Nap6 Progress Report

I’ve been cutting an experimental full size pattern for the Nap 6 challenge dress. It’s been a rush job (nothing to do with challenge deadlines, RL issues). Reasoning that if anyone wears it as a finished article, it’s likely to be a daughter for whom I don’t have a dress stand, I picked the nearest (padded to a 12 Aldrich standard block) and pinned out a few lines for the bodice. Others have mentioned a difference between the right and left princess lines in the original dress, but I can’t see these on my screen, and am sticking with identical lines for both sides, except for the dropped waist.

Bodice lines roughly planned

Bodice lines roughly planned

I’ve not found a back view on the net, but changed it from my half scale to echo the front more closely.

I used the lines on the stand as a guide only for positioning them on the pattern. This is cut from what I hope will prove to be a block close to her actual measurements.

The picture of a crumpled part done front might give an idea of where I went with it. Can make out the position of the lines? Darts moved obviously.

Part Done Bodice

Part Done Bodice

With the bodice roughed out I started on the skirt. One way of making it would be direct draping, possibly starting with a circle. I decided to flat draft. There’s little space in my sewing room, I’d need yards of mull or fine calico, as well as a stand in the right size. This skirt is developed from the part of the bodice block sliced off below the lowered waist. I drew the basic skirt by dropping the lines from the hip, cf and cb, finishing it at mid calf.

Slashing and spreading, inserting wedge shaped pieces at intervals round the skirt, I settled on a medium amount of flare, ( about 55 cms addition to the hem width on each of the back and front pieces.)

Next came the tedious job of adding in for the pleats, marking the fold lines, trying to position them similarly to the inspiration example and taking a stab at the depth of pleats. To get the pleats right where they appear to fold towards the front, I needed to move part of the front skirt into the back. (Back or side views would have been handy.) Consideration was also positioning the seams where they’d be buried in the back fold of the pleat.

I pinned this tissue into position on the stand. The dropped waist seam doesn’t match exactly as the stand isn’t the right size, but it’s close enough to get an idea. I thought this full enough, and kept it as my starting point.

Skirt Pattern Pinned to Stand

Skirt Pattern Pinned to Stand

Next step was roughing out the uneven hemline.  I decided to cut a double skirt and have the points of the dipped hemline a little offset for more interest.

Skirt Started

Skirt Started

The underskirt was cut from a quarter circle back and front, marking the dropped waist on it, and hem facings were drafted. The bodice neckline was changed from the inspiration piece, and a couple of possible sleeve versions tried and rejected. I used a CB zip in the bodice, not carrying it into the skirt.

Mock Up of Nap6

Mock Up of Nap6

This is it with cap sleeves. The other sleeves I tried were a fitted sleeve, to seam in at the underarm, with a point replacing the sleeve head, and a point at the wrist – also rejected.

Abandoned Sleeve

Abandoned Sleeve

The toile is in some left over black woven poly and a poly organza which was very cheap,  rather nasty to sew and even worse to press. It’s a fair mimic for floatiness though.

There’s been discussion about the amount of stuff in the skirt – the designer of the original said 8 metres I think. I bought 10 and wasn’t left with much. Here’s one part done skirt pattern on my cutting table (made from a varnished door).

Skirt pattern

Skirt pattern

If I had more cutting space I could probably have economised, but each of four skirt pieces took close to 2 metres, and the hem facing fitted from the side scrap twice, but twice came out of the remaining length. My underskirt pieces didn’t come out of the organza. We had a flying visit from DD, and it turned out that my guesses on size weren’t too far out, just a bit to remove from the back hip. A plan was hatched to make a proper version sometime, probably using dip dyed silk organza and some kind of brocade or embroidered fabric for the bodice. I’ll probably make the hem facings a little deeper than in the toile to make a stronger statement about the shape.

This dress isn’t an exact copy of the original, there are changes, but I’m happy to report that the flat drafted pattern worked out well. The pleats seemed a little mean before the underskirt was in, but I like them now. A deeper pleat might add too much fullness at hip level and a bouncier skirt. Fabric changes have an effect, so I won’t be sure about this before I’ve tried it in silk.

Meanwhile, daughter brought this eye wateringly lovely printed silk crepe to become a simple long skirt. That pattern should only take a moment!

Printed silk

Printed silk

If you have questions about the pattern, or thoughts on the version, please comment.

 

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About jay

I design and draft patterns
This entry was posted in Fabric, Pattern Making, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Nap6 Progress Report

  1. maryfunt says:

    I just finished my first draft of this and I also see symmetrical lines on the bodice. I’m not into big skirts and so am doing just the top to be worn over skinny pants. I will hopefully get that post up tomorrow. Your skirt looks wonderful. It will be interesting to see how different sewers interpret this design.

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  2. Tia Dia says:

    Awesome. I love to see the ‘thinking’ work that goes on behind the scenes in garment construction.

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  3. sew2pro says:

    I love the transition from the tissue paper version to the quite convincing one in fabric, including the lovely dipped hem. Thank you for the detailed explanation of your process though I really am rather alarmed that most of your 10 metres have been used up. It doesn’t seem possible!! I’ll have to go back to that dodgy-looking cheap fabric shop that appears to deal in organs round the back door.

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  4. jay says:

    Don’t you just love dodgy looking fabric shops! I got my crummy poly organza online from tissus net, who, in fairness, billed it as good for carnivals etc. If I get round to a proper version, the plan is to get silk from Whalleys, cut the skirt pieces and dip dye them so that they shade interestingly – colour not decided on yet. Silk may have a bit more body, and hang better. There’s a double layer in the above skirt, and each piece was over half a fabric width, but if I had more space and time I might have been able to shunt the pieces up having the short sides next to each other instead of cutting them out in sequence. The uneven hem, the facing and the pleating makes for awkward curved shapes with a lot of fabric waste. Or, if silk, a lot of pieces to use in another project!

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  5. fabrickated says:

    My thinking is very much like your thinking Jay and I too have a load of paper cluttering up my kitchen right now. I bought 10m of cotton muslin and thought I wouldn’t need it all – but now I have read this…. I am planning a two tiered skirt too, and am thinking of painting or dying it as I am using white.

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  6. Fantastic progress made on this. Thanks for explaining all of your preparatory work. I had considered joining this challenge but I’m just ‘stalking’ at present.

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    • jay says:

      It’s not a complicated pattern, but time consuming, and space hungry. A nice wide proper cutting table set at the right height would be perfect.

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  7. Your sewing expertise is incredible! I love watching you work.

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  8. Pingback: 6Nap -Chapter 2 | corecouture

  9. Gorgeous, this is all very exciting. My ‘plans’ are still just a heap of fabric, a brain full of ideas, and two pieces of kitchen towel…

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