Pattern Puzzle: Q Twist pt.2

Thanks for your input on this puzzler -quite a challenge!

For a radical departure from our usual pattern puzzle solution, we have the designer herself to explain it all for us. Please, a warm welcome to Martha Palaza who will explain it all for you!
Yes, Marita and Natasha were correct in their assumptions.

This dress -called the Quaver Twist- was designed during a creative cutting course at the Academy of Art University while I was working on my MFA in fashion design. The basic assignments for the course included 38 different schematics which were stitched and then placed on the form to create at least 15 different samples. The catch? This degree was completed entirely online so you can imagine the number of samples I have photographed for potential garments.

Once the basic assignment was completed -in this case “Quaver Twist”, quaver referring to the movement of the fabric- we were required to create our own interpretation. Hence the full title of  the design: “Quaver Twist Interpretation.”

Although the dress may appear complicated, the process was quite simple. The fabric was marked according to the stitching plan below (click to see a larger image).


Circles were cut as shown in the photo below:

[Again, click on the photo to see a larger image.]

Each circle was then folded horizontally and stitched with a 1/4” seam.

To get an idea of what the dress looks like so far, the fabric is shown draped on the dress form with the wrong side facing out in the below photo:


For the last step, the top circle was twisted to the left (as per the stitching plan I opened with) then stitched vertically overlapping the left circle. The bottom circle was also twisted to the left and then stitched to the right circle. Once the circles were stitched, the fabric was draped on the form and cut to a dress silhouette. The latter is shown below on the table in my studio.

To complete the dress, all that is needed is an invisible zipper inserted at center back with neck and armholes bound. Cover stitch the hem and you’re done!

Anyone interested in giving it a try?

I thank Martha Palaza for the time she took to write this post and photograph samples for us. I hope you enjoyed it and will share images of any samples you attempt on your own. Again, thanks Martha!


  1. Marita says:

    I never would’ve guessed that those folds were created with circles?? Stunning!! Clapping my hands:)

    But then again I’m not a patternmaker and never been studying it either ;) Was kind of playing with the thought of the back being of one piece and the closing would’ve been in the front hidden by all of those folds and twists, daughter likes it pretty awfully much….soooo I may have to give it a try. Is it OK if I ask some questions when the sewing is due, maybe next week??Report

  2. Marita says:

    Oh my…….the beast is cut, sewn and cut again on the dress form, waiting for tomorrow to be de-attached. Maybe I baste it together a little, check the shoulder pleats, almost got migraine draping it, whew!!!Report

  3. Marita says:

    My version is ready, I forgot to mention it in my blog post but I omitted the zipper altogether.

    Big thanks to Kathleen……. and Martha also, I hope you like my version, your’s is great but the fabric wasn’t the same so it’s not as fine as yours.Report

  4. Kathy V says:

    I would like to try this design. How does one figure out how to size it up? I am tall and plus-sized. I have some wool knit I would love to use.
    It is an extremely beautiful and creative idea.
    Thanks Kathleen and Martha.Report

  5. Martha Palaza says:

    I would recommend increasing the distance between the circles to about 6 to 6 1/2″ and the diameter of to 4 1/4″ to 4 1/2″. Test on less expensive fabric first to check the proportions on your body. Keep in mind that the wool knit may have a heavier hand then an inexpensive knit. I’m looking forward to seeing the results!Report

  6. Lindy R says:

    That’s so cool! I never would have thought of circular darts/twists. To pass on a tip for draping — instead of starting with the front of a dressform, start draping on the back. The back is often neglected when it comes to draping, and starting with the back can lead to some interesting designs.

    Natasha — where do you get knit fabric by the pound? I wouldn’t mind getting hold of some of it.


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