Experience the creation of 3D forms in fabric or flexible materials, and use the resulting shapes for Fashion or Costume design, incorporating them into wearable garments. This method can be used for stimulating ideas for soft sculpture or reliefs, making it a useful new tool for artists.

The techniques demonstrated in this workshop will be a great way to generate ideas for art or design, and will be illuminating for anyone interested in or working in these fields! If you design or make artwork, this will be another skill in your repertoire with which to create original pieces.

Previous experience of pattern cutting is not necessary, but a basic ability to use a sewing machine (or to sew fairly speedily by hand!) is needed.

Participants are asked to bring a basic sewing kit, fabric and paper scissors, masking tape and a technical pencil where possible.

Course Outline:

  • Introduction: Talk through and show examples in fabric and on screen, and give an overview of the methods of 3D pattern cutting.
  • Show and explain blocks and equipment, with delegates copying blocks onto card and cutting out for their own set.
  • Method 1: Demonstration of two simple shapes to show the basic methods of adding depth to a block using flat pattern techniques. Each student to draft their own patterns.
  • Cut out in calico and use a sewing machine to make pattern up, press, pin on to stand, photograph.
  • Method 2: Making paper shape, and converting to a pattern so as to reproduce in fabric or other flexible material – vinyl/leather/foam etc.
  • Demonstration: 3D shapes, and methods as above: delegates to have two patterns made.
  • Cut out in calico and make up, press, and photograph.
  • Demonstration and explain how to incorporate shapes into a bigger project – garment / costume / sculpture / relief
  • Discussion from each participant related to ideas from the day’s work.

On leaving university Bobbie worked in the fashion industry as a freelance designer and pattern cutter for large high street stores and as an illustrator for national magazines. She now works as a designer / pattern cutter / maker in her own bespoke business, Atelier by Bobbie Seagroatt. Her Atelier commissions range from designing and making costumes for stage and film, to couture wedding dresses and tailored clothing. Bobbie has used many techniques in her work, including embroidery, quilting, tapestry, beading and hand painting fabric.

Alongside her Atelier commissions Bobbie also works as a university and college lecturer, and holds a degree in Fashion & Textiles, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. When Japanese methods of pattern cutting emerged about 10 years ago, Bobbie was fascinated by the revolutionary shapes that resulted. She began introducing these methods into her university teaching, painstakingly deciphering the books which, at the time, were only printed in Japanese!

Her personal research into pattern cutting, fabrics and clothing, has resulted in the gradual acquisition of her own small vintage clothing collection, which can be seen and referred to by students and visitors to her studio in Cropredy, Oxfordshire for one to one or small group classes in pattern cutting and sewing.

An abiding interest in anything to do with designing and making in flexible materials is the core thread that runs through everything she does, and she regards pattern cutting as the key to transformation.

She has also recently restarted her own artwork, making large scale oil pastel paintings with clothing as the main subject matter.