Asymmetric dress with pleated fabric


Style analysis: long dress in pleated fabric. Skirt is created with plissè soleil: pleats start from a point (waistline) and get wider towards the fabric edge (hemline). Asymmetric bodice with underbust cut, single strap and small cutout in center front.

Fabric: any fabric can be pleated (there are specialized shops doing it, either with chemicals or with heat),we suggest medium weight polyester satin - or you can find ready pleated fabric. You could also use this pattern for non pleated fabric - of course the dress will look a bit different.

Draft the pattern starting from a contoured block - instructions for fitted styles are included in our basic blocks course/module 2

Step 1

Trace back and front separate and mirror both of them to have the full pattern. Lengthen to ankles or desired measurement.

Draw the slash line separating bodice from skirt, let’s call it new underbust line even though it is a bit lower than natural underbust line (which is where your bra wires hit the ribcage):

  • on side seams measure 5 to 6cm above waistline*
  • in center back measure 3cm above waistline*
  • in center front measure 10cm above waistline*

*all measurements are adjustable depending on your body and preferences – we suggest checking with a mirror where the slash line is most flattering on your body

Flare both back and from 12 to 20cm from side seams and blend to zero at new underbust line.

Step 2

Cut through underbust slash line to separate bodices and skirts.

Square down from skirt darts to hemline and cut through the lines. Tape darts closed to manipulate their volume to hemline.

Step 3

Since your darts are not triangles in this project but are rather shaped as rhombus, you won’t be able to tape them closed completely: match upper edges and a small gap will remain at waistline. This is ok, as the dress is not fitted at waist.

Check the volume at hemline. If you prefer, you can add some more by pivoting at waistline and spacing the pieces at hemline, just make sure it is even on left and right, front and back.

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