Day 7 Giveaway. Draping: The Complete Course

draping_complete_course_coverAnd now we come to the final day of our 7 day, 7 book giveaway… people, I’m thinking this one –Draping: The Complete Course– is a game changer; this book is exquisite. It would seem that many agree with me, newly published last month, it is already out of stock. Oh wait, there’s a bit of confusion. Amazon shows it won’t go on sale until October 1st. Either way, I recommend pre-ordering it. You want to make sure you’ll get a copy when they come available. Really, you will. This is the book of the year, maybe even the book of next year. I haven’t ever seen anything like this –it weighs 4 pounds! All I can say is that I’m glad I don’t write draping books because this would be a tough act to follow.

Now. As a lot of you already know, I’m not too wild on draping. Not that I don’t care for it, not that I don’t think it’s a great thing and it definitely has its uses, but I’m one of those (apparently rare?) people who can create flounces, cowls -you know, all draped styles- with paper and pencil or CAD. Frankly until I started this blog, I didn’t know that everyone else couldn’t because any place I’d worked, everybody else drafted exclusively too. But anyway, I definitely plan to keep this book on hand to show visiting designers and maybe do a hands on exercise with them to show how they can learn to render their desired design effects with a bit of cloth and a form. [Speaking of forms, I have another cool new product waiting in the wings that I’m not allowed to announce just yet. Too bad it couldn’t have been timed to coincide with the release of this book.]

But I digress. You know another thing this book covers? Knits! Yeah, knit draping. Pretty cool huh?

Alright. I’m running too far short on time today so I will pick this review up later but being that I’m still committed to my publishing schedule, I have to post this as is. I have to figure out a way to temper my enthusiasm as I’m really excited about this book.

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kiisel
1200 illustrations, 320 pages
11.875″ x 8.75″, paperback
1 DVD with 32 video tutorials
ISBN 9781780670935
35% discount at checkout with code BACKTOSCHOOL13 at the publisher’s website: Laurence King
List: $75

Rules to enter today’s giveaway:
This book is very special and I prefer that people who enter to win it, have the means to use it. Meaning, please don’t enter unless you have a form or access to one. That said, leave a comment describing how draping resolves problems for you either in the development process or in being able to convey your desired effects.  Please, one entry per person and if you’ve won before, you’re not eligible to win this one although you are certainly welcome to participate. Good luck everybody!

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  1. Karen Cook says:

    I just draped a bias dress for my daughter over the past few weeks. It was the first and only thing I have ever draped and now I think I’m hooked. I think the draping was more effective than flat pattern making in this instance because I didn’t know how the bias would behave until I got it on the form. It was a good experience for learning how and why certain pattern pieces are shaped the way they are.

  2. Xiu says:

    Draping can be fun. Draping resolves my design ideas by showing me how the fabric acts. More time then not, what I have in my head is different from how the fabric actually act. Draping at times has shown me a different perspective how a design may be, could be. Sometime for better and others not so much. Thanks. =)

  3. Maureen says:

    If I don’t win, I will have to buy one. I have a petite frame mostly in the leg but also in the hip and above the bust. Unfortunately, my petite frame also carries a lot of fluff. I’ve been draping on my custom made form, but there are some areas that need help, especially the armscye to shoulder area. I’m hoping there are some hints to more accurately draping that area.

  4. Grace says:

    I work with recycled textiles and often pin and drape them to my form while I decide how to proceed. As Karen Cook mentioned, draping while auditioning fabrics helps me learn how the fabric behaves. It also allows bias and knit fabrics to relax and fall.

  5. ginevra says:

    Wel, I don’t really drape. Definitely, I’d like to learn. But I have a dressform & I pin my hand-knit desings onto it. The dressform taught me that some hand-knit stitches/yarns ‘drop’ a huge amount, so you can’t really predict how many rows you’ll need until you hang/pin it on a dress form.

  6. Natasha E says:

    Well I’ve shown my draping results of the quaver twist puzzle so you know I have a form. For certain effects for me it used to be easier to go straight to the form. It’s a little more cerebral in nature. I remember disliking draping but when I look over the garments that came out of the draping classes you can definitely see that I didn’t start actualizing my designs until I started draping. And then once I got an idea of what the pattern pieces ended up looking like that added to my pattern making vocabulary.

    I definitely prefer to drape my blocks. At least at first

  7. Christina D. says:

    I envy you your ability to draft oddball pieces without draping! I often have the urge to make unusually shaped pieces, and draping is literally the only way I can wrap my head around how to make that shape out of fabric. Heck, even simple things like collars are easiest for me to drape!

  8. Ayse says:

    I’ve been working on draping more because I find it loosens me up, stylistically. I try out shapes I might have skipped because I wasn’t sure how they’d look on a body. I do like the idea of being able to design for some knits more reliably, since I always seem to make mistakes with knits in flat design.

  9. Deana says:

    I haven’t draped yet, but it is literally the next skill on my to-do list. I find that lots of styles advocated as “universally flattering” definitely aren’t (belted cardigans and pencil skirts, I’m looking at you). So, I am looking forward to learning a process that helps me see a project in three truly realistic dimensions. Also, as a visual learner, I suspect that designing/drafting on a form will probably also result in some “aha” moments regarding flat pattern adjustment.

    I think I just convinced myself to buy this book if I don’t win :)

  10. Beth says:

    I’m lucky to have a foam dress form that I’ve adjusted to my size, and I use it to create historical costumes for myself. I find draping especially helpful for achieving a good fit and for making sure that design details are the right proportion, but most of my draping knowledge comes from a costume shop internship and trial-and-error. I’d love a book that is a course on draping – I’ve even thought about getting a half-size form just so I can practice techniques!

