One of our most popular styles The Seam Detail Dress was the result of a conversation I had with lady who was convinced she couldn't make a dress even though she could make curtains.
She said if I could design a dress with no buttons or zips and made with straight lines she might be tempted to try. Well this design almost answers that brief.
I knew it would need to pull over the head so the circumference of the neck needed to allow for a large head but I didn't want it to gape at the front. I also wanted to tapper the side seams. So I opted for both the front and back to be made up of four almost rectangles.
Initially I worked on a development toile where the centre front seam of top sections was angled, to bring the neckline closer to the body. However I realised this would cause problems with pattern matching down the line. So I swung the grain line to make the centre front seam on the grain. This swings out the side seam and raises the armhole. But once the dress is constructed the front swings back and the front sits well to the neck.
To keep to the straight-line parameters I set myself, I designed the pocket bags to be extensions of the top and bottom front sections. This would make matching everything up much simpler for the novice dressmaker.
In the end I did introduce curves; a subtle curve on the shoulder seam and armhole and as is obvious the neckline. But the sleeves are sewn to the body while flat then the underarm and side seam stitched as one.
I wanted the dress to still have some style about it. I felt if it were a total box shape that it wouldn't do anyone any favours although the finished dress is roomy and some do prefer to drop a size.