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Pattern Puzzle - Drape Tube Skirt

Sunday, August 09, 2015
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.Cutting drape patterns.

For the Pattern Plan, begin with a Stretch Skirt Block or select a size smaller in a woven skirt block:
  1. In this example I have reduced my woven skirt block by 1½ sizes, ignored the front waist dart and slightly reduced the back waist dart.
  2. Lengthen the skirt to suit your own style and height.  I have added 10cm in length, past my knee level, in this example.
  3. Taper the side seams of the skirt by 3cm at the hem, back to 0cm at the hipline on the front and back skirt.
  4. The Cowl Drape is located above the hemline on the centre back line of the skirt.
  5. To create the drape, mark in four cut lines from the CB through to the CF (centre front) of the skirt.
Make your own stretch skirt block.
The first stage in the pattern development is to: 
  1. Bring the side seams of the skirt block together and cut through the drape lines where you will introduce the extra fabric.
  2. Open up along the CB line for the Cowl Drape, adding approx. 5-6cm between each section.
  3. At this stage you have a tube skirt with cowl drape, low on the CB line, with two large darts for the waist, one from the back skirt and one for the side seam shape.  If this feels a little clunky or unresolved, there are two options to translate these darts into drape around the waist and high hip area.
  4. The first option (featured in the centre) is to push the waist shaping through to the CF seam.  This creates gentle drape around front waistline and high hip.  I have used this move in a woven draped skirt and found it to be flattering and comfortable.
  5. The second option is to send the waist shaping through to the CB seam.  For this location, it's probably best to turn this extra fabric into three, sewn-down tucks.  This was initially my favourite of the options until I developed the third and final option.
Pattern making developments.
If you take one pattern from each of the options above (pictured below in colour), you can direct the waist drape to both the front and back seams on alternate sides of the garment.  It creates an interesting design with asymmetric drape, front and back,  By far my favourite option because the drape at the waist is held nicely in the seam.  :)
Final sewing patterns.
To finish the skirt waist, add a narrow bind in self fabric with elastic included to support and strengthen the recovery in the waist.  Provided you have used two-way stretch jersey you should be able to pull this skirt on over your hips.  If you give these instructions a go, please let me know because I would love to share your work.  :)

ADDENDUM MAY 2017:  Now available as a PDF sewing pattern for the Drape Tube Skirt in Sizes 6-22.
Drape Tube Skirt Pattern

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Carolyn commented on 15-Aug-2015 06:29 PM
Hello, I just wanted to let you know I used one of your design ideas to make a dress for myself, which I featured on my bloghere. I can't find your original sketch to link to it, sorry! but I'm sure you will recognise the pattern piece when you see it! Thank you so much for the innovative and unique design; it's simple but with a twist, literally! and I love it.
Anita commented on 19-Aug-2015 01:36 PM
Hi Carolyn, thanks for getting in touch. This puzzle is still on the old blog. I have not transferred many of these posts. Link below. I love your version of the dress and in particular the use of different colours. :) Makes an amazing teaching tool for everyone to see how the fabric twists. Thanks again for showcasing my work. Much appreciated. http://studiofaro-wellsuited.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/patternpuzzle-twist-or-cowl-shift-dress.html

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All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available for HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use my content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

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These are the first of my sewing patterns as PDF downloads for you to buy and sew.  The more I sell the more time I have to make new ones.  So if you fancy supporting the work I do here on the well-suited blog, this is your opportunity.  These patterns are based on my size chart listed here on the website.


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The challenging patterns, the exciting new design trends and the impossible drapes; that's what I live for.  Disclaimer: These new ideas are offered here for testing and are offered without guarantee.  Allow yourself time and space to truly test and perfect the patterns for all your new ideas.  And please don't give yourself a hard time if the first toile is less than perfect.  It's simply part of a process. Enjoy :)

Using my content

All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available FOR HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use our content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

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