A yellow Drape Drape dress

From the first time I flipped through the first Drape Drape book, this dress really grabbed my attention and I knew that I’d eventually make it. Like most of the patterns in the Drape Drape books, this one has both unusual, 3D seaming and lots of gathers (or tucks). This is the third pattern I’ve made in the series, after the asymmetric teeshirt (twice!), and the gathered tunic dress.

Unlike the Pattern Magic books, in the Drape Drape books the patterns are included in several sheets at the back which you trace off, a’la Burda magazine. But though the lines aren’t packed as densely as in Burda’s, the lines aren’t coloured nor do they have different dashes or dots, so it’s not as easy to trace in my opinion! Because the shapes are often wraparound, the pieces can be quite big, and you have to trace them in a few different parts.

This is the only(!) pattern piece for this dress!

Drape Drape book 1 dress 3 piece

But once you get past tracing the pattern and cutting the fabric, the actual sewing goes very quickly. In my case, since I also basted the Centre Back seam and tried it on, I realised that the invisible zipper was unnecessary, which saved further interfacing and sewing time.

yellow Drape Drape dress - laid flat

yellow Drape Drape dress - taco

This yellow jersey is one I bought this summer at Abakhan Liverpool in the bargain basement “jerseys by the kg” area, and shall henceforth be known as “Double Gloucester yellow” since it matched the cheese on my tacos perfectly!!

yellow drape drape dress - laughing

yellow drape drape dress - left side

If I’d make this again, I think I’d make it in a slightly heavier jersey, as you can see the bumps of my bra through this one. I wanted to err on the lighter, drapier side because of all the gathers, but I think a slightly heftier cotton/spandex jersey would be perfect (but a ponte would be too heavy, in my opinion!).

yellow drape drape dress - right side arms back

Since this book has been out a few years and this design in particular has been quite popular, I noticed just about everyone commented on how short this dress is, so I added several inches to the hem when I traced it out. Due to the tapering skirt, I couldn’t have added much more or the opening circumference would’ve been too tiny to be practical. But for me, this new length is just about perfect.

yellow drape drape dress - gardening

The other point of note with the sizing is that, because this is a Japanese book translated into English, the sizes are all based on the average Japanese woman, so are really small! I made the largest size here, which was fine since it’s a forgiving jersey, but in their size chart my measurements are like a 2-3XL!!

yellow drape drape dress - looking aside

The only thing I’m unhappy with here is the back neck, which gapes quite a bit. I’m not sure if it’s in the pattern, or if I inadvertently stretched out the neckline while applying the neck band (the instructions call to just fold over the edge and topstitch, but I prefer a band), but it’s something that’s easily fixable on the next one, or by, err, just wearing my hair down!

yellow drape drape dress - back view

But overall, I think this is a really flattering design, and I love that it came together like a puzzle, with all the notches aligning and pieces linking up where you don’t expect it!

yellow drape drape dress - front detail

It’s these sort of crazy-shape designs that give me the most inspiration, if I’m honest, and are the ones I enjoy sewing the most, regardless of the end result.

yellow drape drape dress - pointing at train

4 Comments

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  1. 1
    Beth (SunnyGal Studio)

    that is a cute style and I think it would work best in a print? I tried the Drape Drape and just felt that nothing suited me, but I love to see other people make them. As for the back neckline – since there is a seam looks like an easy fix.

    • 2
      melissa

      thanks Beth! I always prefer solids to prints anyway, but I think especially with these interesting seamlines and gathers, I think a solid is the way to go – the details might get lost in a print? And I hear you on the back neckline – I would’ve fixed it myself had I noticed it before the photoshoot! 🙁

  2. 3
    Doja

    I looked at the dress, then looked at the pattern, then looked at the dress again then back to the pattern and omg! I can’t believe you’re only using one pattern piece…. Like whaaaat… It has sleeves and everything! And just one pattern piece!! Needless to say, I’m more than impressed! I love it! I’ll have to check out that book you mentioned.

  3. 4
    Summerflies

    I have also liked this dress… I love putting the pattern together in my head. I love the style but at the moment I don’t need any gathers on my hip! I would definitely make this otherwise. Love the yellow too.

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