Following the lead of fashion icon Wilma Flintstone, I set out to make a one shoulder dress. There's something so appealing about all things asymmetrical, and I wanted to have a little fun with pattern drafting too.
Fabrication: This one-yard cut of a vaguely ethnic, striped batik comes from my mother's stash. We couldn't pinpoint an exact year of purchase, but we know it's been in hibernation for at least 10 years! I'm guessing it's either 100% cotton or it's a cotton/rayon blend. The fabric has a lovely drape and breathes well in the summer heat. It behaved very well during cutting, pressing, and construction.
I started with Wendy Mullin's book, Built by Wendy Dresses, a great jumping off point for light pattern drafting. She includes basic patterns for 3 slopers (sheath, shift, and dirndl). Once you fit the sloper to your body, then you can design yourself a dress based on the basic pattern. Fun! My dress is based on the loose-fitting shift dress with front bust darts. At first I thought I'd end up with something of a tent since the sloper relies on slight shaping at the waist and just 2 bust darts. But such is the beauty of a good shift dress. I worked up a quick muslin, made very minor fit adjustments, and dove right into drafting the one shoulder design. To get from the sloper to this version, here's what I did:
- Eliminated the sleeves
- Narrowed the shoulders by 1"
- Drafted a new neckline by removing the left shoulder of the bodice (front and back)
- Added an optional/removable, faced tie at the right shoulder
- Finished the neckline and armscyes with 1" bias strips
The shoulder sash is meant to add a bit of sass, but the knot makes it difficult to cover up with a jacket or sweater. The removeable sash should enable me to wear the dress with tights and a sweater into early autumn.
The dress is as easy to wear as it is to sew. It's perfect for summer because it isn't at all constrictive, and I hope to be sidewalk cafe-ing quite a bit this month!
D.J. Mary's Pick:
The Flintstones Theme Song
A bit of imaginary prehistoric nostalgia...the days before infant car seats, fuel-powered vehicles, and indoor movie theatres.