Here’s my second post on layering. I was actually going to try posting more frequently from this month on, but in the end I was too busy again! I’ll manage that eventually.

Anyways, here are a couple of pictures of the type of layering I’m going to write about:

layering on the front

layering on the back

As you can see, this is an advanced version of the layering-technique. There are always more than two layers involved at the same time, so it can get quite complicated. The basics can be found here:

I was thinking the best way to approach this subject and decided to use examples of patterns I’ve done in the past. I added more colors and numbers to the patterns to make them easier to understand.


The braided sleeve

You might remember this sleeve from last year. Many people seemed to like it, so it’s a perfect candidate to demonstrate how this kind of layering works.

braided sleeve

Let’s see the pattern. I drew the different layers (and a facing for each) on a basic sleeve-pattern. There are 6 layers, and as usual, each layer starts at the base of the facing of the previous layer. It’s just that now you have to consider 3 layers at a time: I’ve colored the layer number 3 as an example. It starts from under the layers 1 and 2.

sleeve draft

Copy each pattern-piece in order, starting from layer 1 and its facing. This is the difficult part, because there are so many lines and you need to distinguish where each layer starts and where it ends. I added the colored lines to the previous picture to demonstrate the starting points.

Just do one layer at a time in order and you’ll get there!

Here are the final pattern-pieces:

pattern pieces


Layered bodice

Here’s another popular design from the past.


There are actually two ways to draft this pattern, as the lines are straight. But more on that later.

Here’s the pattern. The layers are 4 and this time they are placed almost at a 90 degree angle from each other, leaving a hole in the middle.

pattern planThere are two phases of copying the pattern-pieces.

First, you copy the layers 3, 4 and 1 with their facings. Layer number 4 doesn’t have a separate facing.

Then cut the pattern open all the way to the dart-point, as shown in the picture, and close the dart. Copy the layer number 2.

copying pattern

In the end you should have these pattern-pieces. Layer number 3 has a partial dart to be sewn, but in the final piece it will remain quite hidden under the layer 2.



Layers and pleats -version

My latest post on Instagram is a kind of a remake of the previous bodice, with more layers. I wanted to eliminate the facings and instead just fold them under like pleats. After all, they are straight, so there’s no need to separate them. However, there were also lines that became curved crossing the dart-points, hence there are facings, too!

The bodice in question:

bnw layers

This is the design. I called it workout for the brain!

The blue lines are the facings (which will not be separated pattern-pieces whenever possible). I added some color to get some more sense to it, separating the black areas.

The rules are the same as always: layers start from the base of the facing of the previous layer.


Start copying the layers from the edges towards the centre, leaving the layers 9-12 last.

Close darts when they cross the whole pattern-piece (layers 3, 4 and 8). There are also two cases where you have just a partial dart in the pattern-piece (8 and 7). I chose to gather the fabric instead of sewing the little darts.

Whenever the edge of the layer is straight, you can just mirror the facing, so that it becomes part of the same pattern-piece.

And here are the final pieces:


Just a couple of words on putting all the pieces together.

I started by folding and attaching all the facings and gathering the darts. Btw, those are numbers of the pattern-pieces and they are just examples.

folding facings

attaching facings


Then I sewed together the centre-layers and the edge-layers, attaching each layer at the base of the facing of the layer above.





Finally I sewed everything together and stitched all the edges, fixing the layers in place.


Next step

gathered layers

I wanted to finish this post with a picture of a braided bodice-back. This too is done by using the same technique. It’s just that the layers are also gathered to get an even nicer result.

Well, that’s enough about layering. I hope I managed to be quite thorough and that you’ll now be able to draft this kind of patterns, too. Give it a try! It just takes some practice.






    • shapesoffabric Reply

      Thank you! 🙂 Already planning the next ones.

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