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Pattern Puzzle - Handkerchief Fold Dress

Monday, February 02, 2015
At last the detail for the Saturday #PatternPuzzle is here!  My apologies for the delay to our usual posting but I had a little trouble with my graphics.  It was a wonderful round of creative answers and clever solutions that finally solved this puzzle.  Our Handkerchief Fold Dress is so named because it struck me that the construction of this dress is much like a handkerchief with the corners folded into the centre.Handkerchief Dress Pattern

To begin I have used our loose-fit kimono block for woven fabric.  If you don't have this block or similar please don't worry.  As this style develops you will see the opportunity for self-draft in the simplicity of the pattern shape.  Please note I am working the front and back patterns together.  This loose-fit Kimono block shape is the same front and back except for the necklines and the position of the back shoulder line (1cm higher than front).

To begin:
  1. Determine the length of your dress/tunic and mark in the new hemline.
  2. Mark in your neckline shape from the shoulder line through to the CF (centre front) and CB (centre back).
  3. Select the depth of the front Empire seam and square from the CF line toward the sleeve area.
  4. The width of this part of the pattern can be determined by holding a tape measure the full width across your back from sleeve end to sleeve end.  Here I have decided on a ¾ length sleeve and found 60cm across (120cm total) would be enough for comfortable movement.
  5. Mark back along this line for the sleeve opening.  I believe this could be 20-25cm (total sleeve opening of 40-50cm).  Only the first toile will tell us if this is too big or too small.
  6. Mark in the overarm lines for the front and back pieces.   Please note the back sits minimum 1cm higher than the front.
  7. The final pattern development is the CF opening.  I have chosen a button front in this design.  Add 1.25cm/½" button stand to the CF line in the upper bodice only.
  8. Mark 5-6cm inside this line for the facing pattern.  This will be a grown-on facing, all-in-one with the pattern.  The finish for the neckline would be an inside bind finishing 6mm/¼".

Kimono styled dress pattern.

Unpack the pattern piece by tracing the back pattern first.  
  1. Then add the upper front bodice to this pattern piece, joining it along the shoulder line.
  2. Now add the lower front dress to the back pattern piece along the side seam line.
  3. The shoulder and side seams are now a fold and not a sewn seam.
  4. The seams in this design will be on the CB line and through the front empire seam only.  It is possible to have a CF seam if you are wanting to cut with less fabric waste.
  5. Finally add the front facing to the CF line on the upper bodice.
One-piece patterns

The cutting choice I have made above is to place the CF line, of the lower front dress, on the fold.  This gives me a long thin pattern that I can place along the selvedge edge of the cloth.  The width of this pattern piece is approx. 77-80cm.  So it will be possible to achieve a certain amount of reduction in waste fabric by interlocking patterns along the length of the fabric (i.e.145cm usable width).  On the fun side this cut would work well with a border print or stripe fabric.

Kimono Block Patterns

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.  Always happy to help.  Enjoy :)


Paper Doll Art

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Susan Bateman commented on 02-Feb-2015 08:31 PM
Hi Anita, I have just come across some books and I wondered if you had seen them. They are called Drapedrape, drapedrape 2,drapedrape 3 and another called shapeshape. Wonderful patterns and ideas that made me think of the pattern puzzles.
maggie commented on 03-Feb-2015 01:48 AM
so many of your patterns work for hand woven fabrics. thank you
Michael commented on 03-Feb-2015 11:53 PM
Hi Anita, I've been trying to draft this skirt using your twisted skirt diagram but I can't seem to wrap my head around it. I think it's because the knot starts on the top right corner of the skirt but it's a tulip. Can you shed any light on this?
Anita - studiofaro commented on 04-Feb-2015 11:30 AM
Thank you both (maggie & Susan) for your wonderful comments. I have at least one of the Drape Drape books and they are so inspiring to me. Have you seen the Pattern Magic Series? They are also our of this world. :)
Anita - studiofaro commented on 04-Feb-2015 11:34 AM
For Michael, I have had a look at the skirt you are interested in and think there is a post that might help. Our Jersey Twist post from a couple of weeks back has even more detail on the actual twist. http://www.studiofaro.com/well-suited/pattern-insights-jersey-twist-patterns
I think your skirt has a double twist.

Can you tell me is this a current item for Kookai? If it is a past season product I may just be able to make a #PatternPuzzle out of it. :)
Gabrielle commented on 06-Feb-2015 05:17 PM
It seems to me that it is important to have the angle of the shoulder to side as a right angle so that you get the straight edge for the empire line. This taken with the hip size and arm length (and of course where you locate the empire seam)will dictate the length of the garment.
Anita - studiofaro commented on 07-Feb-2015 03:49 PM
Hi Gabrielle, thanks for dropping by our blog. You can have the empire seam anywhere you fancy and the length of the garment is also your choice and barely changes the pattern shape. Let me know if you have any questions. :)
Sami commented on 15-Oct-2016 10:17 PM
Plz can show how to fold one by one that will make easy to understand plzzz
Anita - studiofaro commented on 16-Oct-2016 12:06 PM
Hi Sami, thanks for dropping by. :) For the moment the posts are all I have. I'm making some more interesting pattern making posts and videos for a members area to be opened soon. Please make sure you are subscribed to the site to hear about any new patterns and the opening of the members area. You can subscribe here: http://www.studiofaro.com/contact Or click on CONTACT in the menu bar.
Bimpe m. commented on 15-Jan-2017 07:36 PM
thanks for this post. I have tried this handkerchief fold dress pattern. But I couldn't reach the final placement. There was excess in the process of connecting the upper front empire and the down front empire to form a straight line pattern like in your own patterns. Can you please show the step by step instructions on the final placement. Thank you for the response
Anita - studiofaro commented on 16-Jan-2017 10:10 AM
Hi Bimpe, thanks for reposting your comment. :) My placement is much higher than an empire line. I've tried to get that seam on the same level as the bicep of the arm. For this design to be comfortable the opening for the armhole has to be at the correct level for comfort when your arms are hanging by your side. I've also considered the best proportions in placing the seam in relation to the overall garment length. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

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The challenging patterns, the exciting new design trends and the impossible drapes; that's what I live for.  Disclaimer: These new ideas are offered here for testing and are offered without guarantee.  Allow yourself time and space to truly test and perfect the patterns for all your new ideas.  And please don't give yourself a hard time if the first toile is less than perfect.  It's simply part of a process. Enjoy :)

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All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available FOR HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use our content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

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