Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Suit - toile fitting

I held a toile fitting for this suit as I was unsure how everything would work, due to the unusual shapes in the jacket as well as when considering more fitted tailoring for the contoured female form.

The skirt fitting went well, it needed only to be slightly let out over the hips so that the fabric lay more smoothly across the body here. I also decided to make deeper pleats in the skirt back so that it gives a wider appearance when the wearer walks - just like how the suit appears in the film.

There were, predictably, various changes to be made in the jacket. We changed proportions slightly in the lapel, and the width of the central belt was too thick. It was also decided to double the height of the shoulder pads, to get the same silhouette as on Joan Crawford. Here, it was interesting to note how to change properties of the costume itself, in order to develop the same silhouette as in a costume design. In this case, Joan Crawford was known to have naturally very broad shoulders for her slim frame; whereas my model does not have particularly broad ones. To get the same look, then, a lot more has to be added to the understructure of the suit itself, in the canvases and padding! I also made the jacket more fitted across the back by taking larger darts, to create a fit which was closer to the contours of the body.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Testing patterns on a stand

After drafting a basic pattern for the jacket, no sleeves, I cut half a jacket in calico with large seam allowances, pinned it together, and placed it on a stand which I had padded up to my model's measurements in order to see how the design lines function.

Although the jacket will need to have a certain degree of ease, it was clear that it was too loose for the fit especially in the skirt portion, which should be quite fitted to the body. The shape of the lapel, also was wrong, as was the neckline. I re-pinned the half-toile on the mannequin before making alterations on to the pattern.

In the future, I think it would be easier and less time-consuming if I started on the stand, rather than making a flat pattern first. As long as I take enough time to accurately pad out a stand to the wearer's measurements, it should make things easier as getting a certain look as I will be able to immediately judge it by eye. This is especially valuable when complicated design lines are required, as with this jacket. Alterations regarding ease can always be adjusted at a fitting, providing that I cut a toile with large seam allowances.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Fabric sampling

I decided to go fabric sampling as early on as possible so that I could get it out of the way and be able to spend as much time as possible in the studio.  After speaking to Kat about suitable fabrics, and going through all of the shops in Goldhawk Road, I have managed to find a beautiful black wool flannel for the suit.

I also bought lining for the suit. Ideally I would have bought silk lining but it was simply out of my budget. Although I am trying to make the suit to couture methods (and, possibly, standards!) I just couldn't afford to use silk lining as it would have meant doubling the cost of the suit. For my purposes, using a synthetic lining fabric is completely appropriate.

Sampling for the dress proved a little more complicated. I managed to find several shops stocking a heavy double-backed silk crepe but the colour choices were limited. I was hoping to find an eau-de-nil green which is very typical of the 1930s but asked for samples of other appealing colours too. Colours similar to eau-de-nil were available in a couple of shops, but I was told that they were unusual and that they rarely got them in; they also had very little available (1-2m). I found many shades of grey, which could also be suitable, and bought a length of blue crepe which was a bargain; I could dye it, although it might be too lightweight for the dress. Overall I am trying  to avoid dyeing fabric as I am not very good at it, and don't want to risk ruining a large length of silk! I will have to consult with Mandy regarding fabric for the dress, when I begin draping the toile in the coming months.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


My research tells me that in couture workrooms, patterns are developed by draping on the stand. However, I have decided to start by flat-drafting the jacket pattern according to instructions in Pattern cutting for women's tailored jackets: classic and contemporary (Aldrich, 2002). This is because I am not familiar with drafting women's jackets, and am not aware of the amount of ease required to get a good fit. As Aldrich's directions incorporate standard ease I have decided to start with a flat pattern, to be able to check all the measurements, and alter the shapes by eye. Then I will cut half a jacket in calico and place it on the stand, in order to see which elements, if any, need change.

I will draft the skirt flat as this is not an unusual shape or fit, and there should be minimal alterations to a basic straight skirt block.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Discovering the film & re-doing line drawing

I have finally had the opportunity to watch the film No More Ladies, which the suit I am making comes from. I had of course looked into the film at the start of this project, but it was a Region 1 only DVD, which would have been an expensive US-import, and would not have played on my DVD player anyway. However, by chance I discovered that a friend had an old recording of the film which I was able to watch, and glean much more information regarding the costume and its context from.

