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Experimenting with Draping

I bought 2 meters of soiled chiffon sometime ago, purely just to have a mess about with, well for 2 euros I couldn't pass upon it.... this is the result of that messing...  

I split the fabric into three rectangles and just pinned it to the mannequin, creating pleats until I was happy.

 To keep the pleats in place I basted them by hand whilst it was still on the mannequin. Once removed I gave it a quick press using the steam setting with the iron.

The skirt/bottom half I didn't drape on the mannequin. I stitched the sides together, to act as a side seam, from there I figured out roughly where the center front and center back should go and stitched the top (bra pieces?) to the skirt part.

 As I wanted a gathered look I used narrow elastic around 5mm wide. Cut this to length by loosly tieing  it around the waist. Then pinned it to the skirt piece in a few sections before sewing it in place, stretching as I went....

With the elastic in place, I turned it over on it's self and stitched around it again.

I even stitched the shoulders to help the pleats stay mostly where they should. 

I chucked it on for good measure to see how it looked.
All in all it wasn't bad experiment, some of the things I can take away from in are

  • pleats do need to be hand tacked in place to stop them moving around or use a crisp fabric like organza steamed with in an inch of its life, to hold.
  • underpinnings would provide a solid foundation for a formal garment 
  • skirt fabric needs to be double the width if not triple to give a better gathered effect which would also benefit from being partially gathered by hand before elastic is added
  • elastic needs to be of good quality with strong stretch.

Do you enjoy experimenting and playing with ideas to aid your learning process?


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