For my first pattern in this Project Pattern Magic series, I wanted to start with something that could be wearable and fairly easy to make. The Draped Design in the first PM book looked simple and not too whacky.
Drafting and cutting
Drafting the pattern was indeed easy. The basic method that most patterns follow start with a sloper or block. You adjust it and add some lines here and there, following the instructions. Then you cut along the lines and spread out the area that needs more room. You tape this spread out pattern to another piece of pattern paper, and draw or trace along the outlines. Then you have your actual pattern.
I have a better understanding on where to start making adjustments due to the class I'm in. This is a pattern where you have to create a lot of extra fabric at the middle, so you cut a lot of lines and then spread them outwards. Because you will end up with lots of individual pieces, tape the edges back together after you've started cutting. This way you won't lose track of which piece goes where. After cutting, fold the tape over the edge so you can move the pattern, but the pieces are still joined.
Give yourself some time re-aligning the pieces. They are all interdependent so just keep shifting until they are all in the right position. Again here it helps to tape a few corners to the paper underneath, so they stay put.
I found some nice eyelet cotton, a yard for 3,50. I didn't want to spend too much in case it did not come out wearable, but still used a nice fabric in case it did. I wanted a lightweight cotton because I was afraid a medium weight would cause a big knot. I figured I should keep it as small as possible since I have only a tiny apple dumpling shop, as Cation would call it :). Also, make sure it hase some drape, it really should be soft and not stiff. A yard was barely enough by the way, get 1,5 if you're making this.
I had to cut the front piece off grain and the back on cross grain in order to make it fit on the fabric. The back is not cut on the fold, it has a curved center seam. Because this is a pattern drafting book, it doesn't say much on putting it together, let alone finishing techniques. I guess this is also why it is not suited for beginners, you have to know basic construction techniques. After the last step in the book, you'll only have the front piece sewn together, edges still raw. The back has two shoulder darts and two asymmetrical waist darts, so you'll need to sew those up too. If you're making this in cotton or other non stretch fabric, you'll have to add a zipper or some other closure too. I added a blind zip at the side seam. Then, you'll have to finish the neckline, armholes and hems. I used black bias tape on all three.
You can see how nicely shaped the back is due to the darts. There's a bulge in the picture, but that's not how it looks when you'd see it in reality. Even though the goal is to create a draped front, I like how the back piece is carefully shaped as well. I did iron the seams, in case you're wondering :) It's this light from the side that makes them look bulky.
I am quite happy with how this turned out! You can see I had to use the fabric all the way up to the selvedges where the eyelet stopped. But I managed to position these parts at the shoulder, so it looks quite allright I think. The knot is not out of proportion and because the fabric is quite simple, it doesn't look too weird at all. I like this top a lot, and I think it'll be perfect for summer days as well as layered in spring. It's even appropriate for work. And it's black, so easy to combine. I haven't decided what I'll make next month, but I'll announce it on Twitter when I've chosen.
So, do you think you'll be able to make this top, too? If you have any questions, now or at any time, just let me know so I can help you draft or sew!