SPECIAL PROJECT | ‘Rojo/Merah’ ~ Introduction & Galih’s Dress Part 1


Photo credit : Diego Zapatero


Hallo creators,

First of all… Happy new years to all of you! May we creates more and more awesome things in 2015. So let’s start this good year with a sweet memories of 2014 that will bring us to this (and a few following posts).

I have a friend named Anna Estelles, a very talented Spanish artist that also a director of AKAR Dance Theater Company. I’ve been working with her, doing AKAR’s communication & documentation since the company was born. She was also noticed about what I’m doing in ProyekAkhirMinggu and found some cool stuffs I made in this blog. In short, she understand my desire on designing a product and (in the same time) big interest to upgrade my sewing ability.

One day she asked my contribution to design and make costumes for AKAR’s performance titled ‘ROJO/MERAH’ (Spanish & Bahasa Indonesia language of ‘red’). That performance went on tour in some cities in Indonesia from the end of October to the middle of November 2014. Are you kidding me? Of course I said ‘yes.



A few second after the ‘yes’, considering my sewing ability, I knew I was in trouble. I’ve never sew for another person than myself and we are not talking about clothes for ordinary activities, we are talking about clothes for dancing. Luckily, the world invented some durable materials we called ‘stretch fabrics’, but guess what? I’ve never working with those materials (ever) before.

But I did it anyway. And like a real designer, I started the project with sketches. The director wanted some costumes that suits the dancer’s characters and there are 3 beautiful ladies involved in the performance, which means one design for each person. Can you see how I was in trouble?

Anyway… Here is my very original sketches for this project;

Original Design - Galih

Original design - Citra

Original Design - Vatia

Fortunately, the director was agreed to proceed the sketches with only 5% revisions. Not confident with my own pattern making and sewing ability, the last thing I wanted was to ruin the real fabrics. So I bought some similar fabrics and made 2 versions for each costumes, first for myself and the second one for the dancers/performers. Let’s consider the first versions as my pleasure simulations … because at the end of the project I got 3 dresses for myself. Oh, you know what I mean!

Now let’s see some pictures from the final fitting, a day before the tour begin;

Galih's FittingCitra's fitting

The entire show was amazingly beautiful. Anna was really showed up her artistic talent and her directing ability. The performers was also showed up their mesmerizing skills and talents. Some lighting and technical artists was also involved to created an awesome stage set. It was really a powerful yet soulful performance. They even created an artificial rain on the stage. Can you imagine the craziness up there?


Photo credit : Diego Zapatero


Photo credit : Diego Zapatero


Photo credit : Diego Zapatero


Photo credit : Diego Zapatero

together 1together 2

As for me, besides of working with awesome peoples, the director said, I did a good job for a beginner. Don’t trust me! Just take a closer look of the dresses on stage;


Photo credit : Diego Zapatero


Photo credit : Diego Zapatero

on stage 1

So that was an amazing story of my first experience as a designer that will bring us to the first post of 2015. Yes creative peoples, I will share my sewing process of that project … in tutorials.

I have showed you my 3 sketches; Galih’s dress, Citra’s dress and Vassia’s dress. Vassia’s dress is a one shoulder dress, something that we can find the tutorials everywhere in Internet. So I decided to skip that dress. I will only share Galih’s and Citra’s dress sewing process. Each dress will appear in 2 parts/posts (pattern making part and sewing part). And today, we are going to talk about Galih’s dress part one.

Before we begin, I need to inform you that by the end of this post, we will achieve a pattern set that consists of 5 patterns like so;

Pattern A&BPattern C&D&E

I have started with a basic knit bodice pattern that I learned from this tutorial by Secretlifebionerd that appeared on Threadbanger’s youtube channel:

Make that bodice pattern without seam allowance. Than take one sheet of paper, that have enough wide and length for the entire dress, and trace the basic bodice pattern unto that paper. If you noticed, I’ve always use expired newspapers for pattern making (yea…I am that cheap bitch).

step 1

Still from same basic bodice pattern, trace & mark the waist line with that dash line.

step 2

Than make a straight line from the last point of the bodice pattern (should be the hip/widest point of your body) to your desired dress length.

step 3

From the armpit point, create a straight dash line to the center. Mark 1cm above the center point and draw a freehand curve to the armpit point.
missing step

Take another paper and trace the upper bodice area, starting from that curve to the waist line. Add 1,5cm seam allowance, only on the curve live, and that will be your Pattern C.

step 4

Pattern C

PATTERN C (Knit Front Lining) : On fold – 1 Cut


Again take another paper, this time longer enough, and trace from the armpit curve to the below hem line. Add seam allowance, again only on the top curve, and that will be your Pattern B.

step 5

Pattern B

PATTERN B (Knit Front) : On fold – 1 Cut


Still using the full dress pattern. Trace all part of the dress as a copy, including the waist line and put aside that copy result. We will work on that later.

step 6

Take again the full dress pattern, mark 8-10cm above the neckline and create a new neckline. Than add 1,5cm seam allowance on the neck line and arm line. That is how you’ll get your Pattern A.

step 7

Pattern A

PATTERN A (Lace Front) : ON FOLD – 1 CUT


By this point you should notice that I never add seam allowance on the side line of the dress. That’s by a purpose. Since we are using a knit fabric that will stretch, not adding seam allowance on the side line (hopefully) will create a super fit result and sexy look.

Now back to the full dress pattern copy. Add the same curve 8-10cm above the neckline. Than cut the dress into 2 parts right on the waist line.

step 8

Take the upper part, mark 5cm from the center waist line, and create a diagonal line from that point to the center top point. Add 1,5cm seam allowance to all edges, except the side edge. That will be your Pattern D.

step 9

Pattern D

PATTERN D (Lace Top Back) : 2 CUTS


And finally … Take the below part of the full dress copy, add 1,5cm seam allowance on the waistline, and that is your Pattern E.

Pattern E

PATTERN E : ON FOLD – 2 CUTS (1 knit, 1lace)


Let’s take a break and enough for today. The sewing tutorial will be delivered on the next post.

I’ll see you there, friends….



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