This is yet another make from the Drape Drape books. This one’s number six from book two, the so-called three-piece deep cowl neck dress. Every version of this I’ve seen made up has been done in stripes to show off the grain changes, and since I found this unusual grey and brown striped knit mine was not going to be the exception.
I thought I’d got my sizing sussed with Drape Drape, but this make has come up too small for me. You can see the tell-tale creases across my stomach in all the pictures. I normally make one size smaller than the size chart indicates, but this time I should have used my true size. My fabric only has cross-grain stretch so I might have got away with it in a two-way stretch fabric. However if I ever make this again I’ll trace it again in the next size up; the pattern pieces are very unusual and I can’t quite see how to adjust the front piece to get extra width without producing a knock-on effect on the cowl.
It’s also astonishingly short. I added two inches to the skirt length before cutting out and haven’t hemmed it.
When photographed directly from the front it looks pretty close to the version in the book. When viewed more from the side, as above, there’s a slightly pointy bit where the cowl attaches that I wasn’t expecting. However I’ve seen this in a few other people’s versions around the web so I guess it’s meant to be like that.
This is a slightly tricky pattern to sew. The diagrams are excellent, but the way the cowl is attached is sufficiently unusual that it took me a bit of head-scratching before I worked out which edges to sew to which. Around the back of the neck you sew the wrong side of the cowl to the right side of the dress, which had me confused for a bit, but the cowl part folds in such a way you don’t see the wrong side of it in the finished dress. It helps when attaching the cowl to have a fabric where you can tell the right side from the wrong side in the first place. It would have been even more confusing in a solid.
The back view is about as plain as you can get. The unhemmed edge is curling up pretty badly in the picture above. The fabric is a single knit so it’s not really a surprise. I don’t want to lose any length by hemming this though, so it’s just going to have to stay like that.
The photos above are how I’ll actually wear the dress, although with boots rather than wedges. However I did have a go with it as styled in the books, below. I won’t be trying this outside the house, even with the help of tape. It might make a nice photo when properly arranged but the cowl doesn’t stay put.
So not my most successful Drape Drape make. It will probably get some wear when the weather gets colder.
Filed under: Drape drape, Dressmaking, Finished | Leave a Comment
Tags: drape drape, dress, Dressmaking, Sewing, stripes
I’ve been on a bit of a Drape Drape streak lately. After all, if you’re going to rearrange all the furniture in the living room in order to trace and cut the enormous pattern pieces from one of these designs you might as well do another while you’re at it. This is one I’ve made before: the No. 7 Tuck Drape dress from Drape Drape 2. My previous version has been worn a lot but didn’t look much like the version in the book. That was in part because I lengthened it. Here’s the first version.
For this version I removed the length I’d added to the skirt but left the extra in the bodice. I also included the splits in the sleeves which I’d sewed shut on the original. The neckline is sagging a bit on this picture because I pulled the shoulders up just before the photo was taken. It prefers to slide off one or the other shoulder in both versions.
The fabric is a 100% cotton interlock knit from Tissu Fabrics. It’s medium weight and not particularly stretchy but very soft. Right now it’s available here. They have this fabric in a huge range of colours. This colourway is called maroon although it’s not what I think of as maroon, which would be more purple.
The fabric is very wide, which is needed for this pattern as originally designed. However when I first made this pattern I split the main piece into three to allow me to use narrow fabric, and this time I cut it the same way again because I find smaller pattern pieces easier to handle. It makes no difference to the end result because the extra seams get hidden in the draping.
I think I folded the tucks correctly this time. Everything matched up beautifully which it hadn’t on the previous one. I can’t blame the book because the diagrams are really clear. I have this one in the Japanese language edition and it’s perfectly usable for someone with no knowledge of the language. It would be nice to be able to read the fabric recommendations for each style but so far I’m managing without.
I have worn this quite a bit since I made it. I’m hoping that once the warm weather stops it will still work with a grey long-sleeved t-shirt and leggings underneath.
And changing the subject completely…after over four years of writing this blog I finally got around to getting a domain name for it. Its official home is now http://blog.cyberdaze.org but http://cyberdaze.wordpress.org will redirect to the right place for the forseeable.
Filed under: Drape drape, Fabric, Finished, Sewing | 14 Comments
Tags: drape drape, dress, Dressmaking, red, red dress, Sewing
I said last week that my brown version of Drape Drape 17 was intended as a trial run, although I’ve worn it a lot. This is the real thing. The fabric is a very drapey lightweight interlock knit that I’ve had in my stash for a while. It is much more like the recommended weight for this style than the heavier brown fabric was.
This time I took extra care with the hems. They tend to flip outwards on the brown dress and I think that’s because they stretched out when I sewed them. For the yellow dress I interfaced the hems with some lightweight fusible knit and sewed them with a twin needle. They still flip out a little but not too badly. You can just about see it on the back view below.
I’d been saving this fabric for something special and luckily I had bought three metres of it, because the dress needs a lot of fabric to make all those drapes. Every time I move all the layers rearrange themselves, but despite that it’s very easy to wear.
