FABRIC: TEXTURE, DESIGN AND MATERIAL.

The texture of your fabric will affect the final appearance of a garment. Fabric can be stiff or flowing, rough or smooth, shiny or dull, and sheer or bulky. Soft clingy fabrics reveal the figure while stiff fabric may conceal a figures fault by creating a sleek outline. Shiny or bulky materials make the figure appear larger. Those types of fabrics are better used for those who may be too thin. Someone who is heavy should avoid bulky or shiny fabrics unless they are used as trim or accessories. Soft clinging fabrics such as jersey, bias cut silk, wool, and crepes make for nice soft feminine dresses.

Soft loosely woven fabrics such as heavy wool, crepes, and jerseys make attractive flared clothes or dresses with un-pressed pleats. Lightly woven fabrics can be draped closer to the body. Firmly woven wool, linen, cotton, silk, and fine tweed make tailored clothes with a seamed or sculptured look.

Prints and patterns can add beauty and interest to a dress. Consider the style and function of the dress when using a print. Too many seams and other style details may break up the fabric print making it hard not to notice seams. It can also be hard to match the print pattern giving your dress an unfinished or off appearance. The more complex the print design is, the harder it is to keep the pattern in unison.

When using a pattern or print, choose suited to your figure in size and color. Small patterns are prettier on tiny figures, while larger patterns may be overwhelming. Vertical stripes make a figure look slimmer and taller while horizontal stripes add width and reduce height appearance. Bright colors and sharp contrast make a figure also appear larger.

The main color should be flattering. Use combinations of other colors in small areas such as in printed pockets on a plain dress. Limit eye-catching designs to areas where they are complementary and do not draw attention to figure faults. The curves and angles of fabric and dress designs should be in harmony. Straight boxy bodices look better in checks then paisleys. Curved bodice seams and collars may spoil a plaid or striped effect. Also, take into consideration the direction of the pattern and what you intend on being the natural flow of your dress so they do not conflict.

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When making your own dress you will want to make sure you purchase ample material plus some extra just in case a mistake is made. Measure the length from the nape of the neck to the desired hemline. Double this measurement and add 5 and a quarter inches for seam allowance and hem. Short sleeves will need an additional 18 inches and long sleeves 27 inches. A full skirt needs one extra waist to hem length.

Posted by TAMARA

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