Drape Drape takes flight with a Batwing Dress!

No. 7 from Drape Drape 2 - Batwing dress. Sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy from rayon knit from The Fabric Store, Sydney

No. 7 from Drape Drape 2 – Batwing dress, back view. I do love the peek-a-boo shoulders.

I’m on the fence about this one… and I think it’s perhaps I’m not so happy with pictures or the fabric feels a little too slinky for this particular style. I do love the style and the colour. So it’s a 50/50 debate at the moment.

The fabric is a lovely rayon knit from The Fabric Store during the Sydney meet-up in March. I think a slightly heavier knit, less slinky & more matte, would work better. While the drape on this is gorgeous for the top, it’s not ideal for the skirt. The weight of the folded skirt pulls downwards and I need to hitch it up in the most unladylike fashion – you know… with a wiggle and a giggle (I’ve not always been famed for my decorum so I’m OK with that). The fabric slithers over my hips, I think something more matte would cling more to my hips (this must be the first time ever I’m looking for hip-clinging properties in a fabric LOL) and the dress would tend less to pull downwards.

No. 7 from Drape Drape 2 - Batwing dress

No. 7 from Drape Drape 2 – couldn’t crack a smile for the camera ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


I found it impossible to match this shade of bruised blue and any overlocking thread looked dreadful – so I did all overlocking stitches on my sewing machine. I know you can’t see the overlocking stitches but it bothers me… I can handle hot ‘n’ bothered but not sew bothered.

The Neckline…

Once again with a Drape Drape make I found the finishing instructions on the neckline near impossible to achieve. Perhaps my knit was too soft, however the directions for finishing the neckline made it impossible to achieve a neat finish.

I found this impossible to achieve neatly with a rayon knit.

I found this Drape Drape suggested finish impossible to achieve neatly with a rayon knit.

I attached a very narrow band as per a Sewaholic Renfrew and I think this finish is much nicer.

No. 7 from Drape Drape 2 - the neckline finish

No. 7 from Drape Drape 2 – the neckline finish


The book has you overlock the edges of the sleeve openings and then turn them over once and machine them down. As the sleeves fall open you do see the inside finish of the sleeve. I felt it would look terribly messy so I machine overlocked the edges in a matching thread and then turned them under twice. I pinned them, hand basted them and then machined them. Yes sounds fussy but the finish was much neater.

The Skirt

The wonderful effect of the skirt is achieved by large downwards folds at the sides – I love it and could have the side benefit of concealing significant VPL sins (although I made wise underwear choices here – enough said…)

I made the S/M size of this dress (it only comes in two sizes and this is the smallest size). I took the skirt side seams in considerably – sewing seams of about 30mm instead of 15mm. If I had left the seams as is, the dress hangs like a massive sack from my shoulders and is most unflattering. The shoulder seams are quite narrow to support 2m of fabric and I think the skirt needs to cling for the overall design to work.


I used tailor tacks to mark all the folds etc on this fabric – no chalk or pen would mark it well. I hand basted all the skirt folds and cuff pleats into place. Pins slide straight out of this rayon knit. Despite all that basting – this is a relatively quick dress to put together. It’s got slightly whacky pattern pieces but it’s not too much of a brain bender.

No. 7 from Drape Drape 2 - Batwing dress. Sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy from rayon knit from The Fabric Store, Sydney

No. 7 from Drape Drape 2 – Batwing dress. Still undecided about this make… it’s not for the ‘junk trunk’ shy.

On a positive note, it’s quite demure compared to some of my other Drape Drape dresses… this is about as risquรฉ as it gets…

No. 7 from Drape Drape 2 - Batwing dress. Sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy from rayon knit from The Fabric Store, Sydney

No. 7 from Drape Drape 2 – Batwing dress. This is as about as revealing as this dress gets – apart from the clingy factor of course!

Most of the versions I have seen omit the open sleeves – however I love them. It could be a gigantic sack on me and I love that my shoulders and arms can be seen now and then. I do find that the dress wants to slide forward and I think it could benefit from bra-keepers to help the dress stay on my shoulders. I adore how the fabric drapes in such fine folds across my back. It’s like water.

No. 7 from Drape Drape 2 - Batwing dress. Sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy from rayon knit from The Fabric Store, Sydney

The ‘caboose shot’ however I do love how the fabric falls and folds across my back and arms.

I do love the feel of it and it’s quite wearable. I think it feels better on than it looks through a camera lens – so either my eyeballs are lying or the camera lens is being cruel. At least my legs are not hanging out everywhere like this memorable number… and while this one may have been short – I have worn it a lot…

I think I would love it in matte black knit as a work dress with boots. I work in a cultural centre so my wardrobe choices are sometimes a little less conservative.

I’m very tempted to chop off the skirt, add a lower band to the top and turn this into a highly wearable batwing top. The colour is lovely…

Perhaps I was having a general ‘blah’ day, bad hair, sea breeze to deal with, sun fast disappearing… perhaps I’m too self-critical…

These were taken on the river in my lovely home town of Port Macquarie, outside the venue where my wedding reception was held… many, many moons ago!

Pattern: No 7: batwing dress from the book Drape Drape 2.
Fabric: Rayon knit from The Fabric Store, Sydney

Also see: Cyber Daze | Small Things | Ancien Nouveau | The Somnolent Dachshund
Note – this dress does awesome things when made out of a stripe… tempting…

Giveaway: and I forgot to add a close date for my giveaway so let’s make it midnight, Sunday 25 May 2014 – I will draw it on Monday night.

