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Bare Essentials: Underwear - Construction and Pattern Drafting for Lingerie Design

Bare Essentials: Underwear - Construction and Pattern Drafting for Lingerie Design

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Bare Essentials: Underwear - Construction and Pattern Drafting for Lingerie Design

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Sep 2, 2011


The Bare Essentials series is an invaluable resource for anyone entering into the field of lingerie design. This volume summarizes the basics of underwear design, from sewing and construction to drafting and pattern grading; introducing these subjects in a manageable capacity. Bare Essentials is organized into three main sections based on the complexities of the information provided. Included in this book are basic patterns for briefs and boyshorts. What you will learn: • Construction methods using elastics and stretch fabrics • Manipulation of basic patterns • Pattern drafting from measurements • Developing grade rules and grading patterns

Sep 2, 2011

Sobre el autor

Jennifer Lynne graduated from NYC's Fashion Institute of Technology in 1999 with an specialization in intimate apparel. After working in the industry as a stylist and freelance designer, she launched Porcelynne Lingerie in 2002. Jennifer has been consulting with small business startups for 4 years and is presently teaching pattern drafting, draping and sewing at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. Jennifer serves on the Advisory Board for the Innovative Fashion Council of San Francisco, as well as is an active member in the local design community. Jennifer owned and operated an independent designer co-op in San Francisco's Mission District for 2 years and closed the doors to Porcelynne Designer Collective in 2008 to concentrate on her role as an educator and designer.

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Bare Essentials - Jennifer Lynne Matthews - Fairbanks



As a lingerie designer and educator, I felt there was a hole in educational texts for lingerie design. I compiled this information for educational purposes from personal experience and experimentation. The book is designed to take an individual from the process of sewing lingerie, through an introduction into pattern modification and closing with drafting from measure and pattern grading.

This book covers many different aspects of the design process and is divided into three basic parts. As one progresses through the book, the directions become more complex, as to help each individual master the art of lingerie design.

Each step in the book has been tested by both students and educators to achieve the best possible information possible. If you encounter a discrepancy, please contact us so we will be able to update the book with the correct information. If you are unable to achieve our results, feel free to contact us regarding the issue. It may be a mistake on our part, or possibly we could help explain it more thoroughly. Feedback is always welcome and I thoroughly encourage it.

This book is the first part of what will become a series. The focus of this book is underwear design. Check in with us periodically for updates on new books for the series. Currently four additional volumes are planned, including bras, active wear, lounge wear and mens undergarments.

Enjoy your venture into designing and creating your own lingerie.

-Jennifer Matthews-Fairbanks

Jennifer Lynne Matthews-Fairbanks is an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She owns and operates her own lingerie design business, Porcelynne Lingerie, which has been in operation for the past 10 years.

A special thanks to my husband, David Fairbanks, for being there for me every step of the way. I would also like to thank Cat Brosius and Katie Sabo for your help in the completion of this book.

Chapter 1

Introduction to Lingerie Construction

Before you begin your path into lingerie design, you should understand basic garment construction. In the Beginner section, you will be introduced to simplistic lingerie creation and working with knit fabric.

There are a handful of supplies you will need in order to complete the projects in this section. I have split these into two categories: sewing supplies and drafting supplies.

Tools & Supplies

If you are a seasoned sewer, you will most likely already possess these tools, but for those just starting out, these are the necessities.

Fabric Shears and Scissors - The words shears and scissors can be interchanged, although shears is the industry standard term. Make sure to purchase a pair of quality shears and designate them for fabric use only. A good pair can cost a pretty penny, so make sure not to cut paper, hair or random household items with these scissors.

Paper Scissors - As you should have a pair of scissors specific to fabric, you should also have a pair specifically for cutting paper products.

Rotary Cutters and Cutting Mats - When working with small and detailed designs, using a large pair of shears isn't always practical. Using a rotary cutter or an exacto knife ensures a precise cut every time.

Make sure to use a cutting mat under whatever you happen to be dissecting. You don't want to destroy your dining room table. Cutting mats can be pricy, so choose a size that will be appropriate for your cutting needs. The use of rotary cutters and cutting mats is more commonly used when cutting bras and delicate laces.

Dressmaker Pins - There are a variety of different pins you can use in sewing. Some are very pliable and made from less than quality materials, while others are sturdy and strong. In the varieties available, you want to make sure to get pins that are appropriate for what you are working on. There are silk pins which are very fine and should be used on fine fabrics.

Because I have spilled over boxes of pins more than once in my life, I recommend using a magnetic pin cushion over the traditional tomato pin cushion.

For those of you that might be prone to farsightedness, you may wish to use pins with colored plastic on the end. Just be careful, you cannot iron over the colored balls or they will surely melt to whatever you are working on and ruin your iron.

Pencils - In order to get accurate shapes and edges, either use a mechanical pencil or a pencil with a very sharp point (or have a pencil sharpener handy). You should be drafting with pencils for easily making corrections.

Dot Paper - Dot paper is what we use in the industry for drafting. Although funny enough, the markings are generally not dots, but numbers and letters on a grid. This paper may not be available in all areas, poster paper or craft paper can also be used as acceptable alternatives. I prefer white poster paper for the moderate transparency.

Straight See-Through Rulers - This will be important for your drafting. These are generally available in both the imperial and metric system.

For the imperial system, measurements are generally taken in 8ths. The following table breaks down the 8ths into decimals. This chart may prove handy when taking measurements.

Machines & Stitches

I have developed this book with illustrations referring to stitches found on a basic home sewing machine and serger.

Home sewing machine

Most home sewing machines do both a straight stitch and a zigzag stitch. When working with stretch fabrics, I DO NOT recommend using a straight stitch. There are some exceptions, but in general, you should avoid using a straight stitch with stretch fabrics.

If a stretch fabric is sewn with a straight stitch and the fabric stretches beyond the length of the stitch, the thread will break causing

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