Last Saturday we all enjoyed a fab conversation about the #PatternPuzzle. As a bonus Julie's friend, Lynn Hoffman, shared a fashion history connection with our puzzle and an 1880's polonaise jacket. When posting the sketch of the puzzle I included images of the historic reference. It is interesting to see how Lynn made the pattern shape connection with the drape and waterfall of these historic garments.
The design for this puzzle is in fact 15 years old.I developed the design forecast project pictured below back in 1998. It was a delight to come across this ancient piece of design work and still find the ideas appealing. Not forgetting that they provided this weeks challenge in the #PatternPuzzle.
The image below is the one offered to our #PatternPuzzle fans on Saturday morning. It includes all the initial pattern pieces for the front of this design.
The pattern development work is based on a fitted dress block for woven fabrics. This block is available on the website - Womens Fitted Block Sizes 6-16. It features princess panels, a built-up neckline, wrap front bodice, distinctive pocket detail, asymmetric tucks and a waterfall drape. Quite a lot for one style and more likely too much for any reasonable commercial manufacture. In fact I think there are at least three different dress styles hiding inside this complex design.
The front pattern pieces featured below include the princess panels, CF panel with drape and waterfall and the left side wrap for the upper bodice area. Keeping the CF panel on the straight grain means the large tucks for the drape will fall on the bias getting the best results from the fabric. I have included some of the construction lines in the pattern to hopefully make the process clearer.
The back pattern pieces include the back left dress as one pattern piece featuring a princess line dart. The back right side of the dress with pocket feature (continued from the front) and princess line side body panel that ends as a pocket flap.
So this is where it may get a little sketchy in the instructions. Although I have all the pattern pieces necessary to make up the pocket and pocket feature there are some of the construction details that ever so slightly escape me. This sometimes happens with new features in a design. The best advice is to cut the patterns as best you know how, with the appropriate seam allowances and work it out as you make your first toile. In the patterns below I have joined several of the pocket pattern pieces together to give a sense of continuity from the front of the design to the back. What were side seams, now become darts.
In a couple of samples of my own design work I have been playing with this side front panel feature where the panel itself becomes the pocket flap. Kinda cute and tricky, and makes an interesting feature on the waistcoat pictured below. This idea is also included in our Creative Tailoring workshop that runs at least once a year at the studio, in Marrickville, Sydney. I hope to include this detail plus the additional pocket feature in this current design.
I would consider this a rather complex style to pattern cut and make and the instructions here will only take you to the first toiling/testing stage. If you have any questions please feel free to comment or send us an email. We love to hear from you.