If I seem to be absent lately – May 2014 has been hardcore busy. ELH was away fishing for nine days, I work fulltime, I have two young daughters. I have volunteered for 6 hours at Ironman on an aid station (until 10pm at night), helped run a school fete stall (this takes HOURS over several weeks – and then a whole weekend – the fete raised $25,000 so I’m happy to have contributed). My daughter is competing in a dance eisteddfod so I’ve been taking her to rehearsals, out of town for a solo performance and this weekend we are at the ‘dance group weekend’ competition for the Eisteddfod out of town – where I have ‘ballet mother duties’ ie shovelling 20 children into ‘circus’ lycra outfits at 8.30am on a Sunday morning… I’m tired just thinking about my schedule this month… I’m not quite sure how I survived it…
Massive apologies that I’m not commenting on blogs at the moment. I am reading everything – I’m just rather knackered at night & typing is tough. Sorry!

34 thoughts on “Drape Drape takes flight with a Batwing Dress!

  1. Yes, yes indeed! I love this on you! Extra points for matching nautical business in the background. This could get busy woth so many features but you kept it all in subtle check- go for the black one!

  2. Lovely dress. I tried making this but didn’t slash the sleeves, I got lost in the fabric! I agree with you on the finish on the sleeves, the suggested “overlock and turn down” just wouldn’t do the dress justice. Best of luck to your daughter on her dance comps! brings back memories of my little sister’s dancing and the many trips to and fro : )

  3. Oh, it’s just lovely on you! Gorgeous colour ๐Ÿ™‚ I had to smile when you mentioned chopping off the skirt and adding a band to form a top instead – I just made this pattern recently and did exactly that! It works beautifully, for the record ๐Ÿ™‚ And using a striped fabric gives you a fantastic chevron effect at the back…I love a pattern that keeps on giving!

  4. I think it’s beautiful, but I hear what you’re saying on the weight and the clinginess in the skirt. I made a rayon knit dress a few weeks ago and have the same issues; it just seems so heavy and I’m waiting for it to pull out of shape. I might add some cotton tape or elastic to the side seams to prevent them from stretching too much.

  5. I think I’d really, really love to sew the Drape Drape styles, but if this is as demure as it gets… hm. They all look so fantastic and interesting on you, though!

  6. I think this looks great on you and maybe like you say… it was just a blah day. Give it another go, it gorgeous! Wow, you are busy! And I thought our lacrosse season was busy.

  7. I’ll confess that I truly have a dislike for these patterns, but this dress…oh god! If I still had a figure like yours I’d wear variations of this dress everyday! This dress looks incredible on you–no ifs, and, or buts about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I totally feel you on being a quasi-single mom. I’m currently a “commuter widow”, so I get to see my hubby for mayyyyybe an hour or two before bed these last couple of months. Hang in there, but don’t forget to take good care of yourself, you need to be in tip top condition or you can’t do your mom duties effectively! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I think the dress looks great on you, the issues with the skirt certainly don’t show in the photographs! Nevertheless, I understand what you are describing, and I hope you figure it out in your next make, and that you can put this blue wonder to some use ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. i think this looks great on you! but if you’re not feeling it, you could probably add a band to make it a shirt, and maybe add a waist band and make the bottom part a skirt. whatever you choose to do, this is a great color and looks fantastic on you! i hear ya on the busy schedule… it’s so hard to keep up with everything!

  10. This dress looks stunning – and I like the idea of it as a top. I struggle to find a way to wear the Bunka garments and that sounds distinctly possible. thanks for enabling ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I think this is fab Lizzy! I can see that a different fabric would totally change the style of it (and it sounds like this fabric is a little tricksy to work with) but all these drape drape designs look gorgeous on you. I reckon pop it away for a few days then put it back on with fresh eyes and I’m sure you’ll like it!

  12. It’s beautiful, and it flatters your figure nicely. I love the peek-a-boo sleeves, too. And the narrow band is the only civilized way to finish the neckline on a knit garment, im(not-so-h)o.

  13. Personally, I think this dress looks amazing on you! So pretty and I LOVE the colour. Sounds like you’ve had a crazy schedule for this past month – hope it lightens up a bit for you!

  14. I love the colour and the open splits on the arms are amazing. Pity about the weird skirt sliding bit, hopefully you can figure out how to stop it?
    Also hope the general craziness that is life slows down to a more manageable pace for you soon and you can regain so peace.

  15. Oooh, a drapey delight! Do you think the way the fabric flows will grow on you? The first dress I ever made was in a too-drapey fabric and I’ve never worn it since. Picking the right characteristics in fabric to suit the garment is always the hardest thing for me! I love the colour though, and it just looks so very comfortable. And there you go, just titillating the underarm fetishists again ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I do love the top and how it flows, I think that part suits the batwings. It’s just the skirt and how all the fabric pulls downwards due to the weight of 2m of it. I’ve been pondering somehow attaching an underskirt with a waistband that I can just stitch to the side seams. I think regardless of the fabric the sheer weight of this with the narrow shoulders it’s always going to be tough.
      I do love how it feels on, it’s so soft & comfy yet slinky.

  16. The dress is lovely on you, but I wouldn’t like having to hike up the skirt all the time either. That would significantly decrease it’s wearability for me!. Chopping off the skirt and making it into a top seems like a great solution.

    I hear you about the month of May. My two oldest have May birthdays and this month seems like it just disappeared! I’m looking forward to the lazy, hazy summer days ahead of us ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Pingback: Flutter Sleeve Jersey Top from Casual Sweet Clothes | Sew Busy Lizzy

  18. Pingback: Drape Drape 2 No 4 top | Steely Seamstress

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