The film is a typical light-hearted romantic comedy (of sorts) which is typical of the 1930s in that it represented and allowed an escapism for audiences in the grip of the Depression.  In the film, Joan Crawford plays a society girl who marries her sweetheart whilst knowing that he is a philandering ladies' man. Her husband soon goes back to his womanising ways, and her reaction is to throw a huge party inviting all of his ex-flings in order to embarrass him. At the end he is remorseful and they reconcile. The plot line is very shallow, but it is clearly meant to be taken as a simple piece of light-hearted entertainment.

The huge lapels and slim-line skirt of the suit, I discovered, are a design device used throughout the film: more than one outfit has the huge lapels! Here is just one:

This was a very interesting discovery. The extravagant, over-the-top costumes (due in no small part to the lapels!) contrast strongly with the bare, almost stark interior sets. The costumes are definitely a display. The extravagant costumes therefore form another part of the film's feeling of light-hearted other-worldliness: in the context of the American economic depression the escapism of the shallow, vacuous plot is heightened further by the eccentric costumes, which reference silhouettes of 1930s fashions strongly, whilst proving to be their own category of clothing: that is, that of film costume.

Unfortunately the print of the film is very bad; however you can get an idea from these stills I have taken, as screenshots. By watching the film I surmised that there are a few inconsistencies with that and the publicity shot that I was referring to for the costume design: for instance, the pleats on the skirt are clearly two inverted kick pleats rather than one pleat at the centre front. The silhouette of the jacket is also made clear.

More film stills are included in my hard-copy research file!

I will re-do the line drawing in order to tie in with my new discoveries about the suit's design details and amend the patterns accordingly, although overall there aren't too many changes.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Drawing up the line drawing

Completing a clear line drawing is essential for pattern drafting as it reveals all of the specific design elements which aren't always clear in a costume design. This is certainly true in the photograph of the Crawford suit, which appears much more clearly onscreen (and with a bright screen setting!) than when I have printed it off. To help me understand its proportions, I traced it in Photoshop. I only included the head and feet so as to get a feel for proportion.

The line drawing is my best understanding of the style lines in the suit. From what I can tell of the skirt:
  •  The central skirt seam is a-symmetric (although it is difficult to tell as she is standing at an angle), and there is an inverted knife pleat which reaches up to the knees. 
  • The skirt is quite long, and narrow

  • The jacket is very fitted at the waist and across the hips. 
  • It is less tight above the waist. This might mean that the bust shaping should be incorporated with pleats rather than darts, depending on the bust size of the model.
  • The lapels come across as extensions onto the centre front line.
  • The central belt is quite wide
  • The sleeves are quite narrow. 
  • The shoulders are quite square.

From my research (see the research tag as well as my separate hard-copy research file) I have discovered a number of commonly-used style lines in 1930s suits and my line-drawing is therefore drawn according to a combination of these, as well as the suit photo.

[line drawing image]

  • The skirt is the same cut as above (a fitted pencil skirt tapering in slightly at the knee then flaring out very slightly below it); however I have decided to keep the central seam to the centre front, and add an inverted box pleat. The reason for this is to keep a harmony of line within the suit, the with slimline effect emphasising the large, exaggerated lapels.  
  • I have decided to incorporate a box pleat firstly because it will allow for easier movement. I am making the suit to be worn by a woman of today, and feel that a very long and narrow skirt will be unnecessarily restrictive of movement. The inverted box pleat is still in keeping with the period (I have found it on other examples of suits, dresses and skirts of the 1930s) but means that the suit can be more easily and comfortably worn. Crawford, after all, was wearing it for a publicity photograph and possibly within the film; it is therefore unlikely that she really had to do much walking in it!
  • The second reason to incorporate a box pleat is that it will subtly reflect the V-shape of the collar.
  • There will be a side zip and a separate waistband. 
  • The skirt is shaped at the waist by darts.

