Monday, December 6, 2010

Mighty Morphin' Pattern Drafting

I love a good frankenpattern. The wedding dress definitely qualifies as a frankenpattern, or possibly something more mutant if anyone can think of a name for it.

I knew when I bought my fabric that I wanted to at least use BWOF 2/2009 #124 as the basis for my dress. I made it this summer, and I loved it, but it wasn't dressy enough, and it needed sleeves.

But it was a good starting point.

I looked through my pattern stash for a dress with a similar waist seam but a different fit; I wanted bust darts and an armole that I could set a sleeve into. Nothing in the stash jumped out at me, and then I remembered Burdastyle's Fatina, which I've made 3 times, twice with a separate bodice and skirt, and for which I even drafted a sleeve (though I can't find it; go figure).

I dug out Fatina and saw that the length of the bodice piece was the same. I laid the BWOF pattern piece over top of the Fatina piece, matching the shoulder seams, and traced a third piece from the combination, keeping the original neckline but incorporating the structure of the Fatina bodice, with substantial bust darts. The BWOF pattern had small fitting darts below the bust, which lined up with the darts in the skirt front.

Oddly enough, it was the same location where I added fitting darts to Fatina, so I kept those.

For the sleeve, I wanted a fitted 3/4 length sleeve, and I scavenged that from one of my vintage reprinted patterns (pretty sure it was a Vogue, but the envelope has disappeared into the whirlpool, so pattern information will be supplied).

I did the same thing for the back, which was less effort - there's not much to the back, other than the really pretty deep V. No darts, no nothing. I adjusted the shoulder width, and let it be.

My first muslin (not pictured, and not worthy of picture) was actually the original BWOF pattern, which I tried tinkering with to change the shape to accommodate a sleeve. No such luck. The "sleeve" of the original dress is cut on, and doesn't lend itself to reshaping.

Muslin #1 hit the can.

Muslin #2 (pictured above) is better. Evelyn lost some weight recently and no longer fits my clothes the way she used to. In particular, she's gotten very narrow across the back and things have to be pinned.

Bad Evelyn! How uncooperative!

She's not invited to the wedding.

I removed some ease from the sleeve and inserted it with only minor swearing. You can see from the photo that there's still a little bit of puckering in the front, but I adjusted that on the pattern piece. There's also a significant difference between muslin and the silk/cotton/lycra blend that I'm working with. I know which one will be more forgiving.

Last night I got the dress fabric cut out, and tonight I started putting it together. I made a strip of piping and that's getting inserted in the waist seam. I think it'll add to the vintage appeal of the fabric, and hopefully of the dress.

It's coming together, both in my head and on the work table. Fingers crossed.


Gail said...

This sounds like an interesting project. Love your finished sheath dress with the v shaped back in the pictures.

Elaray said...

Your dress will definitely qualify as a Frankenpattern. It'll be a fantastic dress when it's all put together.

Rose said...

Your mutant frankenpattern looks like it's coming together well. I can't believe that Evelyn is being so uncoooperative! Hopefully, that will change.

-E said...

I'm giddy with anticipation :)

SEWN said...