Draping on the stand:
One of the main advantages of the technique is that by experimenting in draping material on to the stand, you can build up a desired effect before cutting in to the fabric.
The illustrative stage of design can be delayed until after the experimental stage, the illustration in effect, being a record, of the artistry displayed on the stand.
Drape the uncut length of dress fabric over the stand. If the garment is for an individual client or yourself, first drape the uncut length of your fabric on the figure. This will enable you to evaluate the coloring and posture of the individual with the fabric and the line of the drapes.
Drape the fabric on the stand for the overall effect. Observe its natural characteristics, i.e. the ways it falls, its handle, texture and weight etc. Experimentation can now take place.
Do not cut into the fabric, but pin to hold where necessary. Aim for the overall effect, details, can be worked later. Note, first of all, the silhouette, since each fabric drapes in a different way, this in turn alters the silhouette. Drapery is best continuing inline rather than as a separator piece, although this is not easily achieved. Alternative ideas may develop at this experimental stage. Evaluate your details. For example, cheeks or stripes placed on various grains will give different effects. Tucks may look better than gather in certain fabrics. If you intend to use trimmings, place them onto the fabric to see how well they co-ordinate.
Substitute dress fabrics; To model the entire garments in the actual fabric is ideal, but unfortunately it makes experimentation expensive. For this reason, professional designer may use a fabric with similar properties which has been left over from a previous collection. Alternatively, the non-draped parts of the garment can be modeled in muslin with just the draped sections made in the actual fabric. When draped designs for checks or stripes, mark in the position of the lines on the muslin to get the effect of the fabric and to match the lines along the seams.
Tape your stand: centre front, centre back shoulders, seam lines, style line, neck lines, waist, hip and bust line and position and direction of drapes. (The horizontal and vertical balance lines help the drapes to hang correctly)
If the fabric is not transparent, we may not be able to see the taped lines, below it, therefore sink pins along the taped lines, the pin heads below the fabric being your guide.
Select and prepare the material: Prepare the garment material and since the whole garment is cut, allow enough material to cover both sides of the stand for each section.
When estimating the amount needed for draped styles, bear in mind the extra fabric will be requires for the drawing up of folds from the bottom down from they top and the depth of the fold itself. The draping quality of the warp and weft grain should be the same in order to match both sides of a drape. Allow plenty of excess material beyond the outer edges of the stand and mark in the centre vertical line and the warp grain with a contrasting thread.
Place and pin material onto the stand in the following way: A full toile is required, but you need to model one side only, except for asymmetric designs where both sides must be modeled. If translating and draped styles from a sketch observe where both sides must be modeled. If translating and draped styles from a sketch observe where the folds are coming from and going to and the amount involved at either end.
Line up the vertical central thread with the centre front line of the stand, and pin. To avoid injury to the fabric, use very fine pins, e.g. silk pins, and keep pinning to a minimum. Temporarily pin the surplus fabric to the side of the stand you are not modeling. Mould the fabric around the stand as desired, allowing the excess fabric to fall freely into the area where you wish the fullness of the drape to be placed. Use drapes in place of darts. The drapes can be continuing along the out edges of the stand and be allowed to fall forwards or back wards into a cascade of drapery or be caught up into a seam line etc., use the grain to experiment for the best effect, numbering that fabric drapes best on the bias. It is some times necessary to control drapes e.g. on a wide neckline could fall off the shoulder or in the case of side panel, where billows might occurs. The following methods are used to control drapes.
By mounting the drapes on a fitted section, in this case, the fitting section should be modeled first:
By weights places inside the drapes
Indicate all details: All the details should be indicated with pins rather than chalk and pins should follow the direction of any darts, tucks, seams etc.,
Remove from stand.
Press: Do not press over pins as they will leave an impression in the fabric.
True all lines of check details. The rough design now needs to be trued in order to establish the correct grain line and to ensure that the armhole, underarm sears and shoulder are the same length. Both sides although perhaps not the same shape on the left and right side if the design is asymmetric.
When a symmetric full toile is modeled, the left and right side will not be exactly the same. Therefore, choose the better side and fold that side over on the centre line on the double to transfer shape and details. Transfer all markings with thread.
Check seam allowances.
Make up and press
Places on stand are model and check for any discrepancies.