Tuesday, December 4, 2012

PMPS Draft-Along #7: The skirt outline

Hope you have all your measurements and calculations ready, readers! Because we are going to draft the skirt sloper. This week, in three consequent posts, we will cover the outline, the front and the back of the skirt.

Before we start I wanted to share some exciting news: Kenneth D. King, who taught me most of the patternmaking, offered a copy of his e-book Skirts to one lucky draft-alonger. All you need to do is draft along, finish the sloper and the pencil skirt pattern and post an image of the finished project on our Flickr group board. The exact deadline will be announced next week.

Please follow along and post your questions here, or on the Flickr group board.


The skirt outline is basically a rectangle, with the width equal to our calculation for the low front (or back) hip, and the length equal to our desired sloper length. In other words, in this post, we will be drafting two rectangles: one for the back and one for the front. Easy, isn't it?

Here are the calculations and measurements you will need to draft your outline:
  • Outline height: for the outline I use the length I wear most frequently, which is 60 cm (appr. 23 1/2").
  • Outline width: use the respective calculation for the low hip when drafting the front and the back.
  • You will also need the waist to mid hip and the waist to low hip measurements to complete your outlines. 
Draft on the paper piece that is wide enough to accommodate both outlines, for the front and for the back. I won't be demonstrating this process step by step for it is relatively straight forward - the graphic below shows the final outcome. You start with the rectangle outline and then add the lines representing the mid hip and the low hip placement. The PDF version of the graphic is available on my Google Drive - you can download and print it out.
Kenneth uses an outline as a foundation for many different skirt styles. Yet some styles require different amount of ease and so a new outline needs to be drafted. This will be the case with our pencil skirt where we will need to reduce the ease even more. Don't despair, readers! It's a great exercise, and think, you will have a sloper, a pencil skirt and knowledge you can use to start drafting any skirt you want.

Happy drafting and don't forget the prize ;)


  1. not sure if i'll have a chance to sew-a-long, but i'll definitely be drafting-a-long based on your instructions. thanks for taking the time to put these posts together!

  2. Thanks for your time, I'm so enjoying this sew-along! I do have a skirt sloper that was adapted and balanced from a commercial pattern (when I took Sarah Veblen's skirt class on PR last year). However, I'm also very interested in learning to draft patterns from my measurements, so will be following along.

  3. I am going to draft my skirt this week. Thanks for the instructins

  4. Hi Marina, Hope all is well!? Really looking forward to next lesson. Thanks Vicki

  5. Certainly a fantastic piece of work ... It has relevant information. Thanks for posting this. Your blog is so interesting and very informative.

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