Draping on the stand 0.2 – the flared dress project

posted in: Designing | 12

I mentioned that I have been learning to drape, or model, on the stand. Now I am making a bit of progress I thought I would give an update. I mentioned I was keen to see if I could do a version of the Claire McCardell Futuristic dress which also complied with my brief of creating a dress with a yoke and flares. Let’s see.

First I did a little drawing of a full length dress with a V neck front and back (so it could be put on over the head) and then used the thin cotton tape to mark out the design lines on the stand. I created a V neck, and then echoed the angle with a line across the bust point more or less down to the waist at the CF. Then, supported by my tutor Lynda Kinne, I decided to have the straight grain go along this over-bust seam line. As I will be attaching my flared skirt  from this seam it made sense to have the straight grain here rather than at the CF. Consequently I will have a bias seam at CF, but I think it will mould nicely once it is sewn up. The back followed a similar path, with another deep V and the straight grain along the seam under the shoulder-blade.

It’s an experiment, so only time will tell if this works well.

The next step was to drape the rest of the dress, with flares. These are created by identifying where the flare will come from on the seam line, then manipulating the fabric to create the flare. I put pins every 2″ along the over bust seam line to create plenty of flare in the dress. To get the effect I wanted I guessed that I might use all of my 1.5m.  Lynda had demonstrated how to drape flares from the CF to the side seam, but I started draping at the side seam because as the flares are put in the grain drops down. As my seam was at a descending angle I thought this would work better.

It worked pretty well. What do you think happened when I got to the CF? Can you work out what happened in terms of the grain and the shape of the cloth? I could leave you hanging like my fabric, or I could tell you the answer. I should just mention that I draped the skirt of the dress, then took it off and created the seam allowances etc, and put it back on. It is not very carefully draped but you will get the general idea, I hope. I have to tell you I was so excited by this project that I couldn’t sleep for around two hours last night, just thinking about it.

Draping on the stand; flared dress
Draping the flared dress

If you can work it out, please do leave a comment below. If you want a clue think about how a circle skirt works. Or have a look at this post. I will explain what I did in my next post, and show you the fabric flat. It was a fun experiment and I will try to make this dress too.

What type of fabric would you recommend?

12 Responses

  1. Eunice

    Hello Katie,
    I like your blog. I need your recommendations to decide on upgrading my sewing machine. I want an automatic industrial sewing machine but cannot decide on one as there are so many out there. Please could you give me an idea on what’s best to buy. Thank you so much in advance

    • fabrickated

      Hello Eunice – hello! Thank you for commenting. I have been planning a post on sewing machines, so I will get on with it! What do you have at the moment, and what are you looking for.

      • Eunice

        Hello Katie, I have a Brother BC2100 now and I am looking to buy a sewing that can work with tricky and heavy fabrics and give a more professional results. Thank you

  2. Eunice

    By the way I got to find your blog through a link from Marianna’s blog (sew2pro) and its inspiring to see that you blog almost everyday and today’s post is already live.

  3. Hila

    Your dress has an interesting bodice. I like it. I also like a puzzle and have been pondering the CF question. Without looking at other post etc would the grain become bias by the time you get to CF and therefore the folds of the fabrics push against each other causing the sides of the skirt to go over the front? Hope that makes sense?. I look forward to seeing this make. As for fabric, I am no fabric expert but my thoughts are it needs to be a strong fabric with a tight weave given amount of bias seams…so maybe a lightweight linen …of course I may be biased as linen is my absolute favourite material?

    • fabrickated

      I really like this fabric but the colours are a bit “murky” for me. I was thinking of a fine (but cheap) cotton lawn, or, like Hila, linen, which would make it more structural.

  4. Anne

    How exciting! I can’t work your puzzle out without actually trying it out, but I assume that the selvedge at the front will have to circle around the body, though I don’t think it could be at waist level as the angle would be too sharp, so at an angle, then extra fabric would need to be added into the gap between the top of the spiralled piece and the waistline? Looking forward to seeing your result.

  5. Sew2pro

    Hm, it’s either as Hila suggests or more extreme and on the side which I guess is that Demented said (I’m not familiar with circle skirts

  6. Stephanie

    This is a bit beyond me, but my reaction was the same as Demented Fairy’s – looks like selvedge at the CF though it doesn’t look like enough fabric for a half circle.

  7. mrsmole

    If that is indeed the selvedge at CF then the crosswise grainlines will cause the princess area flares to really flare away from the body and not lie flat. It also looks like you started with a straight cut across the top and the crosswise grain lines are stressed. Giving more height/fabric in that area will allow the flares to drape further down and be softer. So in answer to the question…by the time you get to center front, the adjacent flares/pleats would fan over the center front line and cover it.

  8. Alli

    My brain totally glazes over when I see “grain” and “bias” too many times in a row (which is awful, considering, hehehe), but I’m excited to see what the answer is and what your final dress looks like!

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