Thursday, July 28, 2011

POST TWENTY: Making Up Pattern Making

What is pattern making/what are the specifics of pattern making as it is in fashion?

Pattern-making is the process of drafting the designed shape and form of an intended garment. In involves drawing the shapes in specific measurements and directions to create shapes, which will fit together to configure a piece of clothing. Markings are made up of lines including, paths of sewing which are also joining lines, seam allowances which at their edge also denote cut lines, notches which are cardinal points denoting matching of pieces, therefore its markings denote immanent construction and doing. Pattern making is functional, technical and pragmatic. It is a part of the garment production practice that involves problem solving, in a desire to get form from a flat plane. As a result many systems and rules have been developed to easily adapt shapes to different body types with a consistency in fit and form.

Pattern making is done in the two dimension (as paper and fabric is flat) . More often than not, the greater parts of these shapes are created with the existence of the y-axis in mind. The fabric walls of a garment run up and down the body. The planes cover the vertical, upright, standing human figure. As stated in PATRONEN - “Although apparel is a fundamental element of the arts of movement, it is also, as the pattern reminds us, an art de l’espace, akin to architecture and physical sculpture. The pattern serves as a separate, a figurative architecture in its own right.” The way in which a pattern measures, configures and records space is integral to the way in which it’s space is experiences. Can the process of drafting, inform the design itself and concluding experience.

How do you want to change the approach?

There are many ways in which space is recorded and understood amongst varying design practices and ontological outlooks.

ARCHITECTURE - In looking at an architectural draft commonly a number of view points are given. These may include elevations of the structures sides, cross sections of cuts through the form, isometric and axonometric viewpoints of the structures outside, interior perspectives from inside the building and importantly a floor plan. Architecture needs to document both inside and outside which is important to note. Also a floor plan - taken from the birds eye view - is probably the most seminal as denotes understanding and reference for other drafts.

LANDSCAPE DESIGN/GEOGRAPHY - Landscape designs seminal view is from above, a birds-eye view of the environments layout. A variant of this, existing in a more geographically studied context is the typographical view - mapping the surface rise and relief of land. Landscape designers way also give a side on view from being within the designed environment.

INTERIOR DESIGNERS - Interior designers create drafts of perspectives looking upon an inside wall.

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN - Industrial design documents viewpoint of all sides of the object, including from above. Also in some cases a cross section if the form has specific mechanics or interior parts.

FASHION - When looking in the context of fashion design, there are technical illustrations of side views of garment. There is also the pattern-making draft; drafting of pattern planes of the up and down fabric wall. For a long time the pattern has looked at the wearers space in this way. It is one of the few design disciplines that does not have a bird’s-eye view in developmental drafts. I think a greater understanding of a garment’s spacial insides and reliefs of outsides can be realised with a different approach of pattern-making.

I essence I want to change the axis on which pattern making is done. I want to pattern make on the x-axis. I also want to pattern make a worn garment, not a disembodied garment. This is done by taking horizontal cuts of a garment on the body. The space recorded is that which exists between fabric wall and skin of the body. What exists either side of the cutline can be used in different ways of creating an experience.

Why?/ What will it achieve.

Recording fashion in this way, kind of stems from the ‘lay’. The lay being when fabric is laid horizontally and pieces are placed and cut. In the project’s context what exists either side of the cutline can be used in different ways of creating an experience. The dead air space outside a garments fabric walls becomes solidified and can be worn. Conversely the empty space inside a garment gets a greater form giving a new way of embodying a garment. By giving new types of forms to the lines and thresholds of wearing’s beginnings and endings, the experience of wearing itself may be questioned. By looking at the garment as space and flipping its foundations of construction to x-axis, this possibly may take emphasis off face-on views of a garment, or that of onlookers. It way take understanding back to an intimate feeling of wearing a garments space.

Friday, July 8, 2011

POST NINETEEN: Viewer Account

I enter the gallery. To the left I see a hanging instillation. From afar I see a configuration of layers, suspended from the ceiling. It looks like a giant filo pastry. I can see some words on the ground underneath the hanging fabric. I can also see two cardboard configurations coming out of one of the cornering walls, and also a poster next to these. I approach the piece closer.

