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May 18, 2017

Draping a Knit Dress with a Twist

For my final project in Draping IV at FIT, due this coming Saturday, I have to design both a dress and a jacket.

Our professor didn't put any further restrictions on us, which made the assignment harder: we could make almost anything in any fabric.  Since we'd worked with knits quite a bit this semester, I decided to make a knit dress, not something I have much experience with as most of the knit projects I've undertaken have yielded meh results.  I wanted to try a dress with a twist, inspired by the image above, from Helen Joseph-Armstrong's popular book, Draping For Apparel Design.

I had found a colorful knit jersey print recently in the remainder bin at Fabrics For Less recently, just 99 cents a yard.  There was more than enough of it to make a dress.

First I tried the twist in muslin.  I liked the result!

Then I tried it with my knit.  I suppose a solid would have showcased the twist a bit more, but I love the colors in this fabric -- something of a 1940's palette, imo.

I draped a flared skirt to go with the top and connected them with a waistband, which is lined in gray cotton jersey for extra strength.

Back neck and armholes are piped.

I really like the dress, even though it's simple and -- let's face it -- something I copied out of a textbook.  Sometimes you feel inspired and sometimes you don't.

For my jacket, I wanted to drape from scratch and, for the first time, used the Size 6 half-scale dress form I picked up second-hand last year.  I draped with a gray cotton jersey remnant.  The jacket is similar to a shrug. 

My final jacket will be a bit different, but I had great fun draping on the half-scale form and I used very little fabric in the process.

And that's it!  I'll show you the finished garments together after Saturday's final class.

Anybody drape using a half-scale form?

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. I really like the twist dress. Maybe I'll try that out for a dress for myself.

    I've found half scale dress forms to be very useful as I teach myself patternmaking. Draping on a half scale form is a good way to try out ideas without using a lot of fabric. I also use mine to test out flat patternmaking methods. It sure is hard to find fabric that will drape well at such a small scale, though. Instead of buying a half scale form I ended up making my own mini dress form, which is a project that took on a life of its own and taught me a lot.

  2. I so don't care that you copied the twist dress--it's fabulous and I love the choice of fabric as well.

  3. The dress is lovely! good choice with the band lining, something I do for knits as well, to support the skirt and anchor the bodice/band seam. What a cute jacket, dramatic!

  4. I love the dress! I can imagine Carmen Miranda wearing it.
    Man, I would love to find the incredible fabric bargains you always seem to discover. Living in the middle of nowhere has serious disadvantages.
    You are such an inspiration - everything you make is so interesting and I always learn something new. Thank you!

  5. Armstrong's books changed the way I looked at sewing, and have been inspirational. And so have you, my dear.

  6. your fabric stores are direly needed on the west coast. We have only one now and it is crappy. Sorry, but that is the best words for it. Bought out by a corporation who doesn't know the difference between fabric and a pair of scissors. The dress is beautiful.

  7. I really like the dress. Though I do have to say that the twist-top is nearly de rigeuer for someone patternmaking. :) It turned out very nicely, with no "oh my!" pattern placement or anything. I love watching you take classes!

  8. Love the dress - gorgeous! I have never used a half scale form but it is a good idea to use one for experimentation.

  9. Love the twist dress. The fabric works well with it. MichaelC

  10. Love your dress and jacket both! I'd wear that dress in a hot second if it were my size... but that white crotch patch is a little jarring. Maybe I'd Oona that up with a fabric marker if it were my own. Can't wait to see what you do with the jacket and also, I adore your knit fabric finds.

  11. When I first saw the fabric I thought it wouldn't work and the design would get lost in all that pattern, wrong, it worked and it looks lovely. You are definitely good at matching up fabrics with patterns. However, where I live, not many sewers and could never find fabric at such a great deal.


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