Third post about drafting from Pattern Magic Stretch Fabrics by Tomoko Nakamichi with passing reference to several other pattern making gurus.
Stingray, drafting directions on page 100, is a little wonder. I put the half scale on my cute little PGM dress form and was pondering a few design developments, wool jersey dress with tight sleeves and wide belt and long skirt coming up as favourites, when another member of the tribe poked her head round the door and placed an order. ” I want one exactly like that!”. So, there you have it, broadly appealing, and with plenty of options. Here it is.
Basically, a dress with side cowls, of which you can find a whole bunch in patterns and books. Here’s an old designer Vogue, a Christian Dior, from the 80s I think. Forget the jacket and it could be ripe for resurrection. I’d sew up that wrap over a bit too.
The front is drafted and the back copied from it, with only the neckline tweaked. If you read my last post, you’ll know how I feel about identical front and back bodice patterns, but it would be easy enough to draft the top with a darted block and marry it up to a skirt part per the book directions. The bodice is princess seamed, so lots of scope for getting a decent fit. The English translation is a little weird – you get told to ‘create a mountain fold … to give three dimensional space to the sides’. No need to worry, the construction is really straightforward and quick, and the folds fall where intended.
I like the emphasis of this cowl version, it comes out looking less serious and more fun than conventional skirt cowl drafts.
Quick run down of examples in some of my pattern cutting books, sort of cowl history.
And finally “The Art of Dress Modelling” by Lily Silberberg and Martin Shoben has a fair few examples of fluid side and side front cowls. This one has been lurking in my UFO drawer for a few seasons, after I got cold feet about actually wearing the droopy crotch look.