oscarFeatured: Oscar de la Renta Tiered Gown

Among the occasion gowns, a tiered empire-waisted number is always a standout with its elegant double-ruffled flounce. In coral silk taffeta, it’s unmistakably Oscar.

You will need:

  • Approx. 4 ½ – 5  yds. [4.2 – 4.6 m] of fashion fabric, 60” [152 cm] wide
  • 1 dress zipper, approx. 15” [30 cm] long
  • Coordinating thread
  • Kraft paper

MEASUREMENTS

Bust – measure around the fullest part of breast, just under the arm.

Chest – measure around upper torso, just under the breast.

Waist – measure around narrowest part of torso, just above navel.

Back width – measure across shoulder blades from armhole to armhole.

Back waist length – measure vertically from nape of neck to waistline.

Dart Size = 2 ¾” [7 cm].  (This is an average bust dart amount for a B-cup. More or less darting may be taken, if desired.)

PATTERN

bodice draft 2

Bodice Section:

Draw 2 lines at a 90° angle from point A.

A-B = ¾” [20mm].

B-C = back waist length.

Square across from C. (waistline)

B-D = half of B-C. (bustline)

D-E = quarter of B-C.

D-F = half of bust measurement.

Square up and down from F to locate G and H.

D-I = half of back width

F-J = half of back width + half of dart + ½” [12 mm].

K is located midway between I and J.

Square up from K to located L.

M is located at the intersection from J.

N is located at the intersection on the centerfront line.

F-O = 2 times distance of N-F.

Square across from O.

Square down from K to locate P at intersection.

G-Q = 3” [75 mm].

Q-R = dart size.

F-S = half of line F-J.

S-T = ½’ [12 mm].

Connect Q to T with a straight line and extend to waistline.

Connect R to T with a straight line and extend to waistline.

D-U = quarter of C-D.

Connect M to U with a straight line.

H-V = half of waist measurement less darting.

Join U to V with a straight line.

Place set square on line U-V and draw a line at a 90° angle to connect to P.

At M and P, smooth the chevron with a curve to blend the lines together.

Place set square on baseline and square a line to L. (side seam)

Shoulder strap front placement is located midway between side seam and dart. (■)

Shoulder strap back placement from side seam equals front amount + 1” [25 mm].

To complete draft, cut through the center of the bottom dart and close top dart to release it into bottom dart, pivoting at T. (see silhouette in diagram above)

Fitting Tip: Measure the bottom edge of the bodice pattern and compare to the chest measurement. Adjust the dart with the difference, if necessary.

Grainlines are parallel to CF and CB.

Add ½” [12 mm] seam allowance to bodice pattern. (Cut front pattern on fold)

For shoulder strap, draw a rectangle = back waist length X 5” [12.5 cm].

Skirt Section:

sheath draft

Measure bottom edge of bodice, less darts . This amount is X.

For the upper tier, draw a rectangle.

Make the CF = ½  X – 1” [25 mm] x back waist length + 3” [75 mm].

Make the CB = ½  X + 1” [25 mm] x back waist length + 7” [180 mm].

Connect the bottom with a diagonal line and divide the pattern.

For the lower tier (front & back), draw a rectangle = 2X x back waist length + 3” [75mm].

For the ruffled flounce, draw a rectangle = 2X x back waist length + 1” [25 mm].

Grainlines are parallel to CF and CB.  (Cut upper tier front pattern on the fold).

Note: Seam allowance (1/2″ or 12 mm) is included in skirt section.

Fitting Tip: The finished length may be adapted by adding or subtracting equal amounts from the top edge of the tier panels. Take gown length measurement while wearing evening shoes.

lay

CUTTING

Shoulder Straps – cut 2X self

Bodice Front – cut 2X self

Bodice Back – cut 4X self

Upper Tier Front – cut 1X self

Upper Tier Back – cut 2X self

Lower Tier – cut 2X self

Flounce Ruffle – cut 4X self

ASSEMBLY

1. Make 2 shoulder straps. With right sides together (RST), fold strap piece in half lengthwise and sew along long open edge. Press seam open. Turn strap RIGHT SIDE OUT. Center seam in middle of width and press flat. Set aside.

 

2. Make flounce. With RST, sew ruffle panels together along short ends of rectangle to make a “loop”. Press seams open.

 

With RST, fold the loop in half aligning the raw edges and matching the seams. Sew around the loop, leaving a 6” [15 cm] opening for turning out. Turn flounce RIGHT SIDE OUT and fold 2” [50mm] from seam. Press gently along fold. Set aside.

