Chapter 1 – Introduction Fashion is something that will always be changing, innovative, and exciting. Making your statement or impact on the fashion industry can be rewarding and profitable if you have the creativity to keep fashion new and exciting. You can be a part of creating a new fashion trend by designing and creating your own fashionably exciting dress. In dressmaking, the biggest obstacle to overcome is creating a dress that is perfect...
Chapter 1 – Introduction
Fashion is something that will always be changing, innovative, and exciting. Making your statement or impact on the fashion industry can be rewarding and profitable if you have the creativity to keep fashion new and exciting. You can be a part of creating a new fashion trend by designing and creating your own fashionably exciting dress.
In dressmaking, the biggest obstacle to overcome is creating a dress that is perfect for you. No two figures are exactly alike, so by making your own clothing, you have the advantage over shopping from the rack in knowing that the clothing you are wearing was made just for you and your body shape. You achieve the perfect fit that is most flattering for you.
Dressmaking is not as hard as some make it out to be. You can design a dress perfect for you by either studying already designed patterns and altering them to fit your body style, or you can create your own dress from using what you know works for you. Once you have a design in mind, the rest is a breeze.
You can copy an already popular style on the market, study fashion magazines with the latest fads, or create a scrapbook of several different styles of dresses you love and incorporate different aspects of each into a design of your own creation. However, you come up with your dress design; making it yourself will be the most rewarding thing you do when it comes to your fashion wardrobe.
Chapter 2 – Figure Type
Because everyone’s figure varies, you must know your figure type and all of its faults. This will make it easier for you to choose a flattering style of dress for you whether it is by an already made pattern, or one you design on your own.
Choosing a pattern can be fun especially if you have already done your homework and know what is in and what will never go out, such as the little black dress. You can find a wide variety of dress patterns online or at your local fabric store. When you have the dress design in mind, pattern books can offer an interesting amount of variations of the particular basic design.
The skirt part of a dress may appeal to you more on one pattern then the next and the bodice may appeal to you more or sleeve style, neck line, etc. You can take these different aspects of a dress, incorporate them into one, and create your own design/pattern. When looking at a variety of patterns, keep a pencil and some paper handy to jot down pattern numbers and ideas to make it easier for you when you are ready to commit. Often times, out of date pattern books can be picked up at fabric stores for a very little price if not free. This is a great way to start a library of different ideas.
Patterns are full of various figure types. Figure types are grouped according to height and proportion and based off two main measurements –height, and neck to waist length. Choose your pattern(s) to suit your figure type. To find your figure type stand in front of a mirror in just your under garments that would typically be worn under your dress. Take your measurements of bust, waist, and hips. Get someone to help you take your measurements of height and neck to waist length.
Neck to waist length should be taken from your backside for best fitting bodice. Compare these measurements with that of a size chart. For example, if your bust measured 36 inches, waist 27 inches, and hips measured 38 inches you would be looking at a dress size of woman’s 14. Choose your pattern sizes accordingly. When your measurements fall between two categorized sizes, always choose the larger size of the two. That leaves you room for making alterations to make your garment fit you perfectly.
On the next page, you will find a Measurement Keeper. Make one for anyone you intend on sewing for.
Measurement Keeper: Name_______________
Back – neck to waist: __________
Shoulder width: __________
Back width – armhole to armhole: __________
Shoulder length – right: __________
Shoulder length – left: __________
Front bodice – center front: __________
Front bodice – right: __________
Front bodice – left: __________
Side bodice – right: __________
Side bodice – left: __________
Chest – above bust: __________
Chest – on bust at front: __________
Chest – diaphragm: __________
Upper arm: __________
Shoulder to elbow: __________
Sleeve length: __________
Center – neck to hem: __________
Waist to hem: __________