Sunday, June 9, 2013
A favorite look of the 1960's, this is a graceful silhouette that traces the curves of the body with seams instead of darts. We can also introduce as much or as little fullness down from the hips to create a flirty, bouncy or even slinky effect, depending on the design, the time of day or the fabric.
We begin with the basic bodice. Trace onto graph paper. Make a line from the tip of the dart to the mid-point of the shoulder line (a). In reality, we could make this line to the mid-armhole or the midpoint along the side seam. But today I have chosen to make my princess line extend from the shoulder. Cut along this line just shy of the bust point. Tape the CF along a vertical line on the graph paper. Cut half the waist dart away, then swing the left side of the front bodice to close. This will create an opening at the shoulder where you slashed the pattern (b). Draw arrows indicating the straight of the grain (very important) on both the bodice part which is closest to the CF line (now the "Front Bodice") and draw another arrow that runs along the vertical lines of the graph paper on the piece closest to the side (now the Side Front). Cut away what's left of the waist dart. The front bodice is now in two parts.
Today, however, we want to create a princess line dress. For that we will need to prepare the basic skirt bodice. Trace off onto graph paper. From the tip of the waist dart, draw a vertical line down to the hem. Cut away your dart. Label each part and be sure to indicate the straight of the grain arrows. Repeat for the back pattern.
I want a flare skirt so, at the points where the dart tip was on each point, I swing the side of the skirt in identical amounts. In the case of the purple dress, this is 1/2 inch at each point. (The blue dress is only 1/4 inch). The front and the back skirt panels only swing out on one side. The side front and the side back swing out on both sides.
You can alter the look of this pattern by introducing as much fullness or as much length as you'd like. Try a strapless version by cutting the top of the pattern away from armhole to armhole.
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