Karen drape dress: another go

After my mixed feelings about my first Karen drape dress from Mariadenmark, I decided to have another go, without modifying the pattern as I went along.


This one is from a rich, plum poly/viscose knit that I’ve had in my stash for years. I decided that, being polyester, I could sacrifice the fabric if need be, but now I’m quite fond of it. DSC06661-2

This is definitely a cooler weather dress (and luckily we had a really chilly bit of weather so I could wear it), the knit is firm but with a nice drape and a lovely hand, but it’s one step away from being a ponte in terms of thickness. However, this was a second toile, so what did I do? Almost nothing. This time I made a medium at the top grading down to a small at the hips. I flirted with the idea of doing a sway back adjustment, but in the end I didn’t and it’s ok. Although this isn’t the best photo of the back, the dress does hang pretty straight. DSC06670-2

I decided at the last minute to add a pocket. I’m not sure whether this was such a good idea, but here it is


Only on one side and plonked on top. It’s actually rather badly placed so I can’t put my hand in fully as it looks a bit embarrassing, but this is a toile, so I’ll know better next time! In terms of construction, I just overlocked all the seams and overstitched the hems. The neck I did as per Maria’s instructions, with the clear elastic, and it really is a brilliant way to get a flat, nicely finished neckline with no danger of it stretching out.

Fabric was from Potter’s, a half-price remnant bought when they were closing their Leederville store. Shoes are Neo from Zomp, and I have dressed up this rather plain dress with a vintage French necklace.


33 thoughts on “Karen drape dress: another go

  1. Lovely, I’ve just bought this pattern and I’ve been looking at a very similar colour and fabric that you used, great minds. I was a bit worried whether the hem circumference would be too narrow for me and Maria wears hers short too, seeing how nice yours looks I’m reassured, it’s like you’ve read my mind. Weird. Thanks Sue.

    1. So pleased Annie. It isn’t a wide hem and I’m still not sure that it’s supposed to be level, but I didn’t like it up on one side. Looking forward to your version!

  2. I like the dress and the fabric, particularly the colour which is one of my favourites. I’m not a pocket lover though. In trousers and jackets okay but I don’t get them in dresses especially close fitted ones.

  3. I read Maria ‘ s post on the clear elastic neckline and anted to give it a go…. thanks for mentioning that you tried it. Your figure shines in this pattern, it’s a great staple for you.

  4. Lovely colour! I bought the pattern for the girls when it came out and haven’t managed to get anywhere near it yet. I like how it’s making up though, so looking forward to your “real” one in “proper” fabric!

  5. This deep purple coulor really enhances the side pleats with black undertones. What a gorgeous and elegant dress! I can’t help thinking that you’re a great ambassador for Maria’s patterns.

  6. That may be another ‘trial’ but it looks great, and I love the colour. I think if I was making a pocket on this dress I would put it into the seam without the tucks.
    I am just about to cut this out and I hope it looks as good as yours!

    1. I wouldn’t put a pocket in this dress again. I did briefly consider an in seam pocket but didn’t know how it would go with the draping – it might have been bulky, even though the drapes are on the other side. This one would work if I had been a bit more precise in my sewing.

  7. Oh, so very chic! I love the draped bit, plus this colour is fabulous on you. I love how you’ve styled it with the sparkly necklace. This will be a perfect outfit, come autumn 🙂

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