THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

August 10, 2009

Pyramid dress from center for pattern design

The Pyramid dress pattern I ordered from center for pattern design because I was intrigued by the designs from the UK designer Julian Roberts.You can see him at work by watching 2 videos.

Pyramid dress a

The pattern is made by Sandra Ericson and based upon the principles of Julian Roberts system of Subtraction Cutting.

I was interested to see  how this pattern was drafted and to see how this design looked like in real which I could not really judge by the pattern design picture.





The pattern is partly drafted ( bodice part) you only need to draw the skirt portion which is a large circle around the pattern depending on the length you prefer.

pattern sketch a

Because this pattern needs one XL piece of fabric I tried this pattern by making it at ½ scale for my dress model so I had no piecing to do. I measured the pattern and draw a 1/2-scale pattern from it.

As you can see there are no seams in the skirt portion of the dress.It looks like a doughnut shape.


Pattern layout 1/2 scale size 12

Untitled-1 copy

The fabric I needed was 1.20 meter by 1.20 meter (1.312 x 1.312 yard) for my ½ scale pattern .So in other words if I would make this dress in a real size I need about 2.40 m by 2.40 m (2.624x 2.624 yard) that’s why you need to piece the fabric to get that wide.

 Suggested bias  fabrics: Loosely woven wools, silks or cotton; wool or silk crepe, crepe backed satin, silk velvet, georgette or chiffon.

I used stretch polyester satin for this unusual funky dress, and because it is only for showing on my scale dressmodel I did not finished the seams just use my pinking shear.

The instructions mention to sew stay tape at the shoulder seams to prevent stretching,I fused some pieces of fusible interfacing at  the sharp angles at the partly side seams, and finished the armholes and neckline with binding finished wide 2 mm wide (0.078 inch) from bias cut self-fabric.

I stitched the bias cut strip of fabric right sides together at armhole and neckline and pressed the  seams towards the bias cut piece, I folded the bias cut fabric around the seam allowance and hand stitched the piping in the ditch from the right side. Sewing it by hand gave me more control because of the small scale than using the sewing machine. Now there was no need to pin or baste first.

PICT0068detail piping

There was no need to leave an opening at center front because my ½ scale dress model has no head.But for a real size dress you need to leave an opening at the center back seam for 12,5 cm ( 5 inches)

 The hem is uneven after sewing the dress and due to the bias cut I left it un hemmed for a few days.But you also can leave it as irregulare level  but I choose for an even hem.

leftpyramide dress frontback

I marked the hemline with chalk using my lead measuring tape.

lead measurement tape

 The hem wide is very wide 5.88 meter (nearly 6 ½ yard) at ½ scale and I finished it by just turning in and stitched from the wrong side a few hairlines away from the fold.This way it looks neat on the dress model but for a real size dress it is not a good way because the raffles are still there.

       Inside view hem wide

hem wide insight view








Back view

back side a front side dress                                                                                    Front view

  If you want a unique funky dress this is the one that you should make.

The sewing is easy, the pattern is printed on sturdy paper and the instructions are clear there are even some variations like using the side flaps to use as  pockets.



PS. I am not planning to make this dress in my size, I only made it out of curiosity.

The cover dress picture has the folds at center front sewn differently, this is described in the pattern as variations on the theme.I folded the 4 corners flat at all the sides to achieve a more slimming view.

At the next pictures you can see the corners or cowls at the center, left, right and back of the dress.

inside side of the dress:

Front inside view  Back inside view

June 10, 2009

Fashion exhibitions summer 2009

 The Netherlands

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

on-line exhibition Accessorize, a selection from the accessories from 1550-1950

 Museum Bags and Purses  Amsterdam Beasty Bags – August 23

                                                                Made In Britain- September 7- February 21 2010

Arnhem Mode Biënnale  Arnhem – July 6

Zuiderzee museum Enkhuizen   Gone with the wind  -November 22

Kunsthal Rotterdam   Silk Stories Taisho Kimono  – June 21

Museum Boymans van Beuningen Rotterdam The Art of Fashion: Installing Allusions –September 19/ January 10 2010


Modemuseum Antwerp    Paperfashion  – August 16

Modemuseum Hasselt    In Her Shoes   -November 8


Museum Les Arts Décoratifs Paris  Madeleine Vionnet  June 24-January 31-2010

Museum Christian Dior Granville  Trois décennies de styles et de stars (1961-1989) -September 20

Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent – Paris    Russian Folk Costumes – August 30

Chateau de Versailles Trianon museum  Court Pomp and Royal Ceremonies -June 27


Wien Museum Karlspltz Grand entrance Fashion in the Ringstraßen era June 10- November 1


Textile Museum St Gallen   Swiss Embroidery

Sicherer, Schöner, Schneller( Textile in Sport)

Musée Suisse de la Mode  Yverdon-Les Bains

Prototype (la technique du moulage) – November 1

more information about this exhibition  and even a video  about moulage


National Museum of Costume Dumfriesshire  Jane Muir a Fashion Icon -October 31

 United Kingdom

Manchester Art Gallery On-line exhibition collection themes

 Fashion Museum Bath   Dress of the Year –  September 20

                       Bill Gibb: A Personal Journey –  November 15

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art London  Workshop Missoni: Daring to be Different  – July 1- September 20


