|Dolly Couture inspired by Zuhair Murad.|
After having featured posts on the Charles James exhibition in New York and the most recent Haute Couture week in Paris, I thought this would be a good time to revisit couture "draping" techniques we posted a while ago. This time I've prepared a video:
For the 12" fashion doll, you'll need a length of fabric roughly 36 by 18 inches. Use it width wise and not length wise as stated in the video. Should you misjudge the amount need (which is what originally happened in the video) you can simply sew on an extension which you will steam press until barely noticeable.
Here are the important things to keep in mind:
2. Analyze the design to discern out how it was made. Decide where the dress will close (side, back, front). Use hooks & eyes. And make design decisions as to what you'll do with the back since you cannot see it in the photo.
3. Make the foundation out of a sturdy, woven fabric. It should not be stretch nor too soft. Try to match it to the color of the dress or to the background color of a printed fabric. Complete it right down to the closure and put it on the doll. The gown will be built directly onto the foundation.
4. The foundation can be a full sheath dress, a strapless mini (like mine), a corset or one-shouldered. It depends on the ultimate design of the dress and the amount of control you'll need over the movement of the folds. You can use a facing around the neckline or completely line your foundation, but it must be finished complete with the closure BEFORE your begin the drape.
5. Your thread should match your fabric.
6. You can use almost any material for the dress fabric provided it is not too thick nor too stiff. Hint: natural fibers are easier to handle than synthetics.
7. Take your time when stitching the fabric to the foundation. Work from left to right, from top to bottom. Carefully remove the pins as you finish each area. Then, remove the pinned dress from the doll prior to stitching down the folds. Try to slide the needle between the layers so they remain as invisible as possible but don't pull your stitches too tight. It will shrink your dress. (Been there, done that!)
8. Don't despair if the result is not a line for line copy of the original. Often, the imperfections make it more interesting AND it allows you to take ownership of the original dress!
Use this technique for an all over draped dress or in small areas like over a part of bodice or corset.
As you work, think of this as soft sculpture where you "mold" your creation with fabric atop a wireframe base (the dress foundation). The possibilities are limitless! Once you get a feel for it, let that inner couturier take over and explore your own designs!!!
"Fit to be Tied" we did last year. A single necktie provided enough fabric for each of these two lovely dresses.
Start with a basic, strapless sheath gown and add the "draped" segment to the bodice and allow it to trail down the front to get this dolly version of an Alexander McQueen dress worn by actress, Sandra Bullock.
We're also on Pinterest: pinterest.com/FashDollStylist