Dresses, Work in Progress
Comments 67

GBSB Fashion With Fabric – The Drapey Knit Dress

I wasn’t going to write a blog post about this recent make.   I loved making it, I loved the challenging pattern matching with the strange looking pattern pieces.  I even matched up the inside of the pockets.

drapey dress GBSB 1 (1)

I used this fabric which I bought when I was in Dewsbury taking photos for a recent Spoolette meet up.

drapey dress GBSB 1

drapey dress GBSB 2

When I came to the big try on, just prior to hemming, there was an “oh no!” moment.   I wondered why I’d just wasted 3 or 4 hours of my life!  I don’t know why, but it just felt wrong.  Clothes are supposed to flatter, not make you look fatter!  I know I’m not a 36–24-36.  I feel fairly ‘normal’ for someone approaching their mid-forties, but I just felt huge in this!   My head seemed to shrink whilst my body appeared bigger.  It reminded me of something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!!??

The dress was put aside, then Corinne from Appleby Makes mentioned in a comment that she was thinking of using some fabric purchased on our recent trip to Dewsbury to make the Drapey dress, and I felt obliged to bear all.

I’m glad I did.  They normally say ‘sleep on it’ before making an rash decisions.  Well, I’ve had over 14 sleeps on it, and the jury’s still out.

So this morning I stepped outside in my orange wedges….. (I needed to add some likability to this post for my benefit, if not yours!)

drapey dress GBSB 1 (2)

I rested my little camera on the patio table and ended up with this:

drapey dress GBSB 2 (2)

You get the idea a bit I suppose, but I think trainee blog manager (TBM) needed extracting from the chair to help out:

drapey dress GBSB 3 (1)

He’s going through a Rocky phase.  He’s onto Rocky 4 since coming home from Italy on Friday, but is resting his poorly knee so I shouldn’t complain.

So with the help of the afore mentioned TBM (Amanda, you are so lucky having a fully qualified one!) we managed a few photos.  Unfortunately I had to chop my head off on some of the photos due to excess scowling at the TBM.  Trying to take photos still wrapped in the above bear blanket was proving tricky.

drapey dress GBSB 4

This is my favourite shot.  I think if I could walk around with my hands constantly in my pockets I could get to like this look.

drapey dress GBSB 5

Hands behind my back, not sure what was going on here, maybe I wasn’t quite ready or maybe the TBM just wanted to get a picture of Rory our cat.

drapey dress GBSB 6

Not too bad if I put my hands on my hips. pulls in the wideness.

drapey dress GBSB 7

Waaay!  Looks like I’ve eaten all the pies!  Tho I don’t have the flattest stomach you’ll ever see, I don’t have it as a mirror image on the back either.   Good point to note though, can you see the pattern matching on the side seams?

drapey dress GBSB 8

Almost, and I mean almost, stopped scowling, but not quite!

drapey dress GBSB 9

A close up of the front (not that I need to tell you, but I need to type something!).  Can you see the seams and the pattern matching? On the left side the fold over bit isn’t folded over enough and the neckline is slightly out because of it.

drapey dress GBSB 10

You can see the neckline problem better on here.  That might be why a crease has developed on the right side.

So ‘yay’ or ‘nay’.

I’m still not sure.  It was great to make and at one point I thought I’d made a mistake with my pattern pieces – but mine turned out with the fold over bit on the opposite side.

Don’t be put off making it.  Especially if you are almost 6ft tall, I bet it would look amazing.

The best one I’ve seen so far, even better than the ones in the book, is Karens from “Did you make that?”  She looks amazing in hers.  It was hers that made me buy some fabric with lines on, but mine don’t have the same impact as hers.

I have changed my opinion slightly since taking the pix and whilst writing this post.  I think with the right hair do, shoes and full slap make-up I could feel comfortable enough in it to go out in.  We’ll see!

What do you think? Are you thinking of making it? Or have I put you off.

