The Drape Drape pattern books are very hit or miss for me. The things I’ve made from them either get worn to death or else never leave the wardrobe. This dress is an adaptation of style number 6 from Drape Drape 2. It’s my third try at this particular pattern and I think this one is going in the firm favourites category. The first two versions, eh, not so much.
The sample in the book is sleeveless, very short, and made in a striped knit. My first version followed it exactly, even down to the striped fabric, and can be seen here. I like the photos we took of it but I never wore it. Too short and too fussy.
Version 2 came about last year when I was very pregnant and trying to make clothes suitable for after the birth. The deep cowl neckline looked perfect for breastfeeding; all I needed to do was lengthen the skirt and add sleeves and pockets. The pockets were easy to do: put a horizontal seam across the skirt front and stick inseam pockets in there. The sleeves were a bit harder because the original has very cut in armscyes and the shoulder seam is set backwards, so they required some adjusting. I dug out my copy of McCalls 2401, a simple closefitting dress with long sleeves, laid it over the Drape Drape pattern, and traced off a combination which had the McCalls armscye and shoulder seam but everything else from Drape Drape.
I sewed version 2 up in a peacock blue polyester doubleknit I’d had lying around in the stash for years. It took an amazing three metres of wide fabric what with the sleeves and the cowl.
The end result wasn’t good. I’d somehow managed to put the pocket seam far too low in the skirt and make the skirt too long as well. I’d also forgotten that the McCall’s pattern was originally designed for woven fabrics, so the shoulders and sleeve came out huge when made in a knit. I was short on time, so I made it wearable by inserting a casing and elastic at the original hip level and using that to hitch the skirt up so the pockets were at a reasonable height. It got me through the first few months but I wasn’t happy with it (and no photos, sorry!)
Convinced there was a great dress in there somewhere I had another go. This time I used Winifred Aldrich’s closefitting knit block for the shoulders, armscyes and sleeves. I moved the pockets up and shortened the skirt. Another length of polyester doubleknit came out of deep stash; a dark grey found on Derby market many years ago. And this time it came out as I’d imagined it.
The only thing I’m not so keen on is the back view, which is very plain.
But the cowl hangs nicely in this knit and it’s very warm to wear.
Can’t see me making another one of these. It’s a fabric hog and also very distinctive; who needs two? But I love the one I’ve got.
15 thoughts on “Third time’s the charm: Drape Drape 2 no 6 Pattern drape dress”
Nice! and I agree, the best. You look lovely.
Love it! It looks great.
(I know what you mean about Drape Drape; I’ve made up two patterns and don’t really wear them!)
What perseverance! I’m close to giving up on trousers for the missus after ‘only’ 4 toiles with different patterns. Patience, patience, someone lend me some?
Fab dress, very stylish. Maybe something a bit mad/quirky on the back, like a CB totally-pointless-pocket?
I like that idea – thanks!
If I was doing it for Dawn [she likes punky stuff] I would also consider adding a couple of asymmetric straps, shoulder to hip. She likes that sort of thing!
This is great. The back is really plain, which is maybe a reason to make it in a printed fabric? But there’s nothing wrong with the back. I like the version where you wore nothing underneath! 😉 Were the pattern makers actually expecting people to wear it like that?
Thanks! You have to wonder about the original styling but that goes for a lot of the Drape Drape pattern photos.
Wow! I totally want one of these now. I like the surreptitiously plain back giving no indication of what the front looks like. Surprise fashions! 🙂
Which book has the closefitting knit block in it? The frankenpattern result is fabulous!
Thanks! The block is from Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear. There were two options for the knit block and this is the one with less ease.
I love this style. I have a RTW tunic that fits like that.
It looks great! Definitely a case where it took a while but the results are completely worth the effort. It might be a fabric hog, but it looks gorgeous!
This is just fantastic!! I really love the drape!
Your perseverance certainly paid off – that dress looks great.
this looks fabulous! really cool and interesting. I wish your pattern was in the book! 🙂
Fabulous. Your persistence is impressive.
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