I have spent a couple of weeks draping over understructures and found it hard work. I wanted something dramatic, but also wanted something wearable.
First here is my minimalist understructure – I created a couple of “croissants” (left). I made a hip belt with two stuffed crescents on them. The idea was to drape over these to create a dress somewhat similar to the picture on the right.
I draped the skirt, attached it (pined it) to a size 12 bodice, and draped a simple bias neckline. I was now at the stage where if I wanted to make up this dress I would have resorted to flat pattern cutting. The bodice needs to be very closely fitted (use an evening dress or lingerie block) in order that the full hips really stand out. I just pinned some additional darting into the bodice. The only tricky aspect of this dress really is having the hem on the straight grain with the waist join undulating over the understructure and the high waist at the front. To some extent this was easier to achieve with draping than with flat pattern cutting where accommodating the pads would have required some interesting measurements.
It’s not the Givenchy dress, is it? It is made in khaki embroidered viscose for goodness sake! The original is made in heavyweight, exquisite silk satin damask, and actually required less fabric as it is heavier and can be pleated. Mine takes two gathered-up widths to add sufficient width and bulk at the sides. The neckline is just draped on (as you can see in the back view) and the bodice trimmed away underneath. So it just an demonstration project – not something I intend to make.
What do you think? I suppose it would be a dramatic outfit and I now feel more or less OK about wearing padding under my clothes. If I were to develop the design and make it up I would choose fabric like this.