Artist/Seamstress?

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diana
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Artist/Seamstress?

Postby diana » Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:37 pm

Just wondering about this.

For those of you who create your own dress designs from an old picture or using pics of extant garments from the internet, are you also an artist? I wondered if drawing ability and drafting ability went hand in hand.
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Postby tinman815 » Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:54 pm

I draw all of my designs before i try and make them, but i won't call my self an artist. To me, drawing is just another part of a design process. But i'm sure heather would agree with me....

IT LOOKS SOOO MUCH EASIER ON PAPER!!! :lol:
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Postby diana » Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:05 pm

I know! Some of these fashion plates are soooo complicated. I always wonder if they were just a figment of someone's imagination first or are they "tried and true" outfits (that had actually been made into a living, breathing garment). I mean I can concoct a pretty outfit but would it actually lay the way I'm drawing it or will there be issues on the real thing? Does that make sense?
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Postby tinman815 » Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:14 pm

The way i draw it and the way it comes out are TOTALLY different things. You can't draw every lace and every gather, so yeah they are different. My drawings are just a base of what i want, so i have "design freedom" as i like to call it, to change it, but it will still look like what i want. I really hope that made sense. :oops:
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Postby diana » Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:20 pm

Well, look at this dress on the left: http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0486402 ... eader-page

It doesn't appear to have a short waisted bodice. It looks like the front apron is part of the bodice, doesn't it? So now my question is: it will obviously have the underskirt and overskirt underneath this aproned bodice. Can it really lay as smoothly at the waist and tummy as this shows? Or am I setting myself up for lots of work and disappointment?

I'm really hesitating on this one. Sometimes I want to cop out and make something else using a tried and true TV pattern without manipulating it. I didn't have any trouble manipulating the tails of the bodice on my recent day dress but those were only tails! :lol:
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Postby tinman815 » Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:37 pm

Well, if you look at the dress next to it, it has no front seams. But people who know better, like almost everybody here, know that there must be seams there. But back to the pink dress. Her arm and the floral garland is covering up what i think is the bottom of the bodice. So she may have a short-waisted bodice, but it is hidden by her arm and stuff. As for the first apron, it seems to be pulled back more than usual, to make it lay smooth in front. Don't worry, everything will be ok. :D

P.S.: I'm this way too when i start something big like this. :D
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Postby CatherineJS » Thu Jun 23, 2005 3:53 pm

Back to the original question -- I can design, I can sew, I can hand finish... but I can NOT draw, paint or sculpt to save my life. I can do a decent costume sketch if I trace the outlines from a plate, but that is it. I've taken classes; I've tried; it's not in my hands. :roll:

But, I don't draft. At least, nothing complicated. I might mess with the proportions of a sleeve or a flounce, but bodices? That's Heather's job. :lol:

About your dress, you're having issues with this one, aren't you? :) It's going to be so gorgeous, though! I agree with Frank: there's a lot of trim obscuring that area. I think the easiest way, and perfectly lovely, would be to use tv416, and maybe skirt 208 to start with, and start building the overskirts from there. I think the fact that you're thinking so hard about this one means you HAVE to make it.

Catherine
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Postby Heather » Thu Jun 23, 2005 6:34 pm

Well, I can't draw to save my life!!

I draw hideous stick figures with stupid squigly lines for the dress, and hope someone can actually understand my point. I don't draw anything down on paper unless I need to show someone else or store an idea until I can get to it. I can hold about 5 dresses in my head, full "blueprinted" versions, but the sixth dress will push one the older ones out. So if I am thinking on a lot of things (always), I have to make notes with sketches (rarely). If I don't they are just gone, and I loose more ideas that way.

When I made dresses for people they pretty much had to take it on faith that it would look good when it was done. I tried never to let them see any of my stick figures. The drawings looked so bad they even discouraged me. I would describe my ideas, and show them various pictures that had the little bits I wanted to use in them.

It's all in my head, though. I don't usually start a dress unless I have all the details worked out. You gotta have a plan. I spend a lot of time thinking about a dress before I ever cut into the fabric. And they come out looking pretty much exactly the way I had them planned. But I am an engineer type, not an artist, which is also why the drafting comes so easily to me. Drafting is engineering, not art, if you ask me.
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Postby tinman815 » Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:10 pm

Heather: that's true. Drafting is more about the construction of the dress rather than the design of it.
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Artist/Seamstress?

Postby drusillamonte » Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:02 am

I have been an artist all my life and was trained classically from childhood. I only recenly took up sewing after having done everything else. Being able to draw does not necessarily mean one can put the ideas into three dimensions, which is another step to the art of creating. Engineering is the process of making an idea work in the physical, which is what Heather does when she makes us patterns, and then she takes it a step further by developing her ideas into something we can comprehend and use. Being able to visualise the process and the result is definitely key to success, but not always.
One thing I do know is the artist/creator must be willing to try, to experiment with his/her ideas and desires. Otherwise, it just remains on paper or in your head! Believe me, I have ripped a lot of seams, recovered a lot of canvases, reduced unfired sculptures back to clay again, and mixed a lot of paint, before I had the desired result. I say if you have an idea, go for it!
Dru
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Postby Sara P » Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:02 am

