And now for something completely different: Drape Drape no. 17

02Aug14

Thanks so much for all your lovely comments about Vogue 1335. That project took months to complete. This next one, not so much.

Drape Drape No 17 front brown dk

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.

Drape Drape No 17 back full length brown dk

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.

Drape Drape No 17 front full length brown dk

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.

Drape drape no 17 armscye finish

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.

Drape Drape No 17 side view brown dk



13 Responses to “And now for something completely different: Drape Drape no. 17”

  1. Ahhhh how much do I love Drape Drape – and I haven’t made this one but keep looking at it – thanks for the tips!

  2. I love it – very chic and elegant. You look space age and Classical at the same time!

  3. 3 jne4sl

    The drapes on the front are captivating–clearly planned and yet somehow organic. I’d never really noticed the back blouses a little as if it were belted another compelling detail and the proportions suit you perfectly. You mention quick sew once traced but it’s definitely the tracing that holds me back on some of these. I’ve lost entire mornings to copying all the markings on a couple of these. Clearly worth the effort but enough to make me hesitate. Inspiring to see it made up and I see now I should watch the back drape placement as it could be too drop waisted on me.

  4. It’s beautiful. I love all the draping in this design. And the finish you chose for your armscye looks very professional.

  5. Tres elegant! And I agree with Tia Dia, fabulous finishing!

  6. Wow! You do indeed look like a Grecian beauty! Impressive and beautiful as always x

  7. 7 coco

    What a wonderful look for you! Stunning, and perfect fabric choice. Beautiful detail on your sewing as well.

  8. This so suits you. And beautiful sewing by you, of course.

  9. Oh wow. That looks amazing and I love how you’ve finished it.

  10. This is such a cool dress and still fits with your “space style”, looks like the perfect weight fabric for it too, it drapes beautifully.

  11. 11 G

    This dress looks lovely on you and yes, it’s a dream to wear, even with a belt. You make we want to make a second one of it…

  12. 12 Jenni

    This is so elegant, and so wearable too, fantastic :-)

  13. So flattering front and back. I love it!



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