Yves of Construction

YSL Exhibit at VMFA

What started out as a desperate plea to the universe for some face time with fellow fanatics ended with a road trip meet-up and enough couture inspiration to fill my iPhone’s storage capacity.

On Sunday, August 20th I co-hosted a visit to the Yves Saint Laurent Perfection of Style exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia.

As far as I can tell, the seed was planted on Instagram in mid-July when I shared how much my emotional sewing tank was filled during my visit to Brooks Ann Camper’s studio. I wanted more connections like that and asked my followers to let me know if they wanted to hang this summer.

Sewcial media answered with a heads-up from Henna that the YSL exhibit was coming to our part of the country. This was followed by a lets-do-it nudge from Brooks Ann who came through with the lion’s share of coordinating.

Thirteen sewcialists made the drive (some of us headed south, most headed north) to Richmond to meet each other and Monsieur Saint Laurent’s legacy of work.

Finding your own style is not easy, but once found it brings complete happiness. It gives you self-confidence, always. – YSL

This was my first fashion exhibit and I knew very little about the designer, so I gave myself a crash course by consuming a handful of retrospective articles, his obituary,¬†a French-subtitled biopic¬†on Netflix and Charlie Rose’s 2002 video interview with Anna Wintour where she reflects on the career of Yves Saint Laurent on the day he retired.

Version 2

When I arrived, I was so enthralled with everything, I forgot to seal my education by reading the Runway Checklist program the museum provided.

I missed my chance to match in real time the 100 plus garments on display with their written profile at my fingertips. In hindsight, had I consulted the exhibit’s program, I might of suppressed the¬†instinct to photograph what felt like every seam and swatch.

Short of paying for another ticket and going back to the museum (the temptation was strong), reliving the exhibit through my photos was the best way to gel what I’d learned with what I witnessed.

IMG_9363I took in EVERYthing.

But my my camera roll revealed a theme in my admiration. I was drawn to Yves’ sketches like gravity.

They were displayed throughout the exhibit, but the wall of croquis from his collections could’ve been a stand alone shrine.


I wanted to drown in the drawings, to stream them into my brain like a TV series.

There was a scene in the YSL movie where a young Saint Laurent falls apart from the pressure of running the house of Dior and declares that he just wants to be left alone to sketch. I empathized with his deep yearning to create admist real world responsibilities and began to see him as more than just a dresser of rich women.

Because his designs were brought to life by teams of people (most uncredited) and the museum’s proximity rules limited my inspection of their construction, I spent much of my time appreciating my favorite garments by matching them to their pencil births.


Organza “sailor sweater” cocktail dress embroidered with red, white and blue sequins. Spring-Summer 1966 haute couture collection

With garments lined up on stage to the left and his instructional vision for them on the right, it was a fascinating pencil tour of couture that lingers with me.

Born in 1936, YSL’s talent for drawing was nurtured by a childhood filled with free-range play and craft in French-colonized Oran, Algeria. By age 17 his sketches were powerful enough to win design competitions, earn him favor with the editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, and ultimately blow Christian Dior’s mind ‚ÄĒ enough to take on the young prodigy as an apprentice the first day they met in 1955.

This is a kid who dropped out of couture college because it bored him. I am not even sure if he knew how to sew.

But one thing was true. The boy could sketch his ass off.


Only three years after being promoted to assistant, the house’s financier named Saint Laurent as Dior’s successor when the 52-year old master passed away unexpectedly. Yves was only 21 years old when he became the youngest couturier in the world.

When I was his age I had a lot of experience with leadership¬†‚ÄĒ as an older sister to three younger siblings, running an after school program for junior high kids, and becoming a Resident Advisor in my college dorm as a Freshman¬†‚ÄĒ but none of my young adult training would’ve prepared me to run a house of luxury fashion design.

Diva-sized tantrums, therapy, and supporters who loved me enough to put up with me would be required.

All were part of Yves’ coping strategy.

All creative work is painful. And fashion is very, very difficult. It plays on all my anxieties. – YSL


Navy blue whipcord pea coat with matching belt. Spring-Summer 1967 haute couture collection.

If Pierre Berg√©, an entrepreneur and “ring master of French culture“, hadn’t fallen hard for Yves and pulled off many emotional and financial rescues for the fragile designer, that¬†first successful collection of trapeze silhouettes in 1958¬†would have been his one-hit wonder.

