Our fellow sewers, Liz and Kate!
If you remember, they both have the same waist and hip circumference. Their shapes are, however, very different. Liz has stronger buttocks, and Kate has strong hips. Both of them have protruding tummies.
The next thing we discussed earlier is that (almost) any garment, and in our case, a skirt, starts with a cylinder, which is then shaped with the help of darts, just like a soccer/foot- ball. But while a football is a sphere with equal dart intake, our body require different intake depending on the area being shaped. This very basic concept is essential for understanding the fit and custom patternmaking or draping.
Let me give you a brief list of areas that need shaping for our straight skirt:
- front: usually two darts, from waist to the most protruding part of the tummy
- back: usually two to six darts, from waist to most protruding part of the buttocks
- side: usually two darts, from the waist to the most protruding part of your hip/thigh
As you see, there are pairs of darts in each area. If you have a symmetric figure, each pair will have two equal darts. For asymmetric figure they will be slightly different.
Now, since both, Liz and Kate have the same waist and hip measurements, most patternmaking books would give you same values for darts. One system that approaches it differently is Mueller & Sohn, but the disadvantage there is that you have to do different calculations for different types of bodies, and learn to identify them in a first place. Finally, Mueller & Sohn only gives you a very few body variations, and as we know, each body is unique. Whatever the system, most of them often require a considerable fitting effort after the drafting.
Let's look at our picture above again and try to identify where will Liz and Kate require shaping and how will it differ for each of the girls. I drew a gray cylinder/rectangle (our future skirt) for both of them, and shaded the areas that need darts in blue. It is just as simple - shade the area between the body contour and the (excess) rectangle outline!
What do we see? Let's draft a simple checklist, that you can use for yourself as well:
- Liz needs the biggest dart intake in the back
- Her front darts are the smallest
- Her side darts are the longest
- Kate needs most dart intake on the sides
- Her back darts are the longest
- Her front darts are the smallest.
- Liz has longer side darts than Kate
- Both have almost the same front darts
- Kate has longer back darts
- Liz has deeper back darts than Kate
Are we on the same page, readers? If yes, the next step is to realize what fitting issues can arise with wrong intake. here is a very short...
- Liz/Kate: What will happen with the side seam if we take in more in the front? The rest needs to be distributed so the waist circumference won't change
- Liz: How will less intake in the back affect the side seam? The waist circumference should remain the same, that is the excess fabric will need to be somehow redistributed.
- ... continue thinking of possible scenarios, or even try to drape a muslin around a dress form a watch how its behaving while you are pinching out darts.
Are you actually doing your homework? If you made your photographs, as I asked you in one of previous posts you can draw the same rectangle shape for your body and shade areas that need intake. Analyze intakes and, if you want, contact me with questions here, or by mail at mvk(dot)fashion(at)gmail(dot)com.
Previous Straight Skirt Draft Along (SSDA) posts:
SSDA 6: Measuring and Calculating Darts
SSDA 7: The Measuring Session
SSDA 8: Drafting the Skirt
SSDA 9: Making a Toile and Analyzing the Fit
Please do comment here and let me know if anyone needs help or feedback. In that case I will set up a discussion group on a different platform - it all depends on the number of people participating and your involvement.