Pattern Puzzle: Twist front knit top

Posted by Kathleen Fasanella on Sep 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm / Pattern Puzzle / Trackback

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.

20 Responses to “Pattern Puzzle: Twist front knit top”

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Jess S.
September 26th, 2012
4:11 PM

I found another version of this top, very large photos which helps with detail: This one is interesting, I’m going to see what I can come up with.

September 26th, 2012
7:20 PM

I think most of the clothes I see on people on the street today are too small! I guess some people think that’s attractive.

Nicole Rasmussen
September 27th, 2012
4:33 AM

I would use a combination of the two. I would think it would require alot of adjustment and re-sampling to get right.

Marguerite Swope
September 27th, 2012
5:27 AM

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.


Sarra Bess
September 27th, 2012
5:39 AM

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!

September 27th, 2012
9:53 AM

Taupe version also at Net-a-Porter:

Maureen Cohen
September 27th, 2012
10:55 AM

Marguerite, can you post your photoshopped photo here? Thanks.

September 27th, 2012
11:43 AM

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’?

September 27th, 2012
3:53 PM

Great top, I would probably drape it, however it may take both drape and draft.

September 27th, 2012
6:09 PM

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.

September 28th, 2012
6:55 AM

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.

September 28th, 2012
10:47 AM

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”.

September 28th, 2012
11:22 AM

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.

Sue Scott
October 8th, 2012
4:13 PM

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!

Lena Merrin
October 10th, 2012
2:49 PM

Here is my attempt to recreate this drape effect

Pattern Puzzle: Twist front knit top pt.2
October 12th, 2012
1:48 PM

[…] how many of you tried to work the last pattern challenge? I did some work on it. Kinda. But before I get to that, we do have a winner! who would get a […]

Sandy Peterson
October 15th, 2012
2:10 AM

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.

December 18th, 2012
9:12 PM

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.

December 5th, 2013
5:22 AM

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!

December 9th, 2013
7:30 AM

The most effective way I’ve found is to reinvent the design. We all hit a brain impasse; this is what works for me.

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