Readers, my first formal flat patternmaking class project was to create a (structured) drop shoulder hip-length top.
The bodice could not be fitted. It had to either be tent shaped (we created a tent-shaped sloper in class) or a simple box shape with no waist darts. We were to create only the right side of the garment and use muslin and one other fabric. Our professor emphasized that she wanted us to be creative.
I tried my best with a not-terribly-inspiring-to-me assignment. I'm not a fan of the drop shoulder. If truth be told, until our professor showed us some examples of one, I didn't even know what a structured drop shoulder was. Here are some of the photos she posted on the blackboard for inspiration:
I also found a few structured drop shoulder vintage patterns online:
In class, we learned how to draft the drop shoulder torso from our
basic fitted torso sloper and sleeve sloper. Lots of steps involved. Parenthetically, one of the odd techniques I've seen a number of FIT professors use is,
rather than measure and divide a number, say, into fourths, they'll take a
paper scrap, mark the distance between two points, then fold the paper in half and half
again and use that measurement. Anything to avoid math.
Anyway, I created style lines on my dress form and worked through some ideas.
An early sketch looked like a vintage Fifties maternity smock -- very I Love Lucy.
I decided to design a front yoke that extended into the drop shoulder and dropped down in front like a tuxedo shirt plastron. My contrast fabric is a blue floral quilting cotton remnant. I added a line of narrow ruffles for visual interest. (I made them on my Singer 15-91 with my vintage Singer ruffler attachment. The rest of the garment was made either on my Singer or my pink Hello Kitty Janome.)
I also added a simple Mandarin collar and button loops.
Finally, I drafted a pattern for a lantern sleeve -- my first lantern sleeve ever. The top portion is muslin and the bottom is my floral quilting cotton. There's a narrower muslin inner sleeve that supports the outer sleeve and keeps it looking full.
I'll admit it's a rather strange looking garment but it is well made: all the edges are faced and all the facings have sew-in interfacing. I could see a Fifties hostess wearing this over cigarette pants and ballet slippers, couldn't you? (This kind of thing. Or this.) Perhaps a pregnant Fifties hostess....
Since I'm working with a Size 12 dress form in class, I was able to try the top on myself. It would definitely be more wearable with a left side.
Readers, what do you think? Too weird for words or just wacky enough to work (or something else entirely)?
I'm really looking forward to seeing what the other students come up with. (Hopefully I'll be able to take few pics and share them with you.)
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!