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Pattern Cutting/Pattern Drafting – and a self-drafted dress!

December 20, 2013

YO.

In September I signed up for a ten week pattern cutting course at a local college.  It wasn’t the first time I’ve been on one of these courses – back before Baba Tweedie came along I was part-way through my first pattern-cutting course, in which I had drafted a dress inspired by Kim Novak’s black dress in Vertigo.  I never finished the dress (you can read about my pattern drafting for it here), because by the end of term I was pregnant, and there is no way I was going to continue making a corset!

Anyway, when September this year rolled around I wanted to start something new.  The first few weeks of the course were spent drafting and making a toile of a bodice block, to use as a starting point for basically any pattern I wanted to design afterwards.  Once the block was done, I was ready to go.

Now I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, here, but I am confident sewing from pretty much any commercial dress pattern.  Therefore, in order to get the most value from my course, and to challenge myself, I wanted to design something unusual, and something that I hadn’t seen before.  I’m not so naïve as to think that this design has never been seen anywhere before, but it certainly isn’t something I have come across, certainly not all the elements combined together.

I wanted a V-neck, diamond inset front bodice with gathering over the bust.  I wanted a cut-out back.  I wanted to be able to wear a bra underneath.  I wanted a circle skirt.  So that’s what I designed, and, four toiles later (I’ll spare you the details), that’s what I made!  The fabric is satin.  I will let the photos speak for themselves.  Let me know what you think!

My self-drafted dress - front view

My self-drafted dress – front view

With Irregular Choice red heels

With Irregular Choice red heels

Mid-twirl

Mid-twirl

Cut-out back, and bow-shaped, erm, 'neck bit'?!  (Pleated in the middle)

Cut-out back, and bow-shaped, erm, ‘neck bit’?! (Pleated in the middle)

Side-on view

Side-on view

Another front view

Another front view

Another back view

Another back view

Another side view

Another side view

Slightly closer

Slightly closer

I am so proud of this dress!

64 Comments leave one →
  1. Irene permalink
    December 20, 2013 7:34 pm

    And you should be proud. You’ve done pretty well on this dress. Looks great!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 10:53 pm

      Thank you. It isn’t 100% perfect, but I’m very happy with it.

  2. December 20, 2013 7:49 pm

    It looks such a good fit, well done! Hope I can get this good at some point.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 10:54 pm

      Just keep practising! And come back to one of Debbie’s classes 😉

      • December 30, 2013 12:47 am

        I was thinking of signing up again in January actually! Which night of the week are you going?

      • tabathatweedie permalink*
        December 30, 2013 8:44 am

        That would be great! I haven’t enrolled yet, but I would hope to go to the Wednesday class.

      • December 31, 2013 12:02 am

        I’ll have a look when I get home then – for some silly reason I thought spending the Christmas holidays up and down the country was a good idea!

      • tabathatweedie permalink*
        January 1, 2014 11:45 pm

        It would be nice to see you!

      • January 1, 2014 11:46 pm

        And you!

      • January 7, 2014 9:37 pm

        All booked in for next Wed!

      • tabathatweedie permalink*
        January 7, 2014 9:49 pm

        Excellent! Hopefully there is space left for me. I’m going to enrol tomorrow!

  3. December 20, 2013 8:13 pm

    Absolutely divine!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 10:55 pm

      Thanks Janene!

  4. December 20, 2013 8:16 pm

    That’s really amazing, I love all the little details!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 10:55 pm

      Thank you. Me too!

  5. Marie Irshad permalink
    December 20, 2013 8:16 pm

    Absolutely stunning! What a fantastic dress!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 10:56 pm

      Thank you. I’m so pleased with it.

  6. December 20, 2013 8:38 pm

    This is absolutely bloody gorgeous! Fits perfectly and you look stunning. But can you drink CIDERRRRR! in it?

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 10:57 pm

      You betcha lady!!! 🙂

  7. December 20, 2013 8:51 pm

    You should be proud of this dress – it looks bloody brilliant!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 10:58 pm

      Thank you! Going to wear for New Year I reckon!

  8. December 20, 2013 9:07 pm

    That looks so amazing. I’m thinking of doing a pattern cutting class but I’m a bit intimidated by the maths (not my best skill). Did you learn to make a customised block on the course, or did they teach using a standard size block?

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 11:03 pm

      We made a customised block. If you just take it one step at a time, with guidance from someone more experienced, you’d be surprised at what you can learn. It isn’t easy but it’s SO worthwhile. Even if it just boosts your confidence with commercial sewing patterns.

  9. maeve permalink
    December 20, 2013 10:12 pm

    Wow, that is one hot dress. You should be very proud of this dress. So many beautiful elements. I haven’t seen a pattern like this before so is unique to me. Any chance you’d publish this pattern?????? I’d give good money for it 😉

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 11:05 pm

      Aaaw thank you so much. I love the idea of copywriting it, selling it etc but I have absolutely no idea where to start!!