He went on to royally dissapoint Dior executives in 1960 with his nearly all black Beatnik collection of crocodile-skinned motorcycle jackets, mixed media minks, and other very un-Dior like street fashion trends.  When YSL was drafted into the French army that same year and returned after only a few months (discharged after a nervous breakdown), the house of Dior took their chance and replaced him.

He and Berg√© sued for breach of contract and used the settlement money ‚Äď supplemented¬†with backing from an Atlanta businessman and half the designers from Dior ‚Ästto open Yves’ own house.


Red leather double-breasted coat.  Autumn Winter 1970 haute couture collection.

The YSL origin story has more pioneering moments than other designers of his generation (like Karl Lagerfeld who took second place to Yves in the design competition that kicked off their careers).

Known for sketching out designs for entire collections in a matter of weeks (often at his retreat in Marrakech), Saint Laurent’s ability to illustrate the shapes in his imagination bordered on superhuman. The exhibit pointed out that the drawings he discussed with his chefs d’ateliers were quite specific and included details about “ergonomics, drape and the equilibrium that must be maintained between the fabric and the body”.

Learning this about him and the complex haute couture process helped me reconcile what was so special about his contribution. I kept looking for evidence that his hands could construct an actual garment.

I wanted him to reflect the image of a couturier I’d made up in my mind: ¬†A builder of elegant, custom garments with needle, measuring tape, muslin, AND pencil in hand.


Black wool ottoman jacket with gold, purple, and blue lamé yoke, gold cuffs, black silk velvet straight skirt. Ordered by Palamo Picasso. Autumn-Winter 1979 haute couture collection.

But with haute couture’s irrelevant budget and network of craftsmen, one can comfortably outsource the execution of beauty.

Haute couture  conists of secrets whispered from generation to generation. If in ready-to-wear, a garment is manufactured according to standard sizes, the haute couture garment adapts to any imperfection in order to eliminate it. РYSL

Saint Laurent may not have directly produced his own garment patterns but his work and his house became a pattern for success that is still followed by designers and haute couture houses today.

He was basically knighted in 1985 by French President FrancŐßois Mitterrand and later president Nicolas Sarkozy declared the designer¬†as “the first to elevate haute couture to the rank of art – and that gave him global influence.‚ÄĚ


Wedding gown, multicolored silk velvet coat with appliqué letters forming the words LOVE ME FOREVER (front) OR NEVER (back) and heart, stars, and cloud in silk satin. Autumn-Winter 1970 haute couture collection.

We can thank Yves Saint Laurent for bringing us the styles that have flooded our wardrobes over the years. He stretched the conventions of silhouette and played with gender in a way that helped women explore their power. 

Do you remember your first pea coat? I got my first one in high school like a rite of passage ‚ÄĒnavy blue with oversized buttons and requisite Gap label. Having grown up in California, I could’ve survived the 90s with my staple denim and camo army jackets. But putting on that pea coat gave my unfocused style some cool points at a time I needed them most.

Thank you, Yves.

Imagine Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign without a plague of pantsuits.

You can’t.

Thank you, Yves. 


Pantsuit. Pinkish-beige gabardine jacket and pleated pants. Spring-Summer 1976 haute couture collection.

Four years before I was born, Bianca Jagger’s wedding tux was carefully crafted into history. To forever haunt and inspire me.

Thanks for the outfit goals, Yves. 


Black silk jersey jumpsuit with long zipper and drawstring waist. Spring-Summer 1975 haute couture collection; “First” pantsuit. Black wool double-breasted jacket and pants with white pinstripes.

When he opened his ready-to-wear boutique on the left bank of the Seine river in 1968¬† ‚Ästthe Greenwich Village of Paris ‚Äď he was beginning to democratize haute couture. According to the exhibit’s literature, the¬†rive¬†gauche¬†brand offered modular options instead of “precisely matched outfits… leaving women to choose whatever combinations they wanted.”

He continued to push boundaries on the runway by:

  • featuring black models on it
  • daring to use ethnic elements and folklore as inspiration for his couture designs
  • popularizing the wedding dress as the last outfit on the catwalk of all haute-couture collections
  • debuting avant garde garments

Short evening dress. Homage to George Braque. Black barathea weave belted dress with two white cotton piqué doves. Adornments by Lemarié.

