Clothes = tubes

A few weeks back I did a garment/pattern making course organised by the Canberra Region Feltmakers (check out their workshop page for more interesting things). I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into, but learning a bit about pattern-making seemed like a useful thing to know. The course was run by Maris Herr of Textiles Anyone and based on her book, Truly Simple Garments.

Maris trained professionally as a seamstress/dressmaker/designer in the 1980s when, as she said, everything was big, ruffled, pleated and otherwise froufrou. She said she had an epiphany one day when she realised that all clothes were basically tubes with holes for arms and extra details added. Trousers are two tubes joined together. (She then proceeded to show us in the workshop how to make several types of garments that were not tubes, but flat shapes with holes for arms…)

This just made so much sense to me! What I like sewing best are dresses and skirts and they really are just tubes with added detail or shaping. It’s also made me think about how I could actually adapt patterns. Not that I’ve been game try anything yet, but I’ve been looking at this BurdaStyle top and thinking how you could add a simple four-panel skirt (or maybe a circle skirt) and it would basically be the same as the Review dress I wore for Frocktober 2011 – one of my favourite comfy, go anywhere dresses. Okay, add it to the list of projects (a list which seems to keep growing, although not quite as fast as my fabric stash). And sometime I’ll get the guts to try it out.


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