  10. anne carter permalink
    December 20, 2013 10:39 pm

    It’s as good or even better than the commercial patterns you’ve shown us. Lots of details in one dress – excellent!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 11:06 pm

      Thanks Anne! You are kind.

  11. December 20, 2013 10:57 pm

    This dress is a beaut! Great job on drafting it yourself and then sewing it up perfectly as well! 🙂

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 11:08 pm

      Thank you. Finally getting to sew it after all the head scratching was utterly exhilarating 🙂

  12. December 20, 2013 11:04 pm

    Beautiful! Love the bow at the back, great design.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 20, 2013 11:07 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  13. December 21, 2013 12:57 am

    It’s absolutely gorgeous. You definitely should be proud.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 21, 2013 2:15 am

      Thank you! Hope you and your family are well.

      • December 21, 2013 3:39 am

        Thank you. Same to you. Happy holidays!

  14. December 21, 2013 5:19 am

    Wow, good on you! I can imagine that drafting the gathers into the inset was no mean feat, but the end result looks great! I love it when a plan comes together 😀

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 21, 2013 8:19 am

      That was the hardest part, definitely. I nearly gave up. In fact one week I brought something completely different to class because I couldn’t stand any more alterations, LOL! But I’m so glad I persevered.

  15. December 21, 2013 12:09 pm

    Congratulations this is stunning!! Sounds like the course was well worth it and you’ve learnt a lot. Twirl away!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 21, 2013 12:37 pm

      Thank you. I definitely did learn a lot. I’m going to enrol again for next term I think!

  16. December 21, 2013 4:07 pm

    Gorgeous! You look fantastic. You should be very proud.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 21, 2013 4:17 pm

      Thanks Liza Jane!

  17. December 21, 2013 7:34 pm

    Wow! Super stunning! Worth all the effort and work, it’s amazing!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 21, 2013 9:47 pm

      Thanks, definitely worth the hard work 🙂

  18. December 22, 2013 5:33 am

    Pretty dress, it looks great on you! How did you find the bow back/cut out thingy? I’ve always wanted to try that but haven’t gotten around to it.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 22, 2013 8:37 am

      It was easy – it was the front that caused all the fitting problems!

  19. December 22, 2013 10:31 am

    Well there’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said by the other commentors, but I love that dress! It’s stunning. i also love your fabric choice and the back detail. Very well done!!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 22, 2013 10:12 pm

      Thank you! The fabric was from Barrys in Birmingham. I got it when I went on a sewing bloggers meet up earlier in the year 🙂

  20. December 22, 2013 2:16 pm

    You have good reason to be proud–it looks great! I love all of the little details, and it fits you so well!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 22, 2013 10:13 pm

      Thank you very much!

  21. December 23, 2013 9:17 am

    I love it! What a fabulous party dress, and so many elements to be proud of

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 24, 2013 9:14 am

      Thank you 🙂

  22. December 23, 2013 12:05 pm

    You should be really proud of this dress. It’s beautiful!!!!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 24, 2013 9:15 am

      Thanks Stephanie!

  23. December 23, 2013 4:48 pm

    Oh, this is gorgeous! I love the details on the bodice and back. And four toiles – I admire your dedication!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 24, 2013 9:17 am

      I came so close to giving up – I thought I’d never get the front right! Glad I carried on with it now though 🙂

  24. December 25, 2013 6:07 am

    This is fabulous! Great job! This really looks amazing!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 26, 2013 10:23 am

      Thanks Sonja 🙂

  25. December 26, 2013 2:06 am

    Very cool! I love the front gathers.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 26, 2013 10:25 am

      Thanks. The front was the trickiest part to get right fitting-wise!

  26. December 29, 2013 7:48 pm

    What a fabulous dress. The fit is perfect and the style really suits you.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      December 29, 2013 10:08 pm

      Thanks Sandra. I am very pleased with it. I need a wedding to go to now!

  27. January 3, 2014 11:24 pm

    It’s amazing!! I recently finished my second self-drafted dress, so I can only guess how much work went into this one! It is absolutely stunning. So many details and they all go very well together and the fabric matches the pattern perfectly. I especially love the cut out back, which is even more amazing knowing you can wear a bra underneath. Absolutely wonderful!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      January 4, 2014 12:01 am

      Thank you so much. It definitely was tricky but a brilliant way to learn more and gain confidence. Oh and wearing a bra – very important to me!!! 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. Little Red Riding Hood/Big Bad Wolf reversible play cape | Thread Carefully
  2. Tabatha’s Top 5 Hits and Misses of 2013 | Thread Carefully

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