Make It: Draft a Pattern for a Givenchy Inspired Rugby Dress
I will show you how I made my Givenchy inspired rugby dress. I got my inspiration for this design whilst on a shopping trip to Selfridges. Unfortunately I could never afford the real thing so I thought I would make my own version. I opted for a red, orange and teal colour block design made up of asymmetrical shapes. It will be a close fitting knee length dress with full length sleeves and will have a contrasting white over sized collar and button placket. For more on my design process click HERE.
How to make a Givenchy inspired rugby dress:
What you require:
- 3 x 1 m of jersey fabric. 1 m of each colour.
- 0.8 m of jersey fabric for the collar and button placket
- 4 x 100 m spools of thread to match the colour of the fabrics
- 6 x buttons
- Ball point needles
- French rule
- Tissue paper
Draft the Pattern:
Choosing your block:
The first thing I needed to do was to choose my block. As I was sewing with a stretch fabric I didn’t have to worry about the inclusion of zips or darts, which makes life a bit easier! A couple of months ago I received McCalls M6886 free with a copy of Love Sewing magazine. It looked like the perfect starting point as it was a plain close fitting jersey dress. There were no fancy design details such as gathering or pleats. Therefore, I wanted to use it as the block for my design. I selected view C for the body of the dress and used the sleeves from view B.
To convert a woven dress pattern to a dartless block: http://www.ikatbag.com/2013/05/dartless-sloper-version-22.html
Adapt the block:
1) Trace the pattern pieces for the dress front, dress back and sleeves on to tissue paper.
For the McCalls M6886, you only get a pattern piece for half the dress front and back. This is because it is designed to be cut on the fold. However, as my design uses assymetric shapes I need to have a pattern piece for the full dress front. To do this I traced one side of the McCalls pattern, fliped over my tissue paper over and drew the second half.
2) Amend the neckline on the dress front.
The pattern I was using had quite a deep neckline which wasn’t suitable for my dress as it wouldn’t work with the collar.
So to amend this I took my french rule and drew a shallow curve between the two shoulder points.
3) Create the colour block design for the front of the rugby dress
Following my design I sketched gentle curved lines on the traced pattern using my french rule.
I also sketched out the position of the button placket. I wanted mine to descend to my waist. It was 35 cm long x 4cm wide.
4) In areas where each colour block section join mark notches which can be used later to help assemble the rugby dress.
5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the sleeves and the back of the dress.
6) Cut out each of the pattern pieces.
To make your life easier when trying to assemble your dress keep those of the dress front separate from the dress back. As there will be a lot of assymetric shapes to rifle through!
I also numbered each pattern piece with a marker pen before I cut them out and took a photo so I had a reference point when trying to reassemble them.
You could also mark each piece with the colour fabric that will be used.
7) Add seam allowances to the pattern pieces.
As I was using a dress pattern as a block my side seam and hem SA were already included. However, I need to add SA to the edges where the colour block sections are joined.
8) Transfer any markings to your new pattern pieces and cut them out.
For information on how to draft the button placket READ HERE!
To see how to draft a lined patch pocket READ HERE!
I will be releasing a separate tutorial on how to draft the collar.
Make a toile of the rugby dress:
Before I cut into my fabric I decided to make a toile to check the positioning of the colour blocks. I wanted to check that lines weren’t positioned to highlight my bum etc. It was also a chance to practice fitting the collar and inserting the button placket.
Overall, the fit was pretty good. The sleeves were perhaps a tad too baggy and could be taken in at the underarm seams by a couple of cm. The collar was too short by about 4 cm so the pattern needs to be amended. Additionally, I wanted to make the front a mirror image as the pocket was on the wrong side.
Other than those minor changes I am ready to start sewing my rugby dress.
Have a read PART 2 to see the final dress!