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Pattern Puzzle - Vivienne Drape Dress

Monday, December 08, 2014

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.  Addendum March 2016 - I've just turned this #PatternPuzzle favourite into a pattern making workshop -  #InAnAvo The Vivienne Drape Dress.  Checkout other #InAnAvo workshops on offer.  

 Vivienne Drape Dress Pattern

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 waist line.
  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.

Vivienne Drape Dress

Your pattern development: NB: up-to-date changes to this Pattern Plan are available here.

  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.

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.

First Samples Drape Dress

Addendum June 2016:  First sample post here.

Enjoy  :)

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Anonymous commented on 10-Jan-2015 08:29 PM
This is wonderful. So artful and elegant.
Anita - studiofaro commented on 11-Jan-2015 11:27 AM
Thanks so much SewSmitten. Love your blog too! :) Very brave of you to tackle the body-con dress for the modern man. Great work.
Alix commented on 14-May-2015 12:08 PM
I love this dress and can't wait to take some of your classes so I can understand exactly what's going on here. All very inspiring! Thank you.
Anonymous commented on 14-May-2015 12:40 PM
Thanks Alix, I love sharing these ideas. :)
Oxana commented on 19-Jul-2015 10:03 PM
Thank you very much !!!
Anonymous commented on 20-Jul-2015 09:41 AM
Thanks Oxana. :)
Joan commented on 13-Feb-2016 02:39 AM
Hi Anita, would this lovely dress be best made in a stretch fabric or woven?
Anita commented on 15-Feb-2016 12:27 PM
Hi Joan, thanks for dropping by. :) Most definitely woven fabric in this case with the fitted dress block. The design could be made with stretch fabric but you would need an entirely different block to start with. Which block are you using for your Vivienne Drape Dress? :) Anita
Anonymous commented on 16-Feb-2016 05:10 AM
Oh dear! I only have one block! It's for woven. I have a lovely silky ity jersey I was going to,try this in, maybe even omitt the zip!
I would be a shame to waste it if you don't think it would work out!mice dne my pattern adjustments already, found it quite tricky, my drape seam is too near my hip and my neck line was too,high but that's all.
Anita - studiofaro commented on 16-Feb-2016 10:54 AM
You can certainly use your woven block but I would strongly suggest that you don't cut in a knit fabric. The fits are so different between woven and knit blocks that I don't imagine if would be a success. If your fitted block has been adjusted to your personal fit, then keep going with the pattern. The first toile should most definitely be calico to iron out the fit problems. And even with the second toile/sample I would be inclined to use a similar woven to your final cloth, as a wearable toile. This will give you an opportunity to fix those design lines you're talking about. These apparently simple designs require quite a lot of finessing in the pattern and fit before they go anywhere near your final/good cloth. The dresses you can buy off the rail will have more than likely gone through 2-4 stages of toileing/sampling at the hands of at least 4 specialist before they are cut in final cloth. So cut yourself a break and take your time with entirely new ideas. Enjoy the process. :)
Anonymous commented on 16-Feb-2016 09:14 PM
Thank you again Anita! I'll take your advice on board. Another toile in calico and then the third version in a bought woven if it looks ok.something like a fine lawn maybe?
I just thought the knit would drape softly ! But thinking now about it, the whole hem might droop down.
Sadly I am impatient by nature! That's my downfall.
Anita commented on 17-Feb-2016 03:03 PM
Hahaha we're all impatient! It's often difficult for me to follow my own advice. But as luck has it, nearly every time I rush the process I'm not happy with the outcome. :) I'm thinking lawn won't have enough body for the job. However a crepe weave comes to mind. I recently got my hands on some viscose/poly crepe fabrics and i think they'd be just the thing. What kind of access do you have to fabrics? I'm a little old school and I do like to get my hands on fabrics before I buy. :)
Anonymous commented on 17-Feb-2016 11:30 PM
I'm quite lucky, there's one great shop about a forty minute drive away.smaller one in town but not such a good selection.
I do love an*bay fabric bargain, I'm prepared to take a chance and see what arrives in the post!
I tall and. Busty so I don't suit fabrics with a small ditsy fussy pattern, I prefer plain, large floral, or abstract patterns.
Anita - studiofaro commented on 18-Feb-2016 12:00 PM
IT's important to be adventurous in buying fabric online. The only way to know if a supplier is good is to test the service. I love the fact I can buy great linens from the UK that I'd never get here (without paying three times the price). Good luck with your fabric adventures! Anita
Anonymous commented on 04-Jun-2016 02:56 AM
Hi Anita
In your copious free time, maybe you could update this post with the photo of the first sample that you included in the June 2016 newsletter? The photo doesn't look much like the illustration above. That is not a criticism; I like both (the photo a bit more) but the photo would inspire me to make it up. Thanks for all you do!
Anita - studiofaro commented on 04-Jun-2016 03:10 PM
Hi Kathleen, lol that's a good idea. I'm waiting to see how the crepe makes up in this pattern. First two samples are in fine, tight weave polyester so hoping the crepe have a softer feel. Not better, just different in appeal. Thanks for your contribution here and all the great work you do online and in the real world. :)
Jackie commented on 03-Jul-2016 11:07 AM
Absolutely love this dress. Is there a tutorial online? Do you teach a class? Help?
Anita - studiofaro commented on 04-Jul-2016 06:32 PM
Hi Jackie, thanks for dropping by. :) Yes I currently teach a class in my Sydney studio. Also working on a detailed worksheet for the website. If you are subscribed to the newsletter (http://www.studiofaro.com/contact) you will be the first to hear when it is released. Then maybe soon after I will have the actual pattern to sell online. Thanks so much for your interest. :)
Anita - studiofaro commented on 05-Jul-2016 11:23 AM
Hi Jackie me again. :) Forgot to say have a look at the sample post because I've moved the front skirt drape onto the front right dart for better positioning. http://www.studiofaro.com/well-suited/vivienne-drape-dress-first-sample
Anonymous commented on 10-Aug-2017 03:43 PM
Hello Anita,
I am having a play day, I love the skirt of this dress, it's similar to the front of the lovely Dior, you are saying that it is for a woven, I was thinking I may try a fairly stable knit, any problems?
I only playing in quarter scale at the moment to get my head around the process but it has been so good, thank you for all the great puzzles :)
Anita - studiofaro commented on 10-Aug-2017 09:05 PM
Hi Ann, thanks for getting in touch. If you're referring to cutting the skirt in a stable knit, then yes it would work. :) Would be good if you can start with a skirt block that is fitted for stable knits.

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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 :)

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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 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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