Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Drape Drape Collection

I love surprises. I have very specific tastes and usually have some creative plan in the works. For this reason however, people in my life do not normally surprise me, they simply ask me what I want when they want to give me something. Last week, my friend Hillary sent me a wonderful surprise package in the mail! It was the Drape Drape Collection of books by Hisako Sato.

It was a wonderful surprise and great opportunity to try garments from books I have long admired, but never tried. The patterns in these books appear intimidating and were previously only published in Japanese. Now they are in English and gifted to me, I took the opportunity to dive in.

Full disclosure, I usually have visual orientation and directional issues. For this reason, reading the diagrams in the book was more difficult for me than they would be for most. The illustrations and cutting layouts for some garments make me feel like I did when looking at Magic Eye posters from the 1990’s. I stared at them for a long time until my eyes cross, then for a reason I cannot explain, it suddenly comes into focus and then, I know what needs to happen. 
Given that this was my first project from the books, I decided to use Drape Drape 2 to make No. 2 One-piece side drape top.

I like that this is a simple top that looks more stylish and complicated than it is. I liked how easy it was to construct. It has one side seam and two shoulder seams. It is one of the easiest pieces to make in the Drape Drape 2 book. Based on the measurements, I chose to cut the S/M of a lightweight polyester knit I purchased at an estate sale.

I dislike tracing and piecing patterns together. I HATE this part of sewing patterns and have passed on wonderful patterns if this is a requirement. I knew if I wanted to enjoy this great gift I  had to get over it. The patterns are layered upon each other and required careful concentration to identify the correct cutting lines. They are color coded, so that helped a great deal.

I used freezer paper to make the pattern and had no trouble once the lines were identified. I suggest you piece your paper together to accommodate the shapes you are tracing first. You may be tempted to trace the smaller width of your paper then tape them together after. I found it better to work with the larger unmarked sheet than try to match the lines once traced.
The instructions on this top were very easy to follow, but I chose to forgo them for this simple top and stitch it up the way that made the most sense to me.

I stitched the shoulder and side seams together before adding the binding. The pattern suggests doing it differently, but I found it simpler to stitch right sides together and flip binding to inside and then top-stitching.

Serged bias binding before turning it inside.
I cut three and made two of these tops in different weights to experiment with the draping (obsess much?). Here is the Seafoam version with the most drape. I am right-handed and prefer to wear the drape on the left, but it can be worn either way.

I really like this top. It has the comfort and ease of a t-shirt, but with a bit of sass. I  do not think I could get away with wearing this to Kroger for milk. I am sure I would not have to push my cart though ;p . I decided to make a casual one in a heavier cotton jersey. I love it for its everyday wear-ability, though the drape is firmer. 

I LOVE these books! I have flagged so many garments to make in the near future. I am so grateful for this gift. It has pushed me to deal with my least fun part of sewing with great results. This gift has inspired me to pay it forward and send a surprise sewing gift to someone. I am looking forward to brightening someone's day and advancing their  skills as these gifts have done for me. I encourage you to do the same.

Happy Sewing,


  1. Oh my gosh, you make me giggle (obsess much? YES). And YEOW those beautiful legs . . . Shopping at Kroger could get quite interesting. Love that you ignored the instructions and did what made sense to you-that's the mark of mastery (and sass). YOU inspire. Keep it up.

  2. Love, Love, Love! These look so chic! I can't wait to see what else you make from this collection. And bravo for coloring outside of the lines and departing from the original instructions. Great work!

    1. Thanks so much! I need to expand my social calendar for the other garments I want to make; there are so many great ones.