22 July 2013

Pattern Puzzle from CarmencitaB

This week's Pattern Puzzle Story:
Last week I received an email from CarmencitaB regarding a slightly tricky pattern she has been puzzling with for a little while.  So I love a challenge and the results are in this post.

On Saturday

Firstly some picture references (from CarmencitaB) for the direction we are going in:

The style is a waisted shirt-dress with an interesting wrap detail at the waistline.  It is the wrap detail that requires our time and attention.  

After reading Carmencita's post the first thing I noticed was that the pattern had no bust darts.  A quick production sketch often helps me work my way through the detail of the design.

  So I decided to start with my fitted dress block and see how much wrap I could get out of the darts.  By that I mean closing the bust and waist dart into the front style/fold line on the pattern.

For the waist drape to fold and tie, while still being able to button through as you would expect on a shirt dress, the fold has to be much deeper than the amount supplied by the two darts.

A few rough calculations and a guess or two later and I think I need at least 22cm in width of waist wrap to make this style work.  So I slashed the bodice along the middle of the dart straight through to the armhole to gain this extra fabric.

Then to tape some paper in place to fill-in the extra fabric for the waist wrap.

To get the correct shape on the outside edge of this particular pattern piece It has to be folded in two stages.  First fold the extra fold/fabric closed to the armhole.

Then secondly fold the dart allowance closed to the bust point only.
Trim away the paper on the waist line while all the dart and extra fabric area is closed.

Now you can see the unusual shape created by this fold on the outside edge of the pattern at the waist.

In the picture below I have shaded the wrap fold areas to distinguish the dart allowance from the extra fabric added.  We will need this information when we finalise the pattern and have to achieve the correct wrap matching the folds and the outside edge of the pattern.

Here I have made a clean copy of the pattern, including the shading and labelled that unusual shape at the waist to make it a little clearer.
Now you can see the stitching line (outside edge) of the pattern ( no seam allowances have been added at this stage).  Please note the two most important notches where the wrap comes out of the waist and crosses over the front strap buttoned opening.  The  lower edge of the wrap is bagged out when you insert the 5cm strap.

Of course this photo tutorial only deals with the front bodice pattern and not the rest of the shirt dress pattern.  However if there is enough interest (comments, shares, etc) I am happy to attempt to demonstrate the rest of the drafting required to finish this pattern.  Just let me know.  :))
Please ask questions, I'm sure I haven't got all the detail right yet!

So Carmencita, I hope this post is useful, let me know if you have any questions, and we all are looking forward to seeing the results!

For anyone new to this blog have a look at our website and see what Studio Faro is all about. 


  1. My first muslin had a bust dart, but I got rid of it. You do not want to see the first draft!
    Thank you so much for helping me with this.

  2. Very clever. I live in Sydney and must come to one of your workshops.

  3. Very happy to help Carmen. I really do love pattern challenges. Spread the word, I am going to solve followers pattern dilemmas every week. Sketches posted to the facebook page will be considered. Enjoy your pattern making. :)

  4. Hi Gail. Love to see you here at a workshop. What's your favourite thing to make when you are sewing? The next batch of workshops are coming up in late September and early October. If you subscribe to the website you will get the weekly email updates. http://www.studiofaro.com/contact
    Thanks for dropping by and have a great day! Sun's out! :)

  5. This is very clever and informative. I'm now tempted to draft something like this. Further instructions would be very much appreciated.

  6. Hi PP, Thanks for the lovely comment. Off to write some academic stuff this morning. Will most likely get a chance to have a go at the full pattern this weekend.

    Do you catch the Patten Puzzle from our facebook page on Saturday morning? There is a lot of fun to be had guessing with the other fans. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Studio-Faro/464204903600087
    Speak soon....A

  7. Just a quick follow up to let you know that I have not forgotten your request. I am currently working on the full set of pattern notes. Hopefully complete by the end of the week. :) Will keep you posted.

  8. Finally the full details of the pattern are posted today - http://studiofaro-wellsuited.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/pattern-puzzle-and-follow-up-to.html Enjoy :)