The underlying silhouette of the style is pretty shapeless and there’s no waist to speak of, which makes it very comfortable on hot days.
Two is enough for this pattern but I have some different Drape Drape makes coming up soon!
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Tags: drape drape, dress, Dressmaking, Sewing, yellow
Thanks so much for all your lovely comments about Vogue 1335. That project took months to complete. This next one, not so much.
This is pattern number 17 from the first Drape Drape book. I have the English edition which calls this one the Goddess Drape dress. It’s definitely got that Grecian drapery look about it. It’s an easy sew. Two main pattern pieces, front and back, and bindings for the armscyes. You finish the hems and the neckline, fold and tack all the tucks in the main pieces, and then after that it’s like making a large tank top. Once the pattern is traced the dress can be cut and made up in an afternoon.
My previous attempt at a Drape Drape pattern came out much larger and longer than I expected, so I went down a size for this one and didn’t add any length. I normally lengthen everything I make. I think the size and length turned out about right on this one. I made the medium size. I usually make a size 10 in Vogue, a 36 or 38 in Burda, and I’m five foot ten.
The recommended fabric for this style is ‘matt jersey (plain knit)’. My fabric is a viscose doubleknit from Minerva Crafts. It was described a a crepe jersey, and one side does have a slightly crinkled texture. However I’ve used the smoother side of the fabric as the right side here. It’s obviously a much heavier fabric than the pattern was originally designed for. I only used it because this version was intended to be a trial run to check the sizing. However I think it works, probably because it is unusually drapey for a doubleknit.
I couldn’t do the recommended finish on the armscyes because my fabric was too thick. Instead I sewed a binding strip right sides together with the armscye, turned it over the armscye seam allowance, and stitched it down by stitching in the ditch from the outside. This means the binding has a raw edge on the inside but the jersey does not fray so it doesn’t matter. This finish also makes the armscyes slightly smaller. With the finish in the book you’d lose the seam allowance at the armscye. The armscyes are generous even with the seam allowances intact so again it’s not a problem.
One minor irritation with this dress is that the hem edge tends to flip outwards. The hem allowance is only one centimetre (3/8th inch) and it’s finished by overlocking the raw edge and then turning and stitching it down with a straight stitch. I think the fabric stretched out when I stitched it. The straight stitch also means the hem is not very elastic and so I popped a few stitches on it the first time I wore the dress. Another time I’d twin-needle the hem.
I’ve been amazed how much I’ve worn this. The weather helps – the UK is having one of its rare summer heatwaves – but I think it would work with a long sleeved t-shirt and opaque tights in the autumn too. Highly recommended.
Filed under: Drape drape, Dressmaking, Finished, Sewing | 13 Comments
Tags: brown, drape drape, dress, Dressmaking, Sewing
I like space clothes: the sort of thing BBC costume designers came up with for 70s and 80s scifi shows. Vogue 1335 definitely fits the description. Unfortunately we don’t have a post-apocalyptic wasteland round here to use as a backdrop for photos, so my garden will have to do.
The original looks like this:
Finishing this project coincided with one of the UK’s rare heatwaves. I’m wearing this with my Vogue 1378 neoprene leggings and a black wool jersey top derived from Burda 122-4-2011. And I’m melting. The jacket shell fabric is wool.
Here’s the back. It holds its shape pretty well. The diameter at the waist is actually greater than at the hem on this design.
This is meant to be an oversized style but the sleeves in particular are very long. I added the usual two inches to the length that I always do with Vogue patterns and ended up removing it again. I also added two inches to the body length, which again I normally do, and that was about the right amount.
The pockets are very roomy.
They’re pretty high upon the body, but I think it works with the design.
The fasteners are a little bit fiddly! I’m glad I didn’t need the internal snaps that were on the pattern as well as external fasteners.
Not such a good picture of the jacket, but I like the Doctor Who monster pose. And it’s about the only shot I have where any of the lining is visible. The lining fabric is a heavy poly satin that just adds to the insulation factor.
So there it is. I’ll have to wait until the end of summer to wear this for real, but I’m really pleased with the result.
Filed under: Dressmaking, Finished, Guy Laroche jacket, Sewing, Style, Vogue | 24 Comments
Tags: coat, Dressmaking, guy laroche, jacket, Sewing, Style, Vogue, white, wool
Warning: picture-heavy post ahead. This is my last post about constructing Vogue 1335, which I started sewing way back in March. Hopefully I’ll get some pictures of it in action soon.
Vogue’s version of this style has optional tab closures made from scraps of leather and poppers. The pattern also has marking for snaps inside the jacket which are supposed to provide the real closure mechanism. The tabs are just decorative.
I originally wanted to use the tabs on my version, so I made these from some faux leather I got on eBay. However as the project wore on I started to think that the tabs I’d made were a little too yellow against the winter white shell fabric I was using. When I finally came to the stage where the tabs had to be stitched on I decided not to use them and looked for something else.
