Usually when I'm putting my trend reports together, I don't always think about photographing the steps of how I make the dolly versions. So I admit, all of the requests for a tutorial on the Betsy Johnson dress that appeared during New York Fashion Week, caught me by surprise. Moreover, I created that dress by draping it directly on the doll. Not only did I have to take the dress apart to analyze what I had done, but I had to make a few changes so that I could better explain the steps AND...ensure that it would come out with the same success each time it is made.
There were two reasons, I think, this dress had a lot of appeal: the sexy, off-the-shoulder style and the striped fabric which always yields a dramatic result. My version and the dress on the catwalk are slightly different. I suspect the original was made from a silkier fabric than I had on hand. Moreover, the proportions of what resembles a peplum extending from the bodice, seemed to me would overwhelm the doll's little body. What I focused on was the bodice which crisscrosses the bodice with stripes and the skirt which appears to be made with a diagonal stripe (or, as we say, cut on the bias).
Samantha, who wears a black pinstripe version, is an older FR doll with a wasp waist. So for the remake, I chose an S.I.S. Barbie with a more "normal" body so that you can see this dress on a different silhouette.
Stripes are so much fun to work with. However, I would suggest that you make a toile from muslin or a cheap cotton to plan your look since this includes various changes of direction. It's is what I've done here. The finished version follows.
The top is a one-piece camisole, which I'll come back to. But let's start with a wrapped skirt that opens in the back.
1. The foundation of this skirt is the basic slim skirt. Cut it out as is then pin the pieces together. The front is in one piece.
2. Pin on the doll then cut away part of the front asymmetrically as shown.
3. Take another piece of muslin and wrap from side to side across the front, over the under skirt.
4. Smooth out along the side, matching it up along the side seam of the skirt back and what there is of the skirt front.
5. Pin down the side to your left.
6. Take the fabric and pull it up to the opposite hip, to form a soft pleat and pin.
7. You can introduce as many "drapes" as you want depending on the look you want to achieve. Here I've made a second pleat.
8. You can adjust the pleats as you go.
9. Here, I've introduced a third pleat.
10. Pin everything in place then mark the side seam as well as the placement of the pleats.
11. Mark the smooth side of the skirt at the side seam. Remove from the doll.
12. Remove the pins from the pleats and spread open.
13. Be sure to also indicate the fold line of your pleat as well as where it lands when closed. You will transfer these marks to the final fabric.
14. I decided to stop to check for fit. Then I also drew lines on my muslin to indicate the direction of my stripes (45%) to get an idea as to what my final garment might resemble.
15. Remove from the doll. Add a waistband. Note the direction of the stripes. Here's roughly what it will look like in the back.
16. Now let's design the top. I used this one-piece camisole (normally reserved for unwoven materials) because it serves as a foundation underneath the drape.
17. The sleeves are actually, tiny tubes made from squares roughly 2" (50mm) by 1 3/4" (45mm). Turn so that the seam in under the arm.
18. Cut a long strip of fabric (6 1/2"x 1 1/8" or 160mm x 42mm). Make a soft pleat at each end. Place it at an angle from the back hem then wrap around the top of the sleeve, pinning close to the arm on the body. Wrap over the bust, ending at the center back seam at the top of the camisole. Pin.
19. It should look something like this when you're finished.
20. Turn the doll to the back and trim away the fabric at the bottom so that it lines up with the hem of the camisole.
21. Repeat for the other side. But note: to our left, the stripes run horizontally. On our right the stripes run vertically.
22. Put the skirt on the doll to check. Here it is front to back. There is the pattern for the dress. Part is a flat pattern, part is draped. Remove from the doll, take it apart and create your paper pattern.
On your pattern, draw a line that is 45 degrees from your straight grain line. Your pattern pieces will lay on a slant against the fabric according to how you envision the movement of the stripes.
23. Of course, it's time to cut it out of our real striped fabric and put it together. Here you see the doll with all of the pieces laid out around her.
24. Again, I start by assembling the skirt. Stitch all darts closed, front and back. Sew the back of the skirt along the center back seam, leaving about an inch (2cm) for the opening.
25. The draped side of the skirt front is placed right side up above the abbreviated side up, also right side up.
26. Line them up along the side seams. Baste both fronts together.
27. Pin the fronts to the back together and sew.
28. Add the waistband. Your finished skirt should look something like this.
29. Prepare the sleeves. You can use a pencil to help you keep each tube in place as you sew. Tack each tube to the dress under the arms.
30. Take the top band and wrap around the bodice as shown above. Pin this band close to the body in the front and back of each sleeve.
31. Pin the bands at a couple points over the bust, especially where you need to secure to the bodice.
32. Remove the top from the doll and carefully begin stitching the band onto the sleeve. You want to use tiny stitches that do not show. Again, you can use a pencil as a base to sew the sleeve.
33. When stitching the drape over the body, make your stitches inside the drapes. Slide the needle between the layers so they won't show on the underside. Use tiny stitches.
34. Here is a close up shot of my stitching the sleeve to the bodice.
35. If you want to hide everything, you can add a (lightweight) lining. Sew only at the top and sides.
36. I've added a band at the bottom. Note the direction.
37. Press down. Fold this band in half horizontally and press.
38. Turn under the edges and tack in place over the lining.
39. The finished top looks like this.
Don't stop there. Working with stripes is a good way to build a dramatic collection of garments using simple patterns. Simply draw a line 45 degrees from your straight grain line.
Pictured here, the same jacket pattern I used for the previous YSL post!
Instead of fancy fabrics, think stripes for formal where. I've used the same striped cotton but when draped against a simple foundation, look at how elegant Kate's dress is. FYI...I created this dress using the technique found here.
All images and text property of Fashion Doll Stylist. 2015.
Follow us on Twitter: @FashDollStylist
Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/FashDollStylist
We're also on Pinterest: pinterest.com/FashDollStylist
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone