Golden Ratio Dresses

033I have a TON of fabric!  I am always trying to find projects that will use up some of the fabric in my stash.  These dresses that I made for my nieces, was one of those projects.  It also was a math concept lesson for me!

Several years ago I taught a science and math class where I shared the concept of the Golden Ratio with my class.  HERE is a website for more info on how to teach this.  In a nutshell, the Golden Ratio is seen everywhere in nature so, when applied to fashion or design, it tends to be more pleasing to the eye.  Anyway, it got me thinking of how I can APPLY this idea to my sewing.  So I used it to make these dresses.

The Golden Ratio is approximately the number 1.6181.  In order to make these dresses, I took a simple bodice from a pattern that I had used before and measured the bottom edge.  To figure out how much bigger the next layer (ruffle) should be I multiplied the bottom edge by 1.6.  For example, it the bottom edge was 25”, I multiplied it by 1.6 and the next ruffle started out as 40” long.  I gathered this edge and attached it to the bottom of the bodice piece.

I also used the Golden Ratio to figure out the different lengths of the layers.  I took the first layer length and multiplied it by 1.6 to figure out the length of the next one.  I did the same to figure out the rest of the layers as well.

As you can see from this picture, I was able to use several different fabrics to make these dresses.  I used coordinating fabrics for the sisters but the same dress for all of them.  Each of them got a different dress but they all went together.  They (and my sisters!) loved them.

So often we get are afraid to try to go our own way and make our own patterns.  Knowing the Golden Ratio concept and applying it ensures that if you do get adventurous and strike out on your own, your pattern will be visually pleasing.  Give it a try and let me know how it went!

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