Short and red: Drape Drape 2 tuck drape dress again

Drape drape 2 no 7

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.

Drape Drape 2 No. 7

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.

Drape drape 2 no 7

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.

Drape drape 2 no 7

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.

Drape drape 2 no 7

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 but will redirect to the right place for the forseeable.

Drape drape 2 no 7

Little red dress

Wow, thanks for all the lovely comments on my last dress! I’m overwhelmed. I wore it to a wedding last week and even managed to dance in it. Think I’ll take some length off the skirt before I wear it again though. I stepped on it more than once and pulled out a a bit of one of the side seams near the hem so it’s now awaiting repairs.

What I’ve been up to in the meantime is making another version of Burda 117-02-2012, a little knit dress that’s been very popular in the blogosphere and rightly so. I really don’t understand why Burda haven’t made it available for purchase as a download.

The pattern’s designed for colour blocking, and there are some great versions of that out there, but it also works well in one colour. This is a good thing as I’ve yet to come across a suitable knit fabric that’s available in even three complementary colours, never mind the four the original pattern uses. You need something with a bit of body. My first version was in a black wool/lycra mix, and the new one’s a red viscose lightweight doubleknit. Although the viscose is very stretchy it doesn’t cling. I guess the best way to describe it is that it needs a lot of force to make it stretch (high elastic modulus) but you can stretch it a long way without damage (high elastic limit). It was a remnant from Misan Fabrics in London.

Anyway, here is the dress.
Burda 117-02-2012

The original has a zipper down the back but I left it off for this version as I thought it might be a bit much with the red fabric. I haven’t got a photo which brings out all the seamlines on the back, but rest assured there are plenty which are what give the dress its shape.

Burda 117-02-2012

I also left off the pleats on the shoulders this time. There’s supposed to be a small pleat at the end of the shoulder seam to make the end of the sleeve curve down onto the arm. It’s not needed for fit and I think this version looks better without it.

Burda 117-02-2012

The dress is supposed to have an opening along the slanting seam running from the v-neck that you can see in the picture below, but I sewed it shut as I did on my other version. In a reasonably stretchy fabric it’s not needed at all. I also shortened this version before cutting out, unlike the previous one where I ended up lopping off quite a bit of length at the hem at the end. The problem with that was that it messed up the seamlines on the skirt so it’s much better to shorten the pattern pieces in advance.

Burda 117-02-2012
I’d still like to make a colour-block version of this if the right fabrics ever come along. Unless something really exceptional turns up in the autumn I reckon this is my pattern of the year.

The red kimono

I made some kimonos for Christmas presents last year. One was made from a dark red cotton poplin from John Lewis that I was rather sorry to part with. Despite the fact that most reds clash with my (entirely artifical) hair colour I am still drawn to anything in that shade. So when I noticed the same fabric was back in stock last week but running out fast I grabbed the last five metres to recreate the red kimono. I needed a really simple project after the seriously fiddly Burda 111-02-2012.

And here it is. Excuse the indoor pictures; it was snowing heavily when we took them so no way were we venturing out of doors! The first one’s a little orangey. The colours are much truer on the back view.

Red kimono front view

Red kimono back view

This particular kimono is a very quick project when made in a solid coloured cotton. (If you pick a print and have to match the pattern, not so much!) It’s the fifth one I’ve made so I have it down to a fairly fine art now, but it’s easily doable in a weekend from cutting out to photos. And most of it’s sewing in straight lines which was about all I was up to after an unusually exhausting work week. It comes from this tutorial. The tutorial leaves finishing seam allowances to the end, but I find the end result is improved by finishing all the edges before sewing any pieces together. I made a narrow hem on these but I’ve used binding in the past.

Kimono sleeve hems

At some point I want to make a much more authentic version with lining and things (check out Chanel No 6’s detailed series on the subject for inspiration) but this week I just needed some instant sewing gratification. And I like the Cardinal Richelieu effect of all the red draping.