Finally a gown custom-made and draped just for me.
For the last assignment in my fashion design course we received a client brief with a request to design and create a Vietnamese inspired gown for the host of a pink ribbon evening gala event. The pattern had to be created from using draping techniques. We actually received 3 pages of information about the client… my client was a mature Vietnamese woman who was quite conservative but was game to push the boundaries a little.
This was my initial design idea… I know I’m not the best at taking my vision and putting onto paper but hopefully with practice I’ll get better at sketching!
I thought my design idea still had some Vietnamese traditional elements in it but also pushed the boundaries a little by exposing a little skin across the shoulders and in the back. I also didn’t want to have anything strapless and wanted ‘my client’ to still be able to wear a bra with her gown… strapless bras generally aren’t great for a mature fuller figured body with C+ cups as the girls tend to need a little additional support and lift than what a strapless bra can give… plus they don’t tend to be all that comfortable either. I wanted my ‘client’ to be comfortable as well as look great.
This was my mood board for inspiration to create my design
For this assignment I wished I had easy access to a fabric shops….. geez even one fabric shop would be a blessing LOL.
I would have loved to have bought a beautiful brocade and satin but instead I did a little fabric stash shopping as I have quite a bit of it and thought I might as well use up some of the fabric I already have…. then if I wanted to make this gown again I could buy some gorgeous fabric online as I’ll already have a pattern that’s been tried and tested and I know will fit me and my curves.
Changes made to initial design idea
The only change I ended up making from my initial design idea was the collar. Once I had drafted the collar and tried it on I really didn’t like how it felt… probably because I really don’t like anything up close around my neck.
Here’s a pic of the drafted collar made up in calico that I was initially going to go with… sorry it’s a pretty bad pic but the only one I had to share with you. I think it would have looked great on made up in the purple fabric but I know all too well what it’s like to wear something you’re not comfortable in so I knew I had to change it….
So I put my thinking cap on and thought…. Hmmm maybe I could add in more of my pink ribbon idea that I made for my zipper pull… isn’t it cute?
So with my idea of the pink ribbon I went ahead and changed my neckline and incorporated another pink ribbon.
After seeing the pics of me wearing the gown I noticed how my ribbon tails didn’t stay in place so I think I need to probably shorten them slightly and add a couple of tacking stitches to hold them in place.
Again if I had access to shops I would have bought a bigger diamonte buckle for the neckline as this one is just a bit too small.
Here’s a few more pictures hubby took for me bless his little soul….
Resources used to learn draping and to bring my design idea to life
My course reference material was the book
Draping: The Complete Course which was great and comes complete with a DVD and lots of step by step photos in the book and is really well laid out.
Even though I had this wonderful draping book I was still hungry to learn even more so I took full advantage of the draping classes from Craftsy that I had previously purchased and watched but hadn’t actually put into practice but I remembered how detailed Paul went into everything in these classes so I went back and watch both of them.
Fashion Draping: Dressmaking Basics <<<< Absolutely LOVE this class and highly recommend it!!
This was my main go to class for this assignment and Paul goes into to great detail and breaks everything down so it’s nice and clear. I learned how to drape everything I needed for my gown including the sleeves which are not actually draped but Paul shares a quick and easy way to draft a sleeve pattern and from there I drafted my sleeve pattern and then traced off my sleeve pattern and created the design I wanted for my gown.
If you really want to learn about draping I would also highly recommend this class as Paul goes into a lot of detail on draping your fabric on the bias. I watched this class all the way through again before I started my assignment.
My main go to class for this assignment was Fashion Draping: Dressmaking Basics even though I had watched the whole class through I just loved how I was able to just go back and watch the sections I needed as I was going along draping my projects and then finally my gown. I actually really would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to Paul as without his classes I can honestly say I probably wouldn’t have got a HD for my assignment.
I learned so many great tips from Paul’s classes including how to pin correctly…. check out the results in these pics of my pinning.
In the picture below I was practicing pinning princess seams for a shirt bodice.
In this picture I was actually working on draping the gown for the assignment and this is one of the pictures I submitted with my assignment. In our assignments we have to provide lots of photos as evidence of the process and progress taken during the assignment along the pictures of the final gown.
I fully lined this dress also including the sleeves. To help make the lining process a little easier I lined the sleeves separately and then lined the dress. It was kind of like making the dress for the 3rd time…. once in calico, once in fashion fabric, once in lining LOL.
Draped pattern pieces
After I had finished draping the gown on my form “Elle” I went ahead and stitched everything together and then tried it on and I was so impressed with the fit that I got I didn’t even have to make any adjustments to my toile… so I went ahead and unpicked everything and laid out all the pieces ready to trace off my pattern pieces.
What was great about making up this dress in calico was that I already knew exactly how it would fit. The only difference would be the drape in the fashion fabric would be a bit different to what I got when making up the dress just in calico. I would actually love to build up my draping skills and confidence and be able to drape directly with my fashion fabric as that sure would make the whole process a lot quicker but would also be a bit more nerve wrecking especially if using an expensive fashion fabric!
Oh how I loved this assignment and love draping!
I have to admit I absolutely loved doing this assignment and using my creative imagination as well as learning how to create patterns using draping techniques and as well as making something special just for me. Not sure when or where I’ll ever get the opportunity to wear this dress but at least I had a lot of fun making it and ended up with a fabulous gown that I’m proud to say I not only made it but I also designed it, created the pattern for it, and it fits me and my curves perfectly 🙂
Will I be making more clothes using my newly found draping skills and confidence?
You bet I will be! I just loved this whole process and truly loved doing this assignment…. and best part is I ended up getting a HD (High Distinction) for my assignment WOOHOO!
So what’s the next Assignment?
Unfortunately nothing as exciting as this one LOL… the current assignment I’m working on is a ladies classic tailored shirt. I’ve actually finished designing and making the pattern and sewn the shirt. I’m now working on the written part of the assignment and so as soon as I have finished it I’ll share what I created.
If you’d like to leave a comment below please do as I truly do love reading them and would love to know what you think of my Vietnamese inspired gown 🙂
Thanks for dropping by