  11. Katherine says:

    I have only done a little bit of draping…from magazine articles, so it doesn’t get much beyond a basic bodice or pencil skirt. I have mostly used draping when I can’t get the fit right through the shoulders. I would love to be able to drape twisted jersey designs similar to some of donna karan’s dresses.

  12. catx says:

    I’ve lately found that draping is great for repurposing various textiles, as well as getting some idea of how fabric’s going to behave in use.

    It’d be grand to have a better reference on draping, rather than approaching it as “Look! Pins! Dress form!”

  13. Judy Morgan says:

    I’m not so hot at being able to fit patterns to my own plus size body so a couple of years ago my niece helped me do a paper tape wrap of my body for a dress form. Much of the time it has a belly dancing coatume on it. My son put the head of Joseph (from our Nativity) on it and it has shocked a few people coming into my sewing room! Anyway, I would love to learn draping because I would be able to see where to put the drapes to hide the worst and accentuate the not so bad areas.

  14. Breeyn says:

    All of my classes taught me drafting, but I definitely use draping to solve problems. Notably, volume and proportion issues when I am creating geometrical/structured pieces that I don’t have the background to come at from a flat pattern effectively. I bought Pattern Magic 1 and 2 to learn some new techniques, and I trust you very much – if you think this book is this good, I need to get my paws on it.

  15. Magdalena says:

    I drape every time I’m not sure how much fullness I need to get the desired effect. Either it is gathers, tuck or fullness in a skirt.

  16. Djdeighan says:

    I love the ‘conversation’ that takes place when draping. I need more depth though, and this book would teach me. Thanks for all the information..

  17. Virginia says:

    I’ve had two quarters of grading covering hand and computer methods. But, with just about every class session I attended, I could never stop myself from wondering how to grade proportions other than standard misses sizes from 6-20. I like puzzles, so my mind kept trying to process how the principles I was learning would apply to petite and plus size garments (thanks for the link to the ASTM standards–that will help!). I’d love to progress to understanding these different sizing categories. And, we didn’t do much with knits, which is of particular importance to me.

    Agree with draping to understand how a certain fabric behaves. But, I almost always default to all of my flat patternmaking knowledge first. With that bias…as for the development process, I definitely enjoy just draping my early flat pattern pieces onto the dress form (when it makes sense) to get a preliminary idea of whether things are working. That step often improves the results of my first draft/muslin.

  18. Kate says:

    I learnt draping at college and made an amazing striped coat. Since then my lovely dress stand is used a place to put things. I dress her up! Sometimes I drape fabric on her just to see what the scale or feel or drape of the fabric is like but I rely on flat pattern cutting as I am so confident with it. But this book would rekindle my interest and skills and provide a new challenge for me.

  19. Mary G says:

    I have been draping on Dressforms for years without formal training so I would love to have a great source like this to refer to.

  20. Renee says:

    Whenever I am not sure how my pattern will work out, I’ll drape it on my form. Works for me! I love to see the effects of a drape and play with the fabric to get the desired effects.

    BTW Of course I’m willing to pay for the cost of sending it over seas!

  21. vee says:

    I draped a dress 10 years ago for a wedding and didn’t know that was actually draping until this year when I watched an documentary about fashion in the 1920s. I enjoy the techniques the effect it gives when you stand and walk. I used those same techniques on clothes I recycled .

  22. Udeshi says:

    I experimented draping while I was doing my final collection in the uni & just loved it ever since. As much as I love flat pattern cutting I found that draping helps me to discover some amazing shapes that I couldn’t have thought otherwise. For me, it just sparks my creativity! I must say, learning the right techniques can help a lot!

  23. adela says:

    Me gusta mucho todo lo drapeado de hecho hace un par de años me cosi un vestido drapeado aunque no me quedo perfecto

  24. Shelley Pleger says:

    I took a very basic draping class on Craftsy not long ago and found that it’s pretty cool. I have a ‘regular’ form, but I also have a couple of duct tape dummies ( don’t laugh) that are very close to my daughter and myself that I would use too. So far it helped me get the perfect straight skirt with the darts in the right places with the correct pitch. Not grand, but it’s a start.
    It’s great there’s video tutorials included with this book, since that’s what really helped me understand the Craftsy class.

  25. Oami says:

    I almost always draft my patterns but I have draped a couple of garments on my form, and I’ve always been curious to learn more. What I like about it is that you’re working on the pattern in three dimensions, rather than mentally translating a three dimensional idea into two dimensions.

  26. Taylar Wooten says:

    I’ve always drafted patterns commercially but wanted to learn how to drape last year. Because of my figure (straight back, large bust), I had a friend of my come over and we made a body double using the Duct Tape Method. So I am able to drape garments basically on myself. I like fitting to the curve of my back which is a hard area to draft especially when working alone. Anyway, I’m making my way through the Connie Crawford book but would love to have the Complete Course on Draping. This book would not gather dust at my house. I still have so much to learn about the art of draping.

  27. Pam says:

    Draping allows me to quickly see whether an idea is worth persuing , before I invest time in drafting a paper pattern.

  28. Michele Q. says:

    Learning about draping was a huge help to me. I don’t do well with drafting on paper. I just can’t “see” what I am trying to do. I am guessing it has something to do with how a person’s brain works. If I don’t win the book I will definitely be buying it! I have a basic dress form (adjustable one from a big box fabric store) but am saving for a better one.