When I learned that Saint Laurent invented the concept of a designer having a living retrospective with his 1983 show at the New York MET, I realized he would’ve been right as home as a blogger. Of course he would’ve farmed out the work to his couture social media team. His fantasy blog would have an Instagram account with celebrity fittings in the stories.

I’d follow him and double tap all of the toile photos.

Seeing the progress of couture is my absolute favorite part of this informal course in designer appreciation. I was happy to see some test garments in the exhibit. It was a helpful reminder of how a muslin mockup can be a beautiful, precise prediction.


Beige organza evening dress embroidered with purple, pink, silver, and beige beads and sequins with beaded fringe. Embroider by Lessage. Spring-Summer 1994 haute couture collection.

Speaking of predictability, every one of us had a had a silent moment of homage to YSL’s homage to pop art. The Mondrian dress alone was worth the price of admission.

The genius of that color blocked wool jersey thrills me to no end!


Homage to Piet Mondrian. Wool jersey cocktail dress with ivory, black, blue, red, and yellow piecing. Autumn-Winter 1965 haute couture collection

It was at this point in my tour that I broke protocol to peek under hems looking for finishing techniques.

The museum frowns on that. To the security guy on duty that day who kindly informed me to keep my distance, I am sorry for scowling at you.

Your job is important.

Without you, my fingerprints would be a part of fashion history.


Homage to Pop Art. (Left) Dark blue wool jersey cocktail dress with red wool jersey crescent moon piecing and irregular strips of light blue and black. (Right) Green wool jersey cocktail dress with heart-shaped pink piecing and uneven strip of blue. Autumn-Winter 1966 haute couture collection.

Since I can’t go back in time to try on the garments that nearly got me banned from the museum, I took a moment to virtually try one on.

My pre-exhibit research led me to a kitschy ad for two of YSL’s pop art dresses worn by black models with sky-scraping hairstyles and mod poses.



Homage to Tom Wesselmann. Purple wool jersey with pink piecing. Autumn-Winter 1966 haute couture collection.

What would the dress look like on my proportions?


There. My custom croquis is wearing a custom YSL dress that I can appreciate without attempting any heroics to sew it. Though sourcing some yardage of epic wool jersey might change my tune.

Dressing is a way of life….. it can give you freedom and liberation, help you to find yourself and to move without¬† restraint. – YSL

I don’t have an iconic French designer’s skill at drawing or days to hide myself away in peace to do it, but with steady practice my sketching will mature and begin to reveal my elusive personal style. So I can carry on with my mission to sew it.

It is very cool and serendipitous that Yves had similar priorities.


Even after taking this time to share what I learned about Yves Saint Laurent, I am still processing the experience. This is the dude whose ideas for the graceful avoidance of nudity dressed me and my mother’s generation. I think it will take some time to fully comprehend his talents.

I am grateful for the nerdy pilgrimage. Even wore my best handmade dress as a nod to the house.


Meeting up with women who “get it” made the event a complete treat.

Plans to hang out, swap supplies, and stay in touch were made with enthusiasm.

The Richmond exhibit ended Sunday. There was one in Seattle prior. If all of this makes you curious, keep your ears to the ground for its arrival at a museum near you.

To learn more in the meantime, this timeline from 1936 to 2013 is a handy account of the designer’s life and work.

I leave you with more photos from the exhibit.

VMFA, if you are reading this…note the lack of flash photography. The one rule of yours I managed to follow. If you let me back in, I promise to heed the rest.






The Dresstangle

It is four right angles and four seams sewn with an opening for my head.

Boatneck dress with cut on sleeves and elasticated waistNo, really. I know it looks like much more, but the fabric and the elasticated waist are doing all the work.

I’ve made this dress twice before (once in a peacock print and once¬†in navy) during my half year of speed sewing for¬†The¬†Sew Weekly blog, but I never wrote about it here. Until now.

Boatneck dress with cut on sleeves and elasticated waist

This version has an upgrade: A circle of clear elastic sewn to a dropped waistline.

When life (in the shape of a lingering cold, surprise deadlines at work, and family travel plans) started creeping in on my intentions to make something wearable this month, I fought back by resurrecting the simplest, self-drafted shape and applying it to the rayon challis print I acquired during my past addiction to online fabric sales.