  • The jacket front is shaped by vertical waist and bust darts. 
  • The jacket back is shaped by the addition of a side-back seam. I have decided to incorporate this instead of using darts as I have seen it on many 1930s suits (see my research) and feel that it is a nice addition which again visually reinforces the slimline feel.
  • The jacket is divided by the central belt, which crosses over the centre front and closes with a self-covered fabric button.
  • The central belt continues across the back. It is without the centre-back seam, but is shaped at the side seams.
  • The centre front will be closed with hidden hooks-and-eyes.
  • The lower skirts are cut on the straight and shaped to the body with darts.
  • The lower skirts are cut away at the centre front, in line with the point of the arrow of the central belt.
  • The jacket has shoulder pads which will be made to couture methods and shaped on the stand 
  • The sleeves are cut as a two-piece sleeve. A squarer sleeve head, it is fitted smoothly into the armhole, not with pleats. There will be padding in the sleeve head to achieve this look.
  • The skirt and jacket will both be fully lined
  • Skirt lining will be cut away over the pleat on the inside.
  • Jacket lining will mostly be sewn into place by hand
  • The jacket will be fully canvassed and pad stitched
  • I am planning on using as many couture-level construction techniques as possible, according to what time I have!
I want to investigate as many sewing techniques suitable to the period - and what would have been a high-quality garment - as possible. I also want this to be a wearable garment for a modern women, which looks (and is) as period-accurate as possible. I do not want this to be a suit which she can only stand around and pose in, nor do I want it to be a museum piece.

    Thursday, 19 January 2012

    Researching style lines

    This suit isn't typical of its period. I am certain of the fact that it would have been specially commissioned and made for Joan Crawford, because she was a Star, and also because it was used in her publicity material.

    Nonetheless it does bear relation to stylistic elements of the period. To analyse the suit:

    To me, with the wide-brimmed hat and her canine companion, the suit suggests Parisian chic, nonchalance and elegance. The suit is feminine, with its pencil skirt and the belted, narrow waist but confident and assertive, in the emphasis on the shoulders with those dramatic lapels. She appears to be walking that dog but the slimline pencil skirt isn't really suitable for much walking. The suit is made for visual impact, designed to make an impression, rather than being a more everyday suit that a woman who worked in an office, for instance, may have worn. 

    The slimming effect on the body from the waist downwards means that the emphasis, again, is on the shoulders. From my research into the period I know that the shoulders would have been padded. Photographed in 1935, the suit anticipates the strong shoulder-padded silhouette which became so iconic in the late 1930s and especially the 1940s. Shoulder pads were iconic to Joan Crawford herself due to her already-wide shoulders; they are undoubtedly her signature look. 

    What I am curious about is how the jacket has been shaped, and how it looks at the back. I am looking at line drawings and illustrations on sewing patterns of the 1930s to glean information on what it could have looked like, and the extra details. From these analyses, I will draw a clear and detailed line drawing to consolidate how I draft the suit.

    1) This sewing pattern from the 1930s is more of an everyday suit. However it shows construction details.

    With its inverted pleat into a centre front seam and lack of centre back seam (suggesting that a zip was encased into the side seam), the skirt on the right hand side most resembles the one I am going to make. Crawford's skirt is longer and narrower: it tapers in at the knee rather than flaring out. Nonetheless this pattern gives me really valuable information regarding the outline of the skirt.

    In terms of the silhouette, despite the shorter and more flared skirt (which makes it a more practical garment) the emphasis is overall on the shoulders. They look padded and the jacket sleeves are gathered at the very top of the sleeve head . The high lapels also curve up directly towards the shoulders. 

    The jackets above are shaped at the front by darts: waist darts under the bust, and a bust dart which comes vertically above the apex of the bust. They differ in shaping at the back, and here is where my options come in. On the left the jacket is shaped by side back seams which gives a clean line and a fitted look. The jacket on the right has a horizontal panel (described as 'back belt', below) coming across the centre back at the waist and in the hollow of the back, giving the visual effect of drawing the jacket in at the waist. This balances against the puffed sleeves. An inverted pleat at the centre back also serves as a back vent; this would allow for movement.

    Whilst the inverted back pleat (aka back vent) is a nice detail I feel that it does not suit the formality or the elegance of Crawford's suit. It speaks more of practicality rather than glamour.  The back belt, however, is a really nice detail and is in keeping with the belted effect of Crawford's 1935 suit.

    2) This 1930s pattern shows a skirt which is near-identical in silhouette to Crawford's, albeit without the centre front pleat. Importantly, whilst the jacket differs in style, the overall silhouette places a similar emphasis on the shoulders above any other part of the body. 

    This one also has waist darts below the bust, and bust darts intersecting the shoulder line; as opposed to shaping achieved via princess seams. If you look at the line drawing to the right (see the image above), the jacket also features a belted effect at the back waist. The shaping at the back is achieved through darts which have been aligned carefully; it mirrors the front, in this respect.

