Friday, October 17, 2014

A NEW DRAFT-ALONG: Crossover Pleat Skirt


When I featured this pattern find on my blog about a year ago, it seems to have kindled your interest.


This is a 1959 pattern by Vogue Patterns. The envelope describes the style as ...

... a flared skirt in two length, which has deep front and back box pleats. Front pleats cross over at waist line. Wide shaped and narrow straight waistband. Four gored petticoat also in two lengths...

Fabric suggestions: 
Cotton satin - Gingham - Pique - Cotton Broadcloth - Barathea - Satin - Faille - Shantung - Wool Crepe - Lightweight Woolen



At that time I also stumbled upon a very similar skirt by Vivienne Westwood in Liberty floral print at whopping $500 (http://www.net-a-porter.com/am/product/337385#). I find Vivienne Westwood’s patternmaking is very inspiring, but the price can hardly be justified if you can sew.



Finding a very similar vintage pattern was really a lucky strike. Unfortunately, the pattern sizing is on a teenager side, and grading a pattern like this is more time consuming than drafting one from scratch, while having instruction sheet and the pattern pieces at hand gives wonderful guidance. I thought, I will just re-draft the pattern with slight modifications and post step-by-step instructions so you can follow along if you are interested.


PATTERN SCRUTINY

At first sight, the skirt looks like a simple 3/8 circle skirt with angled crossover pleats. Theoretically you can integrate pleats as circle segments (not as straight rectangle inserts) from the beginning of the drafting process. However, this pattern has five front and three back pattern pieces.



It all made sense when I put together a somewhat accurate miniature paper mock up of the skirt by tracing pattern pieces from the instruction sheet to tracing paper. The mock up is now successfully hidden away out of reach of my curious daughters, hidden so well that I cannot find it ). Back to the ten skirt pieces:  I think the reason behind the number of pattern pieces seems to be the grainline placement and stability of the fabric. The angled pleats panels (7) as well as other pattern pieces are cut more or less on grain, possibly to avoid fabric distortion, especially for the pleats. Clever.

The two angled pleats at the front are made using a separate pattern piece each (7). These pleat pieces are then inserted between the center front pattern (8) and the side front (6) pieces.

The back also has two 'normal' box pleats, which are not angled and almost meet at the center back.

The Vivienne Westwood skirt, with its asymmetric pleat placement, is more improvisational, but the cutting principle is very similar. I think once you understand pleat drafting and grainline placement you can improvise endlessly.

So, here is the plan:

PART 1: PETTICOAT, OR LINING
Tue, 21 Oct

I will start with drafting a basic ⅜ circle skirt, which can then be also used as a pattern for the petticoat or lining. It makes sense to start with the easiest piece first, and I will use this opportunity to go over some basic steps for those of you who don’t have experience drafting circle skirts.


PART 2: THE BACK AND THE STRAIGHT PLEATS
Fri, 24 October

Next, I’ll draft the back with two not-angled pleats, and I’ll also look into seam and grainline placement in the pattern. This part offers a good overview of how the pleats are drafted in a circle skirt.


PART 3: THE FRONT AND ANGLED PLEATS
Tue, 28 October

Finally, the front with the angled pleats will be drafted, completing the draft along.



At the moment, I haven’t yet planned a sew-along for this skirt. Maybe after drafting is completed. For now, it would be great if you'd join me and draft your own skirts. It's just much more fun to do it as a group. If you are joining please leave a comment. Additionally, I have also set up another draft-along thread on the Couture Collective forum, so we can interact and post pictures.

34 comments:

  1. That's wonderful! Thankyou! Count me in

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just need to say that I am quite the expert at hiding things away from my kids... so well that I can't find them later. Umh....let's say that sometimes Christmas lasts awhile when mom finds things a week or so later. LOL!

    And, the draft-along sounds intriguing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a great skirt, and while it doesn't work for my body, it would look fabulous on my dd. I have a simple pencil skirt that I've used for her and fits her well so I can use that for my starting point. I have been sewing her pieces for her birthday and Chanukah and this will be something different.

    ReplyDelete
  4. In case it wasn't clear, I am going to draft along. Alex loves to tell people I've made her something that she gets complimented on. She gets a kick out of the fact that everyone is so surprised that her mother made it. Nice complement to me that she always asks for another Mom made piece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it makes me very happy as well when my daughters get compliments on hand-made clothing. Great you are joining - it's like meeting again. I miss taking classes together )

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. oh, we need to meet somewhere again!!!! I read somewhere there will be a meetup in Paris, who knows maybe...

      Delete
  6. Although I won't be sewing a skirt, I'll definitely follow along!

    ReplyDelete
  7. oooh. I do love this pattern, I have drafted basic pleated skirt and this would be a nice continuation for my learning. I would love to do a draft along.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you draft a circular pleated skirt? With circular skirts it is so much easier with measurements, drafting, fit... Only pleats are drafted somewhat differently, as part of the circle/circle segments... Looking forward to your progress!

      Delete
  8. Yes, count me in. I've started attending a pattern drafting course at college and this seems like a good next step. I like this style of skirt, as it suits me, being tall, but as I'm rather heavy, perhaps too heavy for pleats like this, it might be better for one of my daughters.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this design and am happy to have some instruction. Thanks for sharing this cool design. What type paper do you use for drafting?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use anything, really. I use alphanumeric paper (good for getting precise angles and symmetric lines), a news print, paper rolls from IKEA kids department. If I need to match print, which is not the case here, I would take a sturdier tracing paper (on rolls), available on Amazon. But here wider rolls are more convenient to use - no pasting. A friend of mine even uses old newspapers and softer coloured pencils for the initial drafting. I would be wary with newspapers on lighter fabrics and use it only on the wrong side of fabric. And my slopers are on oaktag for durability... Phew )

      So, for the first part (3/8 circle skirt) take sturdier paper, because we will use it to add pleat lines, seam lines etc and then tracing onto a thinner alternatives.

      It's a good question, I will write a few words about it in my first post.

      Delete
  10. What a great skirt design, count me in!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That is a a lovely skirt (especially in green moiré...) and I look forward to your tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. great to have discovered your blog and congratulations on the award )

      Delete
  12. I'm planning on joining in. I was pondering making a pleated skirt, and I like this one :-) It's unusual.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ohh... this will be a great draft-along. Count me in, please :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'd love to try this. Not done much pattern drafting so this looks like a good next step

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh my gosh, I'm in! I will try to keep up with the schedule but work may get in the way a bit. I've even got some fab new fabric to sew up the finished product. Kismet! Thanks for organizing this.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This sounds fun! I have several fabrics in my stash that would be just lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The skirt is lovely! I plan to follow along!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This will be my first sew along so excited!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello,

    Est ce que vous vendez l'ancien patron années 50 ? Je le cherche désespérément! si vous voulez bien me le céder contacter moi (mathilde_legrand_esp@hotmail.fr)

    Do you sell the old 50's pattern? I search him desperately! If you will sell me the pattern contact me (mathilde_legrand_esp@hotmail.fr)

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...