Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Menswear by Metropolitan Frock: The button back shirt

I've really missed Etsy's Alchemy. It was a great place for people to ask for whatever they wished to be created by a talented Etsy artisan at a fair price. And it was a great place for someone like me to make new and interesting garments or crafts for someone who's desired item didn't exist or was hard to find. 
Well they've brought it back...sort of.  About a month ago, I joined the Etsy team called Custom Order Corner:  The New Alchemy.  The same principals apply, a requestor posts a thread requesting to have something made; An artisan sends a convo to bid on the item(s); The requestor selects the perfect bid and negotiates the details with the artisan and then the fun begins. 
For the past month, I've had the unique opportunity to work with a fellow Etsyian to create a stylish men's shirt that he saw online.  

 Here's the original inspiration shirt from a French website (go figure)

Work in progress...Elements of the first concept

And the second...I shipped this sample for him to try on for "size". Hmm...minor problem with the dimensions. 


Third times the charm...Redrafted pattern and made the necessary adjustments, i.e. shorten sleeve about 2", narrow cuff ~1", taper waist to a slimmer fit & bring in shoulder about 1/2 on each side. First virtual fitting I've ever done. :)  
Success! Fitted to perfection!

The client was very pleased (despite the serious look) and I was totally shocked and thrilled with the result. 

Maybe I'll delve a little into menswear again for a while. 

Stay tuned, there's more to see! 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Adventures in Pattern design

Okay, I know it's been half a year since I've blogged, only because I have had a lot going on lately. Fast forward, what I'm doing now is learning Transformational Reconstruction pattern design techniques. It is a technique developed by Shingo Sato of Tokyo.  I have been having so much fun with it. Actually I'm learning a lot about pattern making through using this technique using ready made patterns.  I'd previously had some difficulty learning flat pattern-making, so this technique opened my mind to the art of displacing darts in order to achieve different sculptural or artistic shapes in my garments. Thanks to this technique, I understand the concept much better now.
There are a group of videos on youtube showing examples of the TR pattern design process. There's also a book available with DVD's at  I've purchased the book, and I'm waiting on it to arrive, so I'll share some of it with you when I get it. 
I've done a little experimenting already and I have a couple of projects to show you. 

1.  Here's my take on a 3d design draping technique. I'm happy with the way it turned out for a first try, but next time I'll add less volume.  I used a scrap of brown satin, which I backed with black cotton.

2. After trying the bodice, I thought I'd learned a little something, so I decided to try removing the dart    from a pencil skirt pattern. I wanted to add a contrast design in the skirt so I cut a modified diamond shape in the front and back.  I used a fun cotton print I had on hand and black pique fabric. 
 Front-close up
  Back-close up
 Front-full view
 Back-full view

Sorry, I don't have the step by step photos. I was anxious to get it done. I'll be sure to take photos and explain the process next time. 

TTYL...Stay tuned, there's more to see.

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