Thursday, July 15, 2010

Draping a Dress, Part Six: Show Off Your Design!

Gosh, it's been so fun sharing the process of this dress with you that I almost don't want it to end! That's okay, there will be many more draping projects to come. So here it is, the finished dress. I made it up in a polka dot cotton faille from B&J. (Side note: did you know that faille is pronounced like nail "file"? I'd been pronouncing it FAIL, somewhat appropriately. You know, because I was FAILING at pronouncing it? Anyway!)

The empire line might be a smidge too high.


The back was certainly the hardest part to fit, but it came out fine, I think.


This picture shows the actual color of the fabric best, but it turned my skin a bit orange. Cameras are funny things, aren't they?

Unsolicited hair commentary: I've been playing around with this up-do. It's a slight bouffant in the front (helped with a bump-it) and a French twist in the back. I like it with my bangs down, like above, but they annoy me pretty quickly and I shove them behind my ear.


But back to sewing! I did a back lapped zipper for the first time, and I don't think I'll ever do a back centered zipper again. This went in so nicely. I hand-picked it, as you know I love to do.


I lined the bodice in cotton batiste. I ended up pick-stitching the lining around the zipper as well on a whim, and it worked really nicely!


The lining creates a sort of underlap for the zipper.

My draping teacher Sharon is coming over on Saturday and she's going to evaluate the fit of this for me. I told her to be brutal with me, but I don't think she has it in her. She (wisely) says that fitting is the only way to learn how to fit and that every garment I work on gets me closer to being an expert fitter. Isn't that inspirational? Sharon's the best.

I'm excited to use this pattern again - I'm thinking I'll pair the bodice with a circle skirt next.

So that wraps up this little draping series! Want to relive the fun? Here are links to the previous five parts.

Part One: Inspiration
Part Two: Getting Drapey With It
Part Three: Making a Muslin
Part Four: The Second Muslin
Part Five: Planning the Construction

Thanks for reading along!

64 comments:

  1. I think it looks fabulous and I love the green. It is my favorite color anyway, but I think it looks great on you. Reading your blog really makes me want to sign up for some sewing classes. Unfortunately there aren't many in my area. Maybe I can find a good seamstress who would like to trade some time for some lessons.

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  2. This is fantastic!!! I love the polka dots so much. ;)Hand picked zippers are my favorite; I've been addicted to them for ages!

    I really, really appreciate you sharing this entire process with us; it's been fascinating and I've learned a lot from your posts. Hope you get some good insight from Sharon on Saturday! :)

    ♥ Casey
    blog | elegantmusings.com

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  3. Oh wow! This is GORGEOUS! Totally love the final dress! It's really amazing! Love that it's green, love the shapes (the whittled waist, the sexy skirt, the neckline), just love love love!

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  4. Your dress is beautiful! The color suits you so well. Fabulous job! Thanks for sharing. Happy Sewing! :o)

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  5. I love, love, love this blog! I have been attempting to make my own clothes for a while now, and some things are successful and some things are a disaster! But you have totally inspired me to keep going, thank you!
    P.S I love everything you have made so far and really wish I had your legs.

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  6. Your teacher is right. You only learn to see fit by doing it. The more you fit the more you will see where to go. It's beautifully made and the fit is flattering. Enjoy the next project.

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  7. What an amazing fit! The lapped zipper is awesome- I'm going to have to figure that method out.

    Thanks so much for showing us the process.

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  8. Oh, I am so excited you did this. It's funny, too, because I had made a dress form early on in my project (which I use now mostly to drape a premade pattern on and then pin back on before sewing to make adjustments) and have been wanting to use it to 'drape'. I have never done so before and was going to use thin floral tape ( I might still try that) but your idea of using bias tape makes sense. What a pretty result and I need to try that zipper technique as well. Very inspirational. I have never taken a sewing class and just jumped in and have made somewhat succesfully a good chunk of my 1955/56 wardrobe. Great job and great inspiration!

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  9. Beautiful! Congratulations!

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  10. So lovely! I am so very impressed with your draping skills!!

    In French, faille is pronounced something like "f-eye" and it means "flaw", so it was appropriate that you were pronouncing it like "fail"!

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  11. Beautiful job on your dress! I always have more trouble fitting the back than the front, too. And my teacher says the same thing ...practice, practice, practice.
    Isn't a woven dress lined in batiste comfortable on a hot day!

