23 December 2013

Pattern Puzzle - Paper Twist Tunic

We know this is an insanely busy time of year and would like to send a huge thank you to everyone who dropped by on the weekend for our #PatternPuzzle.  The shape below is what greeted our fans on Saturday morning on our FB page.

Below is my trade sketch as best interpretation of the pattern with the intention of cutting this tunic in a light papery taffeta to hold the sculptural effects of the twist.

If you'd like to learn my method for creating Twist Drape Patterns I have a detailed worksheet for making Jersey Twist Patterns. For just a few dollars you'll get the same training you'd get if you came to the workshop in my studio.

 Taffeta is also a good candidate for this single twist style as we have to show the wrong side of the fabric.   That means the fabric needs to be the same in appearance both sides.

In the Pattern Plan below I've used a women's fitted dress block to develop this style in an attempt to achieve a nice body fit with dart transfer and to work well with the fabric choice.  You can see by the drape lines in the plan that I hope to work the front and back together.  There is one seam in this pattern from the left shoulder leading diagonally across the body into the twist drape at the right hip. And one only side seam on the right side of the body.  The red dashed lines are the pattern adaptations for the drape.  The additional green line is an alteration after toile and fully detailed below.

Because this was a slightly confounding style I cut myself a baby toile just to check my ideas.  Immediately you can see the side seam is twisting toward the front, pulled by the twist in the tunic.  The green line alterations on the Pattern Plan above show the straightening of the side seam. 

The diagram below shows all the pattern pieces opened up to introduce extra fabric for the twist.  It is important to note the location of the twist and drape in the pattern and realise that this style is a single twist only before first sewing. 

The reason I have labelled this style a Tunic is that I am not sure exactly how high the twist will pull up the hemline.  If you would like this style as a dress be sure to make the original plan longer to allow for the pull-up in the twist.  I also believe that this idea would translate easily to a knit.

Feel free to ask questions either in the comments area below or by direct email.
Enjoy! :)


  1. I bought some old taffeta curtains at goodwill some time ago and didnt know what to do with them - I really want to test this pattern now! Doesn't it need a zipper?

    (I tried to locate this pattern on the new blog but didn't find it so I'm commenting here)


    1. Hi Julia. great to hear from you. I am still responding to comments here because it will take an age to transfer all the blog posts across to the website. I think the taffeta would be perfect for this one. The zipper can easily go in the side seam of the dress. Marked on last diagram. Sometimes these bias styles can pull on over the head. It's worth experimenting with. :)

  2. Hello, I'd like to make this tunic BADLY, but some of the pictures dont load and without them I can't just follow instructions. Is there any way you can take a look why pictures don't load? Or may be you can send me instructions with pictures - I'd be happy to pay something reasonable? anya.laur@gmail.com THANK YOU!!!

    1. Hi Anya, sorry you are having trouble with the pictures loading. Not sure why? They are all in the post and available. Do you have the RSS feed for this blog? If so all the detail should be automatically delivered to your computer, images and text. Btw new blog is on the website and that also has RSS feed.

  3. where is the ready dress?

    1. Thx for dropping by. I don't always make the sample. My blog offers the pattern making instructions for others to make for themselves. I am a pattern making teacher and that is the focus of the blog. :)