On the floor I see a decal of the work’s title; WHEREING. I also see some more text, which I think reads EMBODIED T-SHIRT, but I cant quite tell as some of the writing is covered by a stack of shaped fabric. The assemblage is made of material films in circular, curved forms. It looks like a valley, or a mountain range. Or maybe the topographic mapping of a volcano. I later come to understand that it is an ascending sequence of horizontal slices through the space of a worn t-shirt, like a flattened birds-eyes view in a way.

Seeing a t-shirt presented in this way makes me think of what could happen on the flats of its space. It’s similar to looking out the window of a plain when taking off. The lands surface becomes vast, the trees and houses become smaller and smaller. The horizontal ground becomes curved and the impression of a terrain is revealed. Why isn’t a t-shirt like this. What could happen in the horizontal planes of a t-shirt. Do things live there? Does something travel there. Am I there? Is my wearing there?

I move into the hanging layers of WHEREING. First I approach a segment of layers suspended from waist down. Here are the cuts of the TROUSERS and SOCKS. Lots of layers stacked against each other - I run my hands against the edges of its outsides - it feels like a ‘mille fois’ dress. I bend over and look into the hollow. I see the depths of the trouser legs and the pair of socks. The right sock blends into the right trouser leg. This is not all together a view I am unfamiliar with, as I often look down into my pair of pants when I am putting them on in the morning. However the construction of is different here. The inside outline is created by edges of fabric cuts (x-axis) not a continuous surface of fabric running un the leg (y-axis.) Why do we intend pattern pieces on the y-axis, why don't we pattern make on the x axis?

I move back to the TRENCH. It is upside down. It floats from about shoulder height, climbing up to the roof. I put on the garment, that is, I stick my head into its emptiness. I look up, and see the impression of trench coat. It is in-between a garment and a type of hanging environment. It has been turned on it’s head, or should I say it’s neck. It’s waist pointing upwards to the sky. It’s usual construction of dressing has been interrupted. It is mid-way through somersault, atypical, unfamiliar and jarring. I gaze up at its space. I see its curved walls, its wiggly hem’s perimeter, the strapped cuffs and the step out of its shield. I can experience it’s space in a new way. Instead of coming to know it through an established experience of it’s touch against my torso, with my sight resting on its outside, these sensations are now inverted. I can presently view the usual space of embodiment with my eyes registering it’s inside.

I move over to the CARDIGAN. Again I put my head through the threshold of its neck hole and look up. When I look around the inside of the cardigan and meditate on it’s experience, I think and feel a few different things. I think about what wearing is. It’s much like a sixth sense, a feeling very particular and specific to the cite of a garments and the body filling it. Wearing is mainly comprised of sight, touch and the way in which these two communicate with each other to create a dialogue/feeling of positioning. I am highly aware of the space I am wearing in upside down cardigan. I am visually aware of the space around my sight in the cardigan, as I am seeing the the act of dress which is usually touched. By wearing the cardi in this way, my vision is dressed. I have a new sense of spacial self and the experience of its embodiment. I have put on a cardigan, wearing a garment and an environment.

I move over to the SKIRT, a dirndl skirt. Again it is upside down. The experience of this garment perhaps explains the process entailed most effectively. Closest to me I see the rounded cut outs of the skirts waist band. As the skirt wall starts to fall - or in this case rise (as it is upside down) I see its small individual flutes and folds. As the layers ascend the skirt perimeter gets bigger and its curves become more fluid, softer and less concentrated. Seeing the movement of the skirt cut and documented in this way, shifts my perception of the space inside the skirt. The usual construction and structure is changed, shifted interrupting my assumptions of the space embodied and giving me a new relationship and consideration of where I am wearing in the garment. I see and feel the weight of the negative space around my in the horizontal fabric. Here dead air has become material and is given a form, a visibility.

I move to the final environment, a T-SHIRT. It is the same t-shirt that I encountered at the beginning. I can tell as recognize the blended shape of its right sleeve, trying to merge into a flute of the skirt. Here is the outside space of that form. The fit of positive to negative between these cuts delineate where I wear. Do I only wear the space within the fabric wall of my clothes, or am I just as connected to the space beyond this wall? Where do ‘I’ end within my garment? Can I wear an environment? Where does wearing end?


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Gary Begini

Carl Kapp

Josh Goot


Honing down on these three questions now:

  • How do you document worn fashion space?

  • Can I make a person question where space is that they wear?

  • Where does the boundary of embodiment end in the act of wearing?


  • Wear

DICTIONARY: the action of wearing or carrying on the person (an article of clothing, an ornament, a watch, sword or the like); the condition or act of being worn or carried upon the person.

