One thing that is unique about our corset company is that we make a new pattern for each customer. Once you see what goes into making a pattern, you will understand why this is such a big deal. It is rarely done anymore, because it is so difficult and time consuming. Most designers are not draping their own patterns. They hire a pattern maker, or send their sketched designs to a foreign country. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and some of the world’s top couture designers do it. We chose a different path here at ani&ari because we value the traditional methods of the design process.
There is no simple way to describe making a pattern, but we are going to do our best to share our process.
You begin to make a pattern by creating an outline of the shape of the desired garment. For this blog, we will be making a new underbust pattern.
I won’t go too much in detail about this, but it is important to know that there are reasons for multiple pattern pieces. You cannot just take one piece of fabric and wrap it around the body and expect it to fit. Pattern making is truly an art, in the sense that you must sculpt the fabric around the body in a way that’s comfortable, flattering, and beautiful. It is a skill that some people just don’t have, and luckily Danielle is an expert.
Once you have figured out the shape, the next step is transferring it to fabric. Muslin is a thin and inexpensive cotton fabric used for draping and pattern making by designers. Before you make any garment you must get the fabric on grain. Properly aligned grain is the key to a well-made garment. You probably know more about grain than you think. Have you ever tried on a cheap T-shirt and had the side seams twist around your body? Or after one wash it magically has taken a new shape? That is the result of fabric being off grain. You want the grain, or weave of the fabric, to be straight, even and square. This takes a lot of stretching, ironing and sometimes even wrestling. If we had an intern, this is what they’d do 😉
The next step is draping the muslin over the outline of the garment. You then pin the fabric together where the seams are going to be.
After you get all the pattern pieces connected you take them off, press them, and trace what you’ve made on to paper. From there you smooth out the edges of the pattern lines.
After making sure that the paper pattern matches up perfectly, you add the seam allowance. The most important part of all of this is testing a pattern before you make anything out of expensive fabric.
TADAAAAAA!!! Pattern Piece!
Check back for more peeks inside the studio! Happy Monday y’all 😉