This pattern was unassembled for month and it was with some resistance I glued all the pages together a couple of weeks ago. It was not the work involved that stopped me, more that I didn’t know what to do with it. This pattern is 220 A4 pages long, took a handful of glue sticks and some patience to assembly. So, then I made a toile of the crucial part, the swirly cut torso. Im happily surprised to see that it was possible to put together and that it fitted.
The last Alexander McQueen pattern I made was a bit small for me. But still, I have no idea what to do with the dress if I finish this project. I got some expert advice on how to possibly work with it for my own needs but Im still not sure. It don’t feel right to just sew, wear it once and then have it burned. I have to think about this one a bit longer before there is an actual dress.
Im sharing the pictures of my journey with this pattern so far, hoping it to be helpful for someone else. Take care!
I printed pictures of all the Showstudio Design Downloads and let my husband choose the designs he liked best. One of them was the infamously difficult Alexander McQueen Jacket. So that one became the next make. I already had this pattern in my computer and dreaded a bit printing it out.
Lee Alexander McQueen was a British fashion designer known for theatrical, provocative fashion shows and his masterful tailoring. He started the journey at Savile Row as a tailors apprentice, studied fashion design at Central Saint Martin and later worked as head designer for Givenchy. The Alexander Mqueen brand was started in 1992 and the designer himself was awarded for his work several times. He died by suicide in 2010.
This jacket is from the 2003 fall ”Scanners” collection and is a complex tailored jacket with elements from both Victorian womenswear and Japanese kimonos. There is a fantastic, in-depth introduction to this pattern at Pattern Vault, a source of information on designer patterns I highly recommend.
Pattern Info: Drawn. Has a 1 cm seam allowence and a lot of markings. Size 40.
Fabric: About 2,5 m polyester suiting and a bit less acetate lining.
Notions: Chiffong bias binding, scraps of satin + thread and more thread.
Theres one difficulty with this pattern, the back pleats and darts. When you managed that problem the rest is pretty easy. The first dart made me think of late 19th century cutting, then I quickly got lost. After failing the first time with getting the folds in the right position I started over. The second attempt I traced everything exactly and then thread marked every line and marking making it visible from both sides. it magically worked and I was able to press all folds flat. I secured them on the backside at a few points and then moved on. One try at getting all folds in place took a weekend and just following the instruction won’t cut it, you have to think too. It probably was more difficult since I decided to line the jacket but as it turned out so nice, it was worth it.
Then the fitting. My shoulders are straight so I adjusted for that and added a stretch satin panel in the side since the jacket was really tight.
The setting of the sleeves comes with a simple instruction and I chose to cover the seam and opening with bias binding as one big loop. The rest of the sewing is pretty basic.
Conclusion: Im glad I lined it but should have chosen a fabric that pressed more easily. This polyester creases like crazy when one steams it, total nightmare getting loads of pleats in place. Next time, I’ll chose a high quality suiting or brocade and quality lining. Stripes looks fantastic with this. Yes, there will be next time. I want one that’s perfect.
There are two time consuming parts in this, the pleating and the finishing. I would suggest to finish by hand and cover all inside seams with chiffong bias binding or similar to get a nice clean look.
Pros: This jacket has great movability built into it and looks amazing! It’s the ultimate couture comfort garment. This will sound odd but it also has sort of its own presence… has to be experienced.
Cons: If you don’t like a challenge or is a beginner, this isn’t suitable. It doesn’t matter how enthusiastic you are, can’t compete an ordinary jacket, don’t try.
This book celebrates one of the most famous and influental fashion schools in the world, Central Saint Martins. It contains student works, sketches and short interviews with the most famous students from the 1960s to the 2010s like Katherine Hamnett, John Galliano, Alexander Mqueen, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo and others.
I argued with myself in the bookstore before buying this. My recent idea to sew up all 14 of the Showstudio Design Downloads was one of the best arguments for it. Many of the designers represented started their journeys at Central Saint Martins and the book gives a small, creative overview of their origin in the design world. The layout is messy, collage-like and resembles a students portfolio, love that type of look. Glad I got the book in the end, find it really inspiring.
My favorite quote so far comes from fashion designer Giles Deacon on what piece of advice he’ll give to aspiring or current fashion students.
The British designer Gareth Pughs designs are as much artwork as clothes. He is mostly known for his use of inflatable parts to create volume and use of odd materials like electrical charged plastic, latex, pvc, foam footballs, balloons, synthetic and human hair. This design was first featured in his 2003 Central Saint Martin graduate collection.
Pattern info: Photocopy, has marked seam allowance and comes with instruction + fabric recommendation.
Fabric: Scrap pieces of polyester satins.
Notions: Zipper, thread and a large 50 cm balloon.
This is a really simple and fun pattern to make and can be varied endlessly. As a garment it is hard to wear but make a few and try it out, it could work. As an accessory I can come up with loads of possibilities such as children’s parties and for masquerade costumes. As decoration it can be great for weddings or summer parties, just make loads of them.
I live in Northern Sweden so, ”We only sell those during Halloween,” the girl in the shop said when I asked for a large balloon. She asked what I was going to use it for, (probably where looking suspicious) so I had to explain that it was going to serve as filling for a fabric balloon. It must have sounded confusing. Thankfully, there were a few left and I could go on with the project.
Pros: Easy, super fun, decorative project. Never thought I would like this so much.
Cons: No, unless you only make very practical and usable stuff. In that case I would see this project as educational.
The Belgian designer Martin Margiela has over the years kept a very low personal profile. He started his own brand in 1988 and is one of the most known and influential avantgarde designers. He is known for deconstruction and redesigning of already existing objects into garments and working with proportions. This pattern is an example of his playing with size and removing everything from a construction like hemming and lining.
Pattern info: Photocopy with markings and no instruction. Forgot to take measurements, sorry!
Fabric used: Scrap pieces of wall mending paper. A thick, felt like wall paper used to cover structured or damaged walls to avoid the plastering. It’s a great material for test sewing things like bags and toys.
It’s an easy pattern to assembly and sew. The wall mending paper was stiff to work with an I repeatedly knocked down flowerpots from the window behind my machine.
From the beginning I had a suspicion that it would be one of the designers oversized designs. As the name suggests, I probably could wear it over anything/everything in my wardrobe. If actually worn it has to have a closing at the neck, it’s tight to get a head through as it is. It probably looks great in thin materials that you can fold or pull together in various ways or as a plus sized dress. In the last case it has to be measured first and probably altered.
Pros: It’s simple to make and can be varied in material and styling. Fits most.
I’ve spent the last week tidying up my workspace and reorganizing materials and books. I’m starting a new project and it makes me feel overwhelmed and without direction so to get past this phase I’m trying to make my studio reasonable tidy. Since cleaning up makes boring posts I’ll show some pictures from two weeks ago when my mum and I went on a roadtrip through Värmland. The purpose was to see where some of our ancestors came from but since it was mom and I traveling we couldn’t resist doing a few cultural touchdowns along the way.
This is the exhibition ”Textila Spår” at Sillegården, Västra Ämtervik where we stayed. A really beautiful collection of Scandinavian textile design.
I came home with some flour, Finnskogsmjöl från Röjdåfors Kvarn and a really large exhibition catalog of Lars Lerins art. No yarn, no fabric. Next week there probably will be paintings done.