Draping 101

I never liked flat pattern. To me it was too structured, too boring, too much like math (probably because it IS math) When I was just starting out (many, MANY moons ago) I used to make a sketch and then hit up the fabric stores to browse through all the available patterns for the very closest silhouette to my sketch. I would then cut it out (as is) using myself as the fit model to make the necessary adjustments. It was a process that I really didn't enjoy (because let’s face it) it was cheating. So, even though I lived for the end result, I never was able to take much pride in my accomplishments as a designer. It was only when I became confident in my draping skills that I really began to realize that there was so much more to be discovered in that process. It’s when you really understand the movement and can “connect” with your textile, that you get THAT detail, that one perfect element that really elevates your design to the next level. It’s like sculpting with fabric, it’s free form and so liberating from “the world of flat pattern.”

I feel that most designers I meet that consider clothing to be their “expression” (their art) do not like flat pattern either (probably for the same reasons.)

You know, working with several students from the Academy of Arts in a textiles program as the “Britex Ambassador” (I loved that title) I was shocked to find out that they didn't even offer a suitable draping class! I don’t get it… but it motivates me to offer draping 101 to anyone who might think “am I doing this right?.. can it REALLY be this simple, this free?” The answer is “YES!” and it should also be free in a monetary sense and so…. STAY TUNED for my answer to this draping dilemma.