by Daughter Fish

For a couple of years, I’ve been curious about the series of Drape Drape books by Hisako Sato, trolling blogs to see how the pretty draped patterns actually translated on a variety of figures. If you’re not familiar with these books, they’re styled beautifully, with gorgeous (and very skinny) Lolita-like models in all manner of loungy, moody, and pouty poses.  I was definitely not going to tackle these patterns when pregnant, as I feared the gathers and pleats in them would make me look ginormous.

I fell in lust with a few of the patterns in Drape Drape 3 and recently decided to try out the tuck drape shorts (pattern #8). I’ve been behind the curve on the whole harem pants craze (I wasn’t wearing those while pregnant, either!), and this pattern has a little of that Hammer/harem pants look.

I was a intimidated, at first, by the instructions, as they’re pretty minimal, but once I got into sewing I actually felt the illustrations and text was clearer than a lot of patterns with tons of text. I whipped the pants up in half a Sunday, a feat that required the stars aligning (= my husband hung out and entertained the babers).

I wasn’t sure at first, but now I love these shorts. They’re comfy like a skirt (they even look like a skirt at certain angles), and I can dress them up or down. They’re so much better than a skirt, for me, though, because I can get down on the ground and play with my daughter without risk of exposing myself.

It took a little experimenting to figure out what to wear with these. The models in Sato’s book are so rail thin that styling the pants with a billowy shirt works. But I’ve got curves and just look frumpy wearing anything that covers the top of these shorts. After trying a few combinations, I landed on a really cool cowl-neck shirt that I bought a few years ago from a designer in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I’m blanking on her name right now, but I think she’s a genius just for the shirt, which has hooks all along the sides, and can also be worn into a mini skirt. I love clothes that do double duty, and truth be told, I’ve copied the deep cowl from this shirt for a number of me-made dresses and shirts.

If you’re planning on making these shorts, or anything from Sato’s books, definitely check your measurements. I’m usually a size 4 or 6 in a lot of US patterns, but come out as an XL in Sato’s book. I did find the outcome of the pattern totally accurate to her measurements. I’m excited to tackle some more of her patterns.

In other news, I posted a Thread Cult episode with textile designer and illustrator Heather Ross last week. She just published a beautiful memoir about growing up in rural Vermont. And I’ve also been busy the past couple weeks testing a bunch of sewing machines for a review I’m writing for The Sweethome. I enlisted the help of Oonaballoona and Ginger Makes to help me test. Looking forward to publishing that soon. The review is on machines for beginners, but I’d happily sew on the machine we chose, which I did this past Sunday, in view of some Mother’s Day peonies.