In this semesters “collection & surface”, we were given one of our sketches (mine was a crystal collage) from last semester, had to extract different designs from it, decide on one, and use old clothes to quickly drape the design. We then cut that first “toile” apart, traced a pattern from it, and sewed a first prototype.
I had to work with one of my crystal collages, and I picked the one below. Our teachers wanted us to make something with lots of volume. To the right of my collage you can see the different designs I tried out (we only had about an hour for this step...)
I ended up with a mohair sweatshirt with large folds or wrinkles and softshell panelled pants, with a band that’s attached at the front, holds the pockets and passes over the back of the legs. The pants have a tulle understructure (like a petticoat, but pants) that supports the volume.
Next I printed the design a couple of times and tried different color combinations. (seen above image, those on the left side are my favorites, on the right the rest).
Below you can see my technical sketches, and the draped, frankensteined first toile (it was held together with pins and marked with tape). I marked the toile, cut it apart, and traced a pattern from it. That took quite a while… 2.5 hours for the frankenstein toile, and then about 5 hours for the pattern. Walking the pattern took forever (well it was more measuring than „walking“, because, seam allowances). I also drafted the facing and pocket pieces.
Because our teachers stress the importance of accessories, we had to experiment in 2D, how different accessories (hair counts as an accessory too) change or add to the design, which is what I did here:
Now to one of my favorite parts! I learned how to use a knitting machine! I’m not quite sure what the actual technical term is, semi-automatic? I mean, you have to drag the yarn back and forth across the loops, but it’s really fast! And I figured out a way to create these organic wrinkles in the knit. At irregular intervals I’d hook some of the already knit fabric back onto the current loops, to be knitted into the fabric again (sounds complicated, but I think the pictures make it easy to understand).
I made a prototype of the sweater by sewing two sweaters together to make one really long one, then attached strips of jerey to the inside, to wich I could sew the large folds (I made an illustration of that „technique“). I then pinned the knit fabric sample to different parts of my prototype, photographed it and photoshopped it together to see what a sweater in that fabric would look like.
and this is the finished prototype!
And by prototype I mean it's really just the second toile. I tried something with the different colored panels, but also, I couldn't find any more white softshell, only black, so it was kind of a necessity :)
I'm not quite happy with the way the tulle supports the pants, mainly because I didn't want to spend hundreds of francs on tulle just for a toile, so I had to make the most of the tulle I had by rolling pieces into tubes, then folding them in half and sewing them onto the underpants at the fold (as the tulle wants to spring back into its original unfolded tulle, I got quite a bit of volume like this). I mean, it's voluminous, it's a monster! But the volume could be more even, and there's supposed to be lots of tulle coming out at the bottom, like a tutu.
The pants are so heavy though!! Softshell+Tulle does that though, I'm not surprised :) With the pants I'm most proud of the pocket band, which you can't see to well in the above images. I lined the pockets in a contrasting purple. I had to fuse thick canvas inbetween the layers of sofshell to make the pocketband, and because the pockets are in there, I couldn't just fuse 3 layers together and cut out the pattern piece. Technically I could do this to softshell, as it doesn't fray, but then I wouldn't have seam allowances to sew the pockets to, or you'd see stitching on the front, and I didn't want that. In this photo you can see the purple pocket if you look closely!
Other than that I'm quite happy with how this turned out! I was surprised with how well the sweater turned out, I wasn't sure it would end up looking the way I wanted it to, and I wasn't that excited abuot draping it. I think what's important for the sweater, is that the bottom "tier" or fold is very tight and form-fitting, so the sweater doesn't completely overwhelm the body. But still, I mean, it wouldn't be a sweater you'd wear on an "I feel fat"-day, it's a little dramatic, but that's what I like about it! If I made a finished version, it would be all in the same color (dark purple mohair). And I'd go with the shorter sleeves!
That's all for now. I just got back from a 10 day trip to Iceland, where my dad and I took part in an Oldtimer Rally. We drove around the island in an AC March Special 1938, no windows. It was tough, but Iceland was very impressive, I'll share pictures. Unfortunately there were also some events surrounding the trip that were very scary and sad (we witnessed a car accident, luckily no one was hurt, but it didn't look like that at first, and then we had a very shocking death in the family), and that made it hard to really enjoy it. I'm glad I went, but I'm also glad to be back home.
I'm working through the sadness, and trying to get started on my semester project, which I'll share here as well.