    I believe that the jacket illustrates the same silhouette as Crawford's suit. There is also the narrow belted waist effect, and the fitted, slim hips. The lower portion of Crawford's jacket is cut away at the centre front, almost creating the idea of a peplum. However I believe that it is still fitted to the body, and therefore cut on the straight; as opposed to flaring out to create a more skirted peplum effect. 

    The lapels, whilst involving a stepped collar, are really very similar. Their positioning above the waist is in a practically identical way to the Crawford suit. I believe that if you extend the diagonal line of the lapel upwards, ignoring the collar, they would come to end at a similar point to on the Crawford suit.

    On this suit, as with the suit above, there is the option of the puffed sleeve or the more fitted sleeve. The puffed sleeve jacket is illustrated with a more feminine, possibly frog closure; a frilled blouse, and a dainty hat. It is clearly meant to suggest femininity. The fitted sleeve jacket, whilst still placing all the emphasis on the shoulders, is nonetheless illustrated with a smart but more utilitarian belt; a blouse with a tailored fall collar; and a jaunty feathered hat, resembling a masculine trilby. Both suggest the same kind of smartness and chic as the Crawford suit; but the connotations of frilly, frothy femininity and sharp, incisive masculinity are very clear in the illustrations. The question is - which do I choose to draft for my suit? 

    Ultimately I feel that it is not necessary to add the extra pleats at the sleeve head. The strong-shouldered look will be created with shoulder padding anyway, and the lapels are of so wide a width that they would conceal the extra "puff", as viewed from the front. I feel that the lapels (and specifically their points which end at the shoulders) are the most important element of the suit and I don't want extraneous details to distract from them.

    The skirt is a similar length to the Crawford suit and has a similar effect in fitting across the hips, tapering in at the knee, then flaring out a little again below the knee. This skirt has side vents below the knee but I will achieve this flared effect with the centre front pleat.

    Unfortunately, thumbnails of the pattern pieces are not provided on this pattern so I cannot glean further construction information beyond analysing the line drawings.

    Wednesday, 18 January 2012

    Analysing the Dior jacket

    I have discovered the teaching sample of a woman's Dior/"New Look" style jacket made by Katerina, which has been left half-completed. The lining of one half is un-done and un-finished, allowing me to glimpse inside to look at the construction techniques. I have been analysing the construction of the jacket in relation to what I learnt about male bespoke tailoring. Katerina has researched couture sewing and women's tailoring techniques thoroughly for this jacket, and has recommended a few books on couture sewing techniques.

    The outfits of 1930s Hollywood and the couture houses of 1930s Paris were very closely linked. It's therefore going to be extremely informative to study couture techniques in making the suit (and dress).


    Hip frills, couture-style.

    The jacket has a very exaggerated hourglass silhouette which is created with boning, padding the wearer's bust, and finally, having small hip pads worn invisibly under the jacket. The narrow waist is so tight that an attached petersham belt is fastened underneath the jacket to take the strain, so that the strain is not placed on the buttonholes (which would weaken and soon disintegrate). It has padding at the shoulders and sleeve head.

    The suit's silhouette is like an extreme version of the Crawford suit. Neither waist boning nor hip frills will be necessary in order to create the Crawford suit; they are specific to the Dior look. I may create more pronounced, squarer shoulders, which I will build up with shoulder pads bespoke to the model's padded mannequin. The Dior suit is fully canvased and pad stitched, with a rolled lapel - just like on male tailoring.  The treatment of outer edges and seam allowances is slightly different. I am going to research couture techniques dealing with specific areas, as well as copying what Katerina has done, in order to achieve the couture effect on my finished suit.

    Monday, 16 January 2012


    I have been considering the underwear for both the dress and the suit very carefully.
    The 1930s were a time where fashion embraced the curves and lines of the natural and healthy body, rather than forcing the wearer into a specified silhouette with corsetry. Foundation garments were certainly used- as a youthful look was desired, smaller busts and slimmer hips were still the fashionable line - just as with earlier in the period. The 1930s look was far more feminine than the 1920s look, as the natural waist was a once more a feature of garments. Clothes were more fitted to the form than in earlier years.

