Create Your Own Clothes
Create your own clothes is a new and ongoing series showing you how to create your own clothes from already made garments or photographs.
We will use Design Analysis to break down clothing that you have or fashion pieces that you’ve seen, and recreate it for yourself.
If you’d like a copy of the free checklist to creating your own clothes, grab it by clicking the image below! 🙂
Lets get started!
Design Analysis: What Is It?
Design Analysis in fashion terms is the analysis of a garment. If you were working with a designer as a pattern cutter, you’d often be given a line drawing of a new design to work from. The analysis is taking apart the drawing. Looking at where the style lines fall, how the fabric is suppressed around the body and so forth.
I myself have learnt a lot from analysing other people’s work. In fact, when I first realised ‘fashion’ existed, I was standing in a fashion store in NYC waiting for a friend. She had taken an armful of hangers into the fitting room and not being that interested in trying on a whole bunch of stuff, I waited in the store.
She – Salma – took FOREVER! She tried on everything. I was so bored. I couldn’t very well just leave, that’s not what friends do right? So I pottered about the different railings pulling off different pieces and looking at how they were made. Making mental notes. Thinking about what could be done differently. This ‘analysis’ moment was pivotal in setting me on a new career path, though it wouldn’t happen for another 18 months!
The First Ever Creative Curator Create Your Own Clothes: DA1
For my first ever design analysis breakdown here on the blog, I thought I’d start nice and easy. With a jumper.
For better understanding of how this will work, the DAs will have a clear structure, which will be as follows:
- Primary images of 3D piece in my possession or secondary images from other sources.
- A drawing breaking down the key elements – this is the design analysis part!
- If in my possession, and not just an image, the garment will be taken apart carefully where possible and the process photographed.
- A pattern will be drafted, either from the design analysis drawing or directly from the deconstructed garment.
- A toile will be made to test the pattern
- Once the fit is correct, a final piece will be made to highlight the design in an alternate fabric.
- Where possible, I will then grade and upload this pattern.
Being that pattern making is my favourite part of fashion design – WOOHOO – it’s possible these DA posts will be humungous… so I’ll also try to break them down over a four week period, posting on Sundays at the latest.
How the Posts will be Broken Down
- Part 1: The design analysis part inc. photographic deconstruction where relevant
- Part 2: Drafting the pattern and sewing the toile / muslin
- Part 3: Checking the fit and making in fabric
- Part 4: Pattern available for download or purchase
But.. Don’t worry about losing track! I’ll be sending out a reminder in my usual Wednesday email – make sure you’re subscribed to be kept in the loop – and I’ll have everything linked to a page via the Blog Page!
So, with no more waffling, let’s get crackin’!
DA1: From Jumper to Top
Starting the deconstruction process.
This is an old blue jumper which I rescued from a bag at work, destined for the charity. It belonged to one of my boys. He’d been travelling the world on a gap year and upon returning a couple of weeks back, had a good sort out of all his old clothes.
I wasn’t really expecting to wear it, but I did like the raglan sleeves and thought that by removing the sleeves, I’d be left with a nice comfy jumper to lounge around the house in.
Carefully cutting along the neckline.
Front view after removing one sleeve.
Back view after removing two sleeves.
Both sleeves are now removed!
BUT.. As you can see from the piccies, cutting away the sleeves along the raglan line opened up the fabric and it GAPED! Way more than I expected too! Usually, you’d pinch this out in the pattern so it would be more fitted, but as this is a deconstruction project, that wasn’t possible…
MAJOR gaping going on – and no way to fix without sewing a dart.
Deconstructing the Jumper
With some very sharp scissors in hand, I carefully snipped close to the raglan sleeve line on both sides, making sure to stay on the sleeve side of the fabric and not the body side. I then cut along the the entire sleeve very close to the seam line.
Staying close to the sleeve side seam.
Once the sleeves were off, I cut down the underarm seam until reaching the cuff.
At the point, I snipped slowly and carefully along the seam line, until the cuffs were off.
The sleeve itself will now lay relatively flat.
Two sleeves removed and ready to be opened up.
After cutting down the underarm seam, the cuff is carefully removed.
Voila – the cuff!
The sleeve laid flat – the inside of the sleeve showing.
The sleeve laid flat – the outside of the sleeve showing.
As you can see from the last two pics, the sleeve has a seam cutting horizontally across it. The entire jumper is made up of only one fabric, but for the sleeve, they have given the effect of using two different fabrics by using the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric as the right side on the lower sleeve section.
Taking Off The Neck
Next up, I first marked the neckpiece with a marker where the front and back pieces joined, before carefully cutting around the neckline ribbing, again very close to the seam line, in order to remove it carefully.
Laid out and ready to cut the ribbing off.
Cut and ready to trace.
Final Deconstruction Steps
The side seams were next to be taking apart, all the way to the ribbed waistband.
Made it to the waistband.
The overlocked seam is tricky to cut close to as it is bulky.
Finally, I cut off the waistband separating these four remaining pieces.
The ribbed waistband.
Don’t forget, you can grab your copy of my free Create Your Own Clothes Checklist by clicking the pic below to sign up!
Garment Pieces from the Deconstruction
There were now 8 pieces in front of me, 6 that I will use to make patterns pieces from:
- 2 x sleeves
- 2 x cuffs
Bear in mind though, the final piece will be a sleeveless top, so the sleeves and cuffs won’t really be necessary for the next stage.
The Next Stage
The next stage will be to trace off these individual sections to make separate pattern pieces. Later we will be sewing up our own version of the top, so grab your FREE copy of my sewing guide by signing up below, and then check out part two here – it is EPIC, and so worth reading!
Til next time…
PS: If you would love to sew your own fashion creations but have no idea where to start, why not get my FREE 18 step sewing guide? It’s an 8 page step by step guide on how a garment should be sewn. Get yours by signing up below!
18 Step Sewing Guide
Do you want to sew your own clothes? Do you have no idea where to start? Join me as I teach you stylish fashion skills, from beginner to advanced.