A Simple Dress

For a long time, I’ve wanted to dive deep into pattern making. I’ve been dabbling for quite a while, but now I’m hoping to begin making greater progress. Earlier this year, I drafted a new set of slopers after having outgrown my old ones. I used the European method as taught by Elizabeth Allemong in her self-published book European Cut. I have had wonderful luck with this method and highly recommend it to others! Now I am beginning to apply basic pattern making techniques to create style patterns. I’ve studied pattern making in school and through independent study, but for this knowledge to become practical, I have to apply it and learn from the experience. I’ve already run into issues that have led to learning through problem-solving! My goal is to really understand the relationship between 2D patterns and 3D fit and balance; it’s like studying applied geometry. This dress is my first garment made using my new slopers, and the style is very simple. The bodice is essentially my sloper with 2″ of ease in the bust and waist. The gathered skirt has a 2.75:1 ratio at the gathered seam. Making this simple silhouette gives me a reference for how this amount of ease looks and feels through the torso, and the skirt gives me a visual reference for this amount of gathering.

The fabric is a lightweight poly-cotton broadcloth I bought about 6 years ago. (Another goal of mine is to stash bust old fabrics!) I fully lined the bodice and used an invisible zipper at the center back. The bodice has front and back waist darts, bust darts, and shoulder darts. I’ve found that the ease in the waist is very comfortable when standing and walking, but when sitting, it feels tighter. I’m going to continue to observe the fit to verify the comfort and consider improvements.

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