Meaningful Art For Pattern People

Posted on April 01, 2014 by Sandy Ericson | 0 Comments

John Westmark show at the Gibbes in Charleston!

Rarely do we find exceptionable art that is conceptually developed around paper dress patterns.  John Westmark's art expresses the struggles of women, often weighed down by voluminous clothing that is perhaps symbolic of their obligations and duties, while at the same time it underscores their beauty and fragility.  His work plants all the contradictions right there in one sweep and, if you are a woman, there is your life and that of so many others, frozen in one scene.  You feel like you are looking at a self-portrait.  It is powerful and important.  See the show if you are near Charleston, SC -- it's there from April 4th to July 13.

Thank you, John, for your eloquent and beautiful work.

Sandy

Posted in April 2014, John Westmark, pattern art, pattern design

Can't Miss This!!

Posted on March 06, 2014 by Sandy Ericson | 0 Comments

Some of you may wonder why I am such an apostle for Madeleine Vionnet's work from the 1930's and why I cut our patterns according to her principles and techniques -- and why it took me 40 years to learn to do it!  The answer, for the current generation, lies in F.I.T. 's wonderful upcoming exhibition, featuring both women's and men's designs from the 1930's, called Elegance in the Age of Crisis, February 7 – April 19, 2014, New York.  Bias cut clothing reveals the natural body artistically but does not exploit it. Watch and learn . . . then think about how similar our times are to the 30's. 

The Women

The Men
This video has an excellent rationale for the Pli de Souplesse, which is discussed by Alan LeBlanc in his essay in our store.

Posted in March 2014

Spring Dress & Classes!

Posted on February 21, 2014 by Ed Breed | 0 Comments

All Classes Will Go!
And there are spaces still open so jump in and learn to drape!  Here are the details:
Draping for Fit:  March 22, 9 - 4:30
  An introductory class for basic techniques, tools, materiel's, and resources; involves draping the basic dress sloper (block pattern) for any body; includes draping for figure problems such as asymmetry or posture issues to achieve balanced, well fitted garment block patterns. Block patterns are then used to develop a variety of fashion designs.  Details. 
Draping for Design 1:  March 23, 9 - 4:30 
 An exploration of draped designs beyond basic fit; learning how to manipulate fabric on the form to achieve a variety of more advanced designs such as complex bodice darts, cowls, flares and asymmetrically draped folds.  Details.   
Draping for Design 2: April 27, 9 - 4:30
  Draping specific garments and garment parts such as collars, pants, sleeves, bustiers, jackets, student requests and draping from a sketch or photo. Also included is how to develop flat paper patterns from the draped muslins.  Details.

Update on Online Classes

Haven't dropped the ball on this one but since we began, the technology to produce an online class suddenly became more amazing for the student, so we are delaying this until March to take advantage of new tech possibilities -- stay tuned.  A reminder, the first one is on how to make a pattern from a fashion photo or sketch.

Then There's THE Sale . . . Vintage Clothing and Textile Sale  . . . now including patterns & more!
April 26, 2014, 9 - 4, at the Ribbonerie. (The day before the Design 2 class)

And A New Pattern:  The Angel Dress    
Details in the Store

This is a Vionnet cut piece, totally on the bias with just 2 pieces, front and back, which seam asymmetrically at the neckline.  It is a true One-Day Dress -- just pops over the head and you're out the door!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in February 2014

A CFPD 2014 Carat Year!

Posted on January 03, 2014 by Sandy Ericson | 0 Comments

  • New Book
    Lingerie Patternmaking and Grading Simplified by Jack Kirschner. This is the second reprinted book in Kirschner's grading series. The methods in the book are applicable to most lingerie garments and also for bathing suits and stretch garments, considerably speeding the tedious task of hand grading. Included in the subject matter is bras, slips, panties, nightgowns, pajamas, bed jackets and union suits -- or, in today's version, the catsuit! Also included with the book is a full scale, nest graded, combination block pattern -- sizes 6-18!  Kirschner's books are great for small companies and studio or custom environments without large computer pattern making systems. More info . . .
  • New Classes
    This spring, it's time to go back to basics for the latest group of draping dreamers, so there will be three new classes, held at the Ribbonerie in San Francisco Enrollment is limited to 15.  Save the Date -- Registration will open on January 15, 2014.  Classes are $179 each.
    1. Draping for Fit:  March 22, 9 - 4:30  
An introductory class for basic techniques, tools, materiel's, and resources; involves draping the basic dress sloper (block pattern) for any body; includes draping for figure problems such as asymmetry or posture issues to achieve balanced, well fitted garment block patterns. Block patterns are then used to develop a variety of fashion designs.
    2. Draping for Design 1:  March 23, 9 - 4:30
  An exploration of draped designs beyond basic fit; learning how to manipulate fabric on the form to achieve a variety of more advanced designs such as complex bodice darts, cowls, flares and asymmetrically draped folds.
    3. Draping for Design 2:  April 28, 9 - 4:30
  Draping specific garments and garment parts such as collars, pants, sleeves, bustiers, jackets, student requests and draping from a sketch or photo. Also included is how to develop flat paper patterns from the draped muslins.
 Half scale dress forms are provided for all classes.  Registrants will receive a supply list and lodging, shuttle and neighborhood information upon registration.
    • Vintage Clothing, Pattern and Textile Sale
      April 27, 2014, 10 - 4, at the Ribbonerie, 9-4. (the day before the Design 2 class). Alas, the time has come to thin things out -- need to make room for actual work -- desperate for space!  This is a one-day sale of some of my 40 years of vintage fabrics and clothing.  So pop into San Francisco for The Sale and stay for the Design 2 class.

