Garment Construction: Introduction to Draping

Anya Ayoung Chee, Fashion Designer, Project Runway Winner, Mentor

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11 Lessons (60m)
    • 1. Trailer

      1:10
    • 2. Materials for Draping

      3:59
    • 3. Choosing a Fabric

      5:00
    • 4. Prepping the Muslin

      7:48
    • 5. Draping the Top (1/2)

      6:51
    • 6. Draping the Top (2/2)

      5:16
    • 7. Draping the Bottom

      6:28
    • 8. Draping the Back

      9:09
    • 9. Cutting the Pattern

      8:42
    • 10. Final Steps

      4:34
    • 11. More Creative Classes on Skillshare

      0:33
19 students are watching this class

Project Description

Construct a dress using draping techniques

Materials for Draping

  1. Gather materials for draping

    Here's a list of materials I typically use for draping:

    • Measuring tape
    • Draping tape (adhesive and nonadhesive)
    • Pins
    • Muslin (or other light-weight fabric)
    • Pin cushion
    • Scissors
    • Chalk
    • Rulers (curved and straight)
    • Dress form

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Choosing a Fabric

  1. Choose a fabric

    Choose the fabric you'd like to construct your garment with based on weight and flow. It's all about personal preference, the pattern that resonates with your taste.

    At this point, you'll need to decide the amount of material you require to make your final project. 

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  2. Sketch your garment

    Submit a drawing of the garment you want to create. Include details such as color and type of fabric. Bonus points if you include sketches from different viewpoints: front, back, and side.

Draping

  1. Prepare your dress form

    Use adhesive tape to trace an outline of your design on to the dress form. This process is similar to drawing in 3D.

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  2. Apply muslin to dress form

    Start by pinning fabric to the shoulder seam. Since muslin is a fairly transparent fabric, you should be able to see the adhesive tape from behind it. Treat the tape as a stencil. Apply pins to shape the muslin into a body's natural form.

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  3. Sketch stitch lines into the garment

    Use chalk to sketch where you will be stitching the garment. Take your time with this process, the neater your stitch lines the easier it will be to sew.

    Adjust the muslin fabric to fit your design, then submit a picture of your style lines to your project page.

    Cut excess fabric away from your garment.

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  4. Create a bottom on the dress form

    Drape the skirt on the waistline of the dress form (create a waistline with adhesive tape if your dress form lacks one). Be sure to leave enough fabric to cut the side seam of the skirt. 

    Use chalk to mark the center, waistline, and side of the skirt.

    Cut the skirt shape, leaving one inch of seam allowance.

    Use chalk to align your top and bottom pieces. 

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  5. Add a back to the dress

    Draw an outline on the back of the dress form with adhesive tape. Connect the shoulder and side seams to the ones you created in the front. Unlike the front panels, the back does not require darts. 

    Use chalk to mark the side seam and waist.  If you pin them together you will be able to see where to stitch.

    Repeat the same process for the bottom piece. Cut the skirt to a desired length by removing fabric from the bottom.

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Cutting the Pattern

  1. Mark all of the lines you need for sewing

    It’s helpful to leave identification marks on parts of the fabric. Cut small notches into the ends of the dart lines.

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  2. Pin your pattern to your fabric

    Flatten your pattern and fabric with an iron. Secure the pattern to the fabric with pushpins.

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  3. Cut excess fabric from your pattern

    Remove as much extra fabric away from the pattern as possible. It's helpful to use weights to keep the pattern in place as you cut. Repeat this process for the bottom.

    Share a photo of your fabric cut outs. 

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Final Steps

  1. Reconstruct your garment

    Attach your prints back to the dress form to see how the finished dress comes together. Take note of any changes you’d like to make in fabric choice, fit, seams, and cuts.

    Submit a photo of your final form to your project page. 

    Bonus points if you sew the garment together into a wearable product. 

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