sewing classes in chicago: tchad: workroom: studio: sylvia: wrap dress: front

Tip: Pattern Placement Lessons From a Cheap Wrap

Learning how to sew and think about sewing doesn’t just make you able to build things from scratch and take them out into the world, it can also make you a better shopper for ready to wear in that you will know what to look for.  In a lot of ways, even if you never sew another stitch after a sewing class, you should end up being more informed generally about construction and design.

This wrap dress Sylvia wore in is a good example.  We initially thought it was something about the level of Banana Republic or maybe something she had made outside of class because of the way the patterns are placed and balanced – you can see the nice centering of the pattern in the back and the mirroring of the patterning left-to-right.

sewing classes in chicago: tchad: workroom: studio: sylvia: wrap dress: front
Front.  You can see how the yellow balances at the four corners of the front and the green detail is nicely centered but slightly dropped below the crotch, adding visual interest without looking like a fig leaf. Notice too that there is no bold pattern directly over the bustline, so you get a flow over the bust rather than “look at these!”.  Similarly the acanthus leaves just below the hip still suggest roundness without exaggerating the hipline as they could if they were higher.

 

sewing classes in chicago: tchad: workroom: studio: sylvia: wrap dress: back
Back is balanced and the pattern centered. The blue vines frame the shoulders in a nice way.

 

 

sewing classes in chicago: tchad: workroom: studio: sylvia: wrap dress: right sleeve
Right sleeve. That brown line continuing over the shoulder and into the sleeve is nice to see.

 

sewing classes in chicago: tchad: workroom: studio: sylvia: wrap dress: left sleeve
Left Sleeve. The continuation over the sleeve-shoulder seam with the yellow detail isn’t perfect, but with these patterns you can’t ask for everything.

“I bought it for $20!” 

Which just goes to show that if you look for balance and design you can find it where you least expect it.

This isn’t to say that the manufacturer planned out this balance and put thought into any of it – may they did and maybe they didn’t.  It may just be a happy accident that this dress came out so well.  But if you’ve cut patterned fabric and you have gone through the thought process of what things should look like then you have an intangible tool to use  and can find the pearliest of pearls among… well… wait… this metaphor is a little too over the top, but you can find nice stuff where you may not expect it.

Don’t just think about pattern and layout as you cut and work through the project at hand on your tables at home; think about it when you are shopping, too.

 

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