Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Milly Lemon Knockoff Project: Pattern Draping and Drafting

So, a LONG time ago I posted on PR that I was going to knock off this Milly Lemon for the RTW contest.

Time passes. I bet you'd forgotten all about this unfulfilled project. I haven't, at least not totally. I leave for Paris in less than two weeks and I have nothing to wear! OK, I can't say that with a straight face, but I don't have anything to wear that I've specifically made for Paris and sewing for trips is half the fun of them for me. I bought some red Mirabelle Dansko sandals to go with a (also mythical) planned wardrobe of red, white, and navy and so I figured I'd leverage them into service for Paris, assuming it's warm enough. A big assumption, but I have red boots that can be worn if the weather is cold, even if they will look a little funny with springy clothes. So, I need some red clothes. And this was the first project that sprang to mind. The yoke will be solid red, and the body a red and orange printed (not woven) stylized plaid.

Soooo, since I was going to try to get some coordinating clothes ready for Paris, why not do the mini wardrobe contest? The most compelling reason is that I have less than two weeks and have done very little planning for the actual trip part. But, I won't let a little thing deter me. I can't start cutting until May 1, but I can draft my pattern before then, so tonight I started.

First, I draped Violet. One of the things I love about this dress is the racerback. My bra straps are forever falling off my shoulders, so I wear racerback bras whenever feasible. For this, I clad her in one of my racerback bras and made sure to draft so the straps would be covered.

For the upper front yoke, I used scissors. For the side and back pieces, and I just pinned some fabric to her and drew some markings in chalk.



I unpinned it from Violet, cut along the dotted lines, smoothed out the edges, and made the first pattern:

The first muslin was actually pretty great! I am quite excited that I got pretty dang close on the first try. There were a few issues. The front neck was a little too high and narrow, and it was slightly too tight. Well, not even tight, but very close-fitting. I decided to lower and widen the neckline about 3/4 of an inch, and add about 1/2 inch at center front.

The back looked great. The lower center back was too low for the style and there was a very slight gape at the upper edge. I decided to alter the pattern by bringing the lower back up about two inches and taking in the inner shoulder seam less than half an inch.

Here's the pattern with alteration marks.

And that's enough for one night! I have to go to bed. But I am very pleased with how smoothly it's going. I don't know if I'll make another muslin or not. I might just have faith in my alterations and go forth and sew.

The muslin also helped me to figure out how to sew it together. I think the lower side fronts I'll sew to the fronts only between the seam allowances, leaving the SAs free. The front to back at shoulders and right side (zip will go on the left side). Then I'll assemble the facing (using the same three pattern pieces--front, side front, and back--as the outer), stitch them together all at once along the outer edge, sew the dress part on, and then hand-stitch the facing SA to the seam allowance of the facing/outer.


Adrienne said...

That dress is going to be stunning!!!!

Lindsay T said...

Love that you are knocking off a Milly dress—so stylish. thanks for including these work-in-progress photos.

Melissa - Hendrik said...

I'm so impressed with your draping here! Way to take the plunge...

melissa @ fehrtrade.com

Nneka said...

That looks great! I didn't realize draping was so "do-able!"

Cindy said...

Looking pretty good! You've got an excellent start.

Paula said...

That Milly Lemon dress is so cute that you should do whatever it takes to have it ready for Paris.