Draping on the stand 0.3 – the solution to the draped tent dress puzzle

Last week I set up a puzzle. I draped a tent dress with a yoke and told you that the side seam was on the selvage grain, and asked what you thought was happening at the CF. Lots of you nearly got it, but I don’t think anyone got it exactly right.

The puzzle

To hold the suspense for a few more moments, here is the dress with the back draped to match the front. Large flares emanate from the bottom of a yoke that passes over the bust point (apex). As before the side seam is on the straight grain (selvage). The side seam hangs nice and straight as a result. The question now is what is happening to the grain at the CF and the CB?

The solution

The answer is that the CF and the CB is on the cross grain, ie at a right (90 degree) angle to the side seam. So it is effectively one-quarter of a circle  – or a right-angle triangle if you look at it the other way. Once the four sections are put together we would find a circular dress.

Here is a photograph of the half front and half back pinned flat. Currently the dress is a mini length as the calico was getting in the way. I will draw a paper pattern full length, and then I want to play with the grain some more. The U shape above the central side seam is the under arm part of the arm-hole. The nibbled away section is where the dress attaches to the yoke. The back is on the left.

Circular skirt dress
Pattern for a draped tent dress

My triangles have different angles to the flat pattern “Futuristic” dress I cut previously. This implies it will be fuller. However the separate yoke means it has a different look higher up.

I did try belting the toile too, to see if it could be worn by me (she who needs belts). Also I am thinking it needs to be in something very soft if it is for me. I have found some £2 m cotton lawn on the market. I may try that as a first step. I am also thinking about how to construct this. Perhaps an interlined, lined yoke, into which the skirt is sandwiched, with some sort of bias tape finish at the underarm?

And although I would need a softly draped version, I like the look as a short structured dress too – it would look great on the right figure.

Belted tent dress pattern
Belted tent dress

8 Responses

  1. Hila

    Hah! Cross grain of course! I quite like the shorter belted dress as well. Lawn would be a lovely choice of fabric. I made a maxi dress in lawn and its such a well behaved fabric. Lokking forwrd to seeing your completed make.

    • fabrickated

      No – probably not. I need a belt myself, so if I make it up I will most likely belt it. We shall see.

  2. Jennifer

    Well, in the draping last post I could see the bias in the yoke, and that was as far as I could go. What vision you have to create this pattern! I am learning so much from you and other experienced sewing bloggers!

  3. Stephanie

    Cool! The side photos make it clear. I love both ideas – softly draping with a belt and more structured, shorter and unbelted. I don’t think I could wear the latter, either, but I like the idea a lot. I’m thinking one has to be very tall (or at least long-legged) and small of bust to carry off the fullness. Thanks for sharing the puzzle, K., and great design.

  4. Sew2pro

    I’m rather looking forward to seeing how this turns out for real. The draping falls in a lovely line though it might work better in viscose than lawn. Reminds me of classical statues but they say the sculptors got the draping effect by making the fabric (presumably cotton) wet.

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