Tuesday, 27 May 2008

It's Me on Paper!

Sometimes torrential rain and stormy winds are a good thing. So undesirable is the thought of braving the elements outside by going anywhwere - even to the car, that staying in and doing what one pleases is entirely guilt free and so I found enough interupted time to indulge in sofa oriented and indoor types of things that I always put off until the evening, and then am too tired to do. Things like hand sewing, cake baking, reading, looking through my lovely sewing book collection, and finally resolving to attempt, after 2 years of procrastinating, to make myself a French Block.

It started with this book, an industry standard, by Robert Doyle a leading costumier. It was a Christmas present the year before the one just gone, and contains precise instructions on how to make a French Block, which is what the couture world uses to create a basic pattern made from carefully taken measurements which when fitted presents a "copy" of the wearers "skin". This pattern is then used to manipulate measurements into various styles. With good foundation work, ANY garment can be created with it. I am using it mostly for corsets (hence the title of the book). For this I needed some brown paper, a pencil, a ruler, a set square, a curved ruler, and a calculator.

Oh ..... and someone to help measure ... if you can find a like minded female friend for this job so much the better. Husbands are best avoided if you want to do things quikly, as they get too easily distracted when measuring female bits as opposed to planks of wood and other DIY things. So after (eventually) noting down the prescribed measurements, and then following the instructions to the letter whilst employing more mathematical skills than i've used since leaving school, followed by lots of dot joining with lines and curves ... VOILA!!! A pattern which should match my skin ... I haven't tried it yet ... actually, this is just the back. I haven't got round to the front. But actually, once done, it's a lot easier than it looks.

I will keep you posted on progress ...


jennyflower said...

Trying very hard not to get started on the whole measuring with parts of the body thing again here! This all looks very very clever, am totally intrigued by the collection of books, like the way you slipped the latex one in oh so casually!

Kitty said...

Hi Julia ... thanks for dropping by my blog. Wow - you have some fabulous things here - I've added you to my google reader, and will definitely be back.

I'm not too far from you ... wasn't that weather at the weekend, horrible? (Well, Sunday and Monday) ... this morning looks to be the same again too! :-(

Take care. :-) x

melissa said...

very clever! How long did it take you overall?

And I found your first photo very exciting - my friend Alex's favourite sewing book is Making Latex Clothes, and you've got it right next to my favourite sewing book, Couture Sewing Techniques! :)

Anwen said...

Ooh, lovely books! I've got the Claire Shaeffer book, it's fabulous. I've been thinking longingly about corsetry, but it's a bit scary! I quite want to make a bustier, though.