Pleating Hell and other tales
I was so inspired by my ikat fabric on Monday night that I pretreated and started experimenting with pleats as soon as I got home from work. The squares of color are about 2 inches wide and the white space inbetween them is about 1 inch wide. I played with the width of the pleats from wide to skinny, to covering an entire square, partially or not at all. The wider the pleat, the less pleats I could have, which, when draped on me, looked skimpy. The skinnier the pleat, the more I could have, but that still yielded a skimpy effect. The more I played with the pleats, the more I became frustrated. Because the squares are so even and distributed so evenly, the perfectionist in me couldn’t do anything asymmetrical or uneven. Then I started thinking about whether having a ton of pleats falling from my hips would be unflattering. And since I was “drafting” this skirt myself without a skirt pattern, I didn’t know if I should add side seams in addition to the CB seam for shaping or not and how would that interrupt the pleat pattern. Would I have enough fabric if I did that? At 11pm, I finally called it quits to think about another day.
That other day is tonight. I think I am going to paw through my skirt patterns to see if I have any pleated skirts in there. I like designing in my head, but drafting might not be something in which I am particularly interested. I bet you’re wondering what the difference is. My thinking is that design is the vision of how something will look and feel with no actual idea of how to bring the design to life in fabric. Drafting is taking the idea/design from mind to fabric. –Making it three-dimensional. The endless decisions that need to be made and/or the math that may or may not be involved become mind-numbing to me and most certainly endanger my mojo.
I’ve noticed lately that there are two different kinds of sewers out there on the interwebs (ok there are tons of different kinds, but for the purposes of this post, let’s assume just two), pattern sewers and drafters.
- Pattern sewers are people who like having the design and drafting of a garment already calculated for them so that they can concentrate on fabric choice or little design detail choices and of course the sewing itself. They are capable of or working towards the capability of fitting the patterns to their body.
- Drafters are people who love coming up with the pattern themselves, using a sloper, their own measurements and the inkling of a design in their heads. They relish the work involved in cutting up their sloper or figuring out how to make up an entirely new pattern from scratch.
I have discovered with my colorblock B5147 dresses (here and here) and this currently imaginary pleated skirt that looks so great in my head, that I am a pattern sewer at heart. But I do also acknowledge that I aspire to one day be a drafter as well.
Which are you? Pattern sewer or Drafter?
In non-sewing news:
- Last night I saw an amazing production of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire“. The actress who played Blanche was phenomenal, her performance uncanny. I felt like she was a real life Blanche. If you have a chance to see this production, do!
- Over the weekend I picked up these notecards* at the Art Institute in Chicago. Aren’t they just perfect for a dress obsessed person like me?
Happy sewing everyone!
* Edited to add: Kate at Kate Perri Designs rightly pointed out that I did not give credit to the designer of the notecard image above. Thanks Kate. That was very remiss of me. I did a little sleuthing and the designer is the author/artist Janeen Koconis of Koco New York. Check out her other artwork and books. Very cool artist. I love her multi-medium works. I usually do credit photos taken from the interwebs, but didn’t think to do so since I took the photo of the card myself. Anyway thanks for the important reminder to always credit artists!