Sewing Instructions Tag

At last some sewing patterns are making it onto the website!  The first in the 'Off-The-Rails' series is the Drape Gather Skirt.  This is a design from many years ago that has been a favourite in my wardrobe ever since.  It's also the first skirt my students cut in my Drape Skirt Patterns workshop.  It has a straight grain centre front panel with a joined side front and back skirt panel that's cut on the bias.  Included in the back seam is a fishtail flare and an invisible zip.  The wait finish is a strap waistband and included in the zip opening is a zip guard for a quality skirt.

I've put together some diagrams for cutting out the Drape Gather Skirt sewing pattern.  I've considered fabric widths of 110cm, 130cm and 150cm for the shell of the skirt, across all the sizes 6-22.  I'll deal with the cutting of the lining for this skirt in a separate post.  I suggest that your first sample is an unlined skirt so you have the opportunity of finessing the fit before making a fully lined version.  One constant feature of cutting these drape patterns is there is always what I would consider a lot of waste fabric.  I tend to keep the larger pieces and use them in future projects.  I've found that a pattern with a number of smaller pieces works really well.  I use a paneled waistcoat design that has 5-6 pattern pieces that use the waste from the skirt design very well.

After so many pattern alterations to the first sample pattern, I'm excited to show you how the second sample turned out.  Below you can see the pattern alterations (brown paper) I made to the first sample pattern.  And I've selected a cotton/linen blend for the second sample.  You will find all the first sample and pattern alteration detail in this post:  Sampling the Flare and Gather Dress and Pattern Alterations - Flare and Gather Dress Pattern.

I'm beginning to love this skirt pattern - as long as I can find the right fabric to make it work.  Sometime last year I made this first sample and learned a lot about construction issues with drape patterns.  You'll find the original Pattern Puzzle post on the well-suited blog - Waterfall Jersey Skirt.  In this post, I'll discuss construction and be looking for solutions to some of the issues.

Trawling through the samples on my rail I see so many garments that I haven't posted to follow on from the original pattern puzzle.  So to re-cap I cut this first sample based on a folk costume pattern for a Mantle Dress, Inner Garment referred to as a Eura Costume.  Like many folk costume designs it uses all the fabric and qualifies as zero-waste.  It's from a time when all textiles were considered of great value and no amount of cloth was ever wasted.

Inspired by fans, I've finally had a go at the Kimono Twist Dress from the Pattern Puzzles series.  My first pattern was cut from a knit kimono block that I made from my Basic Knit Block that's now available here.  I used a mid-weight two-way stretch jersey in a near-block aubergine.  And although I've identified some issues for improvement, this first sample's not too shabby.
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