Ah, the time has come to come up with a pattern. Since every costume is unique, every pattern is unique and draping fabric becomes your best friend. One might think I just go at it and start sewing things together just like that. Well, most of the time I do… Just kidding! I do a good amount of draping and cutting of patterns before moving onto the actual costume. Most of the time I use muslin for this step. However, I happened to have some four-way stretch shiny slinky around, so I used that. That way, along with my pattern, I get a useable prototype that I can use to practice in.
To start off, I take my black slinky and throw it over my dress form. My dress form isn’t anything fancy. It just helps me visualize the final product in the early stages of design. It also helps later on retain the shape of the garment during the stoning process.
As you can see there isn’t much there to this step aside from throwing fabric over the dress form and not throwing it on top of the dog. I cut out a basic shape from the slinky just so that it wasn’t bunching up everywhere.
After draping the fabric, I drew out the shape of the dress using some chalk. I love using chalk to draw on fabric. It comes off easily, draws easily, and can really bring something as useless-looking as this to life. This is what it looked like after some chalking:
After chalking, it was time to do some cutting and pinning. In this step, I cut out the shape I drew on the dress form. Using pins, I connected the parts of the dress together. I left room for hems on this pattern so when I cut, I could just trace the pattern. At this point, I actually tried the “dress” on myself to check for fit and for any issues that might come up. It’s good to have someone help you get in and out of it since it’s held together by pins. I realized I needed to correct a few parts and so I made notes for myself on where to leave more slack and where to make a tighter cut. As a general rule of thumb, I leave slack just so I don’t have to cut an entirely new piece of fabric. Also, notice that the sleeve is missing. Sleeves are fairly generic, especially in this project, so the need to create a pattern for the sleeves was nonexistent.
Finally, I take my cut pieces and I lay them out on the final fabric to get cut. I position them in such a way that I get the most out of the pattern of my final fabric. I like to pin them to the fabric before I begin cutting. I also like to use a dark chalk to draw out any corrections (which I may have done during the fitting.) Then, I proceed to cutting. This dress is coming together quite nicely, methinks.