Thursday, July 11, 2013

Peet's Dystopian Shirt, Part 1 - The Mockup

Backstory: An artist friend of mine (; check out his webcomic at asked me to make him a shirt for larping. He gave me some very general guidelines and referenced an illustration of his for inspiration, and off I went. The first part (and oddly, most annoying) was making a base pattern to work off of. I used a few other images as inspiration, drew a really poor sketch (and then drew a much nicer sketch, so I'd have something for the internets), and then got to work.

How I did it: First, I got Peet's measurements. Then, I made the complete and total error of using the internet to research pattern drafting. The resultant pattern was not good - there was no way for me to move effectively or raise my arms in the mockup, and it was like a tent on me. So I scrapped that mockup, and tried again, this time using an actual garment (a shirt my husband had worn out and ripped) as a template. I cut the old shirt apart at the seams and traced the basic shapes onto newspaper, then tweaked it for what I was going for. I cut out the basic shirt pattern, sewed it together, and modified the front panels so there would be an off center seam for aesthetics, and a flap of fabric loose at the neck so that the shirt could easily be pulled over the head. I had totally guesti-eyeballed the overall lengths on the shirt and the sleeves, so I was pleasantly surprised when Peet tried it on that it was pretty close to where it needed to be.

The much nicer sketch
(I don't draw hands)
What I learned: The internet is full of things that might not work in application, even if they come from a reputable source. Working from an existing garment is whoa-easier, and it is easier to make a larger, unfitted garment fit than to try to rework a pattern that might fit but won't be comfortable or allow any mobility.

What I might try next time: I want to eventually take a class on patterning and/or draping, which would make this whole process better, maybe? Also, I should take in progress shots if I want to be sharing on the internet.

Final Thoughts: I felt a little stupid for trusting the internet (when I was looking at the pattern I had made using the internet guidelines I thought it looked a little weird, but then I compared it to a commercial pattern and it was kinda close-ish, so I made the mockup instead of trusting my gut). In the end, though, the mockup I made off my husband's old shirt worked perfectly, so yay me using what I've got available.

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