Drape Shift Rethink

Drape Shift Rethink

The Drape Shift was one of my earlier #PatternPuzzle posts that popularised my blog in 2014.  However the pattern making instructions proved to need much more work.

I decided in my first sample to include a three-quarter sleeve to suit my own aesthetic.  And to stay with the original one-piece pattern it needed and over-arm seam rather than an underarm seam.  Although I liked and happily wore my first sample it wasn’t anywhere close to the original design sketch.


My first and not very successful sample of the Drape Shift pattern puzzle.


At a later date Zoe Clark dropped into my Facebook group, STUDIO FARO MAKERS, and we worked our way through this design.  I generated a new approach to achieve this design and Zoe worked her way through the details.  The final outcome (at the end of this post) was a great success.
As a re-work of the original post I’ve finessed the pattern plan to include more closely focussed cut and paste instructions.  The idea being to keep the close fit of the knit dress while adding drape exactly where the sketch indicated.



After you’ve prepared your pattern plan you’ll be cutting along the blue drape lines for your ‘cut and paste’ moves.   The back and front patterns will be joined along the right side seam with only the left side and front drape seam remaining in the final pattern.  I would suggest around 6-12 cm for each opening along the drape lines.  More for light knits and less for medium weight knits.



How much you open up the drape lives depends on the weight and drape in your fabric.  As in the original post I recommend knits only for this design and suggest soft cotton, rayon, bamboo, or polyester fibres.  Sift or very heavy knits will not drape well for this design.



For your final pattern, trace around this one-piece pattern and check that the seams on the drape seam are equal in length.  You grain line is placed so that the bias of the cloth is running through the drape of the front dress.
In the images below you’ll see that Zoe was working on a half scale model which is a traditional approach to developing new ideas.  The couturiers of the early 20th century always worked on the quarter scale models to be economical with with expensive fabrics.

Zoe’s half scale pattern for the Drape Shift.

After several samples the crushed velvet sample below is the best version yet of my original design sketch for the Drape Shift.  Now all that remains is to cut this as a full size sample and wear test it to check all the aspects of the design.

Final and successful sample by Zoe Clark.

If you’re thinking of trying this yourself feel free to join my Facebook group STUDIO FARO MAKERS  to share your samples and ask any questions you may have.  Enjoy!

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Anita McAdam
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