  29. Latrice says:

    I have been eyeballing this book for a few months now. Definitely looks like a book to have from the previews. Draping helps resolve some balancing issue with drafting patterns for very large bust on a small frame. As well as, deep swayback issues.

  30. Phoebe says:

    Draping helps me determine how much ease I should allow, and really helps with placement of gathers or style lines. Although my form doesn’t help that much with fitting, it is worth it for the draping.

  31. Jennifer says:

    Doubting the odds of a win, I look forward to the rest of your review. Draping knits becomes only more essential given both current styles and the distinct properties of each fabric that comes along. It may be possible to consider stretch factors and work by theory alone but experimentation seems to be the quicker path.

  32. CarmencitaB says:

    I did drape when I was young and foolish and didn’t know what I was doing, I was thinking I needed to have another go when I was working out how to copy a style on my latest dress. I am sure it would have helped.

  33. Delphine C. says:

    I have a custom made form (Andy’s dressform in NY) and I took 3 semesters of draping at FIT but I have to admit that I am far more comfortable drafting. However, everytime that “volume” (gathers, pleats, etc.) in involved, I like to see the result directly with draping because it takes me too many back and forth if I only draft it. I dislike the trueing part of the draping process though, I feel like I’m wasting time and accuracy… I went to see excerpt of the book at LK publishing and amazon, it looks AMAZING! I love the draping projects feature, because I’m a student at heart and I love practice exercises. It reminds me of the Duburg Draping book except with more wearable designs!

  34. Lela says:

    I am a cutter at a local theatre and I prefer to drape compared to drafting. I also just started teaching draping at a local college here and I think this would be a great resource to share with them! I love this sense of community that has come from all if this, thank you for that. This is a dying trade that needs to be shared and carried on!

  35. Yvonne says:

    Like you Kathleen I rarely drape as I’ve always drafted, actually when I went to college, many moons ago, draping wasn’t a course as we were being taught industry standards at the time. Any draping I’ve done has been more intuitive as I want to see how a fabric might behave or a concept might look on a body so I hang or fold fabrics on a form before drafting. Even if I don’t win, I’ll definitely be ordering if only for the video tutorials that are included.

  36. Patti Best says:

    I learned the essentials of draping while taking a course with Jon Moore a few years ago. We first padded up our dress forms to our exact measurements and then we were off and running, and what a joy it was! Even though my first choice often is to grab my drafting tools when designing a new garment, I am always drawn back to draping on the stand. I am excited about this new book and definitely have it on my personal wish list. Thanks for letting everyone know about it.

  37. Renata says:

    I am very interested on this one! I am a draping teacher, and judging by the very little I know about this book (there’s no “look inside” option on amazon), I see it will help me teach the more complicated and experimental aspects of draping. That’s something I have never been taught, and have never seen well explained in books. AND draping knits. It’s very good to have a lot of different books on the subject of draping or pattern making, because then we can search for clues to what the best way of doing is.

    I usually drape when I have a design that has a lot of style lines and would be more time consuming to draft than to drape. Sometimes I drape prior to drafting just to get a sense of the general shape of a dress and to know how much volume to add.

  38. Cynthia Col says:

    I have a dress form, and have been working through Paul Gallo’s draping course on Craftsy. I would love to be able to make patterns with slopers, but for me draping is more intuitive. I am a dedicated amateur. I have an eleven-year-old daughter who loves fashion and I am trying to share my skills with her; I am also hoping she will be better than I am, as I am completely self-taught–unless you count online courses such as the one by Paul Gallo.

    My daughter also seems to be a draper. I would like her to realize that there are processes that artists have developed that produce better results, and that there is a difference between “just winging it” and artistry.

    I have made a few things that pass as “not home-made” but I still rely somewhat on patterns that are “out there.” I looked at this book on Amazon and it looks fabulous. I would definitely put it to use. At the very least, I am delighted to know about it–thank you!


  39. Deborah says:

    Quite a review for someone that doesn’t prefer draping.
    This book would be a real skill builder for me.

  40. Jeremy says:

    If it’s really complex, I like to do a half scale drape before the full scale, and its portable, great for production meetings!

  41. Mary says:

    I have custom dress forms that I made by casting the person in plaster then filling it with expanding polyurethane. Removing the plaster, cleaning up the form and finishing it was a messy job but I can drape a garment with virtually no fittings, it was worth the effort.

    I also have standard sizes which are good for most garments, but the custom really makes the fitting great if you are creating a number of items for that person.

    As a fashion instructor in college I teach draping, i am looking forward to this new resource. There are many books on the market, some are very good but many are lacking in some areas. Can’t wait to get my hands on this publication.

  42. Michael says:

    I travel extensively for work so I take my replica of my wife with me and really enjoy draping on it. I would love to learn the correct procedures!

  43. JustGail says:

    I do have a (well padded) dress form, and it’s made a great deal of my fitting easier. It’s much easier than measuring myself, doing math, and figuring out what to adjust where, and then figuring out where I went wrong. I trace the pattern onto Swedish tracing paper, pin it to the form and have at it with scissors, pins and bits of paper (to fill in gaps). Still, I’d like to learn a better (proper?) way to get the job done.

    It’s been fun following the links on these giveaways back to your old posts, many of them are from before I found your blog.

  44. Bente says:

    I got my form a couple of months ago. A perfect 10 years old girl named Bettina. I love her. I draft patterns and add effects and special finishing to the design by draping. I match mirrored prints on a dress and I have developed a fun gathered sleeve. A new world entered when Bettina moved in and it is so much fun!

