At last I have managed to do the necessary drafting tutorial regarding the basic skirt that is a staple of mine and most women’s everyday wardrobe. I have featured this skirt many times in posts – usually highlighting a top or blouse, recently made, so it’s about time the skirt took centre stage. My favourite thing about this skirt is that it take around a metre of fabric which can often be picked up as a remnant. I have some beautiful cashmere suiting which to buy off the roll would be very pricy but which I can source very cheaply indeed, the resulting skirts wear well and look great. I have also been known to use furnishing fabrics, yes, you guessed, normally an off cut/remnant. I often like to use non conventional fabrics in dressmaking as it forces you to think a bit differently in its application. An example seen in the previous post The love that is the perfect skirt. The fabric featured with the oversized flower motifs reminded me of many catwalk and high-end high street fashion fabrics. Always consider laundering requirements by testing a swatch of the fabric first. I do not go in for routinely washing fabric prior to making up, judgement requires to be exercised in this regard, many fabrics should only ever be dry cleaned.
First up is the drafting tools. In the picture above I have a set square, French curve, folding metre stick, paper scissors, pencil/pen and rubber/eraser and of course paper. I use brown parcel paper (lightweight one is fine). All my measuring tools are metric and quite old, although I understand similar are readily available.
I shall narrate all the stages and plot each of the significant points (click on photos to enlarge) to show the process. I was taught both the Imperial and Metric system and as a result I use something of a hybrid. The original basic block formula is from the Vintage Sewing Info site which I mention in the earlier post and therefore uses the Imperial measurements. However, a conversion table to Metric should solve this issue should that be your preference.
Please therefore take your own measurements and make a muslin (add seam allowances) of your draft to adjust fit, perfect your block (without seam allowances) and you have the basis for the designing of a range of perfectly fitting skirts.
First up, take your waist measurement – on the neat side and your hip measurement – at the fullest part on the slack side
Next up is to square up your paper by measuring in from the edge to plot X
1 from X = 8 inches down from hip level.
Square out from 1 to 2.
2 from 1= the half-hip measure plus 1/2 inch
3 from 1 half the distance from 1 to 2 less 1 inch
4 from 2 = 1 inch. Join 3 to 4 and square up from 4 to 5 the same distance as 1 is from X
7 from 5 = one-third of the distance from 6 to X
7 from 4 = 8 inches. Line from 7 to 4
Measure down the front skirt length from X to 8 plus 1/4 inch
Join X to 7 to locate point 9
9 form X = half the distance from X to 7 less 1 inch from X
10 from 9 = one-third of the distance from 6 to X
shape the waist level at the top
from X to 10 and 7 as shown
Line down from 10 to 11 through 3 the side skirt length plus 1/4 inch.
12 from 7 = the
back skirt length plus 1/4 inch
Shape the bottom edge run from 8 to 11 and 12
Measure from 7 to 13 half the waist size plus 1/2 inch
14 from 13 = one-third of the distance from 13 to X
15 from 14 = two-thirds of the distance from 14 to X plus 1/2 inch
Suppress the side-seams from 10 to 16 and 17 by the quantity shown from 13 to 14
Shape from 16 and 17 to 3 in a gradual run
18 from 14 = one sixth of the half-hip measure for the position of the first back dart
Square down from the waist line to 18 from 19
20 and 21 from 19 = half the quantity shown from 14 to 15
Shape out the back dart from 20 and 21 to 18, making the dart 7 inches in length
22 from 18 = one sixth of the half-hip measure
Square down from the waist-line at 23 to 22
24 and 25 from 23 = half the quantity shown from 14 to 15
Shape out the back dart from 24 and 25 to 22, making the dart 7 inches in length
26 from 3 = one sixth of the scale
Square down from the waist line to 26 and supress the front dart by the quantity shown from 15 to X at 27 and 28
Shape out the dart from 27 and 28 to within 2 inches of 26
to complete the standard draft for skirts