I'm also the engineer type :). Everything I drew turned out looking like a stick figure Cinderella (upside down triangle, right side up triangle), so I started just writing in words what I meant if I had to write it down. Mostly I sit and think about the project until I have it straight in my mind, then I start. And edit as I go :).
*hugs*
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Postby Greeneyed Gypsy » Fri Jun 24, 2005 7:46 am

Im a Heather..... cant draw a bit....I like to fit the pieces together like a geometry puzzle...In my head....which only has a sad 1-2 dress limit and I have a note book that you would have to be me to understand and I sometimes forget what the heck I was talkig about...it have odd notes like site pages, image files, pattern numbers with changes written next to it...color way ideas...and my constant lace debate...I always love it on others but cant seem to put it on anything I wear...(josie the suited 1880's girl)

About the pink dress...what is it with this one lately? I have a friend in DE about to attempt it...she is scared stiff too! I have notices in many of the early 70's plates the over skirt has the look the is is over the bodice and sitting at the waist so that you get that shortwaisted/ dress of one piece look.
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Postby ashamanja babu » Fri Jun 24, 2005 7:58 am

Well, I'm a stick-figure-drawing gal, too. If I ever really need to get the idea on paper in more than words, sometimes I trace a silhouette from a fashion plate and doodle my design on top. I always use graph paper to try and keep it symmetrical. But really, sometimes it looks so bad I just get discouraged about the whole thing. I keep thinking I should buy an artist's anatomy book. Every time I try to draw a figure, if I start at the top and work down, everything just gets disproportionately smaller and smaller! :lol:
The last time I made a big project for my beau, I made him stand in his underpants so I could take a photo, print it, and trace it to draw the outfit on. :oops: :lol:
But despite this, somehow I can get it together in my head enough to draft out (some) patterns. It's just so much more real for me drawing pattern shapes on a big piece of paper than drawing a human figure or a finished garment on a little piece of paper.
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Postby diana » Fri Jun 24, 2005 8:21 am

Josie, it's the fact that I bought 7 yards of white silk and 4 yards of pink silk at $7.50/yd at Garment Dist and don't want to be disappointed in this very expensive venture! :lol: And I don't think I even came close to the amount of white silk needed and will probably need to make another trip! I usually buy fabrics for way under $5/yd (Joann's cottons with my trusty coupon) and usually only need 9 total.

So I'll probably stew over it another month before even attempting the mockup as I have no drafting abilities whatsoever (I hate math) and have only my artist's eye to try to figure it out. Remember the green 1889 skirt I added to the can can bodice? I stood in front of the mirror with a front panel and pleated certain areas until it looked like the old picture! :lol:
Diana



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Postby Miss Elisabeth » Fri Jun 24, 2005 8:43 am

I realy do think they go together! I can dresses really well and though I haven't drafted BIG projects, I can usually draft things like bonnets and dress acessories with ease.
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Postby AspiringCostumer » Fri Jun 24, 2005 8:53 am

Oh my god. I can't draw to save my life, but what I can do is get whatever I make to come out exactly the way I envisioned it. I have no artistic skill whatsoever, but I have an artistic sense when it comes to sewing. I think it's because I know what I want what I make to look like. I'm skillfull with my sewing machine, but not wiht a pencil. Does that make sense?
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Postby Greeneyed Gypsy » Fri Jun 24, 2005 9:24 am

Ahhh Diana... I do understand (was teasing because my friend pelts me with emails daily) We think it is going to be an undertaking too...and hey who am I to talk about a fancy dress? My silk is still sitting nicely folded awaiting me to get some courage (its comming...really!) and my Mommy made my only ball gown :roll: :wink: :lol:

Hmmm lets see two yards for the bodice as it has no sleeves, then three or four for the apron, then I would figure the same ammount as the parisian for the underskirt with all that ruching and ruffle...then I would add three yards...I know...expensive way to estimate...but then I usually end up with enough extra to squeeze out a dress for Miss Emily when I am done... :roll: I do love that dress, if I had more places to wear those beauties that one would be on my list too!
Josie

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diana
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Postby diana » Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:44 am

Yeah, unfortunately this dress would only be used for fashion shows. (But if I had my way, I would wear it to the Victorian balls but they don't want you to have trained dresses (and to pull it up would ruin the whole effect!)

But if I ever decide I want to have a vow renewal with the DH, this is the one I would choose!
Diana



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Postby tinman815 » Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:52 am

diana wrote:But if I ever decide I want to have a vow renewal with the DH, this is the one I would choose!


Funny story!! My parents got their vow renewal at a radio station. My mother won a contest, and she and about 5 other couples has their vows redone over the radio! But after 23 years of marriage, it wasn't that big of a deal to my parents. 8)

(it was a big deal, but they are so laid back, it didn't really phase them) :?
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Postby mouthylabrador » Fri Jun 24, 2005 11:53 am

Well, drawing has never been a problem for me - at least, not drawing women. All of my men come out looking hideously effeminate for some reason, but oh, well, I've always liked them androgynous, anyway. My husband always asks why I chose him, then! :D But I can't draft to save my life. Maybe it's because it IS more of a mathematical area than an artistic one. Which would explain why I can't do it, since I need a calculator for pretty much everything beyond 2 + 2.

But do those of you who can't draft also find you can drape? I have more luck with that, although in all honesty, I've not draped anything terribly difficult yet. Although I did discover recently that draping a Renaissance bodice pattern of a skinny 12-year-old is an interesting experience. It worked, but it was interesting.

:) Elizabeth

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