Pattern Puzzle: Twist front knit top

In response to my request for new pattern puzzles, Cindy sent a suggestion for the “lilies” asymmetrical knit top from Rick Owens. The image at right is courtesy of Net-A-Porter (where you can also buy it) but I lightened it a little so details would be clearer. At the aforementioned site, you can click to select larger sections of the garment.

I also found other photos of the garment elsewhere. There is a white sleeveless version and another view in rust. The rust seems to be best for picking out details. However -going off tangent here- I find the white and rust to be very unflattering because the top is too small for the models. I think they look terrible, all of the gathers are pulled tautly and its lost the character and appeal of the soft cowling. Whatever were they thinking? As an aside, since links have a way of expiring, I’ve archived copies of the images.

My grievances aside, how would you go about recreating the effects of this top? Would you prefer to draft or drape it? Or perhaps a combination of the two? I think it is quite challenging.

As ever, feel free to link to your pattern mock ups or photos of rendered samples. I’m looking forward to seeing your results and may even try it myself. I will probably start with a draft, sew a dummy and then reiterate from there.


  1. What a great top–too bad it’s WAY out of my price range. I look forward to the pattern-makers among you for solutions/ideas.

    I would love to own the rust top, and I thought it looked great until I took the photo of the black top into photoshop and really lightened it so I could see what Kathleen was talking about with the soft draping. Yes, much better.


  2. Sarra Bess says:

    I would definitely drape because my drafting skills are nowhere near up to the challenge. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to devote to this, but I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else does!Report

  3. Quincunx says:

    Does it bother anyone else that the tops with ‘proper’ ease are pictured on mannequins and the versions on live bodies are the ones which look ‘too snug’?Report

  4. katyrenee says:

    I agree, Quincunx. Unfortunately it seems we teach fitting to mannequins in school and not human bodies. Maybe there will be a change in that in the future–probably not, though, with mass market cheap clothes.Report

  5. Sarah_H. says:

    I am finding myself in agreement to the above also. Looking at this top, I was imagining what it would look like on a size 2 and on a size 18….and this one comes out better (in my mind) than most.Report

  6. Clarisse says:

    Perhaps wearers of the Rick Owens label skew younger, and when they see a design like this, they are more likely to think “bandage dress” than “soft drape”.Report

  7. Virginia says:

    I think the “bandage dress” comment is probably a good analysis of what the younger wearer expects. The tight bandage effect is unfortunate because you need some ease to get that cross drape diagonal. The Net-a-porter picture shows what happens when it’s too tight: the cross drape become a horizonal runching and is much less flattering than it could be.Report

  8. Sue Scott says:

    Any luck with drafting/draping this top? I love the draped look but $475 is way out of my range. In the Italian sizing it does not even come in my size – a 50!Ouch!Report

  9. Sandy Peterson says:

    I think this is very pretty and I think it would look great on my daughter if only I could figure it out. I don’t have a clue where to begin but – maybe – if I knew how many pieces were in it, then – maybe – I could start to work on it. I’m also going to look at Lena’s and ask her.Report

  10. Marsha says:

    Although I can draft it fine, for this style I’d rather drape it to get the amounts of fabric right.

    The hitch for me is in having a proper draping mannequin. So looking forward of going to Japan and acquiring hordes of half-scale mannequins.Report

  11. Lara says:

    Can anyone point me in the right direction on how to draft/drape a pattern like this? I have all of the Drape Drape books, Pattern Magic: Stretch Fabrics as well as the Draping book by Kiisel. These kinds of garments have been my obsession for the past few years and I would LOVE to know how to do similar. My brain just isn’t wrapping around it. Thank you!Report

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