Making a pattern for the Futuristic dress (with help from DaughterFish)

posted in: Designing, Pattern cutting | 2

Did you know, that according to Ahmed, the Egyptian guide, there are 126 pyramids in Egypt? Amazing, isn’t it? Here I am (looking somewhat Princess Diana-ish) at the Great Pyramids of Giza, near Cairo. One of the few remaining “Seven wonders of the World”. Seeing them on my recent visit (our third visit, but my first sight of a Pyramid) was a moving and very exciting experience. We were also able to go inside (for about £20) and walk up to close to the summit.

Pyramids at Giza, Egypt
Pyramids at Giza, Egypt

At some of the sites there were photographs, in B&W, of the pyramids from the air (they were after all built to ensure the dead were as close as possible to the sun). I loved the play of the shadows and it made me think, again, of the shapes that could be used in a dress.

Pyramid from the air black and white
Pyramid from the air

I remembered the Pyramid dress from Sandra Erikson. I have always found this an interesting pattern – perhaps less to wear and more to have some fun with. There are a few pictures on the internet.

Pyramid dress
CFPD Pyramid dress

The basic idea of a four triangle shapes is appealing and many dresses, especially longer ones, have this silhouette. The McCardell 1945 Futuristic (also known as Monastic) dress is made up in this way, as elaborated very effectively by fellow blogger DaughterFish. The instructions for making the pattern are on her blog, and it is very easy to follow her instructions. I even found my geometry coming back as I worked out the angles required.

Future dress pattern (from DaughterFish)
Future dress pattern (from DaughterFish)

Having cracked the pattern, with my measurements, in half an hour I was about to cut out the pieces, when I realised just how much fabric was required – around five metres! As a normal sleeveless dress would take just two metres, this would be like wearing two and a half dresses at once. Maybe not the most flattering look unless you are very tall and slim. Apart from not having 5m of anything (since I Kondoed out an African funeral print, ahem), I thought this dress absolutely needed a fabric with the right sort of drape. I am thinking that a crepe backed silk satin would be superb – but very pricey. This is the sort of project I will do for fun if I come across the right piece of cloth.




2 Responses

  1. Mary Funt

    Very interesting idea and creative to take inspiration from the pyramids. I see the dress in silk chiffon; very light and almost weightless. Do a body skimming slip underneath maybe in crepe back satin or charmeuse.
    I’ve enjoyed all your pics from Egypt. It sounds like a fabulous trip.

  2. Alicia

    Sadly, Daughterfish’s site has been down two weeks. I’d bookmarked that very same page, and now it’s gone! I snagged some great fabric and really hoped to follow along and create my own Futuristic/Monastic dress! Tried to source the original pages via waybackmachine, but sadly, it’s gone! 🙁

    Did you wind up making it? You know, I have just over 4 metres of fabric and thought maybe you could do this with less than 5, if you decreased the side angles of the fabric–just don’t let that bottom bit of the triangle go so wide. What do you think of that?

    I know it’s long after you’ve post this, but I’m still determined to pull this off. Do you have recommendations as to how I use the diagram above? I’m a little numerically dyslexic, but may bring my husband in to double-check my calculations. From what I recall, my measurements were much like Daughterfish’s.

    And had you attempted the Pyramid dress? That looks delish, too!

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