Much internet searching and several failed purchases later I acquired these things:
The fasteners are from Macculloch and Wallis and at the time of writing are available here. One of the difficulties with finding them was that there doesn’t seem to be a standard name for this type of fastener. Macculloch and Wallis call them ‘trigger lock’ fasteners, but if you google that term you’ll mostly find a slightly different type of gadget intended for attaching straps to handbags. I’ve seen the coat fastener variety called ‘hook and dee’ or ‘fireman’ fasteners on US sites but had no luck finding them for sale under those names.
The rivet setting tools came from Amazon. I also got a pack of extra rivets which provided useful practice material before taking the hammer to my jacket and fasteners.
The rivets were quite tricky to install. Thumping them with the hammer wasn’t difficult but keeping them straight was. The results aren’t entirely straight and square but luckily that’s not obvious unless you get very close indeed.
One nice and unexpected thing was that it turned out that two external fasteners are enough and I didn’t need to install the internal snaps. I am useless at sewing snaps – they never stay attached for long! I’ve had to reapply the snaps on my Burda coat more than once. This jacket sits perfectly without snaps; probably a testament to all the extra interfacing in it.
So that’s it for construction. I’ll try to get some pictures of the jacket being worn soon.
Filed under: Dressmaking, Guy Laroche jacket, Sewing, Techniques, Vogue | 9 Comments
Tags: dessmaking, fasteners, guy laroche, jacket, Sewing, Vogue, white
I said I’d blog about fasteners for the white jacket next, but Vogue have released such a great autumn pattern collection that I want to talk about that instead!
I always start with the designer patterns, because that’s what Vogue is all about. And this time there are not one but two Ralph Rucci patterns. V1404 is a sweet dress (perhaps too sweet for me, but very Rucci) and V1419 an awesome unlined coat. I’d make it in a fairly light fabric and wear it as a winter dress. I was curious about the original styling and looked these up on Ralph Rucci’s collections on style.com The coat is look 1 from the 2013 pre-fall collection and the dress is actually from spring 2013. I wonder if that one was originally intended for the previous Vogue release, where we didn’t get a Rucci at all?
There are three patterns with wonderful seaming from Donna Karan and DKNY: V1407, V1408 and V1409. I’m not so keen on Vogue’s fabric choices for these (to be fair to Vogue, V1409 at least is simply imitating the original look), but they would look fabulous made up in contrasting colours of the scuba knit that’s everywhere at the moment. The original V1408 is made up in different shades of blue – at least I think so, it’s hidden under a jacket in the fashion show. I couldn’t find the original V1407 at all.
The fourth Donna Karan design, V1417 is a dramatic but very wearable asymmetric top and trousers combo. I’m not totally sold on the use of knit fabric for the trousers though. You’d need something with a good deal of lycra to avoid bagging.
And it doesn’t end there. Look at this wonderful dress from Mizono, V1410. It has an elastic drawstring allowing the length to be adjusted. Perfect for cycling. This is the sort of interesting detail that is the reason I use so many Vogue patterns.
And talking of interesting details, check out V9035, the Marci Tilton pattern. The pockets are something you won’t see anywhere else.
I could go on much longer, but the last one I want to highlight is V1405. At first it looks like a simple batwing knit dress. But read the description: draped midriff with stays and (p)urchased elastic, slides and rings for shoulder straps on bodice lining. There’s some internal structure there that would make it an interesting sew.
So that’s the designer section. What about the rest?
Easy Options has a blouse with cuff and placket variations and a princess seam dress with sleeve, collar, and skirt varations this time around. While I seem to have seen similar things to both before, they’re both nice styles and both rated Easy. I’d certainly have gone for the dress if I didn’t already have a few patterns like it.
Very Easy Vogue has some gems. There are stylish tops, jackets, and dresses. Some have subtle details that raise them above the ordinary, such as the unusual slightly set back shoulder seams on V9028, the side seams on V9026, and the curved shoulder yokes on V9019. Although I have to say my favourites are the simple but effective V9038 cape and the batwing dress V9021.
The regular Vogue patterns seem a little too grown up for me this time around, although they continue a lot of the themes seen in the other sections. There’s an asymmetric dress V9024. V9031 is a skirt with seam detail reminiscent of the Donna Karan designs, but being a skirt rather than a dress it’s probably more wearable. And there are two very traditional patterns for little girls, V9042 and V9043 and an interesting man’s jacket in V9041.
The vintage patterns are conspicuous by their absence in this release which surprises me as 40s and 50s designs still seem to be everywhere in blogland. I’m not keen on wearing styles from those eras myself but there are plenty of people who are! I hope Vogue aren’t discontinuing this range for good. I’d love it if they re-released some of their sixties and seventies styles.
So in summary, Best Vogue Release Ever. And now I just have to wait until they come out in the UK!
Filed under: Dressmaking, Fashion, Patterns, reviews, Sewing, Style, Vogue | 19 Comments
Tags: Dressmaking, review, Sewing, Vogue