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  12. I love the final results of such a cool process! I am going to have to check past posts to see how to do that zipper (it is in there somewhere isn't it?!)

    Here's some unsolicited shoe commentary...while the black works, I would love to see some color, perhaps orange!

    Congratulations on a job well done! Draping...who knew?!

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  13. oooo, I loves me a green dress. mmmmm -- and polka dots too. Great stuff. You'll have to tell me how the cotton batiste works out as a lining. Next time you make this, you might think about putting piping (either matching or contrasting) in the midriff seams to give them some punch. Just a fab dress - looks great on you.

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  14. I love your dress. It's gorgeous. Great job on the overlapped zipper. I love how you are always challenging yourself to learn and try new things. You are such an inspiration. Your hair is lovely.

    Trudy
    www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

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  15. Beautiful dress and a Gertie Original! I love the design and the fabric suits it perfectly. Nice job on the zipper too. I like lapped zippers for vintage inspired garments. They look more vintage-y to me.

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  16. The colour is gorgeous on you, the style is just the right blend of vintage and currently wearable and as a first draped project, it's absolutely brilliant!

    I do agree the empire line is a little too high in the front, but not so much you don't rock it completely and that people less picky than we in the sewing blogworld will ever notice!

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  17. Beautiful! If this is your beginning draping, I can't wait to see what you design in the future.

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  18. It's beautiful! I love the fabric. Your hair looks great, too.

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  19. I gave up sewing for myself, and now do mostly heirloom sewing for children. However, I enjoy reading about others who are more successful than I at sewing lovely things for themselves. I have especially been intrigued with draping, and thoroughly enjoyed this series of posts. Thank you so much for sharing all that you do!

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  20. I love part 6!! I think you have great syle and adore all your projects, but this may be my favorite piece yet! The combo of the green print and style of the dress are so perfect.

    Congrats on the awesome achievement of creating - entirely - your own garment!

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  21. It looks so great! The green looks great on you. Thanks for sharing the whole process, it was interesting.

    I really like your hair too, super cute.

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  22. Just wanted to tell you that 1) that color is fabulous on you 2) your draping went well - the style suits you 3) you should wear more tiny polkadots and 4) thanks for having such a useful and informative site.

    Such a dress! :D

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  23. Love the final dress and the different shoes in different photos... style! Did I miss how to do the lapped zipper? If not mentioned, are you able to do a tute on this please? Spots & dots are in by the way. Monique xx

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  24. Yay for draping! You're an inspiration, dollface. That dress is super and so beautiful on you!

    Thanks for including us in your process. I'm yearning to drape now, too!

    Fan-freakin'-tastic!

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  25. It's beautiful, Gertie! You did a wonderful job.
    I know what you mean about bangs. They look good, but are not at all functional. :( Oh well.
    Keep the draping going! I think this would look great with a circle skirt!

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  26. congratulations on your first draped dress! It looks fantastic, but most importantly - it's yours from start to finish. I look forward to seeing more and trying this out myself at some point.

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  27. I still can't believe you made this dress from scratch! You have mad sills. :)
    Thanks so much for sharing your progress.

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  28. Looks fantastic! J'adore the polka dots and the style of the dress. Can't wait to hear what insight Sharon has to offer.

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  29. I know that it's been said before, but let me add my voice to the praise. Splendid! I knew from your other pictures that you look wonderful in red, but you look great in that green as well.

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  30. So you've got to know this already, but you are ridiculously talented. I've been sewing since I was a kid, and my skills are nowhere near yours. You inspire me to want to do better. Thank you!

    And the dress looks lovely.

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  31. Gorgeous!! Really well done, the green looks lovely on you. So fun to watch the process from start to finish, too :)
    Ever since I did my first handpicked zipper, using your fabulous tutorial, I want to use them on everything too!

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  32. LOVE THAT DRESS!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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  33. great job with the dress! the color looks amazing on you!

    xo,
    cb
    www.thecitybirdsnest.blogspot.com

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  34. Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful!

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  35. You and your dress are beautiful! The fit is amazing, and this was a really interesting and fun series to read. I look forward to more!

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  36. I think you got a great fit there. It's a pretty dress too.

