Soft Structures Funky Tower (Muslin)

To begin my muslin, I needed to make a model of the funky tower that I wanted to create out of bristol paper before I could create the pattern pieces. To do this I started with drawing the middle piece, and drawing the face of the top piece on it so that I could then create the top piece and then the bottom piece. To make the tower funky, all the angles are skewed and each corner length is different, although each matching corner length needed to match its mate. Once I had drawn and cut out the pieces, I assembled the model with tape and then taped the model down to another piece of bristol board and drew the edges to later make the bottom pattern piece. Then I removed the bottom and marked down the corners, and then while the tower was still assembled marked notches on each surface on the corner lines. I then sliced the corners to make the form lay flat. Originally my piece had issues when it laid flat. One side overlapped with the other, which would prevent me form making a functional pattern piece. To fix this, I adjusted one of the top piece’s corner lengths to make the side that curved inwards become more straight. Thankfully, this was able to be done and have all the notches still line up.

Then I carefully traced the outline of the flat bristol paper and marked the notches even more carefully to ensure that the placement of the notches did not change. I then cut out the bottom tracing from the bristol paper and transferred it to a pattern piece too.

Then with my pattern pieces complete, I transferred to my muslin, also carefully cutting in the notches and drawing on the sewing lines. I then hand sewed the muslin because I wanted to practice my hand sewing (which I think is not as good as my machine sewing). I went first down all the sides and then sewed on 90% of the bottom so that I could flip my tower back inside out.

Unfortunately after all the hours I had spent to reach my realized muslin, although I was able to poke out the edges on my tower, I saw as soon as it was fully assembled that I needed to use a heavier weight muslin. My muslin would not lay flat, and as I tried to stuff it with tissues in a panic, it looked almost round. Needless to say, I am definitely sure that for my main fabric, I plan on using a very heavy neoprene or canvas, especially after how my muslin came out. This project gave me good practice with patternmaking (specifically with troubleshooting), a better understanding of notches, and definitely increased my ability to hand sew (although I think that the structure would have been more rigid had I machine sewn the tower). I am excited to make my final tower out of my material, and gained insight into how heavy my material should be and that I am sure I want to use a machine to sew my final piece.



My name is Michael Chamberlin, I am finishing my first year at Parsons, soon to enter my second year (my first officially in the fashion program). Coming from Cincinnati, which is a semi urban city in Ohio, it goes without saying that I had been looking forward to coming to New York and to Parsons. My family has always been very supportive of my creativity, but I have never had access to the opportunities and resources that I have here to make both fine art and fashion work. I am excited to be an incoming second year Fashion major at Parsons the Newschool for Design. My work revolves greatly around political beliefs or expressions or my aesthetic, which tends to be graphic or geometric. I am very inspired by activism, queer culture (especially drag culture), and many more things. Coming from these influences, my work tends to be very cerebral and conceptual, although sometimes having minimal or indirect design references. Although I am an intended fashion major, I come from a fine art background and like to experiment with all mediums and art forms to diversify my work and learn new methods of creation.

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