Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Draping--Sort Of--A Sacque, Part Four

Draping a robe a la francaise, or sacque. An eight part series! Click the tag or go to the tutorial page for links to all parts.

Next up, the side seams and skirt pleats!

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First, pin the skirt pieces to the back piece. The skirt should start about an inch above the waist--this makes it easy to hide the pleats in the side seam. The pictures show this from both the right and wrong sides.

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Sew the seams for a few inches--just enough so you can pleat the sides. These are easy to finish later, but pleating pinned seams could get frustrating :)

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Now it's time for the front piece. Pin it to the armscye to anchor it.

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Sew the front of the side skirt piece to the front piece in the same way the back piece was sewn.

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Mark the center of the side skirt piece.

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Make a stacked box pleat. The center of this is the spot marked with a pin above.

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Slip that pleat over the lining.

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Fold the seam allowance of the front piece over to create a lapped seam, and pin into place. The side seam and pleats are done!


  1. I'm interested in where you are going from this step (link below), ie, how you drape this shape so that the armscye/bodice fit without a dart.

  2. Good question!

    I actually cut the silk to the same shape as the pattern--without allowing for the dart. However, I added about an inch seam allowance to the underarm seam so the armscye shape was set a little deeper. That allowed for fiddling with placement.

    The silk and lining don't match exactly, but they're close enough to work. (And actually, I just noticed today that I apparently hemmed one lining shoulder way narrower than the other, but I somehow managed to pleat the robings so they matched each other. As long as what shows matches and it doesn't affect fit, I'm ok!)

    I really puzzled over this with the pet-en-l'air, but noticed that the pattern drafts showed the same shape for the silk as the darted lining and decided to give it a try although I wondered if that was a patterning shortcut.

    The dart is very narrow at the armscye and doesn't affect it a much as you'd think--at least on me!

    Pleating the robing also lets you play with the fabric a bit. On this one, it has a very Victorian style dart under the robing. I smoothed the armscye a bit more when I made that.

    You could also drape the flat, uncut fabric out to fit and then cut the armscye to match the lining. That would be the period way. But very annoying without an arm there, I think!