Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Big Idea

The Big Idea's been incubating for years.

How to turn this:

Into this:

How do you take an extant garment, with its generally small size, personalized fit, and limited capacity for handling, and turn it into something you can wear? And more problematically, how do you turn it into something OTHER PEOPLE can wear? Specifically other people you may never see or be able to fit?

We started with patterns. Cassidy took dozens of them, from small and large museums, everyday garments and Paris couture. She took photos and noted construction details.

I tried hand-scaling those patterns in Illustrator. I could get close, but not close enough that we weren't likely to face a mob with torches and pitchforks after their 5th muslin mockup went horribly wrong. The fit on historic clothing is so precise, and modern bodies so different, that no one-size-fits-all was going to fly.

Generally, pattern companies deal with this by using standard sizing and providing fitting advice. But we've all had that project, the one that would never fit right no matter what, not even with all the best advice in the world.

We needed a system where people could start with their own bodies and work out. We found it, in Wild Ginger's Cameo software. We can draft the patterns at standard sizes, using standard drafting techniques, and then adjust them to multiple measurements that other companies don't even begin to ask for: things like bust height, shoulder drop, neck circumference, ribcage width. This is as close as you can get to couture fit on a costumer's budget. And best of all, because we're doing it digitally, we can do it faster, on a larger scale, and eventually cheaper than anyone else selling custom patterns.

Sound exciting?

We think so too.

You can back our Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/741450845/dragonrose-historical-sewing-patterns to pre-order the pattern for the Emile Pingat gown shown above, get a custom sloper to make your own patterns, or get in on the ground floor for any future release. Feeling REALLY generous? You can even get your own replica of the gown as shown.

C'mon, look at these faces. Can you really say no to this???

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dreaming big: a new pattern company for everyone who hates fitting


We started small. We asked for $2500 to buy software to launch our pattern line. People got really excited and so did we.

Once we crossed the $4000 mark, stuff got real, and it was time to figure out what else we could get to streamline the pattern drafting and printing process, and to ensure that all our backers got the absolute best product we could give them.

So now we want one of these:

At a list price of $12,000 ($10,500 + freight for us because the sales rep was so excited about our Kickstarter,) this baby can print an entire pattern on 72" paper in under 3 minutes. A $30 ink cartridge will do over 300 patterns. And the ink is less sensitive to heat and moisture than inkjet, making it the ideal printer for sewing patterns that often get pressed or steamed.

There are only a few days left in the Kickstarter, but if you haven't checked it out yet, there are still some great limited rewards left, as well as the unlimited pattern pre-orders. We are so excited, grateful and humbled by the support and advice we've been offered through this process, and we can't wait to share our patterns with you!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hallowedding 2015

Things have been crazy. I say that every entry, but, since my last one, things have been REALLY crazy.

First, this happened, on Halloween (Photos by the incredible Serena Star Photography.)

Why yes, that IS a cameo by Cassidy on the left.

Headpiece by Taylor at Dames a la Mode

Shoes are the Renoir style by American Duchess

I so love my purple monster.

I made 5 other dresses for members of the wedding party, in addition to my own. My options were blog or sew. I sewed.

The other 4 bridesmaids made their own dresses, because somehow I ended up with an amazingly talented group of friends.

I think the best part was how many people dressed up. I think the folks that grumbled about how they were going to "feel weird" in costume really felt left out by the end of the night, because they were a clear minority. It was kind of a lovely feeling.

So yes. That's where I've been.