Draping Technique used is from 1947 book, Precision Draping by Nellie Weymouth Link
I have finally resolved the issues with the skirt darts. The best fit is achieved by angling the darts towards the side seam. This means that they are slightly off grain. I was surprised that this solution worked but the fit over my abdomen is very smooth. The dart length is also shorter than if they are positioned on the straight of grain.
I found it impossible to work with one large dart for the back of the skirt. When the dart intake is greater than 3/4 of an inch the dart has a very sharp point and does not look flattering over the part of the body is rests on. For those skirts in Precision Draping that must have only one dart in the back, such as when making flares, I will think of a workaround when the time comes. Right now I have selected a very simple style I can use my new skills on.
Style Chosen: Late 1940s straight skirt and short kimono sleeve blouse
This skirt is a late 1940s, post-New Look style. You can tell because the hemline has dropped from the knee length skirts of the WWII era to the mid-calf length that was to dominate after 1947 due to Dior’s New Look. The Pencil Skirt as we know it today, with its straight tapered line below the hips and it’s noticeable curve along the hipline, would not be developed until the mid-1950s. The 1940s straight skirt had more walking ease thanks to a slight flare at the hemline. The side seam lacks the more pronounced curve of the Pencil Skirt and is therefore kinder to many figure types.
While this isn’t an exciting skirt and blouse it is a good starting point to apply many of the principles from Precision Draping. I want to use them as much as possible to achieve a fit and style as close to the late 1940s as possible.
My first drape of the blouse and skirt
I do not like how form fitting the blouse on the pattern illustration is. Since I am smaller on the top I need a more blousy effect to balance out the fullness of my abdomen and hips. The collar on this blouse attracts the eye upwards. A belt made with the same fabric as the skirt will reduce the size of my waistline in relation to the upper torso.
To control the fullness in the blouse I will use a hip yoke to sew the bodice into. The yoke gets tucked into the skirt and keeps the blouse neatly in place.
The bodice of the blouse was draped using the standard bodice with armhole. That drape in turn was transferred to paper and a short kimono sleeve drafted onto it. Precision Draping combines draping and flat patternmaking. This is not as difficult as it sounds. Anyone with knowledge of making pattern alterations will have the skills to take the next step if they stick to a simple style.
Kimono sleeves can use a lot of fabric when draped. Using this technique by drafting them onto the draped bodice saves on muslin.
Photo of the drape of the blouse and hip yoke pinned onto the form.
Front of straight skirt pinned in place over the blouse. This kind of checking is very important to determine if more ease is needed. That adjustment can be made when transferring the drape to a paper pattern.