Learning How to Drape in Knit

March 21, 2017   /   byPeter Lappin  / Categories :  Feeds

In my Saturday morning draping class (Draping IV), we're currently working in knit and I'm finding it very challenging.

There's something about knits -- their stretchiness and slinkiness -- that feels imprecise and difficult to control.  That said, here I am: I have to learn this.

Last week our professor taught us how to make a simple twist, which is a cool technique.   The challenge for me is marking the knit correctly so when I remove my drape I can turn it into a pattern -- or simply copy what I've made onto the other side of my dress form if we've only draped, say, the right side, as we sometimes do.


So far I've only been working in some gray cotton jersey I found at the Salvation Army, formerly a bedsheet.  It's beefy but not very fluid and prone to wrinkling.  So today I went fabric shopping and picked up something a little slinkier.

I looked at a ton of knits and was surprised at how few of them excited me.  Here are a few that caught my eye.

I liked the hand (and color) of Anna Sui knit but it was too expensive.


This Missoni-inspired acrylic blend was pretty but already had a worn look to the surface, like it's pilling.


I ended up buying the following:

An Alexander Wang polyester knit with a lovely glow and a heavy drape.  It would be ideal for a design incorporating a cowl or a twist.  Or both!


This poly-rayon-Lurex blend has a lot of glamour and a Seventies vibe.  Matching separates?  Jumpsuit?



I've been eyeing commercial patterns for inspiration.  This is not rocket science but I'm feeling intimidated.  Knits are new territory for me, though I've made a few knit things over the years, mainly underwear and a few shirts.  I need to have a completed draped dress by Saturday.  Wish me luck.

Have a great day, everybody!

Maybe with the fabric scraps?

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