  45. Pat says:

    Novice draper here but I have found when I can see something in my head I can’t always see the flat pieces that will get me there. Hence, pins, scissors, my dressform and wacky fabric from the stash that doesn’t mind sacrificing itself for the good of the project. Would love to have this book as there is a need for some adult supervision in the process.

  46. Irene says:

    I took some “serious” classes on pattern-making and sewing but I always feel that left to my own devices I don’t know “the logic” behind many of the things I have learned! I draped before, under a teacher’s guidance, but my form is very well, thanks for asking, posing as a model for a corset I made long ago, my poor form is abandoned in a corner… I hope to change that learning by myself with the book! thank you!

  47. Chantelle says:

    The sight of this book and your description has me salivating. I have a design for a draped neck line rattling around in my head and I have no idea how to make it happen, so would love to dive in. Additionally my good friend drapes exclusively, on her own body, and is seemingly unable to articulate how it is done, even though she needs my help frequently. I am someone who needs written instruction, so that then maybe I can understand what is going on in that kaleidoscopic brain of hers.
    Oh and a dress form is being purchased with my next cheque. I know I have read your reviews of dress forms here, but they seem to be high end. Any tips on budget dress forms?

  48. Judy M says:

    I have a dress form. I love draping. I work with knits and will drink all that this book has to offer about that.

    Sometimes I just drape as a source of inspiration or to correct something I am not sure how to achieve through the flat pattern. Sometimes have trouble both drafting and draping a sleeve that I am trying to achieve. I made a fiber fill arm for my dress form to make draping easier but I am chomping at the bit to see what this book has to offer me, especially after your review of it.

  49. Melissa says:

    Draping simplifies the whole process for custom garments. Instant gratification and less back and forth with the pattern to fit.

  50. I teach in a costume production graduate program, where we are often creating one-of-a-kind garments in historical styles custom-fit to actors’ bodies. Our students are learning both drafting and draping–some find drafting more intuitive, while others find draping more intuitive. Because of this, i and my colleagues teach and employ both methods of patternmaking. I would LOVE to have a copy of this book, as i imagine we might potentially adopt it as a class text.

  51. Kathleen, thank you for featuring such wonderful books over the past week. This one looks incredible – I’ve been wanting to polish up my draping skills a bit, as I pretty much draft everything at this point in my career. I haven’t done much draping since school, but I have a few new jacket styles that would be fun to drape and draft in tandem. I will definitely be pre-ordering this book if I don’t win!

  52. Therese says:

    Oh this book sounds so wonderful! I sew for myself and my two daughters, one of whom just left for college. I have a dress form all ready to be padded out to her shape (before she left I made a form-fitting sloper to cover the padded form). They both have figure anomalies (spelling?) that present fitting challenges. I’ve tried drafting and re-drafting patterns for them, but there are times when it’s easier to drape. I’m ready to expand those skills!

  53. Sam says:

    I’ve started using draping to get a good fit for women who have gained weight. Seems to solve the problem of the conflict between frame and measurements; e.g., with a small-framed person with larger measurements because of weight gain, the measurements lone won’t create an accurate garment.

  54. Lauren Forney says:

    (Not an entry)

    Kathleen, where was that BACKTOSCHOOL13 coupon for? I tried it on Amazon but it isn’t accepting it. Perhaps it expired already?

    Anyway, Amazon’s price is still under list price and only a little more than list price – 35%, so it’s not a big deal. Just curious.

  55. Keren Evanson says:

    I’d love to win this book. It’s only been recently that i’ve been able to see in 3D when thinking of patterns. Some years ago I volunteered to make my cousin’s wedding dress and draping on my dress form saved me. Alleviated the fear of taking that first cut in expensive fabric.

  56. Maire says:

    I think draping really helps with proportion. I find that sometimes when I draft a design it ends up much bigger or smaller than I pictured and has to be altered but with draping you see the size as you go. I have a dress form and really want to improve my draping skills.

  57. This book will be a treasure in my library and one that would likely be open and on my table beside my dressform!

    While most of the time I draft everything flat on CAD, there are so many times I want to instead drape on the form to explore different fabrications and variations that I might not otherwise have discovered without the tactile manipulation and motivation that a book like this inspires.

    I’m also very excited to see this book includes knits! I have mostly worked with wovens and definitely could use some draping time with knits to get more intuitive with drafting them!

    Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing this book and review with us!!

  58. Lauren, the coupon is only good at the publisher’s site, not Amazon. I’d mentioned it in the other giveaways, maybe it wasn’t so clear in this one. In any event, I edited the post to make it clearer. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  59. Janelle says:

    Draping really pushes me to understand garments in 3 dimensions, which is a skill I’m still developing. I also like how draping helps me to better understand the process of flat pattern making. Also mentioned above, draping gives a good impression of fabric behavior and fit. (Oh yes, I do have a form and access to industrial forms at school).

    Thank you, Kathleen, for providing such generous giveaways this week that have prompted such informative discussions! I definitely have new items to add to my book list for the future :)

  60. Masha says:

    Draping approach to dressmaking allows to mind fabric qualities first. I have made a few garments in the past when I loved a pattern and loved the fabric, but together they just did not work. For heavier, drapier if you will, material it would be nice to try draping, and knits come to mind first. I think my dressform is getting tired of helping me primarily with hemlines and ready for more challenge. :)

  61. Leigh says:

    If you recommend it, and you’re not into draping, it must be fabulous. I have done some draping, and have a form. I would love to have a really good guide to get better at it. I like getting a better idea of how my fabric will behave, and I love to work with knits.