    • New Men's Pattern Blocks from London
      Since a guy's sartorial splendor has now become a serious job getting tool, Martin Shoban, the go-to source for the best patterning tools in London, is offering new pattern blocks for men -- in our store.  The classic fitting shirt block is easy to adapt to a variety of shirt fittings with illustrated diagrams and the waistcoat block adapts to 5 styles. These blocks enable one to cut a beautifully balanced garment the first time out -- jackets and pants are there too!  Shoban has perfected the fit to exacting English standards.
    • New Online Pattern Classes
      The tech on this one was slow going but it's done at last! The first of three classes, from simple to complex, is called From Sketch to Pattern 1 and shows how to make a pattern from a sketch or photo using the flat pattern method.  As a kid I wished so hard that I could do this and have those dreamy clothes in the magazines. Dreams do come true!  It is Pay Per View and our plan is to have it tested and ready to go by February 1.
    • New Half-Scale Alva Forms
      The Alvanon people of fabulous dress forms have come out with a new half-scale form that is the ultimate! It hangs and has partial legs so pants can happen. Their forms are so accurate that the patterns fit well without the usual testing, testing stages in most cases.  See the new form and help designers to realize the benefits of using half scale forms with this survey.
    • New Pattern Printing Service
      A new service, perfect for those who want to print short runs of their own patterns and not go broke doing it.  AJ Printing in Santa Rosa, CA.  Plus, they print the instructions and envelops too. We use them for our patterns!

      It's a 1930's Spring!

      • F.I.T. 1930's Show in New York  --  Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s, February 7 - April 19, 2014.   This period of fashion, for both men and women, delivered the most exacting standards for cut and construction and, simultaneously, the most beautiful on the natural body.  It was also a very difficult time for society in general  . . .  maybe out of pain comes such discipline?  Just read the background for the show!
      •  Schiaparelli Sale! -- Christie's Auction January 23, 2014, Collection personnelle d'Elsa Schiaparelli, Paris.  Not only are the clothes amazing but the catalog igreat for those of us who study her designs to tiny pieces.
      • And More  . . . The House of Schiaparelli has a new creative director for the first time in almost half a century -- Marco Zanini. Zanini, a very savvy soul, who has worked previously for Halston and Versace, will present his first collection for the House of Schiaparelli during couture week in January.
      • Draping and Designing With Scissors and Cloth, 1930's And lastly, if you go wild about the 30's and just must do it -- check out our book that was printed at the time, for all those "domestic designers", on how to drape the slinky bias designs everyone swooned over in the Jean Harlow movies -- yum, yum!
      Then, lest you miss a true biggie -- plot now to get to New York for the Charles James show at the Met's Costume Institute, coming this summer, May 8 - August 10.  James, an American, was the McQueen of his time and the world's priciest couturier.  Be sure to see this show since ballgowns are back and you may need one, who knows?  He did curves in a delicious way, inventing contour belts, shaped side seams, the high waist-ed Dorothy skirt and kept waists THE single feature that generations of men have identified as the defining feature of a woman -- more powerful than long hair! (This was a PH.D. thesis.)  Beyond the Victorian age, we can thank James for the equation: Waists = Women.  Check the Charles James Mantle in our pattern collection!  And, here's Hamish being dazzled:


      So there we are . . .
      As we verge on 2014 it looks like everyone is in fact-facing mode and determined to make goo, sound decisions -- practical ones -- unlike those flying leaps of the early 2000's. The long economic shake-out has handed us a new era, new creativity, new people, new responsibilities and new ways to work. In short, now we're serious. 
      2014 going to be so good!

      Sandy

    Posted in January 2014

    Menswear!

    Posted on October 23, 2013 by Sandy Ericson | 0 Comments

    It's happened again! The economy went down, unemployment went up, competition for jobs came back with a vengeance and the first weapon on that front is always simply looking great -- so easy, so much fun and so socially and financially profitable! This economy-driven cycle regularly returns about once or twice a generation (30 years). And when men start looking great again, women compete too.  It's about getting selected by a guy with an eye, even if the eye is newly acquired.  I know looks are definitely not everything but we're not talking male model, just a show of a little sartorial taste.  So this month we have what I hope will be the first in a run of men's jackets, shirts, vests -- maybe some interesting, odd ties. The aesthetic now in the male world is an easy, yet original, cut in fabulous fabrics and colors -- a very welcome departure from the standard jock, corporate or grunge image. The emphasis is on comfort, practicality, great texture and color and design lines that avoid the usual.  Have fun with it!
    P.S. Since everybody loses a scarf now and then, the Scarf Jacket could be unisex too.

     

    Posted in October 2013, pattern design

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