Adventures in Drape Drape

Pattern: Drape Drape Vol. 1's Drape Drape Dress
Fabric: 3 yds cotton flannel
Cost: $18

For someone who can't follow patterns, the Drape Drape Pattern Books were perfect for me. Written entirely in Japanese with some numbers here and there at key places, the book for an English-speaker is just pictures, symbols, and endless potential for creativity. Of course, I couldn't let them have all the fun, and so I added a few of my own touches here and there:

The adventure started when I bought 3 yards of flannel on sale for $5/yd at the fabric store. I wanted to make some sort of deconstructed flannel top in the spirit of the twisted button-ups I've been making. I originally intended to use it with the Tuck Drape Tunic Blouse pattern, but after sleeping on it I decided that the Drape Drape Dress was more of what I was after (I'm still dying to try the tunic though!).
Tuck Drape Tunic Blouse
Drape Drape Dress

The first challenge right off the bat was figuring out the maze of pattern lines on the pattern paper. It's like an I-spy game looking for all the right pieces, and it took me over an hour to get them all traced out. If you've never done a pattern like this before, let me explain: it's like someone printed 4 or 5 of your favorite patterns all on one piece of paper, and then left the instructions for you in Japanese. I have to say though, I rather liked the challenge.

Another question I had was around sizing. As it turns out there's a chart on the pattern paper, but the lovely people over at Tessuti have managed to translate it for us.

Drape Drape Pattern Sizing:

I went a step further and translated it into American for ya:

S--Bust 31", Waist 23", Hip 33"
M--Bust 32.5", Waist 24.5", Hip 34.5"
L--Bust 34", Waist 26", Hip 36"
XL--Bust 35.5", Waist 27.5", Hip 37.5"

As many people have noted, the Japanese patterns run very small. I cut a medium erring on the side of large. It is also important to remember that the pattern pieces do not include a seam allowance, so I cut an extra 5/8" as well (well, let's be real, I eye-balled it).

The actual sewing project was an experiment in draping and adjusting. I carefully sewed each piece together and planned out my next steps, stopping after every one to try it on and adjust. Because I was making my garment out of a woven instead of a drapey knit, this took extra care. For untrained seamsters like me, it is also important to remember some traditional sewing rules, such as that sleeves are a different shape for the front and the back, meaning you have to pay special attention because there are no notches to guide you. I found this nifty little guide online to help me.

For me the best part was adjusting the pattern to make it resemble a deconstructed button-down flannel shirt. I narrowed the neckband, added buttons and a collar, and made the sleeves with cuffs and button closures. I also removed about 4 inches from the total length by recutting the arm holes and neck lower. To cinch the waist and make it flare at the bottom, I added belt loops to work with a belt I already owned. The final result is a surprising take on the classic flannel.

You can read my review of this pattern at


  1. Super cute, you did a great job. I love the feeling of satisfaction I get when I complete a challenging new project.

  2. You are so creative and daring with your sewing projects! I love the look with the belt.

  3. Love this dress and how you pair it with a slim jean and boots !Bravo !!

  4. i love the idea of such an unconventional fabric choice. it combines everything comfy about your favorite flannel shirt with a huge POW of style so that you still feel dressed and elegant. great job!


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