I think it might be nice if you squared it up by taking up the bottom, and especially cute if you made a lobster head (could wrap over the top and squish through the handles). Something kind of goofy and cute, maybe with googly eyes.
Or some wavy sea weed in that gap-ish spot. Or maybe wavy green sea weed handles. Could be dark green, if you want to keep things low key.
I would also have the straps go in to the claws, rather than under them, and maybe have the ends sticking out underneath. But maybe that's more work than just doing something else with the fabric.
I don't know how off center your shirt was, but here's a rough approximation of what I think you could add to it while maintaining the whole reversal thing. It's fairly obvious what's going on in the pic either way, but only when in the context of the word next to it.
I gave it some thought and am changing my suggested construction a little - so new diagram.
There's actually a lot of fullness at the front, so instead of a front seam or panel, I think you can get away with just folding the fabric over itself as in my new diagram.
Might be obvious but since I'm changing my directions - the center band of the bow goes around the bow flaps (still red x's), but also over and inside the waistband by your body, so disregard the "not to the body part" of my original step 2.
And the green x's still need to be securely connected at the top center, but aren't gathered with the front flaps.
Things to be aware of as you're arranging your folds: 1. The bow flaps are almost as wide as the entire front, so you're looking at probably up to 4x the width worth of fabric [for the top] total 2. You want to make the bottom of the bow flaps blend into the main skirt front - this will naturally occur due to the gathering, at the top, but might have something to do with the original shape of the piece too. (B) (In other words, this blending will not occur until after you have gathered the top, so there will be folds initiallly... I'm not sure if I'm making sense... sorry.) 3. I would do a mock up to get the front right, and start arranging folds from the inside middle out wards. 4. The inside foldy area shouldn't be any wider than absolutely necessary. It might need to be cut down or arranged so as not to add too much bulk at the top where the waist is pulled down by the bow. (A)
I should actually be studying right now, so I'm trying not to spend too long on this, but if there's anything that doesn't make sense or work in real life let me know and I'll have another look.
I found this tote bag at Winners and thought it had a lot of stylish potential... but I don't actually know what it's supposed to look like. I brought it home so I could experiment with different tying methods and so forth, but if I can't figure it out then it's going back (a touch expensive, dontchyaknow). Weird thing to do, maybe, but I was hoping someone here might recognize it : )
So these are the parts:
And these are a couple ideas I had for how it might go together:
I mean, it's all well and good to do it my way, but I'm interested to know the real way, and/or any other ideas you may have. I was also considering replacing the ties with another material, like a cotton sateen or maybe a low lustre satin, you know, like a hard/soft contrast type of thing.
I have no idea how much sewing experience you have... seems to be a strange mix of being able to draft and not having lined a top before... : ) So I'm gonna ramble on here:
You're going to want two back pieces with a seam down the middle.
So let's say you've got your back piece, going down the center seam... Starting several inches above the pleat, you want a flap that is equal to the width of the overlap, plus whatever you need for edge finishing. You want it higher than the flap so that the seams and whatnot aren't visible.
If you own anything with a kick pleat, even a slit, it will explain a lot. Here's my attempt:
So basically your pleat is in the middle, your extra fabric is off to the left side, (right side is not folded) and you've got a bunch of edges to finish.
As for lining, you basically make duplicate pieces of the body and arms. You want the lining to end higher than the cuff/hem, so you might want to make the outer sleeve a bit longer so that it can be folded inside (attached to lining about an inch or more towards the inside). Generally coats are attached at the neck, sleeves and front (to facings, panels made of the outside fabric, sewn inside the front of a jacket for looks and to attach lining to so that it won't be seen from the outside) as well as attached or securely tacked at the shoulders and sides. The bottoms of long coats can be attached or hemmed separately and left open. With a kick pleat of course, you'll want to attach it along the bottom and pleat.
Just a thought about the lace, it looks like it's a lace piece, like a scarf or shawl type set up, rather than fabric - at least that's what you'd have to look for, since you're not a dress company that can have lace made to your specifications with two kinds of scalloping on two different sides.
here's a really sloppy paint diagram of how you could work it, labelled as 1. red dotted line, back of lace and dress 2. black squiggly line, front edge of scalloping 3. lace seaming/outline 4. dress outline 5. scalloped edge of lace, behind/back
basically the lace piece is folded diagonally around the dress and seamed/gathered to fit.
The red line is just to indicate where the lace shape is, obviously around the neck and right arm you would gather it more etc.
Don't know if that was helpful, but there it is.
Although, if you found just the right lace (make sure it's not scratchy!), then you could cut along the designs and create your own edging like or in place of scalloping.
I think the easiest way to assemble with the set up shown is: 1. attach top few inches of front of skirt (green x's, the part touching your body) together, but NOT the whole front, because it won't hang correctly. 2. attach top few inches of bow part together (red x's) but NOT to the body part. 3. gather top section of bow part with band as shown 4. insert extra center panel, attaching it either underneath (closest to you) like a lining layer (easier) or in between the skirt and bow sections. Note that panel is slightly shorter than the rest of the skirt, since gathering shortens the front of the skirt a little bit.
let me know if that doesn't make sense.
ps, can't really read the diagram, the text, clockwise more or less says: "back of skirt, zipper opening" "hem and tuck in front edges" (should actually fold over inside the bow to hide the edges, not shown in diagram) "front of skirt, 'bow' is actually a large pleat" "probably best to insert a center panel to hide seams rather than trying to overlap the fabric"
rostitchery, would you mind explaining what you mean by a full fold knife pleat, and what a pleat like this is called? (what I thought you meant, but would seem to take 3x the length to make, so I'm confused : P)