Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In which I change my blog's title to "Dear Beangirl...."

I am enormously, immeasurably flattered by anyone who says they Must Have one of my designs. So, since I was going to draft it again anyway (I find drafting easier than grading a lot of the time), I photographed the process. With very-slightly-malicious intent. Can't WAIT to see yours made up Beangirl.

But before we get to that, here's the obligatory shot of my-latest-creation. It's exactly the same pattern as the blue one from a couple of posts ago, which my aunt has taken back to England for her god daughter. (So now I'm international!) I like these rather rustic colours. I may add buttons to the front yoke.

Anyway, on to the patternmaking. This dress (the one in my previous post, not the one above) is based on a bodice block. (For the record, this is a size 80 flat body block from my favourite book)
The basic block is lengthened to desired finished length, which I decided would be 5cm below the knee.

1cm is trimmed off armhole and neckline edges. I wanted it to be suitable to wear something under, or not.

A cut line for the side pleats is drawn in. I placed this exactly half way along the shoulder line, and perpendicular to it till that line was about 6cm away from the CF, (No science to this, just my choices) then ran it parallel to the CF.

A second cut line was marked in about where I thought it should go - closer to the side seam, roughly equal distance from the first cut line.

After cutting the first line to completely separate the pieces, and the second leaving a tiny hinge, I taped them to a new piece of paper. I drew a new CF line angled so that it was 5cm from the paper's edge at the top, and 6cm at the bottom. The original CF was placed on this line.

I then drew a line angled from the waistline (on the working pattern, not the new paper) by 5 degrees (which I'd worked out by measuring the angle the waistline had shifted to on the first piece) and spread the pieces by 11cm. Taping down the 2nd piece at that point I just swung out the third by a bit to give it a nice line.

At this point it looks like this:

Unfortunately some of my lines are pretty faint and hard to see in this photo. Sorry about that.

After taking off the working pattern pieces and adding seam allowances and such, the finished pattern piece looks like this.
This is for the back, but the front is exactly the same - I made the front by tracing the back, swapping the neckline for the right one and raising the point to which the middle pleat is sewn. (I was going to photograph the facings as I drafted them, but my camera batteries died and I couldn't, but facings are pretty straightforward anyway.)
So there you go Beangirl, have at it!


  1. Boy I am so glad that if I wanted to make that beautiful dress I could come and beg at your door! (Armed with Pinky bars of course ;) )It certainly doesn't look that simple.
    The new dress is cute - is it an Isabella dress, or for selling?

  2. Awesome! You are too cool! And no, that doesn't look so very easy but also not impossible so I am going to mull it over. This summer is the Summer Of Sleeveless Tunics for TLo (and therefore by default for The Big One), and this would fit right in.

    And I really hate that I am now starting to want to just draft my own patterns. I so needed some other time-consuming hobby to take up all that spare time I have. So thanks for helping with that! ;-)