be made
      strongly enough to withstand actual wear (ex. for an entire wedding
      reception, including dancing, etc., or walking around a city). Also,
      there is no specific time period that I want to limit myself to right
      now (i.e. before I begin this adventure), though I am interested in
      historical periods from the Mid-Middle Ages to the Mid 20th century
      (i know, that is ridiculously broad...). I would love, any and all
      information that might be available.

      So, where do I start? What books should I look at? What websites?
      Should I be simply modifying the cheaper commercial patterns or do I
      just wing it? And while I am not interested in any of the pattern
      programs out there, I do adore Adobe Photoshop and its layering
      features...mmm...so...

      All I know is that I see a lot of muslin in my future...

      Thanks for any help!

      Michelle

      P.S.
      I did succeed in my one attempt at making an entire costume from
      scratch. However, it was a gauzy drapy thing that did not require
      too much in the way of tailoring...
    • Sylvia Rognstad
      ... am well versed in it, having studied it at school and having done it now for theatres for a number of years. So I can take an image of a historical
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 7, 2003
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        >
        > How much do you know about pattern drafting? That's your first step. I
        am well versed in it, having studied it at school and having done it now
        for theatres for a number of years. So I can take an image of a
        historical garment and make my own pattern fairly easily. Of course, it
        helps to have good historical research at hand too. But I think you
        have to know a lot about patterning first.

        Sylrog
        >
        >
        > Hello,
        >
        > After tiring of the combination of not-quite-right/overly-expensive
        > historical patterns available commercially, as well as looking to add
        > some challenge to the entire design process, I am looking to embark
        > into most likely highly frustrating world of pattern
        > draft/draping. 
        >
        > This is where you come in.  I was hoping that someone in this
        > glorious resource of a newsgroup, would be able to give me a bit of a
        > push in the right direction. 
        >
        > What I am really looking to be able to eventually do is to take my
        > various historical source images and turn them into real-life, honest-
        > to-goodness costumes.  While historical accuracy of construction is
        > lovely, my main concern is that the general appearance is
        > correct.  I am, however, looking to construct costumes that would
        > be made
        > strongly enough to withstand actual wear (ex. for an entire wedding
        > reception, including dancing, etc., or walking around a city). 
        > Also, there is no specific time period that I want to limit myself to
        > right now (i.e. before I begin this adventure), though I am interested
        > in historical periods from the Mid-Middle Ages to the Mid 20th century
        > (i know, that is ridiculously broad...).  I would love, any and all
        > information that might be available.
        >
        > So, where do I start?  What books should I look at? What websites?
        > Should I be simply modifying the cheaper commercial patterns or do I
        > just wing it?  And while I am not interested in any of the pattern
        > programs out there, I do adore Adobe Photoshop and its layering
        > features...mmm...so...
        >
        > All I know is that I see a lot of muslin in my future...
        >
        > Thanks for any help!
        >
        > Michelle
        >
        > P.S.
        > I did succeed in my one attempt at making an entire costume from
        > scratch.  However, it was a gauzy drapy thing that did not require
        > too much in the way of tailoring...
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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      • Beverly Bullock
        Hi Michelle! If you re near a city or a school that has a good draping course, take that! I took draping (and pattern making) at FIT in New York, and it was a
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 7, 2003
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          Hi Michelle!
          If you're near a city or a school that has a good draping course, take that!
          I took draping (and pattern making) at FIT in New York, and it was a
          tremendous help to me!
          Good Luck-- Bev Bullock in NYC

          _________________________________________________________________
          STOP MORE SPAM with the new MSN 8 and get 2 months FREE*
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        • Ana's Accoutremonts
          For a book on Draping, try Fashion Draping from Fairchild Publishing. It is a very useful textbook. For tips on drafting patterns of period costumes, try
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 8, 2003
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            For a book on Draping, try Fashion Draping from Fairchild Publishing.
            It is a very useful textbook. For tips on drafting patterns of period
            costumes, try Patterns for Theatrical Costumes by Katherine Holkeboer,
            and The Evolution of Fashion 1066 to 1930, by Hill & Buchnell.

