Friday, January 20, 2017

Drafting a dress - 2

First I’d like to thank those of you who commented on my recent posts. I have a few very regular commenters (extra thanks!) and recently I’ve seen quite a few new names too. Welcome to my blog and please share your thoughts. In a time that blogging is regarded obsolete by some it’s nice to know this is still a lively community.

Back to the story of the dress. I’ve cut and basted the dress and there was a moment of disappointment. The pleats did not form a nice fold, there is too much fabric. Worse even, the neckline was gaping a lot. So much that I don’t want to share a photo.

I think the pleats are just too long. As I said, I’ve drafted this dress two years ago and I’m not sure now whether I took out the space of the darts. Well, better too long than too short. I hope that these will be fine with some manipulation.

Part of the gaping is probably caused by my figure. If I would have an A or B cup it wouldn’t be so bad, but there is a bit more to cover. It would be fine if I could put on the dress and stand completely still all day. Don’t know about you, but that’s not the way I spend my days.

It was mainly the right front that was pulled away.
As you can see in the first picture of my previous post, I drafted a straight line to the waistline from the point where the left and front cross in the neckline. That is probably the main problem . The right front is not “anchored” properly. Back to the draft and making sure the right front is attached to the left side. Below again the sketch of what I did on a block from a book.

Instead of going down to the waistline, I extended the right front to the left side, keeping the line below the bust point (in this drawing on the bust point).


I moved the top of the waist darts to the bust point. Something I’ve learned in Suzy Furrer’s classes (I keep referring to her classes, I learned a lot from those). She either uses a high or a lower point for the waist dart, depending on what you want to do with the pattern.

IMG_4568. The waist dart on the left side is cut out, the legs of the dart can be placed together, thus removing that dart (cutting one dart leg and moving over would have been enough, but thought this might be clearer).


In the next picture the left waist dart is closed, as is the shoulder dart. The space of the shoulder dart is moved to the bust dart. That’s the extra space you see there under the original bust dart. That’s one option to get rid of the shoulder dart.


A second option to remove the shoulder dart is to move the space to the waist dart.


The last is what I’m doing. Keeping the original bust dart and use a wider waist dart. It will be covered by the pleats of the left front panel.

I’ve tried this extension on the front by cutting it from a piece of silk organza (thinking I might keep it that way) and have basted it to the front, waistline and side. A huge improvement. I will however re-cut the right front.

Hopefully I’ll get some sewing done this weekend, but I’m not sure.


  1. I cannot even managed to wrap my brain around how awesome this is. Can't wait to see more! I love reading about how people draft and change patterns. I'm still working on adjustments :)P

  2. I am an old reader but New reading your process posts. Thank you for the clear details, pictures and explanations.

  3. Thank you very much for explaining what you are doing with this pattern. I have had to reread in many times & sketch it out for it to make sense for me lol please continue so I may learn. I've just begun sewing for myself (again) & see that I know next to nothing about adjusting patterns for fit or anything else for that matter. I've been learning through a few blogs, books & utube as finances don't allow any "paid for classes" at this time. I TG for a generous pre poverty fabric & pattern stash that I can sew my way through. You are a kind person to share what you have learned with others. Thank you, Becca

  4. Thanks Sigrid, I'm always inspired by your posts and look forward to seeing the finished dress.

  5. Thanks Sigrid. It's beyond my skills at the moment, but you are inspiring.

  6. Impressive! I don't have the patience for all the work involved in drafting from scratch, although I find it very mathematically pleasing to watch the process...

  7. Thank you for the detailed explanations and clear pictures to go with them. This is inspiring to me and something I am going to try.

  8. This is both interesting and inspiring. I must revisit Suzy Furrer's classes (I say revisit but I haven't watched them all) I have her book which I find useful.
    I like this dress and look forward to seeing you conquer the current drafting issues

  9. Thank you for all the information you give us. I actually learned pattern cutting some long time ago but find it a long process which requires super concentration and most of the time I cannot be asked to do it, but I find your posts very interesting. I too have been reading your blog for some time but this is my first comment.

  10. I am actually following you for more than four years but I have recently have the confidence to comment on your posts. I always felt so ignorant.Now that I have more knowladge on pattern drafting and have taken all suzy's classes, I can make suggestion: Why do you want to have a bulky waistdart since all the pleats are going to make some thinkness already in there? Yes the pleats are covering it but I always try to put as little bulk as possible on the waist area.(I basicly have no waist myself!) Maybe a french dart would suit better and be parallel to the fold as well? Or maybe I will try it myself:)
    Your blog is one of the best sewing blog on the net please keep on!

  11. Thanks for sharing your process. Wouldn't it be great if the first draft worked out perfectly?

  12. I'm always impressed with your thoughtful processing and really appreciate your blog.

  13. Dart manipulation is such good fun. I am still experimenting with waist darts in terms of how these look on my shape.
    I figured out that I can't use a fabric that's too stiff or thick. I ended up with conical bra effect. Yuck, seriously not good. I hope I'll remake the dress in a more suitable fabric soon. Your post is encouraging me to get to it soon! Thanks so much.

  14. Sorry I havent commented sooner, please keep these posts coming, I love your blog. Even if I couldnt hope to be able to draft patterns myself, its very interesting to read and I can always hope I will retain your advice for future use! Angela