Once you start to learn about pattern making, you tend to question every interesting outfit you see out there and you ask yourself if you can make it on your own. This project was a result of my curiosity when I saw this McQueen SS 2005 dress. How on earth can you twist the waist like that? The bigger question is that can I do it with flat pattern making?
I started brainstorming on how to achieve a simpler version of the twisted waist and incorporate that into a knit dress. I observed that when you twist the fabric, it becomes shorter. Therefore the pattern piece must be extended in some way. How about the side seams, where and how much do we move side seams to achieve this spiral draped look?
Before my brain started burning, I found the source of information in a Japanese book, which answered all of my questions. I am talking about, Patten magic Volume 1 by Tomoko Nakamichi.
Part 2 of the book focuses on incorporating different type of twists into the pattern. For the look I want to design, he suggests to add length both from the waist and from the hips. Therefore, I followed the instructions and added 3 cm down the waist and 5 cm down the hips.
The next puzzle is to move the side seams. The more twist you want to achieve, to higher you should move from the hip line. However, as the fabric twists, it can only stretch until its limit, then it tends to return to its original shape. Therefore, it is better to do some trial and error to find the optimum amount of twist for the choice of fabric. Here he suggest that the hip line should move to the opposite of the twist direction for 10 cm. In my pattern I only moved 8 cm, and I connected the new side seam up until armhole as illustrated below.
Once the pattern pieces are final, simply sew the shoulders and side seams together. I added a strong cotton ribbon inside to each side seam to strengthen the shape. After that, continue with finishes such as armhole and hem.
I am very satisfied with the result, and maybe one day, I can take this twist to the next level and try a more dramatic look, like McQueen 🙂
I hope you enjoy the project!
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