This entry was posted in: Dresses, Work in Progress
Tagged with: ,


I sew and play golf. I blog about my sewing as I don't think you'd want to read about my golf. It's bad enough watching it on telly! Contact me via email - Thimbers.blog@gmail.com


  1. tbh I don’t like this pattern all that much. I think your version is as good as the others I have seen, but I have to admit I haven’t really fallen in love with any of them. I think it is a difficult shape to wear because it kinda tries the egg shape but doesn’t really flow enough to make it real.
    Goodness, I feel really cruel now…

    • Don’t apologise, I’d rather honest opinions here!
      I’ve just called at my mum & dads and they’ve not said much but laughed a lot! Dad thinks I look like an umpa-lumpa! ๐Ÿ˜‚

  2. Interesting design but I agree with you the design itself is not flattering. The diagonal seams in the front lead your eye to the widest part of the design. This is the part at the hips where there is the most fabric in the design. In Karen’s dress she uses wide stripes for the middle panel it draws the eye down the center front of the dress which gives the illusion of a less boxy design. Clever use of striped fabric actually.
    Overall I don’t think it looks horrible on you and what about black leggings, a belt, chunky black necklace etc? I think you can totally pull it off however you decide to wear it….make up or no make up ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I like the idea of trying a belt with it, maybe a wide one? I’m not crazy about the style–I think it’s really hard to pull off a style with as little shape as this one.

    • I think I need to attack like a Great British Sewing Bee challenge and make it into something wonderful in half an hour!! lol

  3. I really like the design; the pockets and front folds make a really interesting dressโ€ฆnot something you would normally see on the high street! I like wearing dresses like this as I think that they are quite versatile depending on what mood you’re in! Sometimes I don’t always like wearing fitted dresses but if you put a thin belt around the waist it would possibly give you a little more ‘waist definition’! Love the fabric too!

    • Trouble is I don’t have much of a waist to define, but have slim hips. Maybe if I chop it into up and make a top that might work.

  4. Thank you so much for being egged on to post this one. I am gather as much info as possible on this dress. First up, I really like the fabric you chose. It’s a lovely pattern that doesn’t distract from the design of the dress, as you can still see the diagonal style lines. I’ve had a really good look at your snaps. After a bit of thought, I do like the shape it makes. I agree that it’s not an easy shape to wear, but it’s modern and quirky and for those reasons I like it. It’s more flattering from some angles than others. But when a dress is drapey and loose-fitting it doesn’t cling to the curves, so in that sense it doesn’t make you look as big as you say. The fact that it’s loose and an interesting structure means that it’s much more flattering than something too tight or ill-fitting. Your version does make me want to make it. What kind of fabric is yours? Would the structure of the dress work in a softer cotton jersey rather than ponte? I’m thinking about summer.

    • Thanks for all your comments and Im glad I’ve not put you off! I made it in a light weight sort of scuba fabric, which does drape but maybe it’s not quite heavy enough. I was thinking of chopping it up and doing some sort of master refashion but I am will to donate it to science. So if you think me posting it to you might help with yours I’d gladly pay the postage and be glad it’s come in useful! If you do, it’s only light so will be cheap to post – let me know… I won’t be offended if you say no! x

      • Really??!?! You’d do that?! Thank you a hundred times over – I’d absolutely love it! Obviously in the interests of science, but you do realise that I’ll be wearing yours for work by the end of the week! I will email you – thanks. x

  5. *gathering*! Also, just having looked at the picture in the book again, the dress is absolutely drowning the model. It looks far too big on her. The fit you have looks better to me.

  6. corrineappleby says

    Your version looks equally as good as any other version of it that I’ve seen. I kind of like it but I think I’m a bit too chicken to wear something like this plus my husband would not be seen dead with me as he HATES it! It still looks good fun to make though.

    • Do you mean equally as bad…lol!! It would be a shame to waste lovely fabric that’s only going to be worn occasionally, if ever! How about a Coco instead for your fabric? I’ve worn all my Cocos to death. ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. I actually really like it on you. I think the difference between yours and Karen’s is perhaps she has less fabric in the side seams? So more fitted there perhaps? I know it is supposed to be drapey and so that should be good for us over 40s, but perhaps more fitted drapey ?? If that even exists! Excellent sewing on show though and I am impressed with first photos of TBM….to be fair it takes a good few posts to get them motivated!!!!