  62. Bernadette says:

    I have found that draping is the key for communicating concepts for clients who have ideas that are beyond their vocabularies.
    I would be thrilled to own this book, thanks for sharing.

  63. Raquel Sosa says:

    I’m on an endless search for comprehensive draping books. I practice as much as I can and recently, through playing around again, I SAW why you need to do the armhole on the body. I know the form has its own issues, but I was amazed when I took off the fabric, how similar the armhole shape was to your example that you have shown here many times before. I’ve practiced using pattern making methods and maybe I’m being too analytical and perfectionist about it, but it did frustrate me. Draping, even just as a starting point, helped me bridge the fog in my head between 2D and 3D. Infact, it helps with my development all the time, when I just can’t breakdown a shape in my head to a 2D pattern. It gives me room to play with and be surprised as to what 2D shape will give you a certain 3D shape. Needless to say, I’ve assumed wrong many times, happily!

    Thank you so much for reviewing and giving away all of these books!!

  64. Reyna Lay says:

    Draping is great for me bc I have a dress form and I’m more of a hands on person. I drape my cowls and my loose dresses instead of patternmaking them. It just comes out better for me if I drape. I’d love this book! Thanks for the chance to win it!


  65. Kate H says:

    I make a lot of replica costumes and though I am still a beginner at draping, I find it helps me figure out how to structure the fabric to get the effects I want – sometimes what a character designer has put on paper doesn’t translate easily to 3D. Modifying flat patterns (at least for me) usually involves several rounds of adjustments – I’ve gone through 5 iterations of a pattern piece when I could have just started pinning fabric on the form and playing with it until it feels right. And the bonus is you can see how the fabric reacts in real time.

  66. Demetra says:

    If not to late, I would like to enter the contest. I have two dress forms (petite and Plus), I would like to learn to correctly drape.

  67. Joelle says:

    I love draping for many reasons. When I’m introducing a young person to the idea of sewing the visual and hands on approach of draping really holds their attention. For instance I watched a 5 year old girl and we draped an empire waist dress on her body. She got to take the finished project home that day. If I win this book I’m going to give it to my Aunt who teaches high school sewing. She’s always looking for projects that will give them the instant gratification that they like.

  68. Stephanie says:

    Wow. I will be saving up my alteration $ for this one. I’ve been doing some draping for finished work on a couple of clients who are interested in the results, I’m anxious to learn more, and I have a dress form. That said, there are some better stories on this page than I’m providing, so I wish us all well.

  69. Maria says:

    Draping resolves design ideas to then make them into patterns so I can recreate a style that is edgie and not so flat.
    My dress form is changeable like my body is, so I enjoy the fact that my dress form is as real as I am and I’m less fearful of draping.

  70. Karen says:

    I’ve really loved seeing your reviews of these books and may end up buying some if I don’t win.
    I’ve just ordered a made to measure dressmaker’s dummy as I have no one here in the Philippines who can help me fit my own clothes. I’ve never had much problem with flat drafting of even complicated patterns for myself, but after looking through books like Pattern Magic I would love to experiment with more exotic shapes. I have a mailing address in the US as mailing to the Philippines is too expensive and things do get lost!
    Love your blog and often dig through the archives for a good read!

  71. Micaela says:

    I would love to learn to drape! I always make my patterns and would love to build the pattern from a form, great blog!

  72. Amy says:

    I’ve become a fan of draping, as it’s a great way for me to visualize how fabric will drape across the body and how to get a perfect fit. I have the book by Helen Armstrong, but it would be great to get a different perspective and a more updated version of how to drape.

  73. Laurie says:

    As a lover of all things Rick Owens, I manipulate available patterns to get something in the vein of his designs. I would love to see the section on knit draping. I mostly have used my dress form for fitting the back of garments, time for bigger adventures.

  74. Pamela Woodruff says:

    Sometimes the only way to get a piece shaped properly is to drape it. A while back, I draped a magnificent medieval bell sleeve with really long points and contrast lining for a princess dress for a musical my daughter was in. They were shaped properly so that they hung and moved gracefully, unlike the “longer at the underarm seam” type. I loved that dress! I was sad a few years ago when it showed up in another production, altered to shorter sleeves. :( I know I have a lot more to learn, but I’m sold when it comes to figuring out how a particular fabric or shape will look … draping is the way to go!

    P.S. I’ve lost nearly 50 lbs in the past year, and still figuring out what looks good on my new figure…small bust and butt, waist not as trim as I’d like but way better than it was before! So anything to help me work out shaps and styles would be helpful. Thank you for offering these books!

  75. Carmen Grammer says:

    I love the process of draping, handling the fabric, making adjustments on the fly for the right fit. It feels more organic than flat pattering. (I used my form to make a dress on the bias out of 1/4″ ribbon.) I would love a new reference resource to help my skills. Kathleen, thank you for all you do for people like us! What a never-ending resource of information and insights.

  76. Robin Patterson says:

    Draping is excellent for the curvy plus size women with the 42dd bust, 38 waist and 52 hip!!! Pattern making creates a good fit , but draping (especially dresses)is excellence for a plus size frame. I have recently lost weight but I often drape for my curvy friends.

