Sunday, 2 September 2012

Drape Drape 3 - The Woven

What is your creative process? Do you start with a line drawing or a piece of fabric or a photo in a magazine? Do you see something worn on the street or trawl the latest designer collections online. Or do you just rummage through all your pattens, peruse your stash and go 'Wow, I've got to use up some of this?'
When you have chosen the pattern and fabric do you actually see the finished garment in your mind? I do, most of the time, and the more I sew the more I find I can do this, see the finished garment in my minds' eye, like a photograph, then I know it will work. I call this having a vision. Well, dear reader, this whole foray into Japanese Drape Drape is because I can see my little Japanese dress made up in some uncharacteristically (for me) expensive silk from Tessuti. I am a bit wary of cutting into expensive woven fabric using a pattern designed for knits without doing a muslin first. Make that muslins, plural. This pipe dream of mine has led me a merry dance.
Normally when switching from a knit to a woven it is just a matter of going up a size, so I started with more ease along the centre back seams and centre front fold.

Woven muslin no1.

This is the result on my DD. I could not even get into it. The armholes felt like tourniquets, so it was back to the drawing board.

The first 'woven' alteration is on the left. The "I'll extend the sleeve and drop the gathering point" is on the right. This did not work. I still had to do something about the bust area and bring the waist seam back up a bit.

Woven muslin no2.

That's me. Oh dear. At least I won't miss the material. Back to the drawing board again.

Version two revisited. As you can see I lengthened the dress to a more age appropriate level and took out a bit of the skirt gathers. I raised the waist seam level back up a bit. The most important thing I did was add a vertical wedge from armpit to waist which gave me a bit of bust ease and also allowed me to tilt the bodice area slightly and expand the front of the sleeve even more. Why am I worrying over this pattern like a dog with a bone? Stay tuned for the next installment, dear reader. I'm getting sick of this myself and just want to finish it already and move on to some quick and easy spring sewing. I just have to see this through to its natural conclusion - the dreaded silk. 

Meanwhile, this is almost what I had in mind..

Woven muslin no3.

Wearable. A little tweak and it's onto the silk..
Happy sewing everybody.


  1. That Muslin looks great - I can see why you have persavered. It will look great in your silk. My process is using boards to see what would go together. I have only just started doing this. Being new to sewing I am still finding my way.

  2. Great process from the first muslin. You've come from a really bad fitting muslin to a well fitting one. Some ugly fabric has gone and you're confident to sew the silk version. Looking forward to seeing that one.

  3. Great process from the first muslin. You've come from a really bad fitting muslin to a well fitting one. Some ugly fabric has gone and you're confident to sew the silk version. Looking forward to seeing that one.

  4. Ohhhh, I love version #3 - the colours look lovely on you. Now after all these fitting issues have been solved your silk version will be just fabulous...

  5. Oh I do admire your ability to alter a pattern - brilliant. The final muslin is just perfect; looking forward very much to the silk version. Just in time for Spring! Have a great week..xx

  6. Pretty! I'm excited to see it in silk. I imagine it will be exquisite.

  7. well done i wouldn't have gone on but i can see the great results from carrying on ,the silk should be a wonderful reward for the hard work

  8. Good for you, for sticking with this pattern. The third muslin is a good one, and I know your silk version will be just right!

  9. Thank you all for the words of encouragement. I have cut out the silk and the silk lining. I am going to cut out a silk organza interlining for the bodice part/upper half of the dress and sew it in by hand. Then I will start incorporating the lining into the unusual construction of this dress which goes together like a puzzle. Tomorrow!

  10. This is a really fascinating pattern. It took a lot of squinting before I could see what's what and how it must go together. It reminds me of something Isabel Toledo would design. Good job with your alterations and good luck with the final version!

    1. elventryst, I am glad you visited my blog. Now I'm off to google Isabel Toledo..

  11. You've nailed it! the final version looks terrific.

  12. Wow - I would never have the patience to work away at a pattern to get such a great result. The final muslin is really lovely and I can't wait to see the silk version. V. envious you can shop at the fabulous Tessuti! xxx