            The real trick is learning to analyze an historical design and break it
            into constituent parts: sleeves, bodice, skirts, neckline. Then,
            because my clients are usually more concerned with comfort and
            appearance than authentic construction, I find modern patterns that
            contribute the general design, and make changes as appropriate (lengthen
            hems, shorten sleeves, etc.).

            Of course the mother lode of historical construction information is in
            Janet Arnold's three books: Patterns of Fashion. But don't take even
            these as gospel truth--there are errors even in them. Use your sense
            about what a good seamstress might have done, in a time when materials
            were far dearer than labor.

            Feel free to email me about specific techniques, although I'm better at
            "faking" and "shortcutting" than authentic.

            Ana
            ana@...

            Sylvia Rognstad wrote:

            > >
            > > How much do you know about pattern drafting? That's your first step. I
            > am well versed in it, having studied it at school and having done it now
            > for theatres for a number of years. So I can take an image of a
            > historical garment and make my own pattern fairly easily. Of course, it
            > helps to have good historical research at hand too. But I think you
            > have to know a lot about patterning first.
            >
            > Sylrog
            > >
            > >
            > > Hello,
            > >
            > > After tiring of the combination of not-quite-right/overly-expensive
            > > historical patterns available commercially, as well as looking to add
            > > some challenge to the entire design process, I am looking to embark
            > > into most likely highly frustrating world of pattern
            > > draft/draping. 
            > >
            > > This is where you come in.  I was hoping that someone in this
            > > glorious resource of a newsgroup, would be able to give me a bit of a
            > > push in the right direction. 
            > >
            > > What I am really looking to be able to eventually do is to take my
            > > various historical source images and turn them into real-life, honest-
            > > to-goodness costumes.  While historical accuracy of construction is
            > > lovely, my main concern is that the general appearance is
            > > correct.  I am, however, looking to construct costumes that would
            > > be made
            > > strongly enough to withstand actual wear (ex. for an entire wedding
            > > reception, including dancing, etc., or walking around a city). 
            > > Also, there is no specific time period that I want to limit myself to
            > > right now (i.e. before I begin this adventure), though I am interested
            > > in historical periods from the Mid-Middle Ages to the Mid 20th century
            > > (i know, that is ridiculously broad...).  I would love, any and all
            > > information that might be available.
            > >
            > > So, where do I start?  What books should I look at? What websites?
            > > Should I be simply modifying the cheaper commercial patterns or do I
            > > just wing it?  And while I am not interested in any of the pattern
            > > programs out there, I do adore Adobe Photoshop and its layering
            > > features...mmm...so...
            > >
            > > All I know is that I see a lot of muslin in my future...
            > >
            > > Thanks for any help!
            > >
            > > Michelle
            > >
            > > P.S.
            > > I did succeed in my one attempt at making an entire costume from
            > > scratch.  However, it was a gauzy drapy thing that did not require
            > > too much in the way of tailoring...
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
            > >
            > >
            > > ADVERTISEMENT
            > >
            > > var lrec_target="_blank";
            > > var lrec_URL = new Array();
            > > lrec_URL[1] =
            > >
            > "http://rd.yahoo.com/M=253924.3419659.4700922.1261774/D=egroupweb/S=1707300337:HM/A=1380983/R=0/id=flashurl/*http://companion.yahoo.com/config/features5";
            > > var link="javascript:LRECopenWindow(1)";
            > > var lrec_flashfile =
            > >
            > 'http://us.a1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/a/ya/yahoo_companion/pop_lrec_comp.swf?clickTAG='+link+'';
            > <http://us.a1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/a/ya/yahoo_companion/pop_lrec_comp.swf?clickTAG=%27+link+%27%27;>
            > > var lrec_altURL =
            > >
            > "http://rd.yahoo.com/M=253924.3419659.4700922.1261774/D=egroupweb/S=1707300337:HM/A=1380983/R=1/id=altimgurl/*http://companion.yahoo.com/config/features5";
            > > var lrec_altimg =
            > >
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            > > var lrec_width = 300;
            > > var lrec_height = 250;
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            > >
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            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > > TheCostumersManifesto-unsubscribe@egroups.com
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
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            --
            Ana Foscari
            Ana's Accoutremonts
            "We Fit EVERY Body!"
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            (toll free) 1-888-SEW-FITS

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            Pray for Peace."





