Drape Back Dress

Drape Back Dress

The simplest of shapes have a tendency to be the most difficult to solve in the pattern puzzle.  When there are no recognisable pattern parts (armholes, necklines, etc.), a huge amount of creativity is needed to make sense of the pattern shape.  Each week our fans excel in their ability to work their way through the information, ask the best questions and eventually win the day.  🙂   They are the best!  If you don’t fancy making your own pattern this design is now available as a PDF sewing pattern to download and sew for your self at home.  Click through to see my very first PDF patterns online!

In the archives we have some vintage #PatternPuzzles that have used the same unusual seaming techniques:
It is the Retro Shrug that was used to plan a more up-to-date version of this style.  All of these vintage patterns finish at the waist and don’t really suit current fashion.  So we devised a way to turn this simple idea into a dress or tunic.
Below is a great view of this seaming technique from the Retro Wrap of 2013.  The back yoke seam also has the armhole or sleeve opening located along the same line.
In the following digram you will see the similarities between the Retro Shrug and the Drape Back Dress, in particular along the top line of the pattern.  The shrug pattern has been opened up in the waist area to increase volume and achieve the length required, front and back.   A neckline has been included on the CF line.  This can be an opening in the seam or a curved shape depending on your preference.  In our example here we have kept the simple seam opening.  The variation in hem length is to account for the much longer line on the Centre Back and give us an even hemline when worn.
The entire one-piece pattern has been set our below on a 5cm/2″ grid for self-drafting.  The sizing is very generous and covers a Small to Medium, with room to spare.  The cutting instructions are Cut 1 Pair.
A quick sample in light cotton voile demonstrates the unusual seaming and the drape created by this design from the front shoulder through to the back seat.  There is an abundance of extra fabric in this dress that can be altered to suit your own taste and body type.  Strongly recommend the use of light, soft, drapey fabrics for this design.
If you are a fan of slim jeans or leggin’s, this pattern can be altered to a tunic length very easily.  A massive fold through the middle of the pattern will reduce the length evenly.  It only remains for you to clean up the pattern lines through to the hem.
If you have any questions please use the comments section below.  Always happy to help in your pattern making endeavours.  Enjoy 🙂
ADDENDUM May 2017:  This sewing pattern is now available as a PDF download.  Why not try one of my very first online patterns. 😉

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Anita McAdam
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