Tag Archives: the magic flame

Upstage gown draping

Well also my Magic Flame inspired bodice πŸ™‚

This is my Magic Flame inspired gown, I may actually have enough to make both gowns, but hey.

I’ve been using 1920s appropriate fabrics (silk charmeuse lining, silk velvet shell) and techniques (which are just weird, really weird. I have an entire post dedicated in my mind about the weirdness!

It’s kind of even weirder than bias as it’s not bias and it’s not based on a system.. it’s just.. weird.


So this was a nightmare, but I have the shell mounted to the lining and a lovely cotton tulle border πŸ™‚

Next up I decided to use my pink crepe intended for draping to actually drape πŸ™‚

The skirt front is an inverted V which helps with shaping (as per my last blog post) but it’s not the most flattering of options so I have decided to use the top most line of the feather details to hide a hip level seam.

So this means the entire front is cut in one and all shaping is achieved through the points at the side of the bodice. I am also using the photos of the back of the gown as a guide- I prefer how they appear to sit further around the side of the ribs.

I started by pinning the fabric to the CF line. This is the anchor for all the stretch and all the shaping. The second anchor is the hip, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll manage to keep the hip seam nice and horizontal and on the grain but that is the aim.

I then pinched a dart from the side hip to the side of the bust point. This is based onΒ Draping a Magic Dance Frock, and Art in Dress. In Art in Dress there are a few bodices where shaping is achieved with darts or slashing at the side waist.

Detour for obligatory helping photo.

I then started to push the excess fabric at the side waist up to smooth the fit over the lower front. ANd then cut the fabric close to where I wanted the upper arrow shape to sit.

There is a bit of guess work in draping and I know I will have to try this again, my cut is slightly misaligned.

A lot of shaping relies on the seam allowances to be cut to allow the fabric to ease into and around curves. However once you cut the fabric it of course spreads and can spread further than you expect. This is especially true when using the natural stretch of woven fabrics.

Even pinning from one direction will pull the fabric off line.

Just a little further smoothing and easing.

By this stage I decided I really should have put in the straps that appear at the back of the gown as these are very not stretchy and need to be more accurately tested.

After a bit of adjusting I was happy with the shape and curve and used the excess fabric at the shoulder to drape the shoulder arrow.

So yes, my side arrows are slightly uneven. But tidying that will be in my next test pattern. It will be fluoro-green charmeuse.

And finally I tested my half circle skirt to see where I could arrange skirt flare. I think I’ll actually cut the back on a slight diagonal as there will be a seam there anyway.


The shaping is quite pronounced!


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