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Tutorial 2. Mock-up of altered pattern.

Tutorial 2. Mock-up of altered pattern.

I like to use non-woven fabric as mockup fabric and here is why.

Firstly, non-woven fabric is transparent and I don’t need to cut the paper patterns out to trace the pattern, I just need to unroll the non-woven fabric over the paper patterns and circle them.

Secondly, non-woven fabric has features of paper and fabric: it does not stretch and fray and at the same time it can be sewn as ordinary fabric.

I trace the dress patterns onto the non-woven fabric.

I trace carefully all the lines of the client’s pattern, trying not to shift. I trace all the main lines - the bust, under bust, waist, stomach and hips and also make marks for new seam allowances.

I need to add seam allowances for the mockup cup, so I could baste the cup pieces together on the mockup.   

Thus, I traced all patterns of the dress on non-woven fabric.

Now I need to cut and join together the mockup. You can join the pieces as you like: with a sewing machine or hand stitches.  I will use hand stitches. I believe the hand stitches are more precise.

My dear colleague, it is time to demonstrate the mockup on the dress-form.

Now I once again answer why I need the mockup. The mockup is necessary to ensure the correctness of the pattern alteration and to make corrections if needed. As a rule, such corrections are minor, but very important. Thus, without the preliminary mockup and the analysis of its position on the dress-form it is early to use the pattern for cutting.

For some reason many of you imagine the mockup as something grand that you need to spend an incredible amount of time to sew it. In fact, everything is very simple! A very primitive garment is cut out and sewn from the mockup fabric. However the balance and appearance of the future garment will depend on how you analyze the mockup, how you alter it, and how you try it on the dress-form after all.

I would like to speak in detail how to put the mockup on the dress-form.

First of all, you position the side seam of the mockup along the side seam marking on the dress-form, focusing on the waistline. The marked position of the waist line on the side seam is combined with the position on the dress-form and fixed with a pin. After that, you pin the mockup to the dress-form along the entire side seam. Then, remove these pins, but, for the start you should fix the mockup in this position.

Next, begin to put the mockup on the dress-form gently, moving from the side seam in two directions - towards the front and towards the back. Most importantly, you should distribute the mockup along the waistline, first in the front, and put a pin in the center of the front on the waistline. Whether this point coincides with the marked front center or not - now it does not matter! The main thing is that you are trying to smooth this front part of the mockup, so that there are no creases. Then, you need to fix the central front cut along the entire height.

After that you move in the same way towards the back. Your task is to fix the middle back seam of the mockup. Sometimes the marked line might not coincide with the marking on the mockup at the beginning. However, at this stage the main point is to remove various creases. Later you can re-distribute the mockup up and down and to position the middle back seam more precisely.

As my dress-form is close to the figure of the client, the mockup fits well. If the dress-form differs from the body of your client, you will need to make the dress-form as close as possible to the figure of your client by any means.

The most important thing you need to achieve is the vertical position of the side seam and alignment of main measurement lines. You need to arrange the mockup in such a way, that you can see the approximate body shape of your client from the side.   

One more thing to consider. If you intend to reshape the body of your client with the garment, during the measurements you have to determine and to consider the soft parts of the client’s body for reshaping.

Mostly, you can reshape and “draw” a beautiful body shape only in the waist area. It is almost impossible to reshape the body in the area of ribs.

When taking measurements, it is compulsory to pay attention to the tummy of your client. If the tummy can be tightened, you need to consider it for the mockup. If it cannot be tightened, you need to model it on the mockup using some additional padding, for example, foam shoulder pads or simply padding polyester.

In other words, you should make the approximate body shape of your client out of the dress-form!

I recommend making some control photos of your client (front, profile and back).  These photos and the measurements will help to create something similar to the shape of your client out of the dress-form.

It is very important! When you put the mockup on the dress-form, you should have an idea of the finished garment i.e. you need to know how the client will look in this dress or how the dress will shape her body.

To facilitate the task, I released the special course: “The dress-form for any body type,” which is available in the Corset Academy store. In this course I show how you can make a dress-form easily and simply and in a very short time that completely copies the shape of your client. All your difficulties will be overcome with this course!

