20 September 2013

Draping: The Complete Course

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, tomeDraping: 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...


  1. Very cool, Tilly! I would love to learn draping sometime, too. Looking forward to seeing what you learn and how that effects your sewing,

  2. Ooohh! Lucky you! I am going to have to learn draping sometime... be sure to keep us updated on your projects from the book!

    The Middle Sister and Singer

  3. Oh, this book is on my wish list! Can't wait till Christmas but I think I have to....

    Seamstresstobe.blogspot.nl (in Dutch).

  4. This looks like a pretty interesting book! I don't have a dress form so draping will have to wait for now, plus i really just prefer modifying patterns to get the look i want. Maybe one day ill challenge myself and design as whole outfit from scratch!

  5. This book looks amazing. It's going on my wish list for sure!

  6. Wow! This looks like an amazing book. I'm adding this to my must read list!

  7. What a wonderful book, it all looks amazing.

  8. I have to get that book! It looks amazing! I really appreciate books that take you through the whole process, from basic to advanced skills : )

    Anna @ www.thegoodsideup.com

  9. Hi Tilly I could only dream of ever making something as beautiful as those dresses, they are just dreamy and I can't wait to see what you make which will be equally as lovely. I have been thinking about Craftsy Tilly as I get the emails from them all the time but wasn't sure what they were like. Am going over to have another look and see what I can find. Thanks for the fab post as always, you are an inspiration Tilly. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Lots of love

    PS I met another lovely Tilley yesterday, went to Sophie Tilley's fabulous studio to meet her and see her work. It was inspiring just like yours. Have posted some pics on my blog.
    Dorothy's Room

  10. Oh that looks like a lovely book, both the layout/graphics/photography and the information.

  11. Oooh, what a gorgeous book!! Oh, and, ahem - CONGRATULATIONS on your book!! Wow, how absolutely amazing!! I can't wait to see what you have in store for us :)


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