Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Crossover Pleat Skirt Draft Along 4: Drafting the Master Pattern

Finally I got it all in one place. In this post I will explain how I draft the master pattern, which we will can also use as a pattern for the skirt lining and, optionally, a petticoat.

Using the formula from the previous post I calculated that the radius for the ‘waistline’ circle will be 30.1 cm. The length of my skirt is 60 cm.

I am taking a sheet of pattern paper that is wide enough to accommodate the ‘wasitline circle’ and the length, which is 92.1 cm. I am also adding 5