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This is happening. #nofilter

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My first two iterations of this dress were cut and sewn directly from yardage.

This time, re-realizing how many more dress and top variations this shape could yield, I made a pattern.

Boatneck dress with cut on sleeves and elasticated waist

I was grateful for the accuracy that one rectangular pattern piece gave me when trying to fit the front and back on the full width of the fabric.

I had to short the seam allowances a bit on one seam, but ended up with an almost zero-waste garment.

Boatneck dress with bloused elasticated waist

The dress in my head got¬†sketched on my croquis¬†to see how the sewn-on elastic would handle the volume and how much blousing I’d like.

I wanted the dress to be permanently bloused at the waist versus just having the extra fabric belted. The elastic would keep things in position and distribute the gathers evenly like it did in the men’s shirt I refashioned last year.


However, a¬†happy accident with the untested marking of my real vs. dropped waistline gave me more blousing than I’d planned.

But, I kinda like it!

Its 1980s material girl meets 1920s flapper.

Boatneck dress with cut on sleeves and elasticated waist

I constructed the dress over three days.

Boatneck dress with cut on sleeves and elasticated waist

On day 1, I ironed and cut the fabric.

On day 2, seams were sewn and overlocked.

On day 3, the elastic and hem went in.

Construction of boatneck dress with cut on sleeves and elasticated waist

To create the blousing, I quarter-marked and zig-zag stitched clear elastic to a waistline marked 1.5 inches below my true waistline (which turned out not to be).

To keep the back hem even, I lowered the back waistline by half an inch at center back.

Boatneck dress with cut on sleeves and elasticated waist

I canNOT get over the basic beauty of this dress shape. The amount of pattern play to be had is endless. My next one might get kimono sleeves and a rounded hem. A proper neckline might even get drafted on future versions.

My satisfaction meter is off the charts with this make. Not to mention that I may have stumbled upon my fall/winter uniform.

Boatneck dress with cut on sleeves and elasticated waist

What’s your experience sewing boxy styles? Would you ever try a dresstangle? What other variations do you see are possible with this shape?

Baste the Waves

I finished my drafting experiment in curved darts. But only after letting my mind marinate on the construction steps for several nights.

Muslin mockup of asymmetrical curved darts mini skirt

The aha! moment was TINY SEAM ALLOWANCES. To sew the curves accurately, I couldn’t treat them like typical waist or bodice darts by folding in the intake. I had to treat them like seams.

And since there wouldn’t be enough room for¬†my usual¬†1-inch (2.5 cm) seam allowance, I marked the allowance that fit each dart – in some places it was as small as 1 cm.

Muslin mockup of asymmetrical curved darts mini skirt

In my original draft, I slashed and spread the skirt back so it could be gathered into an elastic waistband. When I got ready to cut it out of muslin, there was too much volume in the pattern piece. I realized I meant to add the volume to a full front piece, so I re-drafted the back and cut it out.

To complete my basted fitting sans waistband (which will be straight and cut-on, with interfacing in the front and elastic in the back), I gathered the back with 3 rows of stitches in the seam allowance that met in the center.

Muslin mockup of asymmetrical curved darts mini skirt

I tried on the skirt mockup in a hurry before work. I put it on backwards, pulling the six bobbin threads to cinch in the gathers, then turned the skirt around properly to check the fit at the side seams and evaluate the short hemline.

All were just right.

Muslin mockup of asymmetrical curved darts mini skirt

To contain my excitement for the success of this drafting experiment, I have decided to procrastinate on fabric selection. I think this skirt is asking for a solid woven with some body, but nothing too drapey. In my collection are a few solid linens, a black silk dupioni, a couple of gabardines, and a silk/cotton blend.

I will try to choose one of those to start, but I’d love to get recommendations from you.


Paisley Park


Handmade knit tank top and dirndl skirt / Wanna Be Sewing Something Blog

One afro, two elbows, and¬†a UFO walk into a park…

The start of a curious joke? Or the list of accessories for the paisley knit tank top I made?

It’s the latter, of course. Though a suitable¬†punchline¬†for my setup is still a goal.

With help from a quirky, patchwork paisley printed stretch knit, I executed the binding technique I wrote about in July to sew a companion for a chambray dirndl skirt that waited a year to be hemmed.

