Erté Inspired Design

Erté Inspired Design

This weeks #PatternPuzzle was about targeting another of my favourite Erté designs and bringing this inspiration up-to-date.  As it turns out this is a truly challenging style.  I know I made at least two mistakes in putting these pattern making instructions together.  So please forgive any other errors you may find.  And because of its complexity, I imagine I would have to produce at least 2-3 toiles/muslins to really get the design and fit to work well before attempting in final cloth.
The Design Development below offers some length and fit options for the new design.  The style selected for pattern development (top right corner) has a funnel neck developed into a cowl, a peg-top style skirt and banded panel feature all built on a semi-fitted kimono block.  My original intention is to make this dress in a soft drapey woven fabric.  However, I think the instructions would also work on a jersey kimono block using one-way stretch fabric.
The pattern plan below is set out on a knit kimono block.  It’s your choice whether to use a knit or woven kimono block.  Waist darts are added to the front and back blocks to achieve a waist fit that equals your waist measurement plus 4cm garment ease.
  1. Relax the neckline fit and add the built-up rectangles to the neckline shape to make the funnel neck collar.
  2. Taper the skirt of the dress from the hip line to the hemline (approx. 3cm/1 1/4″).
  3. Mark in the banded panels as a figure eight around the right front and back shoulder and the waist (approx. 6cm/2 3/8″ wide).
  4. Now mark in the dashed lines for the placement of the drape in the skirt and the front waist.
  5. Shape the centre back seam and include an invisible zip and walking split/vent.
  6. Add the pocket detail by extending the left side seam on the front and back to sit away from the dress.
In the pattern development for the front dress:
  1. Transfer the bodice darts into the cowl drape in the funnel neck collar.  Add extra fabric to maintain the balance in the cowl if required.
  2. Add a gusset allowance to both front sleeves of approx. 2-2.5cm (3/4-1″).
  3. Trace the banded panels, eliminating the darts and side seam shaping to form two simple pattern pieces.  They will reach from the front around to the centre back seam (shaded areas).
  4. Open the skirt along the drape lines and add fabric for the gathered drape.
  5. Lift the two pocket patterns.  the piece closest to the body is the smaller piece.  The outside edge seam of the two pocket bag pieces do need to be the same length to form the pocket.
In the pattern development for the back dress:
  1. Add a gusset allowance to both back sleeves of approximately 2-2.5cm (3/4-1″).
  2. Trace the banded panels for the back waist and join to the front panels with the exception of the back right shoulder panel.
  3. Open the skirt along the drape lines and add fabric for the gathered drape.
  4. Adjust the back right panel by shifting the dart shaping to the seam that joins the banded panel.
  5. You may be able to eliminate the dart in the back left panel by removing equal amounts off either side of the pattern piece.  However, it may be more accurate to try this alteration in the first fitting.
Now to the error in Saturdays’ post.  :/  
I did forget to include the draping in the front bodice pattern so I have outlined below the two options you have available, i.e. with or without the gathered drape at the waist.
Here’s hoping you all enjoyed the #PatternPuzzle last Saturday and I look forward to seeing you on Facebook next Saturday. If you’d like to buy a copy of these pattern making notes for your own personal use at home you’ll find them here:  Erté Inspired Design – Pattern Making Instructions.
Enjoy 🙂

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Anita McAdam
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