Museu Tèxtil i d’Indumentària in Barcelona Dressing the Body 


Kulturforum Potsdammer Platz Belin Sequins – Poses – Powder Boxes.
Fashion Drawings and Objects from the Twenties
  – August 9

Information about  Fashion Collections, Fashion Museums and Fashion Libraries in Germany


Röhsska Museum Göteborg 

Fashion Designer Maud Fredin Fredholm – 16 August

Masters Degree Exhibition 2009  – 16 August

Finland’s queen of fashion – VUOKK 31 January 2010


Museum of Fashion History of Buenos Aires  

Spanish link  for the collections and thumbnail pictures


Powerhouse museum Sydney   Contemporary Japanese fashion: the Gene Sherman Collection  – August 30


Textile Museum of The Cutting Edge  ( focuses on the shape of a garment, and what it signifies) –  July 7




FIT New York  Seduction – June 16

                       Isabel Toledo Fashion from the inside out   June 17-September 26

                      video tour of Isabel Toledo

                     preview Isabel Toledo exhibition

Chicago History Museum   Chic Chicago – July 26

 The Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York  The Model as Muse – August 9

 Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum – New York Fashioning Felt – September 7

Los Angeles County Museum of Art – Los Angeles

On-line exhibition: Images of Fashion from the Court of Louis XIV

                                   A Century of Fashion highlights

                                Luxury Textiles East & West

Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, Penn.  Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen -August 9

 Kent  State University Museum Kent, Ohio   Michael Kors – November 2

The Ohio State University “The Sewer’s Art: Quality, Fashion and Economy” – June 27

Mint Museum of Art Charlotte, NC  The Art of Affluence: Haute Couture and Luxury Fashions 1947-2007 – June 30, 2010

wiki link

Philadelphia Museum of Art  Shopping in Paris: French Fashion 1850–1925  – October 25

Indianapolis museum of Art Fashion in Bloom-January 31, 2010

University Minnesota Goldstein museum of Design Gallery Intersections: Where Art and Fashion Meet – Juli 11-November 1

 Hong Kong

Heritage museum  The Golden Age of Couture  -September 28


Kobe Fashion Museum Japan

Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum Tokyo Japan


If you have other links for fashion exhibitions , please share so I can add them to the list.


May 9, 2009

Flared hem skirt

I made a new skirt for my mother ( 88 years ) from a wool polyester fabric to match a rtw jacket, and used a design sample draft I found years ago on ebay, I downloaded the picture probably from a pattern-drafting book but I forgot  the book title. If anyone knows from which book this picture is please tell.

 The design is made by changing a straight skirt into a flared one.

skirt design a

I already made this skirt last year  but that one had a center front seam because I had not enough fabric to cut it on fold.

Slash and spread is all what is needed to make this skirt design. I added  6,5  cm between the slashes.

I started with a straight skirt pattern drafted on her measurements and draw lines on the front .

The skirt back pattern is just a straight skirt , only the front has flares towards the side seams.

 Skirt I made last year had a center front seam because I had not enough fabric to cut the center front on the fold.

Front                                                                                                                                    Back

front  back









This time I had enough fabric so no center seam.

slashed pattern

I made the pattern with added seam allowances , 1 cm for the inner corner and separate inset piece and 1.5 cm for the side seams; hem depth is 4 cm. Serging the seam allowances for the fabric, and for the lining I choose to finish the inner corner with a pinking shear with a less wide SA about ½ -3/4 cm.

 The inner corner of the front piece of the skirt fabric and lining are stabilized with a piece of fusible interfacing.

inset wrong side a









Sewing the insert piece, pressed the seams open first and together again so they will lay towards the CF and towards the hem.

side view

The skirt has an invisible zipperat the CB and a contoured front waistband and a straight waistband at the back side due to her posture.CF length 67 cm, Left side seam 71 cm, right side seam 69 cm, CB lenght 74 cm. The waistband is closed using a button and buttonhole.

I sewed the waistband first at the edge and graded the seams , sewed the skirt with a 1 cm seam allowance at the front side waistband and the back side waistband towards the lining with 1 cm sa.

The sa from the skirt and front waistband are pressed towards the waistband, while the sa from the lining and backside waistband are pressed towards the lining skirt.

This will result in a more smooth waistband seam and not a bulky one which has 4 layers of seam allowances inside the waistband.

The waistband was top stitched a hairline away from the skirt seam

contoured waistband a

It is a bit of flurry picture but you get an idea how this skirt falls.

front side a

I inserted a piece of elastic inside the waistband, because my mother likes that.

I used  a 4 cm deep hem and hand stitched the hem about 1 cm from the edge so no imprints,


hem stitch 

 This skirt design is a nice one if you want to add some flare at the front hem but do not want to add more wide at the hip line. The back side is just a straight skirt.


You can add some flare to the side seam starting at a point somewhere below the hip line but the original side seam length should match the new flared side seam.

flared skirt
You can see on the example design sketch that the cut out triangle inset side seam is longer than the space between point 7 and 4 from the skirt  because of the added flares. Sewing the triangle inset makes this skirt design to flare out towards the front.

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