November 18, 2013

The Twenties Cleopatra Dress : Patterning

I finally have started work on the 1920's Cleopatra over dress! Hooray! Firstly, of course, I had to create a pattern so that's what I began with. Using muslin and my old adjustable dress form I began by draping the skirt yoke pieces. I knew that with my curvy hourglass figure the traditional 20's drop waist wasn't going to be very flattering on me so I decided to create a belt/yoke to achieve a similar look while still keeping the silhouette more flattering for my figure.  

After I had success with the skirt yoke, I moved onto the top of the dress. The front is in a draped wrap style with sleeves and bodice all in one. I draped the front on my form with extra ease to blouse over the belt/yoke in front. I knew the thick-ish muslin wasn't going to drape or look much like the lovely chiffon the actual dress will be made of but I estimated as best I could. With the front completed I draped a rather simple back (and forgot to take a picture!) to complete the top half of the dress. I then copied the muslin drapes onto patterning dot paper to create the paper pattern.

With the first pattern I had created I cut out two fronts to see how they looked layered with a more flowy but not perfect poly lining I had laying around.  Again I know the final fabric has an even softer drape which will undoubtedly look nicer but I feel like my pattern is working which is great! Next I plan on painting the yoke/belt with an Egyptian-ish design in a loose painterly style and then I have to make the top portion of the dress. I need to see how much of the navy chiffon I will have left over to decide how I want to construct the skirt. Not exactly an ideal way to make this dress but I can't get anymore of the navy chiffon since I originally bought it in London!

Progress feels good! I am finally on my way to actually making this dress!

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