Subtraction Cutting (and other intriguing pursuits)

Well, it’s been busy and interesting around here — it seems like every week brings new challenges, experiences, conversations, growth opportunites! In short, never a dull moment.

The poor studio is definitely feeling the brunt of it. There are half-finished projects everywhere! (That’s how lots of us creative types do it, I think — we start in on an idea, then switch to a different one when we need a little break from the first =) For starters, I decided to make Melody a dress a few weeks ago, so she could have something new to wear while she’s working… but after getting halfway through, I got distracted with other things (notably, going on vacation and planning for the fall line!)

I also went on a little bit of an investigation expedition the other day — I’d been rereading some old Threads magazines and came across a really interesting article about new developments in the patterning world. Couple the growing global movement of environmental consciousness with fashion, and you get ‘zero-waste’ designs, where every scrap of the fabric is used somehow. The results are anything but boring — they look like a whole new breed of garments (which, in a way, they are), and their luxury belies their smart-stewardship-origins.

a subtraction-cut dress

Another really mind-bending new concept is called ‘subtraction cutting’, invented by Julian Roberts. Basically, you cut negative shapes (for the body to go through) rather than positive shapes (to go around the body). It’s incredible, and I spent some time trying to get my head around it using just what I could learn online (that accounts for another half-finished project in the studio, by the way!) I haven’t bought the book yet, but I think it’s just a matter of time. You get such fabulous, artistic, becoming results — and in a very intellectual, sophisticated way. What’s not to love?

 

And while we’re on the subject of incredible patternmakers, who can forget Madeleine Vionnet? She mastered the bias cut (a notoriously slippery creature!), and some of the things she did with simple rectangles, triangles, and circles defies explanation. One of these days I’ll make myself take time to try some of her techniques.

Alrighty, enough chatting patterns. There’s a fall collection to sew! =)

–Melinda

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