WHEREING: Wear is the act of carrying on the person, often a “garment.” It is also the experience of this act. It is the feeling of a personal space being both contained and filled in embodiment. The individual, personal nature of this experience can often feel visceral as maybe sometimes we consider this space to hold us as a person, or our consciousness. When further directing this act we can see the complexities of defining it. I may at times carry many things upon my body, for example a scent when I wear perfume. Or perhaps when I am naked I am really dressed as I am carrying air on my body, I am wearing the space of air around me. Can I wear a room? Is wearing more the idea of comprehending the boundary area of an experience or an object and its space around our body?

  • Fashion

DICTIONARY:a custom of style or conventional usage in dress and manner

WHEREING: an act of wearing forms and using this as a way of comprehending the self in the world. This can be done through many different forms, ways and conditions. All associated ephemera and recordings of this are included in the web of fashion and it’s relations.

  • Garment

DICTIONARY: any article of dress, an outer vestment, a gown or cloak, clothes.

WHEREING: This is a hard one! A garment is anything which can encase and bound the body, creating an experience of spatial self for the wearer. Does this include a room, a box, a hedged fence, the inside walls of a volcano etc.? Maybs!

  • Environment

DICTIONARY: the aggregate of surrounding things, conditions, or influences, surroundings

WHEREING: An environment is the surroundings and conditions within a particular place , which has been altered in a way, or designed and somehow made more conspicuous. The nature and experience of the environment is particular to the way in which these impacts, workings and changes have been done.

  • Topographic

DICTIONARY: of detailed mapping and charting of relief features or surface configuration of an area

WHEREING: a detailed mapping and charting of relief, depth and undulation surface configuration traditionally applied to an area of land - however maybe it can be applied to an area of embodiment, and to the surface of a garments fabric or materialization. Often when a person visits an environmental landmark of natural monument, (the twelve apostles, the grand canyon etc) they get a type of funny, confronting feeling, of being small in the world, and or existing as a being in vast space. Sometimes I get these feelings when I am getting dressed, or when I meditate on being in my clothes.

  • Space

DICTIONARY: the unlimited or incalculably great three-dimensional realm or expanse in which all material objects are located and all events occur.

WHEREING: Agreed! I shall now elaborate of a sub-tern to this one: Fashion Space - the consideration of the three-dimensional realm or expanse in which all material objects that are located in and events that are carried out in it, create the notion, feeling and experience of fashion.

  • Embodiment

DICTIONARY: the act of providing with a body, to give a concrete form to, personify, express, or exemplify in concrete form.

WHEREING: to provide with a body, to give a form in which a person exists. In this context and maybe quite literally a by product of wearing which creates a space with notions of garment/person hybrid existing within its areas.

  • Pattern

DICTIONARY: a marking, configuration or design to make fashion

WHEREING: a marking, configuration or design to make fashion. Pattern is documentation of design, construction, cut and fit which informs the overall shape of a garment as designs it’s spatial experience. A means by which to intend a garments encounter through fit with the body.


In trying to take an cast of an adult size t-shirt which could then be cut into a stack of sliced pattern templates, I attempted to make another play-dough impression. The play-dough was to heavy as a material to hold the height of form adult proportions, and not stable enough.

The process became a matter of first taking a lot of measurement and photos of the embodied t-shirt on a mannequin. I chronologically started to cut of one layer of what would be a cut through the x-axis of the t-shirt. This ring of jersey was then re-shaped into shape it held when worn. This was placed on drafting paper where I could then trace it. This was done for a total of thirty ascending cut bands of the garment.

I would like to further explore carrying out this process using a 3D scan of a worn t-shirt, with another scan of a body placed inside. The worn space could perhaps then by sliced using a digital program such as rhino. I imagine the outcome would be a lot more accurate, and also it would allow me to explore a number of cutting combinations, which go beyond manual comprehension. Diagonal cuts, curved cuts, spherical and prism cuts, and different combinations of all these.

The cuts of the t-shirt result in three separate but relating forms. The central being the body, the second being embodied space between skin of body and inside wall of fabric, and the third being the all worldly space outside the wall of fabric. The act of wearing frames and posits the comprehension of all these spaces. By cutting up these boundaries and the space within them, a garment can be be given a new experience as a different type of spatial encapsulations and container. By changing the viewpoint and possibly scale of this, the usually felt personal space, can be seen and touched from a new position and view.

