so, several months ago i discovered Julian Roberts and his low waste method of pattern drafting and dress making. his work is lumpy and hideous but the method is fascinating. and whats even more fun is if you reset the clock on your computer to Wednesday between 10am and 8pm you can watch his lectures on part of the theory and watch him make a lumpy red dress.
anyway, somebody by the name of Sandra Ericson took the class and designed this pyramid dress based on his methods and i stared and stared at it for hours until i understood what was going on and decided it was the most graceful thing done with Julian Roberts method and i had to have something similar.
so after obsessing over every mention of Julian Roberts subtraction cutting on google i decided i should be able to mesh his method with one of the patterns that waits eagerly in my collection. so, here's the basics of my method. i took mcalls M5232 view A and cut it out in newspaper so i had a newspaper piece for each piece of fabric i would normally cut out. i didn't cut out the full length of the piece but focused on the torso down to approximately my bellybutton or hip, its not too important though, everything that you don't cut out becomes automatically extra voluminous.
I had about 3yds of fabric that i bought ages ago at denver fabrics for super cheap, my RA decided to have splatter paint day and i attacked my fabric. that was fun, i have a blue spot on my floor i need to clean before move out day though. adds a nice touch to the fabric. i took my 3?yds and split in half and stitched it together so it more closely resembles a square instead of a super long rectangle.
all this did not exactly happen in this order. the newspaper bit happened a bit closer to what i'm gonna talk about next. i spread the fabric out flat in the largest bit of floor my dorm has and carefully (or not) arranged my pattern pieces so they weren't so far from the edge that the dress would be too long but not so close that i would have immodestly short bits of dress in places. and i pinned everything alot. when i was finished i had this
so here's the tricky part, when you cut you aren't cutting out the whole piece of pattern, you cut all but the bottom edge. then when you are done cutting out all these flaps you cut between one piece and the next so you kinda end up cutting one really funny shaped hole out the middle. i'll try and explain that better another time, its getting late and i'm trying to finish this post. heres approximately what it looks like with missing pieces, i had the hardest time getting it to lie flat this time but trust me, its one hole.
then you line seams up closest to your face. ex, sew from armpit to hip. and just nudge the funny seams together as you go. its ok if the seams are wonky because the whole dress is gonna be funny.
out of the minor bits of scrap i had left i made slightly bias tape (not quite 45 degrees but not on the grain either) and used that to hem the armpits, neckline, and assist with putting in the zipper.
here's the shortest bit of the dress
the pattern calls for 3 1/2 yds for a dress that would fit me and the pattern makes a shorter dress with much less fluff. i had about that much fabric and ended up with at least 50% more dress. it took me much less time than normal to make this dress when you cut all the time involved in procrastinating. i'm gonna experiment with this a bit more over thanksgiving break, she what how much dress i can get out of not enough fabric. or see how much dress i end up with if i have far too much fabric.
oh, and julian says his method can be applied to any garment but so far i've only seen dresses and 2 or 3 blouses. i wanna see someone apply his ridiculous lumpy tube to a sleeve or something.
oh, and if i get better pictures, i'll replace things