Draping My Mad Men Dress: Draping Tips

I decide it’s high time I made myself a bombshell dress!
It’s been awhile since I’ve made one of these little numbers, and with the approaching season of Mad Men,  I decided to design my own by draping it on my dress form. No flat pattern making.
I like draping much more than flat pattern making. Draping feels like sculpture, while flat pattern making feels boring, mathematical, and tedious to me.
Although Mad Men is now firmly ensconced in the late sixties, like Joan Holloway, I can’t leave the early sixties behind and want to make a tight, floral sheath dress like Miss Joan wears. 
If it’s not broken don’t fix it and Joan Holloway can work a tight sheath like nobody’s business. 
Below are some elements from dresses from the show that are inspiring me:
A tight floral dress with no waist seam.

A rounded neckline with elbow length sleeves

Again, bold floral!
This is my fabric. A large floral  stretch woven cotton I bought at Mood Fabrics in Hollywood.
I so love this.
When draping make sure you mark your crossgrain line and length grain line on each piece of fabric you are draping.
I followed my taped style lines and pinned the dart.
+++
I trimmed off all of the seam allowance. I will add it back later on my fashion fabric. For now, it’s in the way for me.
When draping a design it’s crucial that your cross grain lines and lengthwise grain lines remain straight on the form. Otherwise the dress will twist and be contorted, especially after you wash it.
But if you are draping a design on the bias grain that doesn’t apply.

Draping the inset waistband which I later decided to incorporate into my skirt design.
I am eliminating the waist seam above on my final design. It will be a high waisted skirt.

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-McKenzie

Comments

  1. Shannon says

    I love watching your process Justine. I prefer draping for the same reasons. It IS a lot like art. (You make it look so easy!)

  2. Sew Blessed Maw says

    Your fabric is gorgeous.. Love it. Can’t wait to see the finished product.. Draping looks so fun.. You make it look fun. Happy sewing.

  3. Marie says

    Wow, your fabric choice is incredible Justine…can’t wait to see this finished!!! Thanks for the tips and photos, I’ve never tried draping before, so this is really helpful!

  4. says

    thanks so much for the simple draping tips! I am the proud owner of a dress form I’ve had for over a year but am too afraid to try to use! This made sense to me, and I love the tips like adding the seam allowance later, taping your garment outline, and marking the strait and cross grains on your pattern fabric! Maybe I will be brave and try to make a simple shirt or skirt using your draping tips!

  5. says

    thanks so much for the simple draping tips! I am the proud owner of a dress form I’ve had for over a year but am too afraid to try to use! This made sense to me, and I love the tips like adding the seam allowance later, taping your garment outline, and marking the strait and cross grains on your pattern fabric! Maybe I will be brave and try to make a simple shirt or skirt using your draping tips!

  6. Claire Cooper says

    I can’t wait to see how you get on with it. i’ve never draped a pattern before, i’m definitely a mathematical type.

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