02 December 2013

Pattern Puzzle - Dior Draped Skirt

This treasure was discovered in the archives the The Metropolitan Museum along with thousands of other beautiful pieces.  Much to my surprise I discovered that it is a fairly recent design by John Galliano for The House of Dior in 1998.

For this puzzle the focus is on the skirt and not the tailored halter neck top.  The combination of the well organised waterfall drape at the back of the skirt and the free form drape in the front of the skirt was fascinating to me.  So like many of the ideas we develop in the Drape Skirts Workshop.


The pattern shape below was posted on our facebook page early Saturday morning.  
Fans took their time working out the detail and came back with all the answers on Saturday.  Thanks to Jennifer, Julie, Toni and Mioara for showing such amazing stamina.


To be fair we should really be looking at this pattern this way up.  Then it begins to make a little sense, particularly when you add the CF/CB and side seam (SS) markings.


Using your personal fit basic skirt block, begin with the front skirt pattern adaptations, connect the end of the left side dart to the hem line in the position of the front drape seam.  Mark the end of the seam without running all the way to the hem. The area below this mark is where the extra fabric and drape will be included.  You can get the instructions to drafting your own Skirt Block and Pencil Skirt on our website.


Trace the right side section of the front skirt.  Then swing the front drape seam line up to approx. 45 degree angle.  Do the same to the left side section for the front skirt then connect it back to the right side skirt at the hem.  Although this shape looks awkward on the hem line, all will be resolved in the final pattern.


The back skirt Pattern Plan sketched out below details the waterfall for both the back right and left skirt patterns.  Back waist darts will be closed and transferred through to the hemline.  The CB opening will be hidden under the last folds of the waterfall, along the CB line as marked in the final pattern.  Making these back patterns is a matter of following the lines on the pattern plan and tracing for each fold and dart transfer.  Also important to mark R.S.U. of pattern as soon as you make them.



The back skirt pattern pieces below are faced right side up (R.S.U).  They show the dart transfer through to the hemline and the fold back near the CB opening.




 And finally all the pattern pieces are bought together to make one pattern piece for this skirt.  I have sketched in the markings from the original skirt block to help with your reading of this pattern.  At this stage the main concern is getting the pattern shape to make sense by cleaning up the outside edges - in particular the corner in the front hem.

Please note the overlap of the hip curves at both side seams - this is a risky move but I am hoping the extra fabric from the front drape plus bias cutting over the side seams may allow me to get away with it.  I have planned the placement of the grain line so that I get the bias grain as close as possible to the side seam position.  Then it's all up to our first toile most likely cut from calico.


To complete this pattern for toiling (muslin) you will need to add a strap or contour waistband pattern.  It il also be important to devise a simple but effective way to hide the CB opening under the waterfall drape at the back of the skirt along that CB line.  I believe once you have the first calico toile on the machine the method will become clear.  It is possible to consider this skirt with and without lining, depending on the season and your chosen fabric.

The choice of fabric for this style could be summer weight suiting wools ( fine weave), silk and silk blends with a medium weight, or a light to medium weight wool crepe.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Always happy to respond to emails or comments on the post.  
Enjoy  :)

20 comments:

  1. This is awesome. My first visit to your blog. There is so much creativity out here about patternmaking.

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  2. Thanks Diya. :) Love your blog - do you ever make your own patterns?

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  3. HI...! Excuse me but I can not understand how the second picture should be applied to the skirt ... thanks for the reply ...

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    1. Hi. Not sure what you mean? The second picture is the pattern shape for the skirt from the puzzle. Maybe you could send more detail about your question? Thx

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  4. Hi! I'm not really sure how to make this skirt? could you do a more thorough step by step? that would be amazing!

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    1. Hi There. Thanks for coming by the blog. At the moment I am making detailed pattern and sewing instructions for a few of the very popular posts. When they are ready I will release them through the blog and website.

      So if you follow here or subscribe to the website you will be the first to hear. Fortunately this skirt style is high on the popular list and will definitely get a detailed make over soon. :)

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    2. Wow thanks! At my high school's annual fashion show a couple of students made these skirts (exactly looking like the original!) (probably by using this pattern) and I was very impressed! I will happily wait :) thank you so much! Will it be coming very soon or in a few months?

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    3. More like the next few months. There are so many popular posts to add detail too. Luckily this one is close to the top of the list.
      That's amazing about the school fashion show. :) Do you think they would let me have some photos. They'd be great for our Facebook page.

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    4. ill try and find some! If I find any photos I will let you know

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  5. Hi! I finally, after searching forever, found photos! Here is the entire album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vancouverschoolboard/sets/72157644567584592/ but pictures 26 to 28 are of the dior skirts :) you can also see some other creations!

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    1. Thanks so much for the link. I think they have made a wonderful job of the skirts. And i love the fact they happily wore the skirt back the front and it looked great. I would like to share these four photos on Facebook. Who should I contact at the school to get permission?

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    2. In fact your school friends have inspired me to make on of these skirts now. Thx :)

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    3. i would be glad to see your final creation as well! :) I'm not sure who you could contact, but here is the official twitter https://twitter.com/HamberFashion/media and there is a link to the facebook page at the left, so you could probably ask there :) if you find the time to photograph the process that would be amazing! thanks!

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    4. Yes, i found the Facebook page yesterday and sent a request. Fingers crossed they let me use the images. Thanks so much for letting me know that my blog reaches high school students. :)

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  6. Thank you for this link! I'm glad I saw these pictures; the back of this skort should be quite a bit longer to my taste.

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    1. Hi Anne-Marieke, thanks for dropping by. I agree about the length at the back - a little revealing. Looks good when they flip it around to the front. :)

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  7. merci comment je doit maboner dant ceblog

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    1. Hi Souf, thanks for dropping by. :) You can 'Follow by Email' in the side bar or you can 'Join this site'. Just below the twitter gadget. Ask again if this is not clear. :)
      Salut Souf, merci pour laisser tomber par. :) Vous pouvez 'Suivez par e-mail »dans la barre latérale ou vous pouvez« Rejoindre ce site. Juste au-dessous du gadget twitter. Demandez à nouveau si cela est clair. :)

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    2. Also my new blog here: http://www.studiofaro.com/well-suited

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