Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Fitted Wrap Apron Dress--Construction Method

I am still binding the edge of my mantion, so there is nothing interesting to report on that project. For that reason, I have been seriously thinking about starting work on my fitted wrap-style apron dress, which should go much more quickly and be more interesting to write about. :-)

My planned construction method is simple (though of course that's no guarantee that it will work out the way I want it to). Here it is:

1) Figure out how long a piece of fabric I need to wrap around my body approximately one and one-half times (i.e., starting the edge near my right armpit, wrapping the fabric across my body to my left side, around my back, and across my front again, cutting off the excess fabric an inch or two past my left armpit). I intend to do the "wrapping" over the shift and tunic I'd like to wear with the dress, because I intend to wear the dress wrapped as tightly as possible.

2) Figure out how long I want the dress to be, and cut any excess off at the bottom. I usually like my apron dresses to be calf length (there's no archaeological evidence for the length of any apron dress, but that length looks good on me).

3) Measure the distance from the top of my hip to the bottom edge of the "dress". Let's call that length "A".

4) Figure out (if only by eyeball and guess) how wide the bottom of an isosceles-triangle shaped gore would need to be to give me adequate fullness at the hip level. Call that length "B".

5) Figure out where to splice three such gores into the long piece of fabric I've reserved for the dress. The idea would be to slit the fabric from the bottom edge up far enough to sew in a triangular gore with altitude equal in length to "A" and with the bottom of the triangle equal in length to "B". My current idea is to slit the fabric where it crosses each hipbone and place one full gore in each slit. Then, I would cut the third gore in half down the middle, creating two right triangles, and sew the long side (i.e., the side opposite the hypotenuse) of each half-gore to each edge of the dress.

EDIT: I'm also thinking about inserting at least one more gore in the center of the back part of the wrap, for extra fullness.

6) Re-wrap the dress to check for fit, and to ascertain where to put the loops. (The loop placement would probably be within an inch or two of the loop placement on my orange wrap around apron dress.)

7) Sew on the straps, hem the edges as necessary, and consider taking a few tucks where the fabric passes my waist.

8) I haven't decided whether I will decorate this dress, but if I do that will come last of all. Probably I will just apply a strip of trim on the topmost part of the wrap, between the places where the brooches will sit.

I don't pretend that this idea can be substantiated as having been used in period, or even to confirm that it is a plausible period design (though it shouldn't be terribly wasteful of fabric if I position the gores right). My purpose here is to see whether I can make a wraparound apron dress that doesn't look like a sack on my pear-shaped figure. Why not? I have nothing to lose other than the cost of the fabric and however much time it takes for me to do the necessary handsewing.

No comments:

Post a Comment