Sunday, September 9, 2012

Drape Drape Dress

Have you ever made something from the Drape Drape books? 

I hadn't... this is my first foray... no. 10 tuck drape dress* from Drape Drape:
* the black dress with side-on photos of the model tucking her hand into the side of her dress under her arm :-)

front view

back view
side / front view

My dress fabric is a shiny slinky knit from Tessuti fabrics, and the yoke is made from a small remnant piece of white cotton twill. You're supposed to interface the yoke, but my fabric was really sturdy and I didn't think it'd be much fun turning interfaced fabric inside out after stiching together the neckline and armholes :-) I think it's worked out fine without the interfacing. 

Look, the insides are presentable! Overlockers are tops!


the insides

Do you want to see it on me?

Sure, come inside - into the hallway - but bear in mind my dressmaker's dummy seems to have lost a bit of weight over winter, so we no longer fit my clothes the same way:


front view

side view

back view

silly view
Overall I'm really happy with this dress - really quick to make (the slowest part was choosing fabrics from my stash) and perfect for chucking on over a cossie in what promises to be a very hot summer.


The photos of this dress in the Drape Drape book show you the dramatic side / underarm draping (for the front and back views you need to rely on the line drawings).  Although I loved the look of that draping, I wasn't sure about exposing a whole lot of side-torso, so it was kind of lucky for me that my fabric wasn't long enough for the full draped effect. Fabric limitations forced me to remove a wedge about 20cm (about 7") wide from the pattern at each underarm, which I tapered away to nothing at the dress hem.  I also lengthened the dress by about 6cm or a little more than 2", and my hem is as narrow as I could make it. Removing the wedge of fabric makes for a less attractive but also much less revealing dress - but if I make it again I'd like to try to keep that drape and wear the dress with a little tank top underneath.  


The sizing is small of course, because these patterns were designed for the Japanese market, but apparently they keep their structural integrity when sized up. I'm bigger and taller than the biggest size in this book (XL: bust = 90cm or about 35", height = 168cm and I'm guessing that's around 5'6"), but the width of this dress seems alright for my XXL size, and the pattern was easily lengthened.  

If you're worried about making something from Drape Drape, the sewing techniques involved are straightforward but the directions are quite minimal compared to say, those in a Vogue pattern - and the language used to describe some steps is a bit odd. For example, step 2 (of 8) for this dress is "Edge-stitch the neckline and armholes on the upside and lining of the yokes." At this step you haven't yet sewn the yoke outer and lining together, so you're really meant to sew the pieces together with a narrow seam. There are loads of diagrams that show you what's meant at each step though, and the diagrams are excellently explanatory.  Just studying the patterns themselves also helps you understand draping techniques - so useful!

So - one down. This first dress is not perfect, but it gives me a good feel for the sizing of these patterns.  I'd really like to make no. 11 loose flare drape dress and no. 3 drop-waist gather drape dress too... so many patterns, so little time -

- Gabrielle

19 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful introduction to the Drape Drape book. It answers some questions I have had about the grading. Your dress is really cute, and you picked a wonderful fabric to use. Have fun exploring more from this series. I'll look for your next project eagerly.

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    1. Oh thank you so much Mary!

      If you look up that link re structural integrity you'll see that Kathleen over at Fashion Incubator has tested one of the Drape Drape 2 patterns for resizeability - and it came up trumps.

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  2. Those darned dress forms have a way of changing shape! I haven't seen this book, and it looks very interesting. Nice sewing!

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    1. I know, I know; so frustrating! Thanks Gwen - everything looks better with an overlocker :-)

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  3. This one is a winner! It's cute, I bet it's comfy and it looks better on you than the dress form!

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    1. Thank you Karin. Yes, it is pretty comfy on, and I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't look odder on me!

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  4. This dress is so cute and easy to wear, I love it! And please, feed your dress form! ;)

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    1. Thanks Merche - you should make one!

      Hey was I supposed to feed it? Oops!

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  5. Love this dress! It has been on my mental queue for a while so thank you for writing about it.

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    1. Thanks Valerie - your lovely recent dress from this book was one of the examples that encouraged me to try this, so thank YOU for sharing!

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  6. I did, about 2 yrs ago (blogged about it). I made the Gather Dress and it was not a success unfortunately. These don't FBA easily, often, given their unusual shapes. (Not that FBAs work so well for me at the best of times.) I used the Japanese version (the English one didn't exist then). I love that it's been translated. Have the sizes been increased?

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    1. Oh dear - I'm more on the SBA end of the scale, but I can imagine that an FBA on this sort of pattern is tricky!

      I don't think they can have resized them - the largest (XL) fits a 90cm (I think that's 35") bust, which doesn't seem big at all by western standards.

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  7. Your dress looks terrific! I've only just bought this book, the Japanese version, and I am really looking forward to making something soon :) I have to wait until after my birthday, when I get officially "given" it though :D

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    1. Thanks Carolyn, I'm sure you'll love this book!

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  8. Great dress. It looks like it will be very cool to wear for the summer!

    It isn't my dress form that I want to loose wait it is me!

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    1. Thank you!
      Well.... a little secret... the sizing difference is the fault of me and chocolate :-)

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  9. I have hinted to my husband that I want one of the drape books for Christmas so fingers crossed! As you say the illustrations look really good so I'm hoping I can overcome any dodgy translations. Lovely dress.

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    1. Yay - hope he takes the hint. The illustrated instructions are pretty good but there is more intellectual stimulation in working them out than with a Big 4 pattern. Less than with a BurdaStyle pattern though lol.

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  10. Oh this is very interesting and a great little dress too. I hope enough of summer remains for you to wear it when going to the beach ...

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