  77. Donna Carty says:

    Oh yes. I have a form, and I’m using it in a special way. I’m a weaver and knitting machine user and spinner of yarn and I’m trying to design garments constructed from one single simple shape of the fabric i weave or create on the knitting machine. I’m harkening back to a time when fabric was something precious, as it is when you hand-spin some of the yarn hand-make the fabric. Therefore my garments are made in ways that produce almost no waste. Even the ways of shaping the fabric to the human body are reversible so that it would be very easy to reshape the fabric to make a different garment or a garment of another size. my present way of doing this is by hand-sewn blanket-stitch pleats and “seams” that consist of pairs of buttons sewn in a loop through more than one layer of fabric. I’m entirely new to designing garments. i just decided I’d rather make garments instead of endless towels and scarves and shawls and such.

  78. Darcie says:

    This I’m very interested in! I’m interested in the technique and the way fabric hangs on a form and in a garment. I somewhat understand the concept, but don’t know enough to have the courage to put it into practice. This looks like a good book to give me a nudge.

  79. Suzanne says:

    Since I cannot order the book right now via LaurenceKing US or UK I must enter to win!

    I have learnt so much from this blog over the past two-and-a-half years and am truly appreciative of Kathleen’s writing and the many other interesting minds (sites) that I have discovered because of her.

    Soon, last minute cancellations due to low enrollment aside, I will get to take the draping classes for the Pattern Drafting/Garment Construction Certificates I am currently working towards. A few classes back my first year drafting instructor gave us a short draping demo. Revelation! The possibilities! Equally delicious to the intellectual stimulation of pattern drafting and its revelations? Quite possibly. For now, I have my fingers crossed that the Fall-term courses stay uncancelled (less than a week to wait) and I can continue to formally learn what I do not know. This formal educational foray is still a bit of a surprise to my adult self. I do not know exactly what I will “do with it” but “it” is challenging and comfortable all at once.

  80. Tiffany H. says:

    I’m a draper. I’m working on becoming a drafter, but I need to see things in 3d. Maybe I have no imagination. Your review has made me vary curious. I’d like to see how this differs from other draping books.

  81. Debby Spence says:

    Being a custom dressmaker, I am asked to create any number of diverse designs. So I need to have lots of methods of getting to the final product, and sometimes, draping is the only way to get there. A lot of times, draping is how I get the fabric to speak to me. In those cases, I don’t have a design idea until I start playing with the fabric on my dress form. And magical things happen!

  82. Amanda Bear says:

    I would love to have this book! I use draping almost exclusively for patternmaking, it’s a lot faster for me because I like to think about where I’m going with a design in three dimensions rather than two. Also, you can do much more interesting effects, especially with knits. Sometimes I don’t even do a very detailed sketch before I start, just a silhouette and plan the fabric placements. I would love to see more of how other people work with this book.

  83. I tend to use a combo of flat and draping pattern-making, but could really use an update on this technique as my initial training was over 30 years ago (!) from a talented French ‘Madame’ who called it ‘Moulage’. If I’m lucky enough to win this fantastic prize, I’ll happily pay postage as I’m in Australia.

  84. Judi Tull says:

    I love to sew but just keep getting frustrated with fitting. I’ve taken courses, read books, but still have trouble. I have been wanting to try draping. I do have a dress form and would love to have this book to teach me draping and maybe I can sew more if I am not so frustrated about fitting.

  85. Dara says:

    Draping helps me resolve fit issues, especially for the neckline and ease. I always seem to 1/2 inch off from the math for flat patterning.

  86. Diana says:

    I just started the Apparel Program at Olds College in Calgary Alberta. I am so excited to attend this program and draping is going to be a big part of it. I just purchased my kit which includes a half size maniquien ala Vionnet it couldnt be much cuter. I also have 2 full sized forms at home which I still have not really used for draping as I just never taught myself but now that Im going to be in school Im going to drape like a crazy person Ha!

  87. I find draping endlessly exciting. I drape with both knits and wovens. I do a lot through trial and error, but do find that I have many questions, especially when it comes to lining and finishing techniques. I love draping so much, and would love to own this guide to help me learn more. I have posted some of my designs on my blog,– if anyone is interested you can see some of my draping work. I’m not saying it is amazing, but I do enjoy it, and would love to learn more with this book. Thank you so much, Fashion Incubator!!


  88. Linda Slater says:

    The brown tape form I made for myself ( Audrey…as in Hepburn) has helped me finesse necklines for my larger bust, and certainly fitting my broader back. When I drape on Audrey, I can see “me” which is probably her greatest asset.

  89. Sabine David says:

    Draping is a creative relaxation after a long day of pattern drafting, grading, marker making and plotting. I like the hands on designing with the fabric instead of drafting for designers. Crazy ? No … I just love it and would like to learn more about it. Beside that, I’m just a sucker for good books.

  90. As a young hobby-seamstress with a lot of interest in the industry, draping has helped me to understand drafting. That is, after I drape something, I can “reverse-engineer” the pattern by making it flat to see what a pattern drafter could have done on paper :) Not sure if that even makes sense…

    Draping on my custom form also has really helped me to fit myself, since I have an odd figure.

  91. Rebekah Askren says:

    I’m actually taking a course in draping at my school this semester, but I still feel that I would benefit from this book. I’m like you, I also hand or CAD draft everything, but I can see the merits of draping as well. I think draping is beneficial for getting a smoother fit, and there is less time adjusting the muslin the first time, than drafting the pattern and adjusting later. I do have a dress form, actually it’s a mysize dress form that we did at school. So, I had a plaster caste made of myself, then filled it with foam. Pretty awesome. I attend Emily Griffith Tech in Denver.

