Construction on Shell’s dress began with draping a very basic princess-seamed bodice, and with working out some very complicated sketches for a skirt design that gets fuller as it goes back and is made out of a chiffon fabric that isn’t bias-grain seam friendly.
I know. Most unexciting drafting photos ever.
The front of the skirt was a bit of a problem, because the fabric was quite narrow, and so drapey that seamlines cut on the bias tended to warp. I needed to find a way to make the skirt very full at the hem, without minimal seamlines across the bias of the grain, and within the narrow fabric width.
I drew up a few skirt front ideas:
I ended up going with an option not show: cutting a narrow-ish centre front panel, and then two wide side panels, which did leave me with two very tricky almost-bias side front seams.
The practical me said I should have gone with a 4th option: a half circle for the front. It wouldn’t have given quite as nice of a transition of fullness from front to back, but it would have given the minimum of seams, with no bias seams at all, which is a beautiful effect in its own right.
Since I did decide to go with evil, tricky, almost bias seams in a drapey, super lightweight crepe (almost chiffon) fabric I had to pull out every trick in the book to get them to lie nicely. I’ll post some of those tips and tricks on Wednesday.