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Tutorial 16. Decorating the Dress with Drapes.

Tutorial 16. Decorating the Dress with Drapes.

I have decided to narrow the dress before draping it. I will narrow it down towards the bottom by just 2cm from each side and make a slit in the central seam at the back. It will not affect the outer look of the dress so much but it will definitely make it more graceful and elegant.

I take the side front pieces of the dress, step 2cm inwards from the edge at the bottom, draw a line going from the hip line to the bottom edge, and cut through the line.

The same adjustment needs to be applied to the pieces of the back: both the lining and the face. It is best to do it right now, while the pieces are still pinned together with the paper patterns.

I step 2cm inwards at the bottom of the side seam on the side back pieces. I draw a line that starts at the hip line and stops 6cm above the bottom edge and I cut through the line.

I take the central back pieces and make a notch to mark the level of the slit at the back, 23cm above the bottom edge (including the seam allowance and the turn up).

It's time to start draping the dress, i.e. sewing decorative stripes onto its front half.

But first I need to prepare the stripes themselves. I fold each wide stripe in half lengthwise, stitch it down along the longer side, and whip the raw edges. Each ready strap is 16cm long.

I have also serged the bottom edge of the front half of the dress.

I have some fusible web at hand. Fusible web and other similar materials are perfect for securing such stripes in place. Later, when all stripes are placed where they should be, you can secure them additionally by stitching.

Let us return to the front half of the dress. Remember that the side with the pressed open seam allowances is the face.

I measure about twice the length of one stripe. My piece of fabric is not enough for three stripes.

I iron the stripe.

And I fuse some web onto its reverse side. I use a 1.5cm wide strap of paper-back fusible web. It will help secure the drapes on the dress.

Next, I need to mark the location of the first stripe. As you probably remember, the dress is supposed to be 60cm long. I cut it at 56cm but then it got shorted because of the serged edges. Moreover, the fabric may have "shrunk."

I measure the length of the skirt. It is 55cm. I obviously need to add another 5cm, i.e. the strap should go beyond the edge of the dress by 5cm.

I wait for the fusible web to cool down and remove the paper backing from the area about as long as the decorative stripe. I draw a line 5cm from the other edge of the stripe (in other words, I mark the border of the visible part of the stripe).

I align the bottom edge of the dress with the line marked and fuse it on in place.

I trim the sides of the stripe.

And I turn the garment right side up. The stripe is right where it should be!

The next stripe should overlay the first one by 2cm. I mark it from both ends.

I remove the paper backing from the fusible web and put the second stripe down as marked.

I fuse it on with the press-iron. The stripe is secured in place now.

Now I can turn the second stripe back and sew the first stripe on. Next, after fusing on the third stripe, you will be able to sew on the second one, etc. All these stripes will be secured on the dress following this algorithm.

Now I need to trim the second stripe at the sides. It is best to do with after turning the garment onto the other side.

You can also fuse the bottom edge of the dress to the stripe the same way.

I turn the bottom edge back and fuse a piece of web onto the stripe.

And then I remove the paper backing from the web.

I put the bottom edge of the dress back in place and fuse it on.

But I also need to add some decorative lace elements.

Let's mark the placement of these lace insets. I will pin them on and trim the excess.

When you use lace for such decorative purposes, make sure it is not only very delicate and ornate but also double-faced. In this case, your fabric consumption will be very efficient.

If you want these lace triangles to look identical from both sides, you should make sure to place them symmetrically. Keep checking it with the help of a measuring tape.

I trim both triangles at the sides and remove the excess of fabric at the top of the second one.

Let's prepare the third stripe.

I take the rest of the fabric and tear a 32cm wide strap of required length. Then I fold it in half lengthwise, stitch it up along the long edge, serge it, and secure it in place with the help of fusible web just like before.

Now I will put it all on the dress-form and add the same kind of “drapes” in the area from the hip line to the under-bust line. The area which starts at the hip line is particularly curvy, so you need to arrange the stripes with the garment on the client. And in our case the dress-form imitates the client's body.

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