  92. Suzanne says:

    Mmmm I may not have answered the entry requirements in my above post.
    Trying to actualize clothes for myself that fit me and are aesthetically pleasing is an interesting process. I have only begun to learn but the process of measurement-taking, then drafting onto paper, a paper “am I on the right track” fitting, then cutting and sewing a muslin. Fitting the muslin, re-drafting onto paper, re-fitting, re-sewing makes my heart and mind sing as I move from 3d to 2d to 3d and back again and again to, hopefully, a garment out of “real” fabric. Personal pattern-drafting has given me building blocks that must be accurate from the start and that attention to detail makes me think before cutting into fabric but keeps me happily busy perfecting muslin, paper and oak-tag.

    Draping, from what little I have experienced will involve similar iterations but maybe not. In the briefest demo I could see how to create simple but gorgeous dressy tops for myself out of beautiful fabrics. With a personalized dress form drape, sew and wear seems possible. I probably wouldn’t end up with a pattern for re-use/adaption but I’d have something to wear without going clothes shopping. My mind accepts draping as a “looser” process but I haven’t tested it yet. And I have soo much to learn.

  93. Annette Mc Dowell says:

    In my profession as a patternmaker I almost always start with a flat pattern. But I have learned when working with people who are not patternmakers, that it is much faster to be able to drape and thus communicate a concept or idea. It saves me time during the initial conversations and then the subsequent pattern process. I realized many years ago that one is on a continuous learning curve with patternmaking and sewing, as clothing fashion continues on its endless cycle. I have already discovered that I gain much knowledge from any book recommended by Kathleen.

  94. Faviola says:

    I was taught to make a flat pattern and sometimes it’s actually hard for me to try and drape. I would love to diversify my knowledge in different methods of creating a garment.

  95. Nakia says:

    I’m a very visual person. Draping helps me determine whether certain details are feasible and should or should not remain on a particular style. It also lets you see your creation come to life!! I am definitely a novice but have acquired 3 dressforms (1 professional, 1 display & 1 adjustable) and would LOVE to tweak my draping skills!!

  96. MaciCae says:

    This is such an amazing giveaway; thank you for putting this on. I didn’t used to do much draping, but I’ve found, as a costume designer, that it’s easier to recreate a design by draping first and then draft from that initial drape, if that makes sense. I think it’s seeing it in 3D, rather than on a flat pattern. It’s also useful when trying to describe to a director or actor, when they can’t necessarily translate a rendering to a realized product. I would love to learn more and get faster doing it.

  97. amos nimni says:

    Draping makes the design come alive. i use draping for making my evening gowns, playing with fabrics on mannequin can give you a lot of ideas .

  98. Emily Clapp says:

    Draping helps me to visualize and tweak projects that I can’t quite “see” when flat drafting. Shaping a collar, finding the perfect roll line, adding pleats, controlling fullness etc. is much easier for me if I drape it on the form. I have a couple of good books on draping, but new techniques and inspiring pictures (especially four pounds of them) is always welcome help. I do have a professional dress form, padded to make her a closer approximation of my figure.

  99. Marie says:

    Draping is an essential step in my development process. Through draping I am better able to visualize the forms and shape I desire. Fashion illustration is not one of my strong skills so I rely on draping (and my cell phone camera) as a tool to “sketch” my ideas. I enjoy the intimate process of working with and discovering fabric on a form. I also find draping useful when fine tuning hand-drafted patterns and reverse-engineering ideas and samples. I’ve worked intuitively with draping since first learning to sew and before I knew there was a term for what I was doing. I haven’t actually read very much about it and I’m always seeking to expand my knowledge base and improve my patterning skills and expand my knowledge of fabrics through personal experimentation.

  100. RB says:

    My dress form has been a life saver for draping – it has the right size “girls” which were always my problem area. Now experimenting draping different fabrics.

  101. KS says:

    I sew by hand. I have been draping necklaces made of fabric and it helps my necklaces look beautiful. I want learn draping better than Rami Kashou.

  102. Claire says:

    I don’t drape all that often– mostly stick to drafting like Kathleen.
    When I do drape, it is to check my patterns or to develop a new style
    that we do not have examples to go by. Most recently, I draped a twist top
    style in order to mark seams and to ensure that the drape from the twist
    lays correctly.
    I would love to have a comprehensive guide to draping that this books
    seems to give. I’m sure I could drape in many more scenarios than I do now!

  103. Claire says:

    Oh! I forgot to add that I use draping all of the time to convey a style idea to my sample sewing
    counterpart! I am, admittedly, not great at explaining concepts. I find that draping a mock up speaks much louder than my words!

  104. Sigrid says:

    Draping on my dressform helps me with figuring out “what the fabric wants”. While I do a fair bit of patternmaking it sometimes happen that a dress or top will make sense on paper and even as a muslin, but when sewn will not quite work, because the fabric and the pattern don’t quite work together. Draping on the other hand is more like sculpture or painting. You follow your materials and explore where they take you, and it might be to a different and more interesting place than you first had in mind. It’s thinking with your hands, not just your brain.

  105. Janith says:

    Draping: The Complete Course would be the best resource possible for the classes I teach to young people interested in exploring learning to sew and design. During design week they make a paper wrap body double which they use to drape recycled fabrics into stunning skirts. They constantly push me to increase my knowledge base, and I will want to own this book. For myself as a petite and curvy woman, draping is the best method of creating a garment that fits my form. Thanks Kathleen, you are such a super resource to us all.

