Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pretty Pretty Dresses

magical time of year

I get many requests on how to make my dresses/bodices etc. or what patterns I used for them. I made the patterns myself. It took much trial error. You can see my trials in some of my earlier pieces. I used information I found on the web as well as patterns I found at my local thrift store and fabric store to help me figure out how to draft. I also studied garments at local stores, my closet, and the thrift store. Then I pooled all that information together and winged it. Click the Read More! link for help finding patterns of the sort I like, drafting patterns, and altering patterns to suit your needs.

Method 1: Draping

When I made my initial pattern for my bodice that pretty much most of my other bodices are based off of, it went something like this. That's a link to Goofipinay's thread showing how she made her from dress. Of course, I did not have a dress form-- and I still don't since I can't find one that doesn't suck -- so I had to do the pinning on myself. It's difficult but doable.

Method 2: Pattern Drafting

Some links to help with that:

Modern Pattern Design- See Chapter 2

Basic Sloper pattern from Burdastyle -- also see the how tos


Thread Banger-- see corset pattern

Don McCunn-- videos

WhattheCraft-- I used her circle skirt tutorial

Kuky Ideas Shirring Tutorial-- I sometimes use shirring on the back of my bodices.

Threadbanger Video on Shirring

Also see crafting and sewing forums such as Crafster, Threadbanger, Cosplay.com, and Burdastyle.

Also, check out my DIY Link post, which will be updated soon-ish.

Method 3: Already made Pattern

Hey, this kind of looks familiar...

And her best friend

Yellow Ball Gown/dress from Modern Sewing Patterns. I've linked it before, but it appears that link is broken. It is free. I've never used their patterns though, so I don't know about fit and can't vouch for them. The pieces look to be shaped right though. If anyone does use it--or any patterns from that site-- do let us know how it worked.

If you wish to buy a pattern, I recommend going for a vintage pattern. My designs are inspired by the New Look period, which was from about the end of WWII to the mid 60s. Patterns from the 70s or earlier also fit better. Also, some pattern companies are reproducing some of their vintage patterns. Unfortunately, I do think they've been resized to the modern sizing system, which doesn't fit well.

Can't find a pattern the perfectly matches what you want? Remember that patterns can be mixed, matched, and altered to suit your needs. The only important part in my dresses is the fitted bodice. I always freehand my skirts since they are simple geometric shapes: either a circle (donut) or a large rectangle gathered to fit the bodice. Once you have a fitted bodice, it's easy to alter it to all sorts of shapes.

The same things applies to tutorials. You can take parts from tutorials or even whole tutorials and apply them to other projects. Break your project up into parts. You'll find it easier to find everything you need to complete it.

Working on finals,

Ivy Frozen


Paisley Girl said...

Very informative. I have been watching fashion shows lately on tv and my love for fashion designing is slowly coming back. I'd love to try making clothes instead of picking out something horrid from the racks. I wonder if this would work for a gal with a little more cushioning? ;-) I'm going to try it and see. This shall be my new venture. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and know-how with us.

Paisley Girl said...

Oh, and you answered my question on what to wear ruby shoes to. LOL! Love the choice. Very cute.

A glance at my world said...

Thanks for all the info and links :)

Ivy Frozen said...

no prob =) And thank you, Paisley Girl. Let us know if it works out for you.

Mrs Bear said...

love this too :D