Jewelry & Fashion | 21 January 2016The Art of Draping Share article facebook twitter google pinterest There’s no denying that making clothing is a form of artwork with many different steps. The Shirtmaking Workbook shows you the art of draping a shirt while working with a custom or standard form. If you don’t have a custom form, work with a sewing friend, draping each other while wearing tight knit tops to pin into. Working on a standard form isn’t helpful unless you’re draping for standard sizes. 1 Mark center lines on two rectangles of woven gingham about 24 inches (61 cm) long and plenty wider than your form/figure. Slash about 3 inches (7.5 cm) in on the line for the front piece and pin it as shown, slightly above the natural neckline with the top edges covering the shoulders. Adjust each upper corner so the grain is square to a plumb line at center. 2 Center, pin, and square the other piece as shown above the natural neckline in back, clipping the center as needed at the neck edge. Fold out and pin horizontal darts from any natural peaks as shown so the grain returns to horizontal across the back. 3 Fold under and pin to create visually matching front-yoke edges from neck to arm, slightly in front of the natural shoulder line on both sides. 4 Fold under the back side darts to create matching back edges for the yoke, tracing across a plaid strip to keep the darts and yoke edge in a straight line as much as possible. Mark the sides of each back dart fold; these will become shaped seams when the yoke and back shapes are traced and separated. 5, 6 & 7 Place paper-strip versions of collar bands in whatever shape you want to create necklines for over the drape, and trace along their lower edges when they are positioned as wanted to mark the necklines, as shown at (7). I also liked the shape that the simply folded-back triangles created, so I marked those folds, too. (As shown in the photo to the left of 7.) 8 Before I removed the two draped rectangles, I folded them in a different way to create a no-yoke pattern marked in red, inspired by the Pointer Coat (see page 113). In these photos I’m working without a preexisting yoke, generating a draped one as I go (and resulting in an asymmetrical yoke, which the earlier method avoids, if the yoke is narrow front to back), or in the latter shots, exploring a design without a yoke. I’m still relying on plugged-in sleeves and armholes from existing patterns. The main disadvantage I see in these drape methods is that it’s easy to over-fit, but that’s easy enough to spot and correct for in the muslin test; in my case, it’s usually just a matter of slightly relaxing the curves going into the yoke as they approach the sleeves. Symmetry doesn’t come naturally to the draping process, which I find much easier to do across the full form rather than just on one side, but if you want truly customized results I think there’s no better way to go. And for the best of both flat-patterning and draping, I refer you to my semi-drape method as an excellent way to add draped shoulders to an otherwise plotted-out pattern, whether you arrive at that by drafting or from a commercial pattern. Buy from an Online Retailer US: So you’ve made a basic shirt or two and you are looking for more options and directions… Well, you are in luck! David Page Coffin, author of Shirtmaking, a complete guide to the dress shirt, is back to help you with an amazing collection of custom detail patterns and ideas for men’s and women’s sport, knit, dress, and even simple coat and jacket shirt styles! Inside you’ll find helpful guides to drafting or draping a custom pattern, copying or converting a favorite pattern or garment into a more basic pattern ready for customizing to your heart’s content, mastering four different placket types so you can use these classic structures in ways you never imagined, understanding and reinventing most any sort of shirt and coat collar type in common use, along with how to construct them all, whether you want a couture creation or a workshop coverall. You’ll get an introduction to digital pattern-making and alteration, a close-up and thorough look inside a closetful of classic shirt-type garments, explore a host of pocket and cuff options and have access to dozens of full-size detail and even full garment patterns for printing and customizing. And, of course, you’ll learn how to finally turn those collar points all the way out like you’ve always wanted. The Shirtmaking Workbook includes extensive lists and links to further reading, supplies, and references to help make your custom shirtmaking easier and more masterful. With this unique and comprehensive workbook by your side, you’ll never wonder how to make THAT shirt again. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.