Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Made by a Fabricista: Working with Panels

If you browse through our website often, you may periodically come across fabric that comes in panels or borders. While some may feel like it's too much of a challenge, they offer wonderful possibilities for something out of the ordinary! You can be really creative with panels! Maggy London is known for using paneled fabric in her garments, and we just so happen to get some of those. 

I recently offered this fabric in Julie's Picks and was pleasantly surprised by the number of people that purchased it! It was a stretch cotton sateen with a large stripe-effect floral design. You are seeing the entire panel in the dress.


Here are examples of other panels prints in garments: 


So I put myself to the challenge of making something with a panel. I chose the Purple Floral Lace Half Medallion ITY Knit. 

I really enjoyed trying to figure out how to use it. I used my mannequin as a model. I tried the panel at my shoulders, at my waist and even along one side of my body. (I didn't get a photo of that one though...)



I really liked the panel at the top of the dress. Comparing it to the second photo, I felt like the panel on my hips would just accentuate more than is necessary. Plus the panel sort of looked like an apron. I love aprons, but I just wasn't going for that look. The panel at the top really frames my face and ascetically looked better. As I mentioned before, I tried the panel at the side, but didn't care for that as much either. Here is an example of how you can use a panel like this on the side of your body:


Here is the completed dress! I used McCall 6112, which looks to be discontinued from McCall's website. I made this a few times before, so I knew the pattern pretty well. It's not a very hard pattern, which makes it much easier to work with panels. Hint: Don't select a pattern with too many pattern pieces in the place you're using the panel. This was a simple 4-piece pattern with no sleeve pieces since it was a dolman sleeve! 




So I guess you're wondering how I did this??


I looked at my bodice pieces and made sure they were going to fit on the fabric. Once I determined that they would, I placed the pattern in the middle of the medallion. I also placed the shoulder seam at the straight edge of the medallion. I traced around this, then turned the pattern piece to cut the other half of the bodice front. Cut out the entire bodice front, then repeat for the back. 



When flipping your pattern to create the mirror-image, I used pins to show me the middle of the bodice. I didn't want to have a chalk mark going down the middle of the fabric. I know it washes out, but I fear markings not coming out!


You're probably wondering how much fabric I need for this dress? You will need two panels. One for the front and one for the back. But keep in mind that depending on your size, you may have to buy a different black knit for the skirt. I was able to get the skirt out of the left side of the fabric (where the small stripe design is.) If you would see the dress in person, you would see that I have a small 1-inch medallion print on my side. 


That's all there is to it! Have you worked with panels before? What did you make? Share you experiences with us!

Check out our selection of Maggy London Fabrics Here. Also check out our Pinterest Board featuring our Maggy London fabrics and ideas! 

~Julie

11 comments:

  1. I really like how it turned out! Love the idea of a panel or border print to be used in a dress.

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  2. Very pretty! I love the look of panels and borders but I'm always afraid of them because the grain normally would have to go opposite of the pattern. Especially in knits where the strtch would be up and down vs. across. Do you have a way to adjust or stabilize? Thanks!

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    1. It just so happens that the panel is going in the right direction for cutting! I know what you mean sometimes, but that is the beauty of a panel. Maybe the panel could be used with the grain going in the right direction, but the panel would be used in an unconventional way. I guess it depends on the panel. You will have a different drape if it isn't with the grain but sometimes it's not so bad. If day just give it a try!

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  3. I truly love the dress. I have always been nervous about panels because it seemed like I would end up having the grain running the wrong way, but it seems to work out just fine.

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  4. I bought some of the Maggy London floral sateen and I absolutely love it! I'm working on a dress with it right now :)
    Would love to see more floral panel fabric come along like that

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    1. Would love to see what you make with it!

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  5. I've made two panel-dresses from Fabric Mart. I will have to dig them out of the closet and take photos! They are both quite simple, the first being a shift dress and the second a form fitting mini

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