Visualizing the Style Lines

After repetition of the exercise mentioned in the previous post you will develop the ability to look at a garment and mentally assess where the style lines were placed on the basic pattern pieces. It is best to practice using the simplest styles possible at first. With more experience, the eye and the mind will be able to discern where the lines were drawn even on garments with complicated drapery, gathering, ruffles and other such details.

I’m using some very basic styles from the “Exotic new styles from Asia-Hong Kong Fashions” which appeared in the January 25, 1964 issue of “The Saturday Evening Post” to illustrate this approach towards recreating vintage styles or creating your own versions of them.

Jade green silk brocade gown by Dynasty, Hong Kong, 1964.

Dress consists of fitted bodice and flared or gored skirt.

Fitted Bodice becomes:

*Square neckline
*Bodice Front should have vertical and horizontal darts of the basic pattern closed with dart transferred to side seam. This will preserve the flow of the pattern if a similar fabric is used.
*Back Bodice may require a neckline dart or else have dart intake eased into facing.
*Width of the shoulder needs to be worked out.

Basic Skirt becomes:

*The basic skirt pattern can have both darts closed to create an A-Line shape.
*The A-Line skirt can be slashed and opened to create additional flare.
*Pockets appear to be placed near the side seams of the skirt front.

Chanel inspired suit and shell made in silk. Hong Kong, 1964.

Chanel inspired suit and shell in lightweight silk

Shell (blouse): Unfitted bodice which has had front bust dart eliminated from the basic pattern. Cap sleeve or short sleeve or sleeveless are all possibilities. Round or Jewel neckline. Back closure.

Jacket: Unfitted Jacket pattern. Round or Jewel neckline. Basic Jacket Pattern is lengthened to about 2″-4″ below the waist. Unfitted sleeve pattern used with a length of 3/4 sleeve. If this length is not flattering use a full length sleeve. If bust dart is small enough eliminate it completely from the pattern. On Jacket back a neckline or shoulder dart can be used.

Skirt: Basic Pencil skirt tapered with slit at Center Back. Waistband is needed since the blouse will tuck into the skirt. Darts on Skirt Front can be slanted. Skirt should fall about 2″-3″ below the knee.

Closure for Jacket: Buttonholes with Chinese Ball Buttons.