  106. Teresa says:

    This would be very useful to me in my work as a draper in theatrical costumes. Certain areas of draping are weak points for me. But it is the only way to do lots of looks necessary in the world of theatrical costumes–Grecian looks from the ancient times to 19th century to 20th century, just one example of so many. Crazy bustle looks another example. 1920s and 1930s dresses are another place where draping sometimes trumps flat patterns. I love that the book covers knits–sounds very Claire McCardell.

  107. Heidi Bird says:

    I have never taken a course in draping, but do use it whenever I have to add a ‘new’ design piece to an existing design of mine. For instance, since I make costumes, I frequently add a different collar to a dress for a dancer. I always drape the bodice muslin and play with the collar on the form while working out the overall design of the dress. If I’m ever in doubt regarding an unconventional look a dancer wants I will go back to the dress form and work it out by draping there with muslin so I know how the fabric behaves before I cut into super expensive fabrics. I guess it would help if I knew I was doing it correctly or if there were better ways to do something (eye openers).

  108. Angela says:

    I made a plaster cast expansion foam dress form of myself, which I have gotten some good use out of, but I haven’t taken any draping courses yet. I would LOVE to learn more. In my experiments, draping is a great way to see how a particular fabric will behave, which may not be apparent using a flat pattern. Of couse it’s also a terrific way to get a great fit no matter what your body type, and is a great way to solve complex design issues or bias projects.

  109. Leslie says:

    I’m a patternmaker and designer for a small Indian meets New York luxury line. We are constantly reinterpreting the draping of the sari and other elements of eastern dress. I find draping on the form the best ways to play with and expand on this idea. I also find it incredibly satisfying – working from a 2-D sketch and figuring out how to translate that concept into a 3-Dimensional product that eventually becomes animated with the movement of the body. Moreover, the practice of draping has helped me personally find short cuts to creating flounces, drapes and flow via flat patterning. Once I am able to visually see and physically work out one drape, I may not necessarily need to drape from scratch on the next, but rather am able to build off of what I have learned by working on the form and thus save time when it comes to patterning drapes.

  110. Pat says:

    I have a form, but the limited kind of draping I have been doing most involves using my own body (no, I can’t pin into it). This resource would be of great use for me in moving my design work forward.

    Thanks, Kathleen for the consistently interesting and informative postings.

  111. Laurie says:

    Draping has always intrigued me and am amazed at how beautiful garments are pinned and pinned to achieve such unusual but beautiful results that are also functional. But what is the process? What comes first? I hope this book answers the questions I have so I can design with greater confidence.

  112. alex says:

    Draping is something I wish I had more experience in.
    Being that all body forms are different; you can never tell how a textile will lay until it is in fact draped.
    I usually have to resort to flat pattern making because that is the way I was trained.
    I do try an pick up any extra draping skills on the web, but I feel like without the proper foundation, I am never going to fully understand what I am actually doing.

  113. Barbara says:

    Isabel Toledo once said that draping fabric on a form means that half the design work is done for you. Draping has really helped me in this way…getting past thinking of designs as flat pieces waiting to be put together, that seams are always on the sides and probably the best thing, just stumbling on some new ideas. Barbara

  114. Kara says:

    I am finally getting serious about getting the designs out of my head and onto fabric. These ideas have been swirling around for years. I would like to add gathered woven textile pieces to knit and I’ve been told it’s difficult to do from friends with more experience than I have. I would like to have a resource like this so I can just learn how to do it for myself. Nothing is impossible!

  115. Philippa says:

    I usually drape the cloth in the fabric store on my body first and study it in the mirror – it’s amazing how much this basic step will tell you; print fabrics look different for a start, and you can get a preliminary feel of how the fabric will behave. Draping on a dress form is a skill I am keen to improve.

  116. Lesley Miller says:

    I’m like you, Kathleen – I’m more likely to pattern a cowl or flounce or bias on CAD or by manual patternmaking rather than by draping, but I have always loved the heavily rouched styles of couture gowns and would love to play more with textured fabric manipuation on the form. I’ve found that those kinds of effects can only really be done effectively with draping.

  117. Brenna Rizzardi says:

    I have been sewing all my life, mixing and blending patterns to create the garment I had in my head as a teen. Later, when I had a chance to get training, I learned both flat patterning and draping, which most often I use in combination to true up and cross-check for accuracy. I really enjoy draping because it brings the creativity out in me; and when I combine it with drafting a pattern, it satisfies my technical side, which is much more dominant. I would really like to win this book because, the truth is, I can’t remember half the stuff I know until I stumble on it through trial and error. I have lots of reference materials for drafting, but I really need a good reference for draping. Kathleen, please keep me in mind for this giveaway.

  118. Taja says:

    I took a draping class in the early 90s–a very elementary draping class. It has served me well, but I would love to have a solid reference book on the subject. I really would like to experiment with more advanced design concepts (knits!)–and, hopefully, convert them into patterns and incorporate them into some actual wardrobes.

    Most of my draping is for personal use (my dress form has been padded to accommodate my expanded body and some of the padding is being removed periodically as I lose weight), as well as for close family and friends. My body does not–under any circumstances!–meet manufacturers standards and most of the women in my family are in the 5’10” to 6′ range (I’m the shrimp at 5’3″). I drape directly on the others–no space for additional dress forms (not to mention the expense!).

    I’ll also be designing the first formal gown for a special 15-year-old young lady in my life–with a lot of input from her and her mother and grandmother! The opportunity to expand my knowledge and apply it to create something memorable and age-appropriate for her would be terrific!

    Thanks for making this giveaway available to us, Kathleen!

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