The Big Idea's been incubating for years.
How to turn 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.
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???
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