Cocktail dress with draped bodice and fake pockets


Let's draft the pattern for this super interesting cocktail dress: it includes a lot of cool details and some interesting techniques, as the satchel pockets.

Start by tracing a copy of your contoured block (basic block with zero wearing ease, fitting your body as a second skin) - if you don't have one or want to deepen our method for drafting perfect made to measure patterns, check our basic block course/module 1 ;)

For this dress, we suggest choosing a medium weight, slightly structured fabric.

Step 1

First, adjust length on front and back as desired (below the knee, mid-calf or above the ankle), then flare from sides 15 to 30cm at hemline blending to zero at hip level.

Draw back neckline from armpit point to center back.
I prefer when neckline is slightly shaped, to do it I drop 2 to 3cm in center back more than armpit level.

Draw front neckline choosing the coverage you prefer in center front and above bust point (for small breasts, we suggest no less than 5 or 6cm, for an average size, 7 to 8cm would look good, for fuller breasts start from 9cm). Square from center front to dart line, then draw a smooth line from the second dart leg to armpit.

Widen shoulder dart at neckline by 1cm – this helps neckline sitting nice on the chest.

Step 2

On back, reduce waist dart by 1 to 2cm and discard this amount from center back, blending to zero at original neckline.
On center back skirt, add 15 to 30cm at hemline and blend to zero at the new waist point.

Still on back, square down from bottom dart apex and cut through the line.

On front, square down from dart apex to hemline.

Step 3

Trace separate copies of all pieces:

  • center back
  • side back panel
  • side front panel
  • center front.

Flare all pieces by 15 to 30cm at the slash line coming from dart – make sure added volume for flare is consistent in all pieces.

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