In this post, I’ll be showing you in more detail the dress I made as my 2nd project for my draping class this past Spring. The assignment was to drape a dress out of a knit fabric. I was excited about this project because I love knit fabrics as they are very forgiving and comfortable to wear. I wanted to choose a style and fabric to create a dress that I could wear on my birthday (which was on May 5th).
The style I chose was inspired by this casual but classic asymmetrically ruched dress:
This was my sketch (that my teacher needed to approve before beginning):
The fabric I bought was (yes, again) from Jo-Ann’s. When I first saw it, it was part of their newly released Spring collection and I just about died when I saw it. Pink, floral, with neon – this is sooooooooooooooooooo me.
The only thing that made me flinch was that the fabric is modal (yay) but dry clean only (boo).
Since it was going to be for my birthday, I thought, “what the hey” and I purchased 3 yards (and the price was a pretty penny even with Jo-Ann’s coupons) because I knew I would be doing some serious ruching.
Maybe this was my fault, but I trusted my teacher’s word (which I may never do again with expensive dry clean only fabric), but she insisted that it would be fine to drape and cut the fashion fabric without a practice prototype. I am addicted to muslins so I was very hesitant about this, but I thought, “she’s a teacher, she MUST know what she’s talking about”. Her reasoning was that the drape of each fabric is very individual and that it’s best to work with your actual fabric on the dress form. So off I went to start draping on the dress form.
The process was not that easy because my teacher wasn’t able to give instruction in the detail that I’m accustomed to, nor was she able to give enough hands on direction. My ruching was far from perfect and I couldn’t quite get the technique down (I was basically winging it). But in the end, I think I came up with something that is close to my inspiration despite the fabric being a busy print and my ruching being somewhat uneven in areas.
I cheated a little and used the sleeve pattern for the plantain t-shirt as our teacher didn’t really explain how to do sleeves properly (let’s just say the whole semester was basically “do whatever you want” time in that class, and yes, that was completely frustrating for me).
All in all, despite not really learning how to properly ruch or drape sleeves, I feel I ended up with a dress that I love that fits me quite wonderfully! I think this says a lot about the quality of fabric (I love modal). I wore it several times this past Summer, not only on my birthday (yes, that’s me at the Fabric Store in LA),
but In NYC as well. It was a hit!
I can’t forget that it was also in the RTW section of my school’s fashion show in May:
Even though I wasn’t able to come out of it with a flat pattern to maybe one day replicate the dress, I’m hoping that if one day I take the advanced draping class, a more organized and knowledgeable teacher will be instructing the class. Until then, at least I got a nice, wearable dress out of the experience!