    As the 1930s silhouette was really focussed on the body (albeit a tall, slim-hipped, small-busted body) there is no need to really confine or pad out the body to create a required silhouette. Rather than using or making period undergarments, then, I have realised that I am able to create the quintessential 1930s silhouette using carefully-selected items of modern lingerie, which are of the same (or a similar) cut to 1930s lingerie. In this project I am looking at exploring cut and construction of the 1930s, but in making the two outfits, applying the 1930s look in a modern context. This will help me if I need to create this silhouette when working in the theatre in the future, using what resources are available now. I am aware that were I making garments with a more pronounced silhouette, such as the 1950s hourglass/bullet bra shape, or the 1900s S-bend corset shape, I would definitely have to make much more specific undergarments in order to be able to achieve the correct silhouette. However in this case, using equivalent contemporary underwear and shape-wear is completely relevant to my needs.

    (For factual sources for this blog entry, see Cunnington, 1950s, pages 154-159; photocopied in my hard-copy Research File.)

    My model is a slim size 8-10 and has just the lean silhouette which suits the period. (If she were five inches taller, and I pin-curled her hair, she would be of the ideal 1930s fashion illustration body type!) 1930s bras were simply structured, providing some support but not as fiercely as corsets might have (or as later bras of the 1950s would have). I have therefore opted to use a modern bra, which results in the same effect as a 1930s bra would have. It is made of silk and lace, and the cups are cut to provide a very slight point. It is underwired, unlike 1930s bras, but really does not provide much "uplift"! Therefore I think it will be definitely suitable for the suit.

    I have discovered that, with the backless or low-backed styles of 1930s evening dresses, many women opted not to wear a bra at all. So for the dress I will not use any bra at all. This is possible as my model has a slim bust and so the issues regarding bust support are not present. If I were to cut the dress for a model with a more pronounced bust, I would be thinking of a low-backed corselette, or even to cut the dress with a higher back, so that it covered the bra band.

    Long-line girdles were commonly used to suppress the hips, in order for the form to appear as slim as possible. Suspender belts were also worn, which would have suppressed the waist.

     At first I considered making a "waspie" type of garment (made of heavy elastic, with gores over the hips and a central busk) so as to narrow the waist even further for the suit. But as my model does have a pronounced waist I don't think that it will be necessary to suppress it even further, in order to get the required silhouette. I would definitely use one if I was making for a model with a less pronounced waist. Alternatively I could pad the hip area of the jacket in order to suggest the curve.

    I have purchased a lightweight girdle for my model, just to create as smooth a line as possible across the stomach and hips. Again it is a modern one and is from Kiss Me Deadly, a company renown for both its shape-wear - especially suspender belts! - and its reference to period underwear in its designs. Modern shape-wear is known for being more light-weight than the far heavier, often boned, period shape-wear; however again as my model is slim anyway, this is not such an issue.

    Slip, knickers, chemise or camiknickers?
    The 1930s woman would have worn another layer in addition to the bra. Knickers were often French knickers with an open gusset but as outer garments became more and more fitted, it was important that undergarments did as well. The Lady in Cunnington, 1951, p.156:
    Now that skirts are longer and slimness just as much admired, the best type of knicker (often yoked) fits close to the leg and ends at the knee without gathers, or if of silk tricot, in a garter band.
    The importance of invisibility of any knicker lines (1930s "visible panty line" anxiety!) is thus stressed. Therefore for the bias-cut dress, as it will be so form-fitting around the knicker area, I will use some "No VPL" knickers from Marks & Spencers in conjunction with the girdle. 1930s knickers were longer but this will not affect the overall silhouette.

    Or I might use these, which include light abdominal support. I will first see what the effects of the girdle are before ordering to see if additional support is really necessary.

    For the suit, I am going to fit the jacket over a simple silk blouse; it will not be seen but a blouse would have been worn under the jacket, and so I need to fit it over something in order to see what ease is needed. I have chosen a blouse which has very light shoulder padding.

    If I have time, I am planning on making a bias-cut teddy/cami-knickers or slip, to fit my model, which are to be worn over the bra. This would be a period-accurate undergarment which again, by adding an extra layer of fabric onto the body, will affect how tight areas of the suit can be. I plan to make these over the Easter holiday (if I have the time) and even if I do not end up being able to use them with the suit, it will be a good way to practice working with bias-cut fabrics. It will be an attractive way to produce samples of seaming and finishing.

