Now that I have my custom pattern drafted, I will draft the sleeves after I do the final fitting in the sample fabric. I chose a Nicole Miller knit from Joann’s. I like the pattern but didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the first run. Plus if it turns out all right I can wear it. I don’t always finalize my patterns in tag or other stabilizer unless I really love them and use them over again several times. I don’t usually add seam allowances on the first draft because I might want to make changes and then I retrace with seam allowances if I am going to keep it. So I usually have to trace out the seam allowances and I found the greatest little tool to help with this. Plus you can use it on paper too!
I slightly shortened the armhole by raising the shoulder seam. This brought the bust up a little and made it fit better. I thought I was going to have to add ease for the next dress but it looks great and skims the body well.
Now that the armhole is finalized, I can draft the sleeve. I want a ¾ length sleeve for this dress. I start with my sleeve sloper and take out all the ease. I want the sleeve cap to match the armhole. I measured all the pieces of the dress and drafter the sleeve cap to match.
I love it when the sample turns out so wearable! I get a lot of compliments on this dress. I am also making a knit dress out of an ITY knit from Vogue fabrics. It will be part of my travel collection for professional conferences.
So now that I have a bodice sloper, I really wanted to make a wrap knit dress. I found a sample on Pinterest that I really liked. It was New Look 6429, which was out of print but I think I can mimic it pretty easily.
So first I trace my bodice sloper front, drawing in the princess seam style line to the cross front through the waist darts. I flipped over the front to extend it across the center. The center front is going to be a wrapped cross front, tying into the princess seams. I redrafted the neckline to slope across. I moved the shoulder line out from the high neck point ½ inch. I added notches to aid in matching the pieces.
Next I trace the back sloper and draw in the princess style lines and open the neckline out by ½ inch just like the front. I also eliminated the back shaping.
Then I manipulate out the shoulder darts. Suzy Furrer, in her pattern drafting book, describes doing these steps first before removing the ease and adjusting the pattern for a knit. I also manipulate out the bust darts and the waist shaping.
I flipped the front centerpiece over and traced it. Then I slashed and spread between the notch just below the bust and the notch just below the waist. The right front will be gathered into the princess seam. The left front will be underneath and only go to just below the waist.
Then I draw out the skirt on each piece by drawing out 24 inches from the waist. I wanted the hemline just below the knees. I also selected a point 2 inches below the low hipline where the skirt starts to angle out. I wanted it to skim the waist and hips then flare out at the bottom. I made the final hemline width twice the waist width on each piece. I may have to adjust this some for more flare.
Now I have to remove the ease on the side seams. Plus I checked the shoulder seams to make sure it matched. Now on to the sample!