Homage to Charles James 1950

Homage to Charles James 1950

A huge thanks for the fabulous effort from everyone over the weekend to solve this strange #PatternPuzzle.   This week we featured three pattern pieces as part of a garment, rather than the usual all-in-one pattern piece.

The diagram below shows how these different shapes sew together to make a paneled yoke in an evening skirt.
The puzzle started when I came across this amazing gem in the archives of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.  It’s elegant and beautifully design by Charles James, 1950.  After working out the detail in the seams and fitting, I  decided to alter the fit and develop a more comfortable style as I am not a huge fan of high waistlines.
The evening skirt sketched out below is a simplified version of the Charles James design.  I also decided to eliminate the darts into panel seams in the yoke area.
Included below is the detail of the pattern plan based on a basic skirt block:
  1. The centre back seam features some shaping under the seat that flows into the godet (green).
  2. All the waist darts and side seam shaping have been worked into the yoke panel seams.
  3. The side back panels of the skirt are attached to the front skirt, eliminating the side seam.
  4. The invisible zip will be in the yoke seam in the back as shown in the sketch.
All the pattern pieces for the evening skirt are set out below.  Adding a facing for the waist and maybe even lining would finish this skirt off well.
Hope you enjoy the post and let me know if you have any questions about this pattern.  Enjoy 🙂
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:  Homage to Charles James 1950 – Pattern Making Instructions.

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Anita McAdam
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