Starter Craft: Design and sew your own clothes

draping.jpgAbove: Draping a skirt into a top is achievable with a dress form and a few pins

I remember when I learnt to pattern cut for sewing at University. I was so excited by the world that had opened up to me. I started to view clothes and designs in a new way and there was no stopping me.

However, flat pattern cutting is difficult to learn, especially if you are teaching yourself.

Draping, however is easier to pick up and with the aid of a mannequin, you can literally see your designs appear in front of your eyes with the choice placement of a few pins. Which is why draping is my method of choice when making clothes.

Without a mannequin or dress form, draping can be tricky though (unless you have a twin the exact size as you, of course!).

Making your own dress form

There's no need to shell out on expensive equipment. With the help of Joyce Perhac and Threads Magazine, you can make your own dress form using just a roll of duct tape, an old t-shirt and a friend.

There's also an article on how to make a stand for your new dress form too.

dress_form.jpgLeft: Make your own dress form with duct tape and an old t-shirt.

What next? Once you've made your dress form, or found one to use, you simply drape the fabric onto the form and pin together so that when you take it off, you will know where to sew. Yes, it's that simple.

If you want to alter or change an item in your wardrobe, draping can be a bit tricky, as it can be hard to know where to start.

Annekata has written an article on how she changed her skirt into a top and she shows her progress through lots of pictures.

So, why not change that piece of unloved clothing crumpled up and hiding in the back of your drawer, into your favourite fashion must have.

It's not as hard you think!

[Images via Annekata and David Coffin]

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