Well Suited

The designs used in last Saturdays #PatternPuzzle conversation are the surplus design developments from the Layered Shirt post of a few weeks ago.  They have been lying around on the work table all that time and I didn't have the heart to throw them out.  Then I realised, that was because I really wanted these two tops for myself.  They were just the kind of thing I needed in my wardrobe.  Saved from the shredder, these designs are similar but different enough to entice you to make both.  I will be dealing with them in two separate posts to make sure I cover all the detail. :)

The post is a little late this week as I am totally distracted by work that is going on in the backend of the website, setting up a members area.  We have been working out the best content to make it both attractive and useful to fans and hope to open that members area very soon.  Now back to the #PatternPuzzle that was such fun on Saturday with fans working getting to the answers super-fast.  Then overnight, while I was asleep so many added sketches and photos and in one case an amazing mini-toile.

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.

The vintage inspiration for this weeks #PatternPuzzle has come from a pattern I found on the So Vintage Patterns website.  Unfortunately, this particular one has been sold but they have a mountain of great vintage patterns for all eras.  I was attracted by the asymmetrically-set,  diagonal seams with gathered drape.  But not so much the button decoration.  By adding the extra seams I believe I have made it easier to construct as they eliminate the corner seams.  I have also reworked the back view from the original design to carry the front diagonal seams through to the back dress.

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.

This weeks puzzle is very much a summer weight shirt that I imagine in a cotton voile or organdie.  The semi-transparent fabric is used in many layers (2-3) to create drape and subtle colour variation in the layering.  The front opening of the shirt is a concealed, buttonfront hidden under the front drape.

The #PatternPuzzle was quite a hit with our Facebook fans on Saturday.  In many ways a straightforward pattern that yields fab results.  Use any loose-fit tee shirt pattern or alter my knit block to make this fashion-forward Twist Tee.  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.

Since the earliest of my pattern making days I have had a passion for the tailored femininity of vintage styling.  And now that I have discovered an extensive online community that enjoys both fashion and vintage designs I am presented with so many beautiful options for our weekly pattern puzzle.   I found this weeks inspiring imagein a wonderful tumblr blog, The Tailors Desire, full of all things vintage.  :)
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