First of all, I'd just like to thank you SO much for your kind and thoughtful comments, tweets and emails about my book announcement. I'm so touched, and it means a lot to me to have you cheering me along :)
I recently got sent this AMAZING book, nay, tome, Draping: The Complete Course, written by Karolyn Kiisel and published by Laurence King. Over 300 large pages plus video tutorials on DVD teach you draping on the stand, a practice of designing clothing and patterns whereby you mould fabric directly on the dress form to create the silhouette of your dreams.
My own method of pattern drafting is the flat version, in other words, beginning with technical drawing on paper, which is transferred to the stand afterwards. I've always enjoyed both maths and drawing, and I love working out the logic of how to turn a flat piece of paper into a 3D form. But I can't wait to dive into learning draping too, as it'll be a great complementary skill which allows a lot more freedom and experimentation playing around with the fabric first. As the author puts it:
"When a designer is aspiring towards an innovative silhouette, they need to experiment with focal points to create emphasis and attitude, and work with proportions and scale to sculpt a shape that evokes a specific emotion. To create something truly fresh and new, the intimate, hands-on relationship between designer, toile and mannequin is invaluable in facilitating the expression of the designer's personal vision."
Draping: The Complete Course begins with the absolute basics, such as understanding the draping properties of different types of fabrics and grainlines. It then takes you step by step through tons - seriously, tons - of projects, illustrated with plentiful photos. It begins with a simple tunic from Ancient Greece, through iconic styles such as Katharine Hepburn trousers and the Chanel jacket, to contemporary couture such as Kate Middleton's wedding gown and Rihanna's tuxedo. The startling juxtapositions really make you consider the evolution of style and silhouette - and show you how to recreate some incredible designs that we all recognise.
Once I've finished the old you-know-what, I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to a new skill...
PS. Speaking of learning new skills, there's a massive sale on at Craftsy at the moment, ending tomorrow, so if you're interested in taking an online video class in sewing, knitting, photography or another craft at a hefty discount, take a look at what's on offer! I've signed up for a couple of classes myself and will report back in due course...