p_3 Molly Wimmel

The objective of my project was to explore the relationship between curved and angular spaces, especially the transition between the two. At first I thought I would achieve this by creating a surface pattern and altering this as I moved across the surface, but I decided my idea would be more effective if I incorporated it into the actual shape of the object, as opposed to just using it as a 2D detail.

I also wanted to incorporate fashion design into my final, so I chose to make a dress. I created four curved and angular shapes in Maya, then lofted between them. From there, I was able to experiment with a lot of shapes based on those four original curves. I then imported my geometry into Rhino, exploded the shape, and used the smash command to flatten all my pieces so that they could be laser cut out of leather.

My final in Maya, before exporting to Rhino.

This project was related with performance based design because I was able to explore a number of shape possibilities. I plan on fabricating this full size and in that case, I would use my original curves as the constants for bust, waist, and hip measurements. These general measurements would control what the general outline of the figure would be, but I would still have some control over what the final outcome was by twisting and rotating the curves.

The major issue I ran into with regard to fabrication was that the leather I used was relatively thin (I had originally chosen it because I needed something thin enough to hand stitch through but that was heavy enough to hold its shape once sewn). Because the leather was thin, it stretched and bubbled significantly as I sewed it. If I was going to manufacture this full scale, I would want to explore other fabrications, as well as ways of using boning or wire as support underneath the exterior shell. If bubbling was unavoidable, I’d want to work more with it to make the bubbling look more purposeful/like an intentional design element.

In conclusion, I think this was a very successful first run at this project. There are definitely still a lot of issues I’d want to work out before making a final, but at this point I think I could adjust the pattern to fit a model and then enlarge it to produce a first muslin. I would also want to make a few other small scale models to experiment with other fabrics and seaming techniques.

It was nice to find a connection between fashion and parametric design. Going into my pre-junior year, I hadn’t been able to use digital pattern making software until this class. Using parametric modeling programs to develop a pattern opens up significant possibilities with respect to silhouette and design. Patterning a garment such as this without digital help would take a lot of unnecessary work and multiple samples. Using parametric design cut out a lot of this and allowed me to focus more on the original silhouette and less on how I was going to go about making a pattern for the garment.

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