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • AF Murphy
            I d recommend _The Costume Technician s Handbook_ by Elizabeth Covey and Rosemary Ingraham. It gives very good basic instructions for pattern drafting. Once
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 8, 2003
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              I'd recommend _The Costume Technician's Handbook_ by Elizabeth Covey
              and Rosemary Ingraham. It gives very good basic instructions for pattern
              drafting. Once you understand the basic concept, you can adapt it for
              most styles. Since they are writing for theatrical costumers, they take
              it for granted that you will be working with costumes from many
              different periods. You might want to try to get it from a library,
              first, as a new edition, including information about computer drafting,
              is in the works, though I have no idea when they expect it to be
              available. They also wrote _The Costume Designer's Handbook_

              If you care most about general appearance and durability, books for
              theatre costume will give you what you need. In theatre, no matter how
              we try, sometimes precise accuracy must be sacrificed for the sake of
              quick changes, the ability to read design from the back of the house,
              etc. And everything must be durable!

              You will also want to look at books such as Janet Arnold's Patterns of
              Fashions series. She gives the actual patterns for extant pieces. Now,
              you can't just copy them exactly - these were made to fit specific
              people, whose measurements we don't have - but it is a wonderful guide
              to the shape of the pieces that produced a certain effect. There are
              other similar books. (Nancy Bradfield and Nora Waugh are other authors
              to look for.)

              Draping is also wonderful, and there are some styles you can only really
              make with it. Depending on who you are sewing for, however, it has
              limitations. You must drape on either the person who will wear the
              garment, or an extremely exact dress form. If measurements or
              proportions are off, the garment will be, too. One thing to remember in
              historic clothing is that RTW is pretty much a 20th century concept, and
              it influenced our notions of fit. When most things were custom made,
              they could, and did, fit much more closely, because the design did not
              have to accommodate a wide range of body types.

              Anne

              watermac wrote:
              > Hello,
              >
              > After tiring of the combination of not-quite-right/overly-expensive
              > historical patterns available commercially, as well as looking to add
              > some challenge to the entire design process, I am looking to embark
              > into most likely highly frustrating world of pattern draft/draping.
              >
              > This is where you come in. I was hoping that someone in this
              > glorious resource of a newsgroup, would be able to give me a bit of a
              > push in the right direction.
              >
              > What I am really looking to be able to eventually do is to take my
              > various historical source images and turn them into real-life, honest-
              > to-goodness costumes. While historical accuracy of construction is
              > lovely, my main concern is that the general appearance is correct. I
              > am, however, looking to construct costumes that would be made
              > strongly enough to withstand actual wear (ex. for an entire wedding
              > reception, including dancing, etc., or walking around a city). Also,
              > there is no specific time period that I want to limit myself to right
              > now (i.e. before I begin this adventure), though I am interested in
              > historical periods from the Mid-Middle Ages to the Mid 20th century
              > (i know, that is ridiculously broad...). I would love, any and all
              > information that might be available.
              >
              > So, where do I start? What books should I look at? What websites?
              > Should I be simply modifying the cheaper commercial patterns or do I
              > just wing it? And while I am not interested in any of the pattern
              > programs out there, I do adore Adobe Photoshop and its layering
              > features...mmm...so...
              >
              > All I know is that I see a lot of muslin in my future...
              >
              > Thanks for any help!
              >
              > Michelle
              >
              > P.S.
              > I did succeed in my one attempt at making an entire costume from
              > scratch. However, it was a gauzy drapy thing that did not require
              > too much in the way of tailoring...
              >
              >
              >
            • watermac
              ... Actually, I don t really have much experience with pattern drafting (or draping), just pattern tweaking. I suppose my real question is, based on my goals,
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 9, 2003
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                > > How much do you know about pattern drafting?
                > That's your first step.

                Actually, I don't really have much experience with pattern drafting
                (or draping), just pattern tweaking. I suppose my real question is,
                based on my goals, where is a good place to start? At the moment, I
                cannot take any classes, at least until next semester (trying to
                focus on the masters degree...). In the meantime, do you have any
                suggestions of how to start teaching myself?

                Thanks

                Michelle
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