 

3. Sew darts on front bodice pieces.

 

4. Sew bodice backs to bodice front at side seams. Press seams open.

 

5. Pin/baste shoulder straps to bodice at ■. (You may need to adjust its length).

 

6. With RST, sew the bodice pieces together along the top edge, ensuring to catch shoulder straps in the stitching. With inner bodice (lining) FACE UP, under-stitch along top edge of bodice. Turn under seam allowance on lower edge of inner bodice and press flat. Set aside.cornerb

 

7. With RST, sew upper tier backs to upper tier front, matching at side seams and CB seam from bottom of zipper opening. Press seams open.

 

Turn under top edge of upper tier by 1 ½” [40 mm] and gently press fold.

With RST, stitch a diagonal seam at each corner of zipper opening. Trim excess away and turn RIGHT SIDE OUT. Set aside.

8. With RST, sew lower tier panels at side seams and press seams open. Turn under top edge of lower tier by 1 ½” [40 mm] and gently press fold. Hem bottom edge with a ¼” [6 mm] double-rolled hem finish.ruffle

 

9. With lower tier and flounce FACE UP, attach flounce to bottom edge of lower tier. Gather along the horizontal seam of the flounce and ruffle the top edge. Distribute the gathers evenly along the bottom edge of the lower tier and stitch through all the layers 2” [50 mm] from fold. ( gathering ratio = 2:1)

 

10. With upper and lower tiers FACE UP, attach lower tier to bottom edge of upper tier matching at the side seams. Gather 1” [25 mm] from the top fold of the lower tier and ruffle the top edge. Distribute the gathers evenly along the bottom edge of the upper tier and stitch through all the layers 1” [25 mm] from fold. (ratio = 2:1). From inside the garment, stitch the ½” [12 mm] seam allowance of the lower tier to bottom edge of upper tier.

 

11. With upper tier and bodice FACE UP, attach upper tier to bottom edge of bodice matching at the CF, side seams, and CB seam. Gather 1” [25 mm] from the top fold of the upper tier and ruffle the top edge. Distribute the gathers evenly along the bottom edge of the bodice and stitch through all the layers 1” [25 mm] from fold. (gathering ratio = 2:1). Press seam upward.

 

12. Insert dress zipper into CB seam from top of bodice using the center slot application.

 

13. Align bottom edge of inner bodice to stitching line and match at seams. Slip-stitch along bottom edge of inner bodice and along zipper tape.

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Silk charmeuse is pure luxury. It is soft, elegant, and surprisingly versatile. Charmeuse is a medium weight, woven silk with a lustrous appearance, rather like the surface of a pearl. And like the pearl which it resembles, it is an elegant classic!

Try it to create this alluring halter gown… the perfect creation in a super flattering style. Very easy pattern to make, the halter is not fitted, so slips over the head and ties at the nape while a fabric rosette adds interest detail for a romantic touch.

You will need:

  • 3 ½ yds. of charmeuse, 54″ wide
  • 3 ½ yds. of sheer organza, 54″ wide
  • 3 yds. of satin ribbon, 3″ wide
  • Coordinating thread

PATTERN

CUTTING

Fold fabric in half on crossgrain with selvedges aligned. Baste selvedges together with long stitches.

Place centerfront [CF] of pattern on fold. Weight down and cut out fabric 1X on fold.

For rosette, cut pattern 1X on true bias grain

ASSEMBLY

To make rosette, pink curved edge. Fold fabric lengthwise in half. Sew a running stitch along the folded edge and gather tightly. Starting with the narrow end, spiral the fabric onto itself and tack gathered edge as you form the rosette.

Staystitch 1″ either side of notch [●] on centerback seam [CB] using ½” seam allowance. Clip seam allowance to stitching.

With wrong sides together, layer the charmeuse and organza. Pin and baste between ● to CF. Sew seam using ½” seam allowance. Clip a V-notch in seam allowance at CF. Press seam open.

Along curved edge, match edges and sew both layers together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Trim seam allowance. Turn right side out through CB seam.

Press seams flat. Baste CB seam together. Topstitch along curved seam through both layers to finish the hem.

Cut ribbon in 2 pieces for strap ties. On one end, fold the ribbon at a 45°angle with a ½” extension.

Align the L-shape to the CB with the garment face up and place the ribbon on top of the finished edge, stopping 3″ from CF. Repeat in reverse on the opposite side of the CF.

Topstitch ribbon ties through all layers of the garment on both edges of the ribbon.

With right sides together, pin and baste CB seam. Stitch back seam using ½” seam allowance. Press seam open.

Crisscross strap ties at a 90° and sew through opposite corners of the layered ribbon. Fold back “point” at CF and tack down. Attach rosette at CF.

TIP: Check this link for working with charmeuse and organza fabrics.