Draping: The Complete Course

By Karolyn Kiisel

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  • Flexibind
  • 1200 illustrations
  • 320 pages
  • 11⅞ x 8¾ ins
  • ISBN 9781780670935
  • Published September 2013

Draping is the art of using cotton muslin to create a fashion design directly on a mannequin. It is an essential skill for fashion designers. In this book, Karolyn Kiisel presents a series of step-by-step projects, creating real garments in classic styles, that are designed to develop skills from the most basic to more advanced techniques.

Starting with the basics of choosing and preparing the dress form for draping, the book advances through pinning, trimming, and clipping, and creating shape using darts and tucks, to adding volume using pleats and gathers, and handling complex curves. Advanced skills include how to use support elements such as shoulder pads, under layers, and petticoats, and how to handle bias draping. The book culminates with a chapter on improvisational skills.

Each skill and technique throughout the book is explained through specially commissioned step-by-step photographs and line drawings that bring the art of creating womenswear in three dimensions to life.

About the Author

Karolyn Kiisel is a professor in the Fashion Design department at Woodbury University in Burbank, California, and taught at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles for twenty years. Her fashion designs have been sold internationally, and her costume work has appeared widely on screen and stage.

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Tools and Preparation

Part 1: Beginning Draping

Chapter 1.1 Draping the Woven Panel
Draping Project – Diana of Versailles's garment

Chapter 1.2 Dresses
Draping Project – Audrey Hepburn's dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Chapter 1.3 Bustiers
Draping Project – Christian Lacroix bustier

Part 2: Intermediate Draping

Chapter 2.1 Skirts
Draping Project – Bill Blass pegged skirt

Chapter 2.2 Blouses
Draping Project – Bill Blass organza ribbon blouse

Chapter 2.3 Pants
Draping Project – Nanette Lepore resort pant

Chapter 2.4 Draping with Knits
Draping Project – Nanette Lepore jersey top

Part 3: Advanced Draping

Chapter 3.1 Jackets and Coats
Draping Project – Rihanna's Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo

Chapter 3.2 The Grand Gown
Draping Project – Gwyneth Paltrow's Oscars gown

Chapter 3.3 Draping on the Bias
Draping Project – Jean Harlow's dress in Dinner at Eight

Chapter 3.4 Improvisational Draping
Draping Project – Vivienne Westwood dress

The Draping e-book is now available on iTunes (complete with integrated video and audio and interactive image galleries).

Available in three parts (each costing $14.99), you can request a sample or purchase the download via the following links:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3