Introductory

This is the third post in the Permanent Pleating series where we're looking at the pre-pleating preparation for a Sunray Circle Skirt and Mushroom Pleated rectangle.  Our first post covered the introduction to the series - Prep for Permanent Pleating 101.  And the second post has all the pattern making information for both skirts; Patterns for Pleating Project 101.

I've always had a fascination for what can be achieved with a little heat and some petro-chemical fibres.  Permanent (heat-set) Pleating is the use of heat on polyester/nylon fabrics to set a pleat that will survive the rigours of wash and wear without the need of re-pressing.
'Pleats are categorized as pressed, that is, ironed or otherwise heat-set into a sharp crease, or unpressed, falling in soft rounded folds.'  wikipedia

This entire post is inspired by my fascination with circular knits.  I've not had much experience with this particular cloth but have always been hooked by the possibilities.  I found this piece (slight grey marl cotton) at the back of one of the local fabric shops and grabbed a couple of meters to play with.  My first idea was to try the twist, especially with a fabric that's half-way to dressing you without any side seams.

This is where it all started:  The Dolman Coat Inspired by a Yamamoto garment: the pattern making instructions were developed for a loose fit kimono block.  For this sample I have used a polar fleece and for winter that makes it seriously snuggles. ;)

There have been a few of this variety of skirt gracing the catwalk for the past couple of years.  I have also cut similar for local clients and the beauty of this design is its simplicity for a first attempt at cutting drape patterns. The drape shape is infact separate to the front and back patterns and acts as a decorative overlay for the front skirt.  Start with my Skirt Block and follow the pattern making instructions in this post.  Suggested fabrics:  Crepe weaves with a transparent overlay for the front drape or a satin backed crepe where you are able to reveal the satin back in the cowl of the drape.  If you are interested in more drape skirt patterns you can click through for all the other blog posts.

Welcome all to this somewhat delayed blog post.  I am gradually catching up and would like to thank you for your patience.  The idea with this puzzle was to test one of those apparently simple pattern shapes you so often find on the net.  Every now and then we all come across stuff on the internet that suggests the simplest cuts will make the most flattering garments.  Who can say until you have actually made the thing up.  :)  This pattern is based on multiple squares in a variety of sizes with a little adjustment on the stand.

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 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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