First Sample – Twist or Cowl Shift Dress

First Sample – Twist or Cowl Shift Dress

Well it’s been a long time since I posted this Pattern Puzzle – Twist or Cowl Shift Dress.  And I’ve just rediscovered the sample photos to share with you. Here’s the original image from the Pattern Puzzle to remind everyone where we started.

Starting with my Fitted Dress block I extended the lower right side of the dress to include some extra fabric for the drape feature.  In this first example I haven’t included the shoulder yoke seam on the right shoulder line.  I can do that at the end when I’ve solved all the other pattern issues.  I’ve joined the front and back dress together on the right side seam to form a cowl drape.  I’ve also transferred the bust darts to two different locations – one into the armhole and the other to line up with the drape seam.  As it turns out the armhole dart was a mistake.  It looks ridiculous and behaves badly.  So that will be transferred into a side seam, underarm dart in the second sample.
The construction for the Cowl Drape Shift is relatively straight forward with the cowl drape coming off the right side seam.  After you’ve sewn in the darts you can sew the shoulder seams and side seams.  For this first sample I’d probably self-bind the neck and armholes if I think this would make a wearable toile.
This first example is not my favourite by a long shot.  Is clunky and doesn’t sit well at all on the side seam.  Perhaps in a softer cloth like a crepe it would look a little better.  But in product development and sample making you don’t win all of the time.
Now moving onto the Twist Drape Shift and perhaps my favourite of the two designs.  I’ve used the same pattern but simply cut the back and front apart and flipping one of the pattern pieces I’ve made a twist dress pattern.  For these kind of twist designs you do need to use a fabric that’s good on both sides.
Below you’re looking at the whole dress before seaming.  In the top image you can see that the darts have been sewn in and that the back is the wrong side of the dress and the front is the right side of the dress.  The lower image is the dress with the single twist now showing the wrong side of both the back and the front and the twist near the hem on the right side.
After the twist you can join the shoulder seams and the side seams to finish this dress.  The twist side of the dress has a seam that ends in the middle of the twist.  You can choose to sew this as far as you like.  The closer you get to the twist the tighter the twist will sit in your dress.  And although this sample still needs some work I think it’s worth a second sample and maybe this time I’ll cut it in something with a little more drape like a crepe or a satin-backed crepe.
My notes for the second sample are:
  • Shift the front bust darts into the usual side seam location in the underarm area.
  • Separate the right shoulder yoke, along the grain line as per original design.
  • Cut the second sample in a softer drape fabric.

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:  Twist or Cowl Shift Dress – Pattern Making Instructions.

There is another example of this dress made by Carolyn – Handmade by Carolyn
Anita McAdam
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