Identify the elements in a design that you particularly like. Using
your drawing skills to re-work these elements in a design more suited to
your needs or your market. This is the beginning of design development
in any new season, when you look to the top end of the market for
When re-working this design I have decided to use knit fabric rather
than a woven. For sampling I will probably use a two-way stretch knit
to achieve the fit in the underdress. And a medium weight viscose or
modal knit for the overdress to achieve the desired drape.
Set out below is the Pattern Plan using my knit block
with the design and
construction lines for both layers of this design. There is a tube
dress underneath and a much fuller over-dress with an exaggerated Hi-Lo
hemline. Extra lift in the Centre Front (CF) line has created a
waterfall style drape.
For the first stage of the pattern development, trace the front and back
over-dress, removing the gape darts for the neckline and including the
Hi-Lo hem guidelines. Divide the skirt part of the over-dress (from
underbust area) into four vertical sections to expand and create the
fullness in the hem.
In the second stage of this pattern development, cut the pattern open
along the vertical lines to create flare in the hemline. Add a
consistent amount to each opening to maintain balance in the garment.
Lift the CF line up to introduce extra fabric for the waterfall drape.
Shorten the CF hemline to increase the waterfall effect in this area.
When tracing the final patterns, consider the placement of grain to get
the best behaviour out of your particular knit fabric. In this case I
have centred the grain in both the front and back pattern pieces for the
over-dress to maximise elegant drape through the side seams.
At this early stage I am thinking of joining the two dresses together at
the top end of the side seam only, where they fully connect to each
other on the pattern plan. I will also include some elastic in the top
edge of the under-dress to hold it in place. Please note the markings
on the pattern plan (for the under-dress) for the addition of some
elastic over the bust and in the centre back (CB) area.
I am hoping you all find these new ideas and pattern explorations as
exciting as I do. The idea behind this blog is to share the parts of my
work that truly excite me. The challenging patterns, the exciting new
design trends and the impossible drapes. That is what I live for. And
if I can excite you in the same way about making your own patterns, then
my job is done.