Handmade knit tank top

Even though I still have to draft new sleeves for it, my beloved¬†fitted t-shirt pattern (debuted here¬†last winter) is officially operating as a¬†block¬†now that I’ve got¬†the shoulders and armholes fitting just right. I traced it to¬†create a tank top pattern with a lower neckline.

Unfamiliar with drafting for knits, I referenced my Helen Joseph Armstrong book. The section on patterning kids clothes made with knit fabric covers how to measure and plot a lowered neckline.

Had I attempted it on my own, I wouldn’t have accounted for the bit of contouring that seems to build in¬†just the right amount of negative ease at the chest.

Handmade knit tank top and denim dirndl skirt separates

The position of the neckline on this tank top is EXACTLY where I want it. Plenty of skin showing to give the eyes a place ‚ÄĒ¬†other than the obvious one ‚ÄĒ¬†to land. With a shape that isn’t too scooped…but soft and rounded. Like my hair. Which I styled carefully for a look¬†in the middle of the spectrum between Angela Davis and Pam Grier.

Examining the symbiotic link between neckline and hair shape… is for another blog post.

Let’s enjoy a photo collage tribute to binding construction instead.

Knit binding with mitered seams

From left to right: (a) When I sew wovens, I cut patterns from a single layer of fabric. For this pattern, I¬†folded in the selvedges to the middle and used my rotary cutter. (b) The 45 degree line on the grid of my cutting mat and chalk-marked stitchlines kept the mitered seams of my binding¬†looking sharp. (c) I know it’s overkill, but a steamy iron and my tailor board got in¬†on the action. (d) I always get a little nervous before attaching freshly cut bindings. Did I get the ratios right? I can usually tell if I’m off by laying the seams next to each other.

knit tank top, chambray dirndl skirt

About the skirt. My usual dirndl. It’s origin story is ancient.

95% of it was sewn over a year ago!

I even lined the skirt and the pocket and Instagrammed my results to the world before noticing there wasn’t enough fabric for the waistband.

A small tear was shed before I hung it up in a corner to display it as an unfinished object (UFO) in distress.

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Lined denim pocket or smiling muppet mouth.

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I picked it up a few months later after I learned a machine sewn technique for interfacing a waistband with petersham in my Skirt Skills class.

I tried it out on a straight waistband cut from bottom weight denim that happened to match my chambray.


Handmade knit tank top and denim dirndl skirt separates

After admiring the results, I abandoned the dirndl AGAIN so I could use the denim to sew that game-changing pencil skirt.

By the time I returned to finally hem and fasten the chambray dirndl (last week), it was three seasons later and I was ten pounds lighter.

If its muppet mouth could speak, it would’ve cursed me out.

Handmade denim dirndl skirt: waistband, lining

Even though the waistband was a bit thicker than I’m used to, and the hook placement had to be sewn an inch deeper, the peterhsam interfacing performed like a champ.

My waistline did not grow like it did in the un-stabilized, chocolate linen maxi version of this skirt.

After a day of wearing and eating, and through the weight of keys and phones in pockets, my waistband was a solider.

Handmade knit tank top and denim dirndl skirt separates

These separates are a uniform silhouette for me that leave me feeling comfortable and confident. I may not be able to craft a swift punchline for a joke, but I can certainly craft a slow, wonderfully wearable outfit for my body.

Moving the Needle, Vol. 03

Muslin mockup of asymmetrical pleated skirt

This week

My husband does all the laundry and is pretty strict about what gets done first.¬†The¬†bolt of muslin I put in the queue did¬†not get¬†VIP priority.¬†So, with¬†less than a yard to work with, I cut¬†out only the front and basted in the pleats of the self-drafted skirt pattern I shared earlier. The process revealed that I’d¬†forgotten to fold and true the pleats in paper, leaving no room for turn of cloth. The laundry delay was either serendipity or clairvoyance, because I’ve got another patterning playdate before¬†I’m ready to lay down my iron upon¬†a¬†mile¬†of clean muslin.

Speaking of playdates, I just registered my three-year old for preschool. All of the feelings and paperwork involved remind me of sewing.