    Tuesday, 10 January 2012

    Starting EMP

    I am both excited and nervous to start EMP!
    After giving it quite a lot of thought, I have decided to focus on developing my pattern cutting and sewing skills in women's wear for EMP. Having only formally made one female costume during my time on the course (18th century stays, jacket and skirt for Candide, in second year) I feel that I am lacking in experience in cutting to a contoured form, and working with a body incorporating more curves. I've therefore decided to make a woman's suit and bias-cut evening dress from the 1930s.

    Over the last few days I have been researching looks from the period to try to decide what suit and dress to make. Most specifically I've been looking at Hollywood movie stills and stars' publicity shots from the late 1920s to the 1940s (the "Golden Age") and have discovered the link between American Hollywood looks (screen costume as well as clothes) and the Paris couturiers' salons which has been interesting: investigating couture sewing techniques could therefore be relevant.

    A lot of the women's suits I have found have been quite masculine looking; that is, they are in style and silhouette extremely reminiscent of a man's suit, with stepped collars, single- or double-breasted with buttons, and a slim and simple skirt. I am looking for something a little more unusual, with some kind of exciting and challenging detail or feature to incorporate. I was therefore really happy to discover this image of Joan Crawford which was taken in 1935.

    According to the website it is from (www.joancrawfordbest.com/), the photograph is a publicity shot for the 1935 film No More Ladies, which sadly is not available for purchase in the UK.

    I've decided to make the suit, in black wool. (I will not make the dog.) The skirt looks simple - a pencil skirt with an inverted pleat at the centre front - and so as usual the complexity comes in the jacket. I will research couture sewing techniques to make this. I also plan to try to look at suits from the period.

    The second part of my EMP will be making a bias-cut evening dress, also from the 1930s. I have found an absolute abundance of images of bias-cut dresses and have been looking for one which isn't too fussy or frilly (personally I am just not keen on the butterfly sleeves) but which retails an element of interest and/or challenge. I have found the following plate from Collectible fashions of the turbulent 1930s (Laubner, 2000) which is from a Parisian couture house. I will be making it without the train. As well as the difficulty I anticipate working with bias drape, it has the added structural complexity of the extra side panels in the skirt. But it will be a welcome challenge.

    In making two different women's garments from the period of the 1930s I am hoping to deepen my knowledge of 20th Century dress in understanding the different social contexts they were worn in, who they were worn by, and who was meant to view the garments being worn. I will also be greatly expanding upon my repertoire of sewing skills in dealing with techniques which I have only briefly covered in the past, such as bias cutting and cutting for the contoured body. I am planning on using traditional couture sewing techniques combined with my knowledge of bespoke tailoring techniques to complete the garments, to achieve a period and couture look for a modern body. As such, the undergarments I will use will be from modern sources, although they will achieve the same effect as strictly period undergarments. (I will expand on this in a separate blog post.)

    Monday, 9 January 2012

    Learning Agreement

    I intend to work on two projects during EMP, both of which have been carefully chosen in order to develop areas of making which I have not yet been able to explore. As I have had little experience in making costumes to fit women during my time at AUCB, I have decided to focus specifically on women’s wear in order to further my knowledge of the complexities and challenges of creating fitted period garments for women. I have chosen to examine the cut and construction of 1930s women’s wear as this period incorporates a variety of dressmaking styles due to the recent introduction of bias-cutting, and the fact that etiquette in dress was still practiced. I therefore am taking the opportunity to make two different outfits which involve very different types of making.

    For the first half of EMP I will focus on applying what I have learnt in studying tailoring to women’s wear by making a suit as worn by Joan Crawford in the 1935 film No More Ladies (Griffith, 1935). I will research tailoring for women in order to discover which elements of men’s bespoke tailoring, if any, are transferable. I will then work to create a suit to a high standard, which may incorporate techniques correct to a Hollywood costume workroom.

    For the second half of EMP I will make a bias-cut evening dress, chosen from a 1930s fashion plate. I have had very little experience in working with bias-cut fabric and as such, fully anticipate to be greatly challenged by this project. I have chosen a design with construction interest but minimal decoration, so that I can focus in developing and heightening my making abilities.

    To research this project I intend to look at various books on the period as well as on couture sewing techniques. Additionally when possible I will examine historical garments from around the period, in order to try to understand the construction. Completing these two projects will allow me to expand my portfolio of making skills, and allow me to become a more versatile maker. I will continue to work as independently as possible in order to expand upon my own problem-solving abilities.