Pink Silk Bias Cut

This sample dress was an exercise in draping and cutting on the bias. I love the androgynous sexiness of the 1930s, clinging barely there gowns in silks and crepes. These then developed into the powerful designs of the 1940s before the return to ultra siss femininity in the 50s.

The two very differing shapes of the close fitting drapey bias cut of the 1930s and the full skirts of the 1950s are my favourite cuts. So this dress is back to bias. 

Bias cuts can use a HUGE amount of fabric with lots of waste so you have be clever at cutting. Cutting on the Bias means you are using the fabric at a 45 degree angle. This creates drape and a little stretch to the fabric. 

I usually roughly draft out a shape from my pattern blocks or drape straight on the stand. The cut is very simple but one wrong curve can make everything go terribly wrong as you are working with stretched fabric. Seams need to be smooth and straight. 

pink bias cut dress alexandra king

I then pin the cut pieces of the dress on the stand a in the case of this dress allow as much fabric as possible to be used up leaving and angled side drape. 
I love the long ties and wrapping that designer Madeline Vionnet used in the thirties. The tie to fit to the body works beautifully with bias cut and look gorgeous with long ties draping down the skirts. 
The bodice is sewn at the waist and with a delicate cowl ties behind the neck leaving the back open. 

I'm pleased with the bodice cut and will use this again and I may want to use another metre or so in the skirt.

This sample dress was then hand dyed a fabulous shocking pink. The hand dying leaves a mottled effect to the colour which gives it quite a lovely ages effect as if it could have been made in the 1930s. Washing silk also gives it a softness.