Do you know that scary feeling you get when you want to cut into exclusive fabric? And now exclusive can be expensive, or very special, or brought from a faraway trip, or specially woven, or vintage and therefore no longer available. All reasons why fabric only needs to be cut once to make it impossible to carry out the project you want to make. But also cutting out embroidery that you may have worked on for weeks requires courage to be cut out:
This is one of the obstacles you have to overcome on your way to making couture: working with exclusive fabrics is essential when making special couture pieces.
Where do you get the confidence from? Three Tips
Today, I am going to give you three tips on how to develop this courage! So that you, too, can confidently put your scissors to work on your fabric.
Tip 1: Repetition
When you start a new project, there are always new aspects to consider. As a result, you sometimes miss something important and cannot easily speak from experience. To gain confidence in your insight, it is therefore a good idea to make a certain garment several times so that you know exactly what you are doing.
Take a pair of trousers, for example: the first time you struggle with the fly and the welt pockets. But once you’ve done it right, it’s easier the next time. You understand better what you are doing. You are enthusiastic about the result. And you simply make the same trousers again in a different colour or fabric.
Tip 2: Sample
What some people see as completely unnecessary, I embrace as the way to get it right at the end of the line: make a sample of firm, unbleached cotton (or a similar fabric to the final model).
For a sample of unbleached cotton (regardless of whether you are working with an existing pattern or from moulage) make a garment completely (so not only half a front and back part) before you cut the real fabric. You now track down all the things that are not right with the model:
- Is the size right?
- Is the sleeve or pant leg long enough?
- Is the top size right?
- Is the hip size right?
- Does the neck or collar fall nicely?
- Is the fabric straight? (Does the grain) run vertically?
- can the garment be put on and taken off? (fastening)
If you can answer all these questions in the affirmative, you will have more confidence in cutting the final fabric.
Tip 3: Plain Fabric
Make the first copies from plain fabric. Plain fabric is more forgiving, you can move around more and make fewer mistakes with it. As soon as you start working with a check or a motif that you want to run through nicely (a sign of craftsmanship!), things become a lot more difficult.
Do you have experience in cutting exclusive fabrics? What tip do you have? Share it below and help others to overcome this obstacle once and for all! 🙂
Saskia ter Welle’s programme of workshops, master classes and training courses is aimed at (prospective) professionals in the fashion industry who are looking for an opportunity to specialise in couture techniques. Enthusiastic amateurs are also very welcome! In the courses, a balance is sought between technique and inspiration, between knowledge and skill and artistic expression. Discovering one’s own handwriting is seen as crucial to the distinctive craftsmanship of each course participant.
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