Creating beautiful clothing patterns are a significant feature of the Saori inspired weaving movement. Handwoven cloth for clothes and accessories is where the Japanese developers have created outstanding new ideas amongst ‘ordinary’ people. Although the best of the Saori designers, such as Masako, use the body directly to develop the pattern, being the best starting point, my dressmaking and patternmaking accreditation was fixed in the use and adaptation of the flat pattern. This was mainly because I was trained to appeal to industry where economical pattern lays were a priority for any design. So naturally my love of lines and design on flat paper conjures the 3D outcome in my mind. To my surprise many younger Saori sewers and weavers tell me they feel more comfortable designing directly on the body which I always think is a higher and more intuitive skill.
So I look at all of the Saori design clothing books with the approach of an industry mind! Exploring the patterns … from Shitate no Hon, I gleaned the ingenuity of the designer for these types of patterns. Normally in patternmaking you always have to concern yourself with how to put the garment on. We don’t want to be locked out. In Saori garments we avoid the need for closures in our patterns by using ‘tricks’. For example, a garment with long sleeves will generally need an opening at the front or back to gain access, but then it becomes a coat or cardigan. How do we design a top with no front or back openings but no closures? Read more