Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Creative Challenge

So, I've not been very creative recently. I've been feeling it and wanting to make something but every time I've sat down recently I've become frustrated. I was starting to feel like I'd lost my mojo...
I started catching up on old series of Project Runway. I know a new one has just started but I'd never seen it before and wanted to get a feel for it before I committed. Ridiculous I know, but I like to test the water when it comes to series on TV. Mainly because I don't have one and watch everything on-line. That way, if I get annoyed, I can skip straight to the last episode to see who wins these kind of shows. Cheating? Yes I know.

Anyway, I started watching Project Runway and was getting annoyed at their 'draping' skills. For those who aren't sure what this is, draping is basically getting a dress-form / mannequin and your material, not using a pattern and creating your own piece by pinning and cutting (and lots of swearing!). They made it look so easy on the TV so I thought I'd give it a go. Bearing in mind I had never done it before I thought this would be a good, new challenge to get my creative juices going.
I started with my dress form, who is currently un-named (I'm open to suggestions) and my fabric. The fabric was a few metres of this gorgeous cotton that I bought a few years ago. I made a skirt out of it a few months back and still had a metre or so to play with. This turned out to be an important factor because I know that if I messed it up while cutting, I would have wasted a metre of this pretty material. I got a real sweat on about this.
So I started draping, pinning the fabric, bunching it up and started cutting. At this point I didn't know what I wanted to make or how I wanted it to look. I just pinned and cut hoping for the best. I love off the shoulder tops and I kept getting an oriental feel from the pattern so I made a rough Kimono shape. But, being cotton it was quite stiff and just didn't hang like a silk kimono would. So I snipped and cut and pinned a little more and ended up with this shape at the front.

I just kept cutting and cutting, still not really knowing how I wanted it to look. The shaping was the most difficult part. I had to shape just one side of the fabric, make the centre of the body then take the fabric off, fold it and try and copy the shaping on the other side. Quite a few times I had to step back and check that I was going in the right direction...

Once the basic shape of the top was complete I had to make sure it fit me properly before I started to sew. My dress form is real close to my actual dress size, but some of the proportions aren't quite right. In real life my body is a lot stumpier than the dress form so I had to be careful with sizing it right.

The total pain in the backside was the finishing. I went all around the whole top with black lace of two different thickness's to give it a professional look (and to hide my shady sewing!)

My favourite part has to be the side. It's a really cheeky tie-up side that shows a little bit of bra and a little bit of skin. I'm not in any way a Hoe-bag but I think a little bit of skin is flirty. It'll only be my husband who notices anyway!
For my first attempt at draping and making something completely without a pattern and specifically to fit me I'm really pleased. I had absolutely no direction, no inspiration and NO CLUE how I was going to go about it, but I got there in the end! This is something I am going to do again for sure, because I found it so easy to just start cutting and sewing and going with it, until I ended up with a finished piece.

Has any of my blog followers ever tried this technique? What did you make?
The finished piece from the back
The finished piece from the front

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