So a lot of people freak out when I mention math. Yes, geometry helps you to make stuff. No, you don't need the calculator. There's no mathematical genius required to get started in making your own clothing/slipcovers/upholstery/etc. What I'm talking about is basic geometrical shapes. Like squares, circles, triangles and rectangles.
Stapling is what I use to take those basic shapes and then fit them onto a specific body. Or object.
Now, I've been making things for years. So I can look at what people are wearing and tell what shapes their clothes are made up of. You don't need to have years of experience. You can break things down into their component shapes easily. Just look at them carefully.
Breaking things down is how we learn to draw, to plot out a design, figure out a schedule or draft a business plan. It's looking at a whole (an object, a person, a plan), then breaking it down into easily recognizable shapes or ideas so our brains can process and understand what we see. This is how we make big ideas manageable.
You have this skill. I swear.
Take a look at a person or piece of furniture near you. What shapes do you see? An oval? Triangles? Rectangles or a sphere? As you take a close look, shapes will start to pop out at you. Try squinting or standing back from the person or object so you can see its outline. Different shapes will begin to come into focus. This method works for people, pets, your car or sofa- really, for anything you see.
One of the things I like best about looking at the world geometrically is that it removes judgement from the equation. It's normal to get uncomfortable when someone takes your measurements. It feels personal and intimidating. We get so tied up in numbers: how much money we make, what stuff costs, how many inches we've gained since college or that last baby. Once we break things down into basic shapes, it's not about size or personal worth. It's just about shapes. And there's no benefit to being a rectangle versus being a triangle, a sphere or an oval.
This is how I see measurements. They're informational building blocks that I use to create the shapes needed to fit you. Your shape is unique and fabulous just the way it is, right now. You don't need to do or change anything. Maybe the numbers mean more or less fabric, but that's ALL it means. After the first 60" waist I encountered when making opera clothes, all measurements are just numbers. No judgement attached.
Try it out. Start breaking down the things you see into shapes. Draw those shapes out on paper. You don't need any artistic talent to draw a circle. Tracing around a jar lid is fine. Use a ruler if you can't draw a straight line. (I can't either.) And start mapping things out. Pretty soon, you'll be able to look all around you and visualize the underlying shapes for clothes, trees, chairs... you name it.
Which means you'll be able to find a way to make a version of those things yourself.
How cool is that?
Staple Draping by A.Laura Brody is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
A. Laura Brody
I re*make mobility devices and materials and give them new lives. Sometimes I staple drape.