    • Your kidding, I really can’t smile when he’s taking pix. Maybe if I have a glass of wine. I’m better in front of the camera when it’ stressing on the toaster!!
      Thankyou for your kind words….and you’ve met me in real life so should have a better idea, but it’s not convinced me to wear it in public! Unless I wear a mask! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

            • Tell you what’s strange tho, I put some shocking photos of me on my blogs and today’s been my best day ever for views!!! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

              • Maybe that’s what we need to do!?! Althoughp,maybe it’s your blog manager taking the photos?? Tell him that anyway, so he will do it again!

                • I told him and he puffed his chest out. Then he asked what TBM stood for, and I said he had to guess. He guessed ….. Technical……Biological…….and couldn’t think of anything for the M ………I was driving and struggled to keep my eyes on the road for laughing!

  8. mrswhiskerson says

    I see what you mean….but I do like this on you. It’s difficult to judge sometimes, especially when something is a very different style to what you usually wear…..but it’s good to shake things up every now and again?!

    • Thanks! But the more I look at the pix the more I think it’s not me, and when my mum read this she was brutally honest (as mums are allowed to be!) so I don’t think I’ll be wearing it! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views tho, I really appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I can totally see why you wanted to make it. That’s a really cool pattern. I think that the fabric you picked is great. Stripes, but subtle, and you did a fab job of pattern matching. I agee that hands in pockets is most flattering. I took a look at other examples, and I’m not sure it looks really stellar on anyone. (As in, man she looks great!) There’s just too much fabric. Too much egg shape. Except, that’s what it was meant to be. So I would want to make it for fun and the challenge of it, and then I’m sure I’d never wear it.

    • I could save it for cold days and keep my hands in my pockets! I think you’re right though, i’ve not seen it looking great on anyone, but I did enjoy making it. Will have to keep an eye out for some other draped pattern. On a positive note, it only cost me ยฃ6 to find out it didn’t really suit me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I think there are some high fashion silhouettes that do not follow the form of the body, just look at some of the latest Fashion Week photos. Most of us prefer the waist being smaller, especially if you’re not tall. It’s cute with your hands in the pockets. The pattern pieces are crazy looking. Good for you for being adventurous.

    • Thanks, it was fun to make and sewing is a big learning curve for us all. I think itโ€™s good to see flops on blogs as well as the good stuff, and others can learn by it. If iโ€™d have read this before cutting into my fabric itโ€™d still be in my stash!

  11. I think your pattern matching is terrific, and I love all the vertical effects in the pattern. My reaction was, ‘gee, is her fabric a knit?? Maybe if it were slightly longer, to the knee? Or something to add more length, like tights & boots, as suggested earlier. Long, heavy necklaces, and/or a long black shawl over one shoulder (vamp it!)… Admire your courage in going for it just because!
    del xx

    • Hi Del, the dress has now been donated to science, well to SewSouthLondon! It’s going to be winging it’s way down south in the morning and hopefully nice things will happen to it, or it’ll end up in a charity bag!
      It’s definitely a stretch fabric otherwise I wouldn’t be able to walk in it – it’s very close fitting at the bottom. Will be fun to see what happens to it next! x

      • Hmmm. Yes, will be interesting to see what happens… sisterhood of the traveling dress, although this sounds more like the opposite of those magical pants. lol! x

  12. This is the one pattern in the book I really don’t like. It just totally drowns the model in the photos (in the book!) I think it’s unflattering! Then I saw that a lot of people actually like the pattern and I didn’t understand it! I don’t like Karen’s version… No offence to her but it’s just so sack-like!! I think yours is no worse than either… but… Yeah, it’s no better!!! Haha I’m mean!! It doesn’t exactly do anything for you. Don’t take that personally because I don’t think it does anything for anyone. I have a slim figure and don’t want to make it because it’ll look like a tent… I’m not sure which kind of figure would pull it off to be honest. :S

    • Maybe a 6ft 3 transvestite might pull it off, lol! they usually have great legs!
      Thanks for your honesty, I would really prefer that than then telling me the opposite, though I had worked it out for myself for once!
      It’s been donated to science and will be posted off the SewSouthLondon in the morning!
      Thanks again! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Hahaha thanks for that image before I sleep!! You’re welcome – if you wrote the post saying you like the dress I may not have been so honest!!
        Well that’s good it’s going to a good cause! All’s not lost. X

  13. poppyinstitches says

    I flicked throught the book at work and spent quite a while pretending to work while reading it. Like you thought Karen’s version was cute, but knew it wasn’t me – I think its because its jersey, have had one disaster with a colette pattern and promised myself I had to love a pattern and shape before making it. Kind of like shopping, I only buy something if I really can’t leave it in the shop – if I can walk away then its a no.

