While browsing Pinterest, as you do, I came across a line drawing of a very elegant dress on and I immediately knew I wanted to have a go at drafting it for myself. It is the pocket drape dress designed by Anita, of studio faro. Subsequently I discovered her absolutely fantastic blog well-suited, where she very generously shares her considerable expertise in understanding how designs actually work. If you're interested in exploring and understanding pattern making then Anita's blog is totally brilliant; sure to inspire and motivate.
I'd previously measured and made a custom-fit darted sheath dress sloper for myself during my early explorations of Pattern Magic and I used this to draft my pattern, following Anita's guidelines pretty closely. I made a first test version using an old sheet. It worked, but well, ahem. I have to admit I looked less than chic in that thing. I think my drape was a bit of an epic fail.
However I decided I really did love the pocket, so I went with having the pocket on both sides. Also I fiddled about with the crossover neckline, put in a few random folds and made it asymmetrical.
The pockets are kinda hard to explain... they are inset into the side of the dress and have an extra piece which is part of but also sitting over the pocket, that extends into a flap hanging loose and free past the bottom of the pocket.
Working out how to construct the pockets was quite an enjoyable puzzle, and I really enjoyed the process of nutting out a way to put it together neatly! I don't know if my way is the way Anita intended for it to be made, but it worked out OK for me. I think :)
I've written my instructions at the end of this post, mostly for myself, if I ever want to make these pockets up again. Please be warned that they will probably not make sense to anyone not making up the pockets...
the pocket detail; underneath is a fully functional, 2-layer inset pocket
Subsequently I decided to go the whole hog and properly line the whole dress in the same creamy polyacetate. I used the same pattern for the lining pieces.
inside view; lining of side panel and inset pocketThe fabric is a rich cream, silk dupion, slightly slubby yet still with a subtly glossy sheen, and a decadently crinkly texture. I bought it at Fabulous Fabrics forever ago and it's been living quietly in my stash, patiently awaiting its turn. It had gone slightly yellow but I gave it a good wash and it came up lovely and fresh, seemingly as good as new.
So I like my dress. Well, it's OK. It was not easy, ahem! and I've decided my self-drafting skills are kinda rubbish. And even though I thought my muslin looked dreadful I have a sinking suspicion that maybe it was more interesting that way. I think maybe I could've stuck with the drape, hmmm. *sigh*
But I do love how the pockets look and I very much love that I have a nice fresh off-white dress to pop on for summer. So I will wear it very happily.
And now all I want to do is just leap onto some commercial pattern, already drafted up for me, ready to go, easy peasy, no thought required, neat and tidy like. Yeah.
The Pocket: feel free to skip this bit if you want.
So, you have the pocket detail, the pocket bag, the pocket bag lining and the pocket flap facing. Also the back side panel, front side panel and their lining pieces, which have the pocket flap facing allowance removed ...
Sew pocket detail and pocket bag R sides tog at top edge, turn, understitch.
Sew pocket bag lining to pocket bag, R sides tog at bottom edge.
Sew pocket flap facing to pocket bag lining R sides tog, press pocket flap facing up.
Sew back side panel and front side panel R sides tog at side seam, press open, repeat for panel lining pieces.
Sew lower edge of joined panels to pocket flap facing R sides tog, trim, clip side panel pieces into corners, turn pocket flap out, press.
Align and layer 3 pocket pieces together and baste tog at sides, clip into the SA of pocket detail at junction with pocket bag lower edge.
For the side panel lining; and this is where it gets a little more complicated...
the dress pieces need to be assembled except for the shoulder seams and keeping the lower part of the pocket detail free, and the dress lining assembled likewise, leaving out the pocket lining which is attached to the dress already, meaning there is a "hole" in the dress lining where the pocket lining should be.
Sew the dress to its lining pieces together at the underarm and neckline seams, understitch the lining as far as possible, turn; then the side panel lining pieces can be sewn to the upper pocket bag seam allowances on the inside, W side to R side. Clip into the corners, then the SA around the three remaining sides of the dress lining "hole" can then be stitched to the pocket lining seam allowances inside, R side to W side, between the dress and its lining.
The lower pocket detail edges are turned under and invisibly hemmed by hand.
All that might seem a bit convoluted, but trust me, if you are putting together the pocket it does work!