October 13, 2013

Working on it

I've been working on my first dress-with-flounce...
Yes, I may make more than one. There are just so many cool varieties. 

This dress, from 1951 (picture was published in Beatrijs magazine) is my main inspiration. Slim silhouette, random draping at the front which causes a flounce.  

This is my design: A similar skirt shape, the same fitted kimono sleeves but a surplice front with a shawl collar rather than a shirt-like bodice.

And this is the fabric I plan on using: cotton flannel with small, white on black, checks. I think this stuff will be very nice to wear when it gets too cold for cotton dresses. And it won't be too warm on all but the coldest days, like many woolen dresses. Of course, the checks present their on problems. I'm already obsessing over how and where to match them.

I spend some time on friday trying to drape something like this skirt, just to get an understanding of the shape. I used both an existing half circle skirt and a partial muslin I made with a pencil skirt back and different full skirt fronts. And I immediately came across a problem. On closer inspection, you can see a bit of hem sticking out on the far right, just below that horizontal tuck in the skirt. I tried to copy that only to find out it was impossible without creating some seriously wacky folds at the sides and back. There was only one explanation: this skirt is not one piece. The draped bit is a separate wrap-over bit. And because of the angle of the picture, you can't see the underskirt. 
I could do that, of course, but it's not what I wanted. And I may not have enough fabric for it.

So, I decided to make something more like this skirt, although I will still try to keep the slim silhouette and the tuck below the waistline. 
I've drafted the pattern today and was just now stitching up a muslin. I'll try it on tomorrow and tell you if it's any good.


  1. Can't wait to see this dress done. I have never made a flounce dress but love the way they look. Your fabric is going to make it a great dress!

  2. Flounce away. I love your ideas.

  3. Ooh, the flounce is going to look so interesting with the check fabric. Can't wait to see the finished dress.