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Draping Class #9 and a Post from the Magic Closet

2013 November 19
by elizabeth_admin

We’re back here again sewing peeps, back at Draping class.  Today we were supposed to have “finished” our boned bodice.  I will admit that I started to finish it at 11:30pm last night and finished up at 1:30am this morning.  Of course, the little boy who lives with me decided today would be a good day to wake up at 5:30am.  Sigh…

My strapless bodice was both a success and a failure.  As far as sewing technique, for the most part, it was a success.  In order to get a smooth princess seam, you need to clip the CF front panel so you can sew it to the super curvy side panel.  However, if you’re using the side seams as your boning channels, they are now full of slits from the clipping.  Doh!  In retrospect, I should have pressed the seams apart and added channels for the boning.  I think that would have improved the look of the seams and reduce bulk, even though you are adding fabric with the boning casing.  My curve for the bust on the princess (side) panel, I think, is too curvy.  The bust on the bodice is a little poofy at the apex on the dress form and on me.  Not sure how this happened.  Did I stretch the fabric while sewing?  Did I drape it too generously?  Maybe a little of both.  Who knows.  Apologies, I don’t have a picture of the strapless bodice right now and it’s really late as I type, so the lighting is just not optimal for taking pictures.

After thoroughly discussing our boned bodices in class, we really moved along with our drapes.  We draped four different patterns: the midriff yoke, the hip yoke, the sarong skirt and the dolman sleeve.

The midriff and hip yokes were relatively simple and quick drapes.  I really loved the midriff yoke for its inherent waist definition.  I need all the help I can get there.

Midriff yoke

Midriff yoke


Hip yoke

Hip yoke


The sarong skirt was really difficult for me.  To get the pleats just right and drapey really took some finessing.  I must have draped it at least 5 times and never was really satisfied.  Finally my teacher came by and re-draped in seconds into this beautiful skirt.


Sarong skirt front


Lastly, we draped a dolman sleeve.  I think I was the luckiest student in the room when I ended up partnerless, as the teacher demonstrated the drape on me and now I have a pro dolman sleeve pattern based on my body!!!  How awesome is that?!

Dolman sleeve front pattern

Dolman sleeve front pattern


And now for a post from the Magic Closet.  I know I left you hanging last week with sneak peek of my faux fur vest project.  I put a lot of work into it and made a lot of progress, but I got to a point where I realized that the fit was a little off still on one side with the princess seam and possibly elsewhere, meaning unpicking tons of catch-stitched seams.  I just wanted to commit hari kari at that point.   Then it started to look really fugly to me.  I set it aside in my room where it taunted me for a few days, before I put it in my closet for the magic of the magic closet to happen.  Last Friday, I had a chance to meet Marilyn A. and SueV, some sewing friends I’ve made through Facebook and PatternReview.  We met up at the Crate and Barrel outlet store in Carlsbad.  That’s the store where I bought that gorgeous Marimekko fabric for dirt cheap.  We had a great time chatting about sewing, having lunch and shopping.    I also brought my vest of doom with me to get their opinion on the fit.  They agreed that the left princess seam was too loose, but thought the hip room in the back was fine as is.  That was a huge relief to me.  Less catch stitching to remove and redo.  And suddenly the vest started to look a little more attractive in my eyes.  They both loved the faux fur, leather and silk charmeuse print lining I used and said that it wasn’t g0d awful (my words, not theirs).  So I thought I would bring my vest to my draping class and see what my teacher thought.  She had the same exact opinion as Sue and Marilyn did about the fit AND everyone loved the vest.  They loved the faux fur and the whole look of it.  So now I am back to crushing on this look and feel motivated to fix the errant princess seam and finish up the hem.  Long story long: the magic closet does a load of good in changing your opinion on something you’ve made.  Sometimes a trip to Magic Closet land is all that a difficult or arduous construction garment needs to magically transform into something you would actually wear.  I heartily recommend Magic Closets for any difficult project that comes along.

One last picture before I bid you fond adieu and head off to dreamland.  My sewing peeps on Facebook and I have been discussing twee dressing lately and whether Peter Pan collars should be worn by grown women.  I personally am vehemently opposed to twee dressing and find Peter Pan collars to be extremely juvenile.  And today in my draping textbook, I came across the drape for the Peter Pan collar with the accompanying picture of children and this hallowed quote, “The Peter Pan style is a popular, youthful collar that fits gently around the neckline.”  And I rest my case.



I will hopefully finish up my vest this week, but definitely not tomorrow.  Tomorrow is a marathon day for me starting with a school field trip (is vodka allowed on school field trips?), teaching Lego Robotics after said field trip, a play date and then coaching Jack’s basketball team.  Oh, do I know how to play basketball, you ask?  Actually, indeed I do not.  I have no idea how I got wrangled into coaching the practice tomorrow, but somehow I did.  Send any spare energy and patience you may have my way please.  And please, for the love of all that is holy, send alcohol!

Happy sewing!

5 Responses leave one →
  1. Marie permalink
    November 19, 2013

    Love the last line!

  2. November 19, 2013

    Best of luck with your ‘marathon day’!

    I completely agree with you on Peter Pan collars. Juvenile and therefore silly on a grown woman. I think I tried one once and ripped it off immediately after trying the garment on half-way through construction.

    Oh, and I hope you can make that vest really work for you. It’s good to hear it benefitted from its trip to and from the Magic Closet 😉

  3. November 19, 2013

    I’m glad you’re back on track with the vest. I use the magic closet, too, but I call it the Hanger Fix. GL with the basketball!

  4. November 19, 2013

    rum. you need rum. (and maybe fold up your pro dolman sleeve and keep it in your pocket for good luck.)

  5. Angela permalink
    November 21, 2013

    I’ve been pondering the peter pan collar lately, and have been looking for examples of non-so-juvenille ones. I don’t know why I have such a thing for them. I think that ones that are wider at the neck-with a more open neckline (I am sure there is a better way to word this), and are on the thinner side don’t look so juvenile, especially on a plain shirt or lightweight jacket. If fussed up with a floral print, I think they would look silly on someone older. Certain younger women can wear peter pan collars just fine, but I don’t think I could have ever looked anything but silly in them.

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