Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Drafting the Purple Mushroom Dress

I suppose other people come up with better names than 'The Purple Mushroom Dress', but this dress was inspired by purple mushrooms, and so that will be it's name forevermore. 

Today I'm writing about this dress:


Specifically, how I went about drafting it.

I started with a t-shirt, and a basic straight skirt pattern. The skirt is not a knit block, but it doesn't matter as I'm using a jersey fabric. Front is on the left, Back is on the right. 

I didn't use a t-shirt with a bust dart, which in hindsight would have been better. Oh well.

The sleeve remains the same throughout.

I split the t-shirt at the waistline.
And added a new seam allowance. I put a slight curve on the front.
Looking just at the back skirt block, I am ignoring the seam allowances at this point.
The darts will be eliminated, and replaced with tucks.
I want to create 6 tucks on the front, and 6 on the back. That means 3 per half.
Each tuck is 1.5cm deep, (5/8") so I need 3cm (1 1/4") to create the fold.

3 x 3 = 9cm of tuckable fabric is required.  I measure the darts, which were each 2cm deep, and then added 5cm at the centre line to make a total of 9cm. I haven't converted this into metric because the measurements are slightly skewed by the conversion. But the concept is the same.

2 + 2 + 5 = 9cm, total required for tucks. 
Metric is easier folks.

I don't want to increase at the hemline, as I want the skirt to draw back in.
I have omitted the vent from the block pattern because I am making this in a jersey and it will stretch. If I was making this skirt in a woven I would need to allow more space to enable movement.

There is a 5cm (2") extension on the centre line,
So I reduce the outer edge by 5cm (2").
And smooth it out.

I then need to create the tucks. From the centre fold, I create 2 lines 1.5cm apart, and then leave a 4cm gap, then 3 lines 1.5cm apart, 4cm gap, 3 lines 1.5cm apart. Thusly:
The spacing is up to you, as long as the tucks = the amount of fabric you've allowed yourself. 

The process on the front is exactly the same.

I then drew in a pocket line on the front.
Which is then split into it's 3 component parts - front of skirt, pocket facing and main pocket which also shows at the front.
Hems and seam allowances on all those pieces, and the pattern is done.

I finished the neckline with a binding, which I cut as a strip from scraps.

So there you have it. One dress, for jersey fabric, inspired by purple mushrooms. 


  1. Thanks Zoe, I just love the mushroom dress and purple is one of my favs. Thanks for sharing the construction as well.

  2. I love the skirt shape and quite simple once you know how.

    1. It's a lovely shape! I think I'll probably make it again with a different bodice at some point, or perhaps mix it up with a different sleeve. I dunno!