Self-Drafted Wool Crepe Blouse and Pants

Version 2

For the last two years I’ve been attending classes at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) here in New York City.  Last semester I took a draping class that was dedicated to designing soft silhouettes like dolman sleeves, pegged skirts, and cowls.

At the beginning of the semester we draped in muslin and then moved on to knit jersey and woven crepe.  For our final project, we were asked to drape a two-piece ensemble with a resort feel (think winter cruise).  One of the pieces had to include a cowl — either front neck, back neck, or underarm cowl, or a cowl on the pants.

I chose to create my ensemble using a lemon yellow wool crepe by Carolina Herrera from Mood Fabrics in New York City.  Wool crepe drapes beautifully and is a pleasure to work with.  (You can check out Mood’s online selection of wool crepes here.)


The pant I designed is capri length, cut full, with two front pleats, left and right, no side seams, and with a 1 1/2″ wide waistband.  My top is a simple front-buttoned blouse with a dramatic underarm cowl draped on the bias.  The center front (CF) and CB (CB) edges are on the straight grain and cross grain respectively.


The blouse is draped with just two square pieces, left and right, folded in half diagonally.   The bias edge forms the underarm cowl.  The fabric is slung under the arm and the cowl is formed by creating deep folds at the shoulder, held in place in the shoulder seam.   The CB seam connects left and right sides.  I added placket extensions and facings to my CF seam, to support buttonholes and buttons.  The simple jewel neckline is finished with bias piping.


It’s very satisfying to see something you create yourself displayed on a dress form but it’s something else entirely to see it worn by a real person.  I had a hunch this ensemble would fit my beautiful friend Lenore and I was thrilled when she agreed to model it for me this month.  It looked so smashing on her, in fact, that I have decided to give it to her.

Take a look!







This ensemble was a delight to create.  Having it so beautifully modeled by Lenore is icing on the cake (though I’m thinking lemon meringue pie after these photos).  Have you ever made a garment from wool crepe?  If so, what did you make?

Thanks for reading and see you next month!





  • Juliana
    March 2, 2017

    You know, I was a little meh on the garment on the dummy, but it looks smashing on Lenore! I really like it on her and the draping looks fabulous. Well done, Peter!

  • Jean
    March 2, 2017

    Wow! Looks like it was made just for her. How nice! Beautiful work.

  • Susan Finch
    March 2, 2017

    Love it! Lenore is a beauty and she looks stunning in your creation!

  • Robin Townsend
    March 2, 2017

    Oh my goodness! It looks so GOOD on her. Congratulations to you on the make and to her for being gifted with it.

  • Emily
    March 2, 2017

    wow I LOVE the underarm drape!!! you did such a good job.

  • Connie Turner
    March 2, 2017

    Wow Peter that ensemble looks as if it were made for Lenore and the color really sets off her beauty.

  • Peggy Mead
    March 2, 2017

    You look so beautiful in this! I really, really love the blouse. You should make a pdf pattern and sell it. I’d buy it.

  • Peggy Mead
    March 2, 2017

    I meant she looks so beautiful in this.

  • shannon conley
    March 2, 2017

    What a fabulous outfit, and it suits Lenore perfectly. Gorgeous!

  • Sueann walter
    March 2, 2017

    Very nice work, the underarm cowl is lovely. Lenore looks fabulous in the outfit and she is also stunning. Her smile tells us is he is a wonderful person.

  • Susan
    March 2, 2017


  • Helen
    March 2, 2017

    What a beautiful outfit and what a stunning model! Well done!

  • Irene
    March 2, 2017

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  • Lisa
    March 2, 2017

    Fabulous!! Stunning!!

  • Hélène Martin
    March 2, 2017

    It’s hard to believe you didn’t make it just for her!! It’s a perfect fit and the style and color suit her so well. You were right to give it to her!

  • Alice
    March 2, 2017

    Absolutely stunning! So satisfying to see one’s creation look so gorgeous on a live person. I made a red wool crepe sheath that was ruched and draped into one sideseam for Xmas one year. Smashing.

  • Fiona
    March 3, 2017

    This is A-Mazing Peter. I absolutely love the cut of the pants in particular and the underarm cowls are a stunning feature. That glorious yellow as well! So much to love and she looks fantastic

  • Linda
    March 3, 2017

    It does look absolutely smashing on Lenore! It is a stunning outfit. Lenore must be over the moon. Absolutely love the underarm drape and how you used the bias on the top.

  • Tee
    March 3, 2017

    Beautiful! She looks splendid and so happy in her “sunshine” ensemble!

  • Renee
    March 3, 2017

    Glamour personified!

  • Tanya M Cunningham
    March 3, 2017

    Lenore and your outfit are a match made in heaven. These photos remind me an awful lot of Marilyn Monroe. I think Lenore could have a career in front of the camera.

  • Mainelydad
    March 4, 2017

    Stunning. The joy just radiates from every picture, and the world could sure use more of that right now.

  • Kitty
    March 4, 2017

    Thank you for sharing your FIT experiences with your readers. We’ve enjoyed your posts and vicariously learned along with you. This is beautiful. You are so thoughtful to share it with your stunning and beautiful friend. Please continue to inspire the world with your creativity, talent, wit and generosity.

  • Bill
    March 4, 2017

    To mirror a previous poster, I was not much taken by the garment as seen on the mannequin. Not a huge fan of cowl drapery, or yellow. I should have been more confident in your vision. The dress is gorgeous, made even more so by the woman who is wearing it.

  • Laura Casey
    March 4, 2017

    Oh my….on your friend the garment comes alive, and can’t imagine it on anyone else…..sounds like her Easter outfit if you ask me.
    I LOVE wool crepe, have made 2 pairs of slacks,1 navy blue in a traditional woman’s dress slack.. The other was black crepe out of the Perennial Pant pattern (can’t remember the maker of the pattern-but like a Japanese field pant) and washed and dried the fabric before I realized it was wool…came out perfectly fine and wore to the Chelsea flower show in London, feeling very chic. Great post, thanks!

  • Annette York
    March 5, 2017

    What a beauty!!!!

  • Clare
    March 5, 2017

    gorgeous!!! Love it.

  • Lori
    March 6, 2017

    This is so gorgeous and your friend is a gorgeous model. Did she give you the garment back? It looks like it was made for her.

  • heieup
    March 6, 2017

    Wow, what a perfect outfit, the colour really suits her and it is so glamorous ! great work (I love cowls, I really must do a course on them so i can make such gorgeous items)

  • Sarah Gunn
    March 6, 2017

    Peter ~ This ensemble is terrific Yellow wool crepe is completely unexpected but such a perfect choice! Love the cowl sleeves and congratulations on completing the class 🙂

  • Zoe
    March 13, 2017

    Peter, you are truly an artist. What an absolutely stunning garment that perfectly complements an absolutely stunning woman!

  • Debbie
    March 13, 2017

    Peter, i have never been sure about an underarm cowl, this is stunning. Love it! Lenore looks so beautiful, what a compliment.

  • Erin
    March 17, 2017

    Stunning construction and a stunning model! Lenore just glows! What a fox!