Cut The Trends Tag

For this week's #PatternPuzzle, my initial idea was to make a slim jersey skirt with a #CowlDrape on the Centre Back (CB) seam.  When I started the pattern development I found there was also an opportunity to work some draping magic with the waist shaping (side seam & back dart).  What I came up with is a number of options for this skirt pattern development that should suit everyone's taste and style.  NB These instructions use my skirt block and are for two-way stretch jersey and light weight ponti only.  If you don't fancy making your own pattern, I've just added this PDF pattern to the website for the Drape Tube Skirt in Sizes 6-22.

This weeks design follows a current trend for large cross-over tucks as seen in a couple of recent #PatternPuzzles.   I know that I am really pushing the envelope with this style.  To get the drape right in the front and make sure the tucks are holding everything in place will be quite a challenge. This is probably a good opportunity to remind everyone that these puzzles are ideas only, with guidelines for making the pattern. The proof is in the testing and that's a creative and technical journey from a well-fitted dress block through pattern making knowledge in the desire of beautiful creations.

About two years ago, in a Draped Dress Patterns workshop, this jersey style came into being.  A combination of Cowl and Twist Drape, it proved to be a fabulous idea for students dealing with their first ever drape pattern.  Using my knit block for these early drape patterns is always a plus.  There is never any question about... ' what to do with the darts!'.  If you'd like to learn my method for creating Twist Drape Patterns I have a detailed worksheet for making Jersey Twist Patterns.  For just a few dollars you'll get the same training you'd get if you came to the workshop in my studio.

This weeks #PatternPuzzle is not an exact copy of the Charles James Skirt but a very do-able pattern for a 101 approach to understanding darts to drape in flat pattern making.  No really, that's what I used to call the workshop; so formal and so academic. :]  This Charles James skirt has so many complex panels that it started to send me a little crazy, so the decision was made to modify and simplify.

The designs used in last Saturdays #PatternPuzzle conversation are the surplus design developments from the Layered Shirt post of a few weeks ago.  They have been lying around on the work table all that time and I didn't have the heart to throw them out.  Then I realised, that was because I really wanted these two tops for myself.  They were just the kind of thing I needed in my wardrobe.  Saved from the shredder, these designs are similar but different enough to entice you to make both.  I will be dealing with them in two separate posts to make sure I cover all the detail. :)

The post is a little late this week as I am totally distracted by work that is going on in the backend of the website, setting up a members area.  We have been working out the best content to make it both attractive and useful to fans and hope to open that members area very soon.  Now back to the #PatternPuzzle that was such fun on Saturday with fans working getting to the answers super-fast.  Then overnight, while I was asleep so many added sketches and photos and in one case an amazing mini-toile.

This week I've showcased #PatternInsights, where I share the light bulb moments in my pattern making career.  In this shirt pattern development, I'm sharing two pattern making moves that early in my career caused me some anxiety.  Anxiety caused by a lack of information and training.  Thank heaven for my hero Natalie Bray!  I am sharing the pattern moves needed to turn my basic fitted (dress) block into a loose-fit block and a basic set of moves to draft a gauntlet placket for a classic shirt sleeve.

Once again I am attracted to the loose-fit silhouette that is such a staple in most fashion ranges at the moment.  And somehow I think it may also indicate a desire to bring my own wardrobe up-to-date.  This cocoon shaped, gathered drape shirt would behave at its best if you were to cut it in a light, drapey woven such as silk satin or a crepe de chine.  The gathered drape flows out of the neckline, over the shoulders into a slightly restricted armhole.  This is the one feature of the design that will most likely require tweaking in the first toile.  The shirt design also features a Hi-Lo hemline and a concealed button front with two-piece shirt collar.  This design can be made as either a tunic length or dress length according to personal taste.
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