Have you ever seen a dress you wanted to reproduce, but did not have access to it in person? This post is going to help you try to read the lines of a draped overskirt to bring a bit of understanding to how draping works, and how to read a photograph to give you some starter guidelines while you are draping.
1. You HAVE to have a mannequin to do this- Or a good friend who is willing to stand while you drape. Draping involves fussing and adjusting to make sure the lines are reading like you want them.
This is an early 1870's extant dress from the Met.
The front overskirt is cut shaped narrower at the top, without gathers and is a flat "apron" shape.
The back shape is soft and rounded and draped.
Notice that it curves down and back up from side seam to side seam.
It appears to be gathered along the side seam.
We are going to focus on re-creating this back drape.
The heavy black lines on the two final photos show where the fabric is trimmed away after it is draped.
Painfully obsessed clothing historian,