The Joan dress pattern construction
I started work on the Joan dress for the mad man competition. I'm seriously doubting weather I will be able to finish it before the deadline, but school has been enormously busy lately. This is how I adjusted the basic sloper pattern I made earlier to make the Joan dress I discussed in the construction drawing post earlier this month. I made some photo's during the process, but since it's usually a lot of trial and error for me I doubt I can show you guys a really clear step by step tutorial on how to draft this dress for yourself. I have jet to make a muslin for this project but I will be sure to add any changes I need to make to this description later on.
note: I did do a muslin before publishing this. I made a lot of changes mainly because I had the waistband marked to low at first and because my side seams where off by two cm. A mistake I made in my sloper pattern but only caught up on while making the muslin. This caused a lot of trouble to get right the second time. But the good news is If you get it right the first time it won't trouble you at all. I will add the pictures to this tutorial after finishing the dress.
If you want to do this process for yourself just follow the steps I discus below. Be sure to copy your basic sloper and all of it's construction lines first.
The back of the dressI like to add all of the horizontal lines in my construction drawing first before manipulating any darts or existing construction points. That way I can separate the pattern pieces before changing them. I started out by deciding where the waistband should go. I decided to place it evenly around the waistline and make it 5cm wide. I marked this on a my dress sloper (not the original) and just drew a straight line parallel with the waistline 5cm above the waistline.
Next I checked the length of the dress and figured that I needed some extra cm to get it to the right just over knee length. I measured my waist to length of skirt measurement from scratch and simply added the extra cm at the bottom.
The last horizontal line in the back of the dress is the yoke. I wanted it to curve in a little and start somewhere halfway up the armhole. I took the existing construction line of the with of back measurement and measured 2 cm up from there. I then connected these two points with a French curve, intersecting the very tip of the shoulder dart. This makes the adaptation somewhat easier.
I then cut out all pattern pieces along these horizontal lines. Separating them into a back bodice, back of waistband, back skirt and back yoke.
Manipulating the back dartsLet's start with the easier pattern pieces. For the yoke I just folded the dart shut and taped that down. Since the dart separates the whole part in two I didn't have to do anything else. I did the same for the waistband, making sure that I left in all of the required room. That means I only folded in the dart parts that crossed the entire pattern piece vertically.
Next came the back bodice. I wanted the dart to start in the middle and go up at an angle in the direction of the shoulder blades. I drew the new dart line I wanted in and cut the pattern open along this line and along the original dart line. I then just taped the original dart shut as precisely as possible. The new dart automatically opens up the required space.
The most difficult part of the back of the dress is the sunburst pleated skirt. I wanted some special details here that would mirror the pleats in the front dress but at the same time elegantly stress the female shape. I drew in several pleats with varying lengths. To get these onto a pattern I first figured out where I wanted the pleats to go and how long I wanted them to be, this process is arbitrary. I made the middle pleats longer and matched them to the new darts in the back bodice. I then drew in two shorter pleats in a sunburst pattern, experimenting a bit to see witch lines pleased me the most. After doing that It's smart to mark these lines clearly and mark where you want your pleat to end. Since these pleats are meant to add a little extra fabric you will have to cut them open beyond that point. I cut them all until the hip line and then cut them loose again. I put all these pattern pieces on top of some pattern paper and started tracing around. I started piecing the pattern together adding the extra fabric I wanted in between the ends of the darts. (1cm). I did this by laying out the pieces and shifting them around. The pattern pieces shouldn't overlap at the hip line or your pattern will be ruined. You have to move the pattern piece up to solve this. The finished piece should look something like this.
Front of the dressThe front of this dress is tricky in all of its simplicity. Lets start with the easy parts. Mark of the waistband as before 5 cm on top of the waistline. Lengthen the skirt by the same amount as you did in the back. Decide on where the front yoke should go. This is a bit tricky since the shoulder dart is in the way now. Draw a line from where you think it should go to the dart. At the angle you want. Measure from the shoulder along the dart line how much you have taken away. Measure the same length on the other side of the dart and mark that point. Draw a line from this point to where you think the yoke should end. Cut these parts out and paste them together along the dart line. Add the front yoke to the back yoke at the shoulder seam.
Fold the darts of the waistband shut and tape them down. Add front and back waistband together by putting the points of the pattern together and adding some extra room where the side seam would normally go. Trace around this entire piece and tape together at the right seam.
The skirts construction is very similar to the back skirt. Just close the original dart and mark of the pleats. The only difference between back and front is the placements of the darts (at regular intervals in the side half of the pattern piece, at a slight angle and 2.5 cm long. I also added 1cm of fabric in between the darts and cut these open rather far. Folded open the pattern and taped everything in place.
The front bodice is the most complicated part of the dress. The collar is really defining for the cut and the pattern needs a lot of adjusting. I changed the original darts first and then started worrying about the collar. I simply increased the height of the original vertical dart so that it reaches slightly beyond the bust point. I then cut both darts open and closed the top dart, taping it shut. The new dart is a wider version of the original dart.
For the right part of the collar I drew the neckline down by hand in a way I thought resembled the picture. I messed this one up hugely first time around. I recommend using a sewing dummy with the sloper pattern lines visible on top of it while trying to judge this. You will have to go reasonably low since the collar will otherwise smother you. I'll add a picture later of this pattern piece with the Original sloper neckline, my first and my corrected neckline. I just drew this on my muslin while fitting and transferred to the pattern later on. It's still in a curve that is sort of pointed.
If you have drawn in the neckline you can now measure the length of the collar. just measure along the line you drew with your tape measure curved. Do not forget to add the yoke part of the neckline twice since that's cut on the fold. This will be the width of your collar pattern. For the height you will need to decide the look of your collar yourself. If you want a 5 cm collar you will need this twice and a standing piece of 4 cm twice as well. this was much to much collar for me so I took it down 1.25 cm on all of these measurements for my second sloper. Write these measurements down somewhere, we have to make the front collar piece first.
the front collar flap is a rectangular extension of the Original bodice. extend the bodice piece until the fold. this is until the left bust dart for me. draw a line perpendicular to the bottom of the bodice and up. decide where you want the folding point. this is more or less at the same height as the darts. (You can just draw a line from the tops of the darts till the side to determine this point. connect this point to the start of the shoulder and draw a square with this line as a diagonal. If you used this pattern you would just have a straight flap. looking at the picture however the fabric is folded over and the collar extends into the front flap. to get this effect measure up half of the collar height measurement you took. (so if you did 5 cm and 4 cm stander you would have 9 cm here.) square this of and make a rectangle on top of the square. the collar will connect to this flap on the straight line from shoulder to the top. The only thing you need now is a facing for this part (since if it flaps over you would normally see the wrong side of the fabric. put a piece of pattern paper on top of the pattern you just drew. copy the lines of the rectangle and the shoulder. Decide where you would like the facing to end along the shoulder seam. connect this to a point you choose along the bottom of the bodice. I took the dart placement since then I can connect my pattern piece to the left bodice part. In a subtle way. tape the rectangle you drew for the collar to this piece at the left vertical line of the rectangle, connected to the shoulder. you should have half of the collar piece taped to the rectangle and half of it sticking out of the top.