Intermediate

Back in the land of blogging and I've made a #FirstSample of the Vivienne Drape Dress.  I've recently turned this #PatternPuzzle into an afternoon workshop that I hold at the studio.  Students spend an afternoon in the studio and leave with this pattern completed in their size of choice.  We always start with my Women's Fitted Dress Block (PDF available) and every student builds a pattern plan for the development of this special design.

Does anyone remember this little pattern puzzle from last year?   It's been a long time waiting in the wings for posting.  An innovation on an existing theme, this single twist is ingenious in that a cowl is built as part of the twist pattern.   The final effect being a more subtle twist with a relaxed fit.  If you'd like to learn my method for creating Twist Drape Patterns I have a detailed worksheet for making Jersey Twist Patterns.  For just a few dollars you'll get the same training you'd get if you came to the workshop in my studio.  My Knit Block is also available as a PDF download.

Did you ever think there'd be so many designs using Twist Drape?  I was totally captivated with the asymmetric aspect of this design and the layering effects that can be achieved using two different fabrics and my knit block.  Like the majority of previous twists you'll definitely need a two-way stretch knit for this to work well.  The elastane (Lycra/Spandex) in your knit fabric is the best tool for achieving a snug fit with this method of making twist patterns.  If you'd like to learn my method for creating Twist Drape Patterns I have a detailed worksheet for making Jersey Twist Patterns.  For just a few dollars you'll get the same training you'd get if you came to the workshop in my studio.

The Drape Tube Skirt has turned out to be such a favourite in my wardrobe that I think it'll be the first #PatternPuzzle to be turned into a pdf pattern for the website.  Although my first impressions were of a failed sample, it turns out not to be the case. :)  ADDENDUM MAY 2017:  At last The Drape Tube Skirt available as a PDF sewing pattern here.

Elegant and flattering, this is an interesting cut in a knit fabric.  By using my Knit Block or your favourite tee shirt patterns, you can self-draft the front pattern piece to drape while leaving the back and sleeve patterns exactly as they are.  It's a looser shape than many drape tops and is cut with a more gentle fitting rather than hugging tight to the body.  That slightly looser, non-grabby tee shirt is always flattering and much easier to wear.

I have made an info-graphic to show you all what I've been up to with the workshop line-up here at the studio.  Now I hear you say  'What's that to me?  I live on the other side of the world! :(  So to elaborate; the teaching materials I intend for the website (e-learning) are derived from the workbooks I make for each of the workshops I run here at the studio.  The content and integration of that content becomes even more important when considering its use as online teaching materials.  As a first step I've added my garment blocks to the website as PDF downloads.

For this week's #PatternPuzzle, my initial idea was to make a slim jersey skirt with a #CowlDrape on the Centre Back (CB) seam.  When I started the pattern development I found there was also an opportunity to work some draping magic with the waist shaping (side seam & back dart).  What I came up with is a number of options for this skirt pattern development that should suit everyone's taste and style.  NB These instructions use my skirt block and are for two-way stretch jersey and light weight ponti only.  If you don't fancy making your own pattern, I've just added this PDF pattern to the website for the Drape Tube Skirt in Sizes 6-22.

This weeks design follows a current trend for large cross-over tucks as seen in a couple of recent #PatternPuzzles.   I know that I am really pushing the envelope with this style.  To get the drape right in the front and make sure the tucks are holding everything in place will be quite a challenge. This is probably a good opportunity to remind everyone that these puzzles are ideas only, with guidelines for making the pattern. The proof is in the testing and that's a creative and technical journey from a well-fitted dress block through pattern making knowledge in the desire of beautiful creations. For industry product development, a dress of this complexity will take a minimum of two toiles (more likely 3-4) to get the balance right.  And it's not just the cutting but the choice of fabric that is crucial.  If the fit on the bust is too tight it will push the drape tucks open and  be potentially ugly.  If the fabric is too stiff, the front hem drape will stick out in a doll-like fashion.  So take a deep breath and be prepared to make at least two toiles, to finesse this pattern, before cutting into your valuable fabric.
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