Sunday, August 18, 2013
weekend diy: batwing dress, part one
Last week I received a package from Laurence King Publishing with a set of books I'm excited to dig into.. Copywriting - a good resource for bloggers, Color: A workshop for artists and designers - techniques and principles I've long wanted to study, and the newest Magma Sketchbook - useful for designers and those (like me) who are just getting into drawing.
Another book in the set is Drape Drape 3, the latest in a series written by Hisako Sato. The Drape Drape series focuses on Japanese fashion crafted by pattern cutting and construction experts - every pattern is creative, multidimensional, modern.
For the first pattern, I decided to try no.5 - the batwing bubble top (which is technically a dress on me) featured on the cover. What you need for the project.. not quite 3 yards of fabric (any woven fabric, preferably something lightweight) and single fold bias tape for the neckline.
First step - copy and cut your pattern. There are three pattern pieces, one for the back and two for the front - you need to tape the two front pieces together where indicated, and then cut the fabric with the new completed front piece and back piece. The back piece is much shorter than the front. This is due to the necessary folding of the front piece to meet the back and form the sleeves.. my favorite part of the process.
Sew the center seams of both the back pieces and front pieces, then connect the front to the back at the shoulder seams (I did make a change to the project.. the pattern called for a slit at each shoulder, opening up to the arms - but I opted out, going for a simpler, classic shape). Once this is done, it's time for the best step. Turn the garment wrong-side out and fold the bottom of the front in toward the back pieces, matching the side (the lower half) of the front piece to the bottom edge of the back (see photo five, above). Sew these edges together.. this will create the sleeve opening. Sew the opposite side, then connect the lower half of the back center seam.
These steps form the garment. Constructing the dress felt almost like origami, the folding and shaping process was a pleasure. I'm in love with the shape, the wide batwing sleeves, the fluid drape at the side. Drape Drape 3 is a great book for those looking to get into modern, Japanese styles, and there are simple projects (like this one) as well some that involve a lot more time and precision, so I recommend it for beginners and advanced sewers alike.
Next week, I will finish the seams as well as dye the dress with principles from Color: A Workshop.. stay tuned for part two!