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Date Posted: 16:41:12 09/15/01 Sat
In the high-end solo dresses (Threads of Green, in particular), they add a small, 1" (approx) pleat in the top of the skirt right at the side seam to help the side panels face front instead of flattening out. I've been using the Irish Threads pattern for my daughter's school's dresses. It does not have this pleat and I'm wondering if it's simply a matter of adding an inch or so to the side seams and making a tuck, or is there some more advanced drafting technique required?
-Hopefully I can help. When I started making dresses 6 years ago, I just added what I needed to the waist to make a pleat. I also agree that a pleat is needed at the side seam to make the skirt sides face forward. I've tried making a skirt with no side pleat and it didn't lay right. The key to having the sides stand out, is getting a pattern that does not have a full circle skirt (Irish threads is the only one I know of), and to use stiff vilene and possibly boning. Pat sells both of these as well.
-I adjust the side panel piece as follows: Measure in about 1 inch at the top side seam and mark it. Then with a straight edge, mark down to the actual bottom side corner. This changes the angle of the piece and makes it stick out better, not so much falls into the pleat. I also use boning in the side panel along the bottom, from the side seam to the point where the pleat will fold. Hope this helps, I've tried alot of different things, and this works best for me.
--I'm not understanding either. If you're measuring in an inch at the top side seam, you are decreasing the waist measurement of the skirt, and moving the skirt side seam closer to the front (away from the side seam of the bodice.) Where do you make up the inch you moved in--at back side seams or center back? I'm not sure I can see how this would help. I see on many top-of-the-line dresses (ie. Threads of Green and Sciopa Rince) an actual pleat at the side seam, but am unsure of how it is drafted into the pattern.
---The inch lost comes out of the top portion of the pleat. It just changes the angle of the sides so they stick out more. I believe the new Irish Threads patterns are going to be doing something similar...from what I have heard on this board. I have also made a pleat at the side on some of the larger dresses I do. I altered a pattern using stiff felt and a dressmaker's dummy. It was just a matter of trial and error (lots of them).
-I have not had trouble getting my side panels to stick out. Just follow the instructions with the pattern and that will do the trick.
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