04 August 2014

Pattern Puzzle - Tuck and Panel Dress

Our fans made quick work of the #PatternPuzzle on Saturday morning.   In the end they realised that most of the design detail was on the back of this garment with the front remaining quite clean.

Using a fitted dress block or similar, trace out half front and half back block with side seams facing.

  1. Lift the neck point up and away from the neck and extend the shoulder line into a cap sleeve.
  2. Shift the front waist dart 2.5cm (1") toward the side seam and draw in the princess panel line, armhole to hem.
  3. Mark the position of the large tucks on the CB line, marking them evenly, spaced above and below the waistline.  
  4. These tuck positions then have radiating lines towards the side seam to indicate the direction of the drape.
  5. At the side seam continue these lines across the side front panel to meet the princess line.
  6. Add extra flare the the CB line and panel seam of the back pattern piece.

  1. Lift the Centre Front Panel pattern piece, placing the bust dart shaping in the panel seam.
  2. Cut along all radiating lines in back and side front panel.
  3. Fold out all darts and side seam shaping before opening up on the CB seam for the extra fabric needed to make the tucks a decent size.  
  4.  I would want a minimum of 6-8 cm (2 ⅜ - 3 ¼") in each tuck.  
  5. In this case the tucks are facing down the CB seam.  You can choose to have your tucks facing down or up on the CB seam.  It will not alter the fit of the dress, only the appearance.
  6. Remember to add the extra flare to both sides of the large patten piece near the hem.

  1. The final pattern has the Centre Front Panel cut on the straight grain and the Back and Side Back pattern piece cut on the bias.  
  2. On the back pattern the grain line has been placed to coincide with the direction of the drape in the design.  By that a I mean the bias grain is working in the same direction as the drape.

We are clearing our schedule for the next two weeks to work hard on catching up with all our sewing.  We love the #PatternPuzzles but we would love them more if we could wear them!

Let us know in the comments section if you have any questions from todays post.  
We love to hear from you.  :)



  1. I do love your pattern puzzles. But I prefer to read your Monday posts because I can never figure them out.
    It's kinda like reading the last chapter of a book and the reading the whole book, once I know the ending:))

    1. That is a delightful way to look at it. I'm pleased you enjoy the posts. :)

  2. How is the front shoulder dart dealt with?

  3. Hi Emily, thanks for getting in touch. If you look at the pattern development you'll see the dashed line where I've closed the shoulder dart, through the bust point and it's left a little ease on the panel seam in the bust area.

    Then look at the final patterns and you'll see I've notched around the bust area to keep that small amount of ease in the right place when sewing. If the panel seam is pressed well you won't even notice that ease. Just a small move to shift the panel seam off the exact bust line for a slightly more attractive fit.

    Let me know if this explanation clear or not. Happy to answer your questions. :)

    1. That makes sense, thank you! I think I'm going to give this one a try, if I can find the right fabric :)

    2. That's sounds great Emily. For fabrics I'd be looking for a finely woven (good for bias) fabric with stable weave for this dress. Almost any fibre in a finely woven would work; cottons, linen, silks, wools and polyesters. Not so sure about rayon weaves? Good luck and feel free to ask questions. I'm always happy to help. :)