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Exploring style: Silhouette and Shape

By: Mary Reed Published: 04/14/2020 Categories: Planning, Wardrobe, SewDoIt, Designing

Today we’re going to explore the ideas behind the silhouette or shape of a garment. Our body has it’s own silhouette and the garment either goes along with that or it create a new shape. A sheath dress follows the lines of your body, but might have it’s own shape for the skirt. How full the skirt can determine whether it’s a simple a-line or if it’s more like a 1950’s inspired dress.

If you’re trying your hand at sketching ideas on a croquis, use this idea of fullness to explore shapes on your figure. Start with a simple garment, like a shirt or a dress with a simple straight skirt. Then, draw it, but only change one thing, maybe add a ruffle or change the neckline. Like it? Keep it, and then do it again changing only one more thing. Don’t like it? Go back to the previous version and try changing something else. You can work your way through many variations this way and find new a fun looks.

Another way to do it is to shop for clothes you like the look of online, and try to draw them on your croquis. As you practice with different styles, ask yourself what you like about the shape? What do you not like? What would you change or do differently?

One way to make a simple change that impacts a look is by changing length. Midi style is one length that looks terrible on me! I find that just by shortening/lengthening a skirt or dress to be above the knee or ankle length makes a look wearable for me that otherwise wouldn’t be.

You can also try adding elements like statement sleeves or adding design elements like ruching (gathering with elastic) or ties, decorative or functional. You could change necklines or add button plackets. The sky’s the limit when it comes to drawing ideas! Search online for fashion images and then see how you would make it wearable for you. Take a shirt that you almost love, and see if you can draw it in a way that would be more awesome for your style. Explore to your heart’s content!

You can #sewdoit!


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