As usual, comments to the first entry were very interesting and the considerable leg work of providing links to supporting material is useful for us all. Thanks, I appreciate that very much. Discussion focused on the varying ideas of ways the letter shapes were rendered (or could be) along with suggestions and fruitful dissent.
Brina was first to post with a comprehensive description of the effect, saying the shapes were patterned, seamed, likely filled with foam to include a backing to keep them in place. She provided a link that illustrated the seams (right). Brina’s idea is pretty much how I thought the effect was rendered, down to her claim that making the foam larger than the finished dimensions would help full the areas with a bit of compression. And I say that because I have done something similar and learned the hard way. A transferable example is making pillows for which you intend to use a pillow form. The pattern should be smaller than the form. There’s another pattern change to make but that’s another story. Try it this way once and discover perky pillows.
Theresa, Vivian and Sandra made mention of possible shaping via molding, then stuffed. I’d hoped to get at least one response along these lines. Wool hats are shaped over molds with steam. While I didn’t think this is how this item was done (the result is too crisp for molding), I did want people to think of ways to render similar shaping effects and steam molding is one of them.
Barb noted the tops of letters were all one piece but that the sides were a continuous strip following the letter. She also mentioned that sewing would be more difficult than making the pattern (agreed). From the photos, it is not clear whether sides of the letter shapes are formed by a continuous strip or by boxing the seams. This would be a very tough call for a pattern maker. Boxing would mean more and tiny pieces but a continuous strip might be harder to sew. If I were making this, I’d confer with the sewing line and do whatever they suggested for the first mock up and change it later if the desired effect (either way) wasn’t attained. But that’s just me. The point is, with sewing being the challenge, the stitcher’s preferences should take precedence.
Sandra didn’t think this would be difficult and said continuous strip or boxed corners was six of one or half a dozen of another. She mentions that a heavier interfacing such as horse hair was likely used (agreed) but that the shaping was rendered by boning or steaming as opposed to a foam filler. I don’t know about that. With a lining (presumably) in the jacket, one would have to be poking the letters back up through the lining constantly if the letters were crushed, say when carrying a kid etc. But then, maybe they just use nannies or strollers for that. Who knows?
Sandra also brought up the matter of the “O” sleeve design with which Betsy concurs and drops a link (right) for another view. At this juncture, the matter of draping vs drafting comes up again and I remain at a loss because -to me- these are two different methods of developing a pattern rather than something intrinsic to silhouette or flow or whatever you want to call it. I think she means that having a looser fitted shoulder on one side vs a tailored fitted shoulder on the other could feel a bit awkward on the body (true). It would help if we had a back view of the fitted side to get an idea of how great the disparity might be but in the end, nobody buys haute couture because it’s comfortable. They buy it because it makes a statement. And I’m not implying that haute couture is uncomfortable and yes, well fitted garments feel best on the body. Hopefully you understand my intent.
I did think alternative words on garments (“please” for job seekers etc) was funny. Thanks for your help everyone.