At The Atelier: Design Creation- Part 1

Every design starts out with an idea which in turn is transformed into a pattern block. Often when developing a new design, it’s necessary to revise the pattern after testing it out with a toille (aka mock-up) and sometimes this can be quite time-consuming, depending on the complexity of the design. Below is a rough idea of what we envision for the design. The pattern would be transformed into basic pattern blocks/sloper that could later be used to develop individual styles. Below is one source of design inspiration from the June 1892 issue of Demorest’s Family Magazine:

And onto the drafting…

The pattern has been drafted utilizing a period tailoring manual, in this case the 1895 edition of The Keystone Jacket and Dress Cutter by Charles Hecklinger. Now, it must be said that while Hecklinger provides fairly comprehensive details, you really have to parse some of his instructions because they ambiguous on first reading. Also, for the collar, I had to “fill in the blanks” with basic pattern drafting knowledge that’s not readily apparent in the book- this isn’t a complete cookbook for tailoring by any means but pre-supposes a lot of knowledge on specific details.

And now to put the pattern draft to the test and cut out the toille. I’ve traced out the pattern pieces onto muslin, adding a 1/2 inch seam allowance in the process.

The cut out pieces for the toille. Now to assemble them… 🙂

(To be continued…)


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  1. Pingback: At The Atelier- Design Creation, Part 2 | Lily Absinthe

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