In the application of these patterns to an outcome, I have created another type of hanging sculpture. I took the third pattern of the space outside a garment and constructed it in separated layers of calico. It is kind of an object which in a way reverses the materialization of traditional wearing. The space outside the garment is given form in fabric, and the inside space of the garment embodiment line becomes an experiential hollow. The garment has been flipped (like in the double cardigan experiment) so the layer closest to the ground is the neck cut with the layer closest to the ceiling being the cardigan hem cut. The sculpture is interactive in a way similar to that of a garment. It is ‘put on’ and ‘worn’ in that the head goes through the neck hole. Wearing takes place from a different angle meaning the internals of the garment can be viewed. Space usually felt in now seen.

The outside of the form is a type of cube. It kind of looks like filo pastry. It is not recognizable as a cardigan from the outside - only the inside. This is a garment which has no connection or real functioning in how it looks from the outside - which a traditional fashion, commercial or runway garment does. The internals of the cardigan are a nice experience. Each stack of curvilinear edges gives you a faint impression and abstract recognizing of a garment space - the hollow of a sleeve, the gradual curve of a back.

Below are a couple of short videos of the hanging.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Here I have applied the process used in the initial of casting a child’s hooded jacket, to knitted cardigan. After getting this play-dough form, I tried take a pattern of it, using horizontal cuts. Effectively, hopefully, pattern-making in a way on the x-axis.

By tracing the outlines of each slice, I got an image which looks like a bird’s-eye view of the boundary line of worn space.

Each layer stacked on top of one another looks like a topographic map of wearing, showing a kind of embodied relief. I think it could look cool if the stacks were cut in a translucent material and stacked on-top of a light box, revealing connections of each layer. There is a type of undulating landscape of the surface of a worn garment, the body’s moving limbs like tectonic plates.

The shapes were used as layered pattern pieces. Both in the positive and the negative.

The positive/inside pattern cards stacked and placed on the ‘pattern rack’. I like how they seem like a morph between a recognisable garment on a hanger and a stack of hanging pattern-cards.

With the negatives, I mocked up a kind of hanging environment with each layer separated. In a bigger size this could be an experienced wearable. I imagine the experience of it would really delineate outside space, and as there are gaps between each card, the space in-between would still be visible. I want to further experiment the fabrication of each layer. I think the experience of a slice in horse hair would be very different to that of a chiffon. And perhaps the fabrication could be related to the fabric used at the positioning each intersecting cut.


This sketch is kind of similar to Erwin Wurm, dressed internals of a room. However it could be done in a wall plaster, adopting materiality of a room.


In taking inspiration from Rachel Whiteread, I have been experimenting with ways of casting embodied forms, or the inside of garments. I initially tried to make a cast of shorts, following on from their previous use. I made these by dipping a pair of kids shorts in plaster, squeezing off some of the excess, and letting it cure. I then tried to push play-dough in them to try and get the form. However this was unsuccessful. The folds were too small to easily ply the play-dough out and the hardened garment didn’t really perform as a mould.

I then just started pushing play-dough straight into a garment. I did this too a kid’s hoodie. I made a mini-torso out of play-dough, dressed it in the hoodie and then pushed the hoodie down into a kind of flattened/embodied form.

I then made a cast of this. I like the cast as a finished object. It would be effective to scale up sections of a garment, and make some kind of walled enclosure or mini room. It is similar to Racheal Whiteread’s casts of the hollows of book spines in a bookcase as shown in Untitled 2000. As these reliefs of book spines suggest a type of phantom suggestion of knowledge and stories, as the cardigan suggests a ghost of a body and it’s experience of worn space.

Untitled (2000) Racheal Whitread

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I wanted to further test the pattern-card sculptures using the participation of other people's designs and resulting in the use of pattern cards as materials. Using patterns from other fashion designers provided in PATRONEN, an exhibition/catalogue by MODEMUSEUM.

I took three designers' pattern cards and created small scale sculptures using this documentation.


Yohji Yamamoto

Azzedine Alaia

It’s interesting to contrast the results between the four. For example the one sided curved wall of an Azzedine Alia dress creates a very dirrerent structural envornmnent to that of an intricutly cut Hussein Chalayan Jacket. It’s interesting to see what experiences are retained and left behind in the different between garment fabrication and cardboard material.