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Getting ahead of one’s self

2013 September 19
by elizabeth_admin

Oh boy.  In my excitement after Day 2 of my draping class, I started working on the “simple” draped knit top.  In my head it seemed pretty easy.  It’s just some shoulder seams and side seams with a little drape in the front neckline.  How hard could be that be?

I’m sure it’s easy for someone who’s been draping for eons.  But as I started pinning my fabric to the dress form, it quickly became apparent that I didn’t know what the heck I was doing.  Yep, I’m clueless.  But I’m also smart enough to have realized as I pinned that I don’t know enough to drape anything without more experience or knowledge.

I started pinning at the shoulders and then at the side seams, adding in the front neckline drape and trying to remove the ease from the torso as I went.  But as I pulled in the side seams, I was creating unintended darts.  The fabric was twisting.  I knew something was going wrong.  I knew I should quit right there and not even try to go further.

I don’t want to cut into my fabric not knowing how it would turn out but also knowing that it had a pretty good chance of becoming a wadder.

So this is where it stands right now.



I have learned some valuable information through this ill-advised experiment.  First, this fabric doesn’t drape enough for the style I envisioned it becoming.  Second, I don’t know much about draping.  And third, I should probably finish my draping class before I get ahead of myself.  Not bad for about 10 minutes work.  I sure am glad I didn’t cut in to my fabric.

In other dress form news:  I added padding to my bra and my dress form’s bust now more closely mimics my own and the bust apex is working as a bust apex should.  The darts on the bodices I draped on Monday are now terminating right at the apex as marked and not above it.  Yeah!!!  Oh, and I moved the waist  about 1/3 of an inch down; it was a little too high.  But I think I need to add more padding to the butt now (on the dress form, not on me).

Can’t wait for my next class!

8 Responses leave one →
  1. September 19, 2013

    How exciting! I can’t wait to hear more as you continue on with your draping class.

  2. September 19, 2013

    I would imagine that draping a knit would be very challenging since it’s so stretchy and usually has negative ease. It might be easier to start with a simple cotton shell, or any woven fabric that doesn’t stretch. Hang in there!

  3. September 19, 2013

    i envy your class!! i jumped ahead in my draping book to skirts–really, how hard could a pencil skirt be–and realized after ten minutes i’d better go back to the basic exercises :). anyways, you’ll be draping a ball gown in no time!

  4. Joy permalink
    September 19, 2013

    Oh .. you’ll get it once the class gets under way. That’s
    why you’re going .. 😉 It’s just like learning a new
    software program or language .. just the doing of it
    enforces that process in your brain.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that fabric. Source? It’s going to
    be gorgeous .. can see it as a sharp dress, too.


  5. September 19, 2013

    Giving you advice will probably confuse you at this point, but I’m going to anyway. Start by determining what the grain should be (usually straight, but could be bias). Mark that grain line kind of in the middle of your piece of fabric. Take the marked line and pin it to your form along the center front/center back. Your center should always be on grain. Drape however you want the garment to look, not worrying too much about the grain line at the shoulder or side seams.

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      September 19, 2013

      Actually Claudine, I figured out I could make sure the top was on grain from the bottom until I got to the bustline/drape area. I redraped it and t was successful. But I’m still too scared to cut it out. I think I will wait until I have more classes under my belt. Thanks!

  6. Wendy permalink
    September 19, 2013

    Love the fabric. Do be careful of how the pattern lies on the bust points (see your photo…) 😉

  7. September 21, 2013

    The fabric is great and can’t wait to see what garment you turn out with it.

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