Vivienne Drape Dress

Vivienne Drape Dress

This weeks design is a homage to one of my favourite designers, Vivienne Westwood. The understated neckline drape and off-centre skirt drape are characteristic of her wonderful draped dresses.

Your Pattern Plan:

  1. Starting with my fitted dress block, trace out a full front and back pattern for the asymmetric features in this design.
  2. Mark in a wide neckline, front and back, and extend the shoulder line into a shaped, cap sleeve.
  3. Alter the side seams at the underarm point for a sleeveless style. Mark in gape darts for front and back armholes.
  4. Mark in the slightly asymmetric front waist line with the dip sitting approximately 5cm below the waistline.
  5. The skirt drape seam is then drawn from the dip in the waist seam towards the hemline, stopping in the mid-thigh area.
  6. Mark in the cut lines for the drape from the end of the skirt darts, front and back, toward the area below the skirt drape seam.

Your pattern development:

  1. Starting with the back bodice, close the gape darts in the armhole and transfer to the waist darts.
  2. For the front bodice the bust, waist and gape darts are closed with the shaping sent into the front neckline via the bust centre front lines.
  3. Square the cowl neckline from the centre front line and add a deep (5cm or 2″) turnback facing.
  4. For the skirt pattern, separate the front skirt along the drape seam line.
  5. Cut along the dashed drape lines and close the skirt darts in the front and the back.
  6. Join the right side seam of the skirt and close the side seam shaping like a dart, transferring the drape into the skirt cowl.
  7. Finally, lift the drape seam lines to bring them to the same level and introduce that final amount of drape to suit your design.
  8. NB: up-to-date changes to this Pattern Plan are available here.

Your final pattern pieces:

  1. Curve through the skirt hemline and add the grainlines to keep the drape of the skirt on the bias.
  2. Cut the front and back bodice, also on the bias grain.
  3. Include an invisible zip in the left side seam from the underarm to the hip.
  4. The back neck and armholes could be finished with an inside bind or the entire bodice may be lined.
  5. The skirt hem may be best finished with a deep (5cm or 2″) facing, overlocked and blind hem.
  6. A lining added to the skirt will always make it sit and behave better in wearing.
I hope you all enjoyed this weeks #PatternPuzzle.   Let me know if you have any questions, I am always happy to help.
Addendum June 2016:  First sample post here.

Enjoy  🙂

Anita McAdam
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