Subtraction pattern cutting

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Pattern cutting and design are physical activities, they extend from the hand and eye, from rotations of the wrist, elbow and shoulder, but they also flow from the mind and it’s perception of spatial awareness, from the psychological processes of transferring ideas and concepts into 2-dimensional patterns, which then construct in 3D. 

The basic premise of Subtraction cutting is that the patterns cut do not represent garment’s outward shape, but rather the negative spaces within the garment that make them hollow. Simply put, shaped holes cut from huge sheets of cloth through which the body moves.

Subtraction cutting is designing with patterns, rather than creating patterns for designs. When you explore new techniques and methods of making, you deal with chance, luck and hope. Sometimes you completely mess up, sometimes the mistakes are really much better than what you were hoping for, and sometimes you discover something about fabric you didn’t realise was possible. 

This dress is made by using that technique.

Two pieces of fabric, 160×180 cm are stitched together on 3 of 4 sides, then overlocked. Basic woman’s dress bodice block is placed on one of the layers, so front and back are facing each other with the shoulders, doesn’t matter how close they are, play around. Bottoms are then joined with circle-like lines and the negative fabric is cut out only from one of the layers. Bodice is then stitched together on the shoulders and sides, including the circle-cut. Turn through the open side of the square and it’s done.