    I'm really inspired by your series, because I've been informally sort of draping designs for years, but without a dress form... I see now how a dress form really is vital. Anyway, the learning experiences I've had don't seem as bad when I see that that's a normal part of the process.

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  37. the dress is lovely and I'm very impressed you got the length of the skirt just right - it's very elegant!

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  38. Great dress!!! And no, thank you for taking the time to share is such detail. Your information was indeed invaluable:)

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  39. I love your dress, it looks fantastic! Thank you for showing your draping process :)

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  40. Both you and the dress are stunningly pretty. Nice work. :-D

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  41. It looks brilliant!! Thank you for sharing the process. I have spent hours reading through your archives this past week as I undertook my very first dress-making project. I am so grateful for all your tips and advice! I'll be posting pics of my finished dress this weekend on my blog. I hope you get a chance to check it out! (www.black-swans-pond.blogspot.com)

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  42. Absolutely gorgeous! And I love the green. And the polka dots. : )

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  43. Well, Bravo! Not much more I could say that has not already been spoken!
    I think I hear your phone ringing....it's the costume director from Mad Men!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  44. I really love it. The green is awesome. And I love the hair!

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  45. Brava! You've really outdone yourself this time. Many years ago, when I was a saucy teen, I went into Saks and looked at a Geoffrey Beane inside out. The saleswoman "caught" me, and we spent a while analyzing how important interior lining finishes were. (She was a fellow sewist!) Yours certainly makes the grade. I can't wait to see your next dress with a circle skirt! Well done.

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  46. I have been a lurking for quite a while and I just have to come out and say how impressed I am with your creativity. I really, really like this dress!

    You have inspired me to haul up from the basement the old Kenmore and start sewing. A dress. With lining. All that needs to be done is the zipper and hem. But I would never have considered doing it if I hadn't come across this blog.

    Also, I like the shoes.

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  47. I have a pair of shoes that would be perfect with that dress!

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  48. I agree with you about the empire line (or, as Stacy and Clinton pronounce it: Ahm-peer *shudder*), but it's still STUNNING, as always!!

    Although I'm more of a flat pattern girl myself (I really enjoy drafting when I have the time for it) I have known the intoxicating appeal of draping. I plan to do quite a bit of it, a la Charles James, for my wedding dress.

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  49. Hi Gertie, first, I want to say that I really appreciate your blog!! I´m trying to improve my sewing. I´m a professional pattern cutter, but not to good in sewing, I´m too anxious!!! Always want to see the clothes done faster!!

    About the empire line.. I was thinking that maybe it could be a problem whit the dummie... I don´t realy know what is the mannequim you got, but try to check the bust depth , from the shouder, this measure could affect the results of your drapping. But the dress is beatiful anyway!!!

    sorry for my bad english, as you can read, I´m not a english native speaker...
    =)))))

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  50. Your dress is gorgeous!!! Amazing to see its creation. Your blog offers tons of inspiration. Just what I need to get me going right now.

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  51. Fantabulous dress. Sooo feminine and ladylike!

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  52. Gertie
    I've been sewing for over 20 years and I just did my first lapped zipper too! On my friend's wedding dress which I patterned also (yikes!!!) and I too am now in love with lapped zippers. Sooo easy and pretty. I don't have pictures up yet but I'll let you know when I do. It turned out amazing. Thanks for these great posts. :)

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  53. Wow! Looks awesome. Your draping turned out great. Thanks for sharing the draping lesson. I learned to do a handpicked zipper making an Oscar de la Renta gown. I went in so well that it is one of my favorite zipper methods.

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  54. BTW, I am in LOVE with kimono sleeves right now, and I think they are PERFECT for this dress! And so retro, too! =)

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  55. Gertie, I just want to add my applause to the host of accolades ~ your dress is amazing! You are so lucky to be able to do that. It looks beautiful.

    Your success with draping only makes me want to learn the basics of sewing even faster so that I can try my hand with draping and designing.

    Thank you so much for sharing your success.

    xox,
    b. of Depict This!

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  56. This has been a great series. And what a great dress. Congratulations!

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  57. Oh wow that looks lovely! :)

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  58. I just found your blog and have read through your entire draping series. Thank you so much for posting all of this! It is fascinating and your end product is absolutely beautiful.

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  59. Looks stunning - and I got to see it when it was just FABRIC!

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  60. Wonderful blog. Thank you so much for sharing! I learned a lot.

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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