Designin’ December…sounded like such fun when I saw it on Linda of Nice Dress Thanks I made it site. Find a designer garment that you like but wouldn’t buy and COPY IT !!
What I particularly liked about this dress was the raglan sleeves, the wrap front, the velvet, the tassels and the general bathrobe glamour, but at £500, way out of my league.
So, how to set about it. The style looks quite straightforward so I thought it would be easy to find a pattern to use to make my copy. Well, no….There are lots of patterns out there with one or more elements but none with all of them. I even made a spreadsheet…
But nothing ticked all the boxes. In the end I decided to use two patterns, McCall’s 6959 for the fact that it is a true wrap dress and it’s fitted into the waist
..and V8825 for the raglan and balloon sleeves
I was pretty pleased with myself and this pattern combination until I came to cut out the Vogue pattern. The sleeve is actually a two part sleeve with the front being raglan and the back being a wide kimono. I really don’t think this would work with my velvet as the nap on the back sleeve would be running in two different directions and additionally I do not want a seam running the length of the sleeve. Very disappointing. I should have examined the back of the pattern envelope a bit more carefully but even then I’m not sure I would have spotted these specific problems.
Back to the drawing board quite literally. Taking the straight sleeve from the McCall’s pattern as a block and Winifred Aldrich’s metric pattern cutting book for direction I made a single piece raglan sleeve adaptation.
So now I had a narrow raglan sleeve. Again using the same book I followed the instructions for widening the sleeve and came up with this..
..which I made a pattern piece from and then made toile of the bodice. Unfortunately this method of spreading the sleeve resulted in there being too much fabric at the shoulder making me look like Superman. I have reverted to the original narrow raglan sleeve but just widened it by 8cm either side of the bottom of the sleeve and drawing a straight line from there to the armpit which has resulted in a silhouette much nearer to that of the original Jagger dress.
So I am now ready to cut out my velvet. I haven’t sewn with velvet before so I have been watching lots of tutorials and gleaning tips where I can. My tassels are still in transit from China. 1 month and counting so I may have to go with a plan B on those.
Wish me luck !