    • On reflection if it did’t do any favours for the model, and that’s supposed to be the dress at it’s best otherwise it wouldn’t be there, then I was onto a no hoper!
      I’m keep trying to tell myself only to take the time to sew something I’m going to get my wear out of but I don’t learn!

  14. Well done for the honest post!
    I really didn’t like the design of it when I first saw it, to be honest. It really put me off buying the book. It is hard to imagine what body shape this would flatter and generally we all want to wear things that flatter us although there are some that might prefer a sack.
    I try to stick to fitted or fluid with some shape but it’s taken me years to work that one out!

    • When my step sister was expecting she would have looked good in it – she’s 6ft and has great legs and the bump would have been hidden! Can’t think of anyone else!

  15. I ve been pondering on the same pattern for a couple of days!!glad you posted cause it s my train of thought exactly. Interesting but will i look massive in it? You dont look massive at all and i actually like it on you very much. maybe i would take in the waist a little so that it keeps the shape but doesnt look baggy. Sometimes i like to wear interesting clothes that do not follow a typical hourglass silhouette just because. So maybe i will give it a shot but after learning from your experience and the comments here! Thanks!

    • If you’re having a go I used my measurement for my bust and waist – I’m 2 sizes smaller usually on the hips. If i were to do it again I would make it for my smallest area, my hips, and let the stretchy fabric sort the rest out! …good luck!

  16. This design totally put me off buying the book but I got it free anyway with Love Sewing subscription. I’m tempted to have a go at it to see if it actually can suit anyone – it look awful on the model in the book but much better on Karen! Interested to see what SewSouthLondon does with it:)

    • Yea, should be interesting! The pattern’s in this months Love Sewing Mag. Maybe I should send it in to their readers projects page and see if it get printed…lol
      I did enjoy making it, even though the finished article was a disappoint so don’t let me put you off! SewSouthLondon could always pass it on when she’s done with it!

  17. While the way the seams go is definitely interesting I’m not a fan of the look. I prefer a bit more shaping and I’ve certainly seen you in much more flattering dresses!

  18. Ann Warner says

    I think your dress is great and good use of the fabrics pattern, I havn’t bought the book yet but would buy it for that pattern alone,

    • Thanks, but I’m afraid it’s been donated to science for another blogger to try and improve on the shape, without spoiling the original look too much.

  19. Fiona M says

    I really like the lines on the front of this dress, but the overall balloon shape is really not flattering on anyone! It just looks too big.

    • It was huge in the middle but tight round the knees! Strange……but it’s gone now so lets see what happens to it next!

  20. Looks great (with your hands on your hips)! I think you should try putting a gather on both sides just to take it in a bit. Like an elastic strip. Or give it away to charity like I do with the things I make that don’t come out as I had hoped. The fabric is lovely!

  21. Pingback: Scuba Knit Espresso Leggings | T H I M B E R L I N A

  22. Pingback: Single White Female in South London: Thimberlina’s GBSB dress! | Sew South London

  23. Finally found your post for this (I swear, I was only busy for a couple of days, but it’s taken me a week to catch up on blog land), and I think you did the right thing in donating it. It’s an ‘interesting’ design, but I’m not attracted to it in the slightest. Us shorties need a lot more definition around the waist! You did well getting ‘rid’ of it so soon. When I’ve kept things that haven’t worked, hanging on to them just makes it worse… Onwards and upwards ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Pingback: The Drapey Knit Dress The Great British Sewing Bee: | Delightfully Peculiar

  25. Pingback: Thank you Yorkshire Spoolettes!! | Sew South London

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s