When you carefully straighten and pin the mockup to the dress-form, you can do a little fine-tuning.

If you have any creases, you need to make small folds on the curves, as a rule.

Most often the fold on the waistline helps in case of distortion in the back center.

In my particular case I know that my client has a curvy shape, so I need to correct the pattern to make a good fit in the back. So, I made about 1 cm deep fold in the back. I will demonstrate what to do with this fold later.

Finally, you should determine the position of the main measurement lines: bust, under bust, waist, stomach and hips. Quite often these straight lines can become broken and their position does not coincide with the initial positon due to the curve modifications. What do we need to do in this case?

All corrections should start at the waistline, which must be always in place! You have probably already learned from the previous courses that the waistline in a corset garment is our zero level. It is from the waistline, where the whole construction begins: upwards and downwards. We mark all the necessary numbers up and down to the other measurement lines and redraw them. Remember that the garment is pulled along the waistline, which is the foundation of our dress, zero level, the reference line!

What specific alterations did I make in the pattern of the mockup?

Having clarified the lines of the stomach and waist in the back, I made a small fold along the curve of the back in the section from the top to the bust line.

Due to this operation I achieved the verticality of the middle back seam. 

Please note that the mockup is loose in the back at the hip level. The thing is that my dress-form is slightly smaller than the measurements of the client. I checked the distance from the middle to the side seams of the back and confirmed the pattern corresponds to the measurements of the client.

I made a small fold some millimeters deep in the back curve on the waistline for a better fit.

A small vertical dart made on the side back piece, which you saw on the initial pattern, came in handy here. The piece looks very well on the dress-form, and I did not even have to adjust this dart.

I did not correct the front curve, however the front central seam was altered significantly.   

When I showed the initial pattern, I said that the central piece of the dress is not with a fold, but it is cut with a seam. It is due to the style of the dress: the front and the back parts of the dress will be covered with drapery. Thus, the central front seam will not be visible and sometimes it is advantageous to make this central seam not vertically straight for better fit. Thus, the central front piece of the dress will not be straight along the imaginary fold, but slightly curved as if there is one more central dart on the waist.

A very small fold is made in the side seam from the top to the bust line.

Certainly, I have checked whether the imaginary curve of the cup is in place, i.e. the place, where the breast bone is located.

When I make sure that the mockup fits well the dress-form, I started the cup modelling. Just approximately, I drew the shape of the future cup as I wanted.

In the same way I marked the transit from the cup through the side seam to the back of the dress. Our model provides for open back with rather wide button loops made of cord.

Finally it is necessary to mark the position of the Rigilene boning. It is the best to mark the boning when the mockup is on the dress-form. We do not want to create an economy option of the dress, that is fast sewn, but we want to have a nice and beautiful dress with many handmade elements, so that this dress should fit well and be comfortable as much as possible.

Thus, it is better to mark boning without taking the mockup off from the dress-form.

In principle, you can make the bone marking according to your taste and experience.

I mark the boning as follows.

I cut the central front piece in two with one bone and the side front piece was divided into 3 parts with two parallel bones.

I plan to stitch the bones between the stomach and under bust lines.

I made the bone marking next to the side seam to the upper part of the cup, just in case I need to strengthen the cup with the additional bone.

The side back piece is split with the bone in half. This piece should be strengthened with the bone as this area of the dress tends to creases when the dress is worn. Sometimes they even attach two bones, but in our case the width of the side back piece is small and one bone will do.

In the central back piece I plan to have the bones along its edge that will be enough to strengthen this piece. Of course, we will have the bones along all vertical curves.

In conclusion I would like to give you some advice: you might have noticed the magnet with pins on the dress-form. It is very convenient when you put something on the dress-form or make drapery. You will need tons of pins and in this case the magnet will come handy. When you move around the dress-form, you can also move the magnet with pins.

That’s all operations we have completed with the mockup of our dress. I told you that I prefer to use hand stitches for the mockup, because now it is necessary to disassemble all the pieces, go back to the pattern we used to cut this mockup and alter it. In addition, I will also tell you about the initial alterations I made on the basis of the automatic table.

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