Wearables, Wk 6: Construction Experimentation

This past week I bought some muslin and cords and tried my hand at the shirring technique. Shirring creates channels in the fabric to create puffs – think of poofy disney ball gowns.

Shirring Technique

I went to Pacific Trimming in the garment district and was pretty overwhelmed by the amount of different cord options. Found something that had a bit of ply, but wasn’t overly stretchy. I laid out the cords on some muslin, but realized I should try out a smaller version first (still getting used to my production/materials experiment workflow).



Even just sewing this small prototype taught me a lot – in order for the materials to stay in place it’s key to have small channels that snuggly hold the cord, but not too snug that the fabric won’t cinch. Next step will be to add a second layer of muslin to create channels in my to-scale prototype.


I also spent some time breaking down a detachable hood on a jacket that I had from last semester. It’s incredible the amount of detail and design choices that go into something as seemingly simple like a hood. The hood is actually made up of six separate pieces of fabric, three shapes with inner and outer layers.


The stitching of the seams was more intricate than I would have expected, which makes me slightly nervous about replicating it now that I’ve totally taken it apart.IMG_5463

So after I pulled it apart, I used the pieces as patterns and cut out pieces of muslin. The next step will be to try and sew the muslin together.


I’ve been expanding my hunt for more highly reflective materials for the outside and discovered that polyester/mylar sheeting is very reflective and used for emergency blankets as well as indoor horticulturalist pursuits…

I went on a field trip to REI to look at tents (curious about how compact shelter construction could better inform my design) and picked up an emergency blanket. It’s definitely highly reflective, though the creases make it more of an image refraction than pure reflection. I have some mylar sheeting in my amazon cart, but I’m going to hold off to see how well this works since the sheeting might be too thick anyways…

Emergency Blanket
I also picked up some paper lanterns and will start working on a muslin prototype who’s design uses a wire armature.

Also did some research on sound and light proofing fabrics:

Acoustic and Non-Acoustic Fabrics

Purchased black out curtains (that are actually white?) that came highly recommended for their ability to block out both light AND sound. Should arrive within a couple of days. I’m thinking that I’ll use this fabric just in the hood area and then leave the black microfleece for the body.

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08. March 2016 by zoe.bachman.itp
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