C U T T E R ‘ S M U S T
F I N A L S K E T C H E S
the only change I made from my original design was the base skirt – I decided to change it from a gathered a-line skirt to a basic a-line skirt for a cleaner look after trying on my muslin prototype.
I L L U S T R A T I O N
ink and watercolor
S K I R T R E F L E C T I O N
My first skirt design was quite an experience. I experimented with draping for the first time and decided to incorporate pleats into my skirt. I first draped the pleats on a half-scale mannequin, and then transferred it to full scale by gridding. The process was very time consuming, but I managed to accurately get the design I wanted. For the base of my skirt, which is a basic A-line skirt, I used the patterns from my straight muslin skirt and made a new silhouette by closing the darts and shortening the original.
Flowing gowns and the prominent use of flowers in the Aesthetic movement, which I wrote about for my research paper, were the inspirations for my design. I wanted the skirt to have a flower-like and flowing effect. Flower petals inspired the left side panels. However, unlike the gowns of the Aesthetic movement, I shortened the skirt greatly for a more modern look that suited my body – since I am not very tall, a shorter skirt would be more flattering on me.
For the fabric choices, I used two yards of cotton voile and one yard of linen. I loved working with the linen because it was easy to control. I learned that I could not iron on the right side of the linen since it had gold detail on it, which would stick to a hot iron. However, I would love to work with this fabric again. On the other hand, the cotton voile was very difficult to work with since it is very slippery and I had to iron it constantly to control it, making the pleating process especially difficult. Since the fabric is very delicate, I did a bias baby hem, which was also very time consuming. I also didn’t expect the fabric to have a curling effect, which was a nice surprise since it contributed to a flowing effect of the skirt and made the layers seem as if they are the curling petals of a flower. After all the hard work, I love the effect that this fabric gives off, but I would avoid cotton voile again unless it is crucial to my design, like this one.
I learned so much about construction: from adjusting patterns, increasing its scale, to sewing carefully on delicate fabrics. I put in a lot of effort to make the bias baby hem neat: since it is my first time sewing such a delicate fabric, I practiced multiple times before I actually sewed on the skirt. I learned that the bias of fabrics is especially strong and stretchy, and also how to sew an invisible zipper. If I were to make the skirt again, I would keep the design, but make my pleats neater and identical on the front and back of the skirt. I would keep the linen fabric, and choose a fabric stronger than cotton voile. I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if I were to use a very rigid fabric for the outside layers of the skirt instead the delicately soft one I chose. However, I do not regret using cotton voile since it contributed to the delicate effect I wanted to convey.
Overall, I learned so much about how to make a garment from its sketch to the final product, and I am very satisfied with the results since I tried my best in every step of the way.
F I N A L P I C T U R E S