Sunday, December 9, 2007

Analysis Paralysis - Coverting Darts to Pleats

Have you ever seen the movie Meteor Man with Robert Townsend? In the movie, one of this super powers is the ability to read an entire book by simply touching it (I bet you already know where I'm going here). If only I could walk into the library at FIT or Parsons and learn everything I ever needed to know about garment design, fit, and construction by running down the isles like a 5 year old touching every book in sight..... *daydreaming*.......

Alas, this is not a dream that can come true and I remain patient as a learn these invaluable techniques the old fashioned way: friends, books and my own creativity. When I set out to recreate the Rebecca Taylor dress from the Simplicity 3631 Jumper, I knew I had a design and fit and construction challenge on my hands. I had to convert the bodice side dart to pleats that lined up with the pleats in the skirt and still complement my figure. This is was also my first project with a knit fabric so had to prepare.

I think I spent a little too much time analyzing and preparing for this project. As much as a wanted everything to come out perfectly the first time I had to realize a mistake isn't the worst thing in the world. In fact, mistakes are seldom forgotten or repeated and are the backbone of one's "experience". So stop researching and with the resources I gathered in hand I relied on what I already knew and started making the dress. I want to share the technique (by way of trail and error) I used to convert my darts to pleats in the bodice. I was so hyped once it came together!!!!

Darts to Pleats
What helped me figure this one out is what I knew to be true about darts: When used for fitting, darts gather fabric surrounding a curve. It will always point to the highest point of the curve, yet not quite reach it. Since I was eliminating the bust dart I knew the waist pleat must serve the same purpose to achieve the proper fit. The waist pleat is essentially a dart that is partially sewn and pressed down the center instead of to the side.

So to make the pleat I cut traced the pattern onto fresh pattern paper and cut the dart out. The next step is to match the edges of the dart together and tape them down. The pattern will have a pucker as it would have on the garment. I cut a straight line from the bottom parallel to center front and directly under my bust point. I used the distance from the bust point of the original dart to guide me on when to stop cutting the line. As this point, the goal is to cut of whatever paper was left that prevented the pattern from laying flat again. I achieved this by cutting another line from the bust point down the bottom again. I did shift over the placement of the pleat so that is lines up perfectly with the skirt pleat. This is what the pattern looked like in the end. See the original dart below.
This is the muslin in its early stages.

BUST Magazine Craftacular
I went to the Bust Magazine's Holiday Craftacular event yesterday. I wasn't too impressed but I think it was due to my expectations. I thought it would be full (or half full) of things for me to make or meet people who own crafting businesses in the city. The event was actually for the non-crafter who wanted to buy (often overpriced) stuff from crafty businesses. Below are 2 noteworthy booths:

-Diana Rupp's Make Workshop: The author of the awesome beginners sewing guide "Sew Everything Workshop" and owner of the Make Workshop in the Lower East Side was there. I frequented her awesome craft studio and I highly recommend it if you want to learn a new craft. I told her about the acclaim she's received in the blog community (I showed her Toya's review) and she was delighted and flattered.

-Cara Taylor Handbags: Cara is a clever crafty environmentalist. She crotchets the cutest bag out of used plastic shopping bags!

BWOF Mag!!
Mimi and I have been coveting the Sept 07 issue of Burda World of Fashion and thanks to the miracle of EBay we now have our own issues. YAY!


Adrienne said...

Can't wait to see your dress finished up! Glad you got the issue of BWOF that you wanted!

christina said...

Your pattern modifications seem to be coming along nicely.

A lot of times I go to those craft fairs just to get ideas for myself!

Lashell said...

I can't wait to see the dress. Are you using knit fabric as the muslin?

Erica B. said...

Work it out! That dress is going to be a knock out!

Sheila said...

The jumper dress is coming along nicely. I tend to over analyze and prep for a project for days then final dive in or procrastinate even Great tutorial on the dart to pleats.

Mimi said...

Yay! for us :)


Faye Lewis said...

You are really stepping out of the box with your sewing - stepping into designing. I think it's great.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Cindy - glad to see that you've started to work on the dress and you are making great progress. The craft show sounds interesting, where was it?

gold said...

I have never alter a pattern.That is one thing I want to learn how to do.You are doing a great job can't wait to see your dress.

artist1lisa said...

That dress is going to be fabulous.So great to find another crafty sister.

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