Monday, May 14, 2012

Il Modellismo Adventure, Part 1 -Skirt




Happy Monday, everyone! I have been neglecting my blog a little bit recently- so much work in my day-time job, and all the time at home I was absolutely swamped with learning material for my new pattern making program. I have finally learned the use of basic tools of the software, so I can move on and learn as I draft something more pro-active than tutorial provided pattern blocks. 

The first dilemma that stood before me was "What drafting method should I start with?" I researched a few of them and noticed that some involve more calculations and measurements needed than others (eg.: Muller and Sons vs Japanese methods). My seamstress friend Julia, from Sewing Galaxy (blog is in German, but you can catch up with her on Burdastyle.com), has become my great muse on the subject. She has been learning pattern drafting for a while now and all her new projects are a great work. She basically ends up re-drafting commercial patterns a lot of the times, so I asked where to turn for a good advice to.

 The communities I am currently on are more oriented on a ready made pattern users (Burdastyle.com, Sew Weekly Sewing Circle, Burda Fashion (Russian) and although there is a massive amount of books and articles online on pattern drafting, choosing the simpler one to start with seems to be a sensible thing to do.


Julia speaks very highly of Japanese method, and I know a lot of people fascinated with the likes of Pattern Magic or Drape Drape techniques. I do own both of those titles, but somehow, I didn't find them very comprehensive for a novice like me, particularly due to the language issues too. I do like things explained in plain English ( or Russian- I am bilingual after all). So after Julia mentioned the Japanese, she also advised me to join СЕЗОН, which is a huge Russian sewing website and community, which enormous forum discussions on pattern drafting methods. 

Before I continue, I have to point out that in general, Russian seamstresses seem to be at a much higher average level than their western collegues. Partially due to the history of the poorer economical situation, partially the strong tradition of sewing skills.

I learned to sew as a part of compulsory home economics subject in school, which one would take every year from the age of 10 to 16-ish. I am not sure what is the system like now, but we are talking late 80's-early 90's. The dressmaking discussions on Russian sewing forums are on a different planet sometimes, the standards are so high, it is purely intimidating, even for an attention seeker (LOL) like me. And though I never have an issue of entering a discussion, it took all my confidence to even ask a simple question at first, as it felt like a junior infant standing before a university professor. All I have is a huge gratitude that I speak the language, to someday be able to communicate sewing matters on that level myself.

 I don't want to rub it in too much for those who do not speak Russian, which is perhaps 90% of my readers, but I think, I must share my discoveries here as I go deeper into my pattern drafting adventure. I believe in spreading the knowledge!

One of the simpler methods our Russian seamstress community suggests actually comes from Italy. 


It is wonderfully presented in  Il Modellismo:  a book on italian pattern drafting method plus fashion sketches and corresponding pattern alteration for Women, Children and Men. The book is bilingual, Italian and English, with a thorough description of sizes, taking measurements, ease charts and pattern drafting illustrations for each sketch. It really reads easily enough and simply a beautiful book- simply Italian! 

To start with here are a few pages with basic information and charts needed to use the method. (Click to zoom)




My first attempt, naturally, was a skirt sloper. With skirts I have been avoiding pencil styles recently, as they do not flatter my wider thighs, making my bottom look much bigger than it probably is. 


While taking my measurements, I never thought that the widest part of my hips, which determines the measurement, should include the bulges on the thighs too, therefore, narrow style skirts would always pull across just below the hips. ( Hey, I do realise this is baby talk, but it might be helpful for some too- I am going to share all my concerns as they arise- regardless of complexity)

This time I measured the widest point over the thighs and it happened to be the larger circumference to measuring the hips over the buttocks widest point. So there are that 2cm difference pulling across my skirts. And it was much lower than the buttocks too, (oh, the human body is so strange!) After I drafted the skirt sloper using that low hip depth, the pulling stopped and it was absolutely perfect. Ready to play with the styles! 

Now piece of advice with the darts using this method: (for skirts and trousers) 

Il Modellismo does not give custom calculations for the dart, they just add fixed dart measurements of 2cm on the front and 3 at the back. As every body is different, the implementation of this method is not ideal. Basically, if the stomach is flat- no dart might be needed at all, and if there is a prominent tummy and flat buttocks, there might be no need for the dart at the back either. So everyone has to still adjust the fixed numbers offered by the method using, I suppose, some common sense and trying the pattern out on the muslin. And here is this old fact of sewing again- muslins are invaluable for achieving the perfect fit! 

Overall, the skirt pattern drafting using Il Modellismo method was very easy and seemed to produce good results too. I will try to whip up something based on this draft soon to showcase my work. 

I hope this was helpful. All information and guidelines are here if you want to join me in learning this pattern drafting method. I will be posting more about it in future. And I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject, so do not be shy to comment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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4 comments:

  1. Yes, it was helpful or al least very intersting to read this post!
    It is hard work to navigate the jungle of the different pattern drafting schools and also to use the digital media for it.
    As to me, I am and will continue to be a hobbyist and it is exciting to learn more and more. I am going to catch my eye now on this 'Modellisimo' book... .

    Immi

    ReplyDelete
  2. Indeed Immi, but I realise that drafting for a standard figure is less challenging than actually for a real figure. At the end of the day all commercial patterns need adjusting to your own measurements. I am going to experiment with this method a little thogh and also post some guides to drafting- anyone can save them and use if they want

    ReplyDelete
  3. Indeed Immi, but I recognise that creating for a conventional determine is less complicated than actually for a actual determine. At the end of the day all professional styles need modifying to your own dimensions. I am going to research with this technique a little thogh and also publish some books to drafting- anyone can preserve them and use if they want Spybubble

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