Sew Inspired

I was glad to rediscover Christine’s thorough¬†instructions for drafting and sewing a knit peter pan collar. Portia’s jeans refashioning challenge has me mapping out¬†thrift stores to stalk. The hilarious review of Fendi’s 2017 resort collection on the Pretty Grievances blog features a¬†pair of wider than wide culottes that I should’ve laughed at but actually enjoyed. My neighborhood pool closes in a week, so I missed my chance to make¬†a new swimsuit ‚ÄĒbut next year…Amanda’s¬†legendary Wonder Woman bathing suit¬†(with drafting instructions) will be my guide.

Quotes to Sew By

Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself? ~ Lao Tzu

A garment may begin with design or fabric, but its ultimate success depends upon the compatibility of the two. ~ Susan Khalje, Linen and Cotton


I recently updated my about page. If you’re a new follower, the¬†short recap of the key turning points in my sewing life should¬†be a¬†nice¬†Wanna Be Sewing Something primer.

Pattern Play: Asymmetrical Darts

I drafted a pattern during my lunch break. No food. No phone. Just my supplies¬†and the sketch of a¬†mini skirt that my mind wouldn’t shetup about until my hands got to work.



The skirt I wanna-be-sewing has four, topstitched darts that radiate¬†from the waist toward the side seam. To get there, a little slashing, a little spreading, and maybe later….a¬†muslin mockup of the final pattern to play with dart length and spacing.

I started with with my skirt block. This version is only 3 months old and already full of pin holes.

A custom drafted skirt block used to draft a sewing pattern. In the article, "Pattern Play: Asymmetrical Darts,‚ÄĚ on the Wanna Be Sewing Something blog, Najah shares the slash and spread pattern drafting techniques she used to create a custom skirt design from her skirt block.

I traced a full copy of the front and drew in the new hemline. I got cold feet about the mid-thigh length and found myself hesitating to cut off the excess right away.

The back will have a dirndl look with elastic inserted into the back waistband to make it a pull-on skirt. To create this, I evenly spaced and cut four vertical lines, numbering the remaining pieces to keep track of them before spreading them apart to 1.5 times the width of the original hemline.

A custom drafted sewing pattern for a mini sirt with asymmetrical, topstitched darts. In the article, "Pattern Play: Asymmetrical Darts‚ÄĚ on the Wanna Be Sewing Something blog, Najah shares the slash and spread pattern drafting techniques she used to create a custom skirt design from her skirt block.

Using a bendable ruler and french curve, I plotted four, parallel curves across the skirt front. Then, I held my breath…and slashed through each line.

Washi tape holds the closed darts together.

A custom drafted sewing pattern for a mini sirt with asymmetrical, topstitched darts. In the article, "Pattern Play: Asymmetrical Darts‚ÄĚ on the Wanna Be Sewing Something blog, Najah shares the slash and spread pattern drafting techniques she used to create a custom skirt design from her skirt block.

After drawing in the curves for the darts, I realized they could easily be sewn as pleats. Which means I could have TWO styles for this pattern if I squared off the dart legs. I did this and they became match points for four asymmetrical pleats.

A custom drafted sewing pattern for a mini sirt with asymmetrical, topstitched darts. In the article, "Pattern Play: Asymmetrical Darts‚ÄĚ on the Wanna Be Sewing Something blog, Najah shares the slash and spread pattern drafting techniques she used to create a custom skirt design from her skirt block.

During¬†my next pattern playdate, I will finish labeling all of the pattern pieces. Then, I’ll trace a copy of the pleat-ready front pattern, draw in¬†the stitchlines of the four darts I originally planned, and cut out the dart intake.

In my Skirt Skills class (aka couture for beginners), I learned to sew from stitchlines vs. cutlines. So my pattern will remain seam allowance-free, allowing me to mark the stitchlines directly onto the fabric.

A custom drafted sewing pattern for a mini sirt with asymmetrical, topstitched darts. In the article, "Pattern Play: Asymmetrical Darts‚ÄĚ on the Wanna Be Sewing Something blog, Najah shares the slash and spread pattern drafting techniques she used to create a custom skirt design from her skirt block.

A straight front waistband (that will double as a separate facing) was drafted to accompany the elasticated back waistband.

Before I test out the pleated and darted versions of this pattern in fabric, let me know what you think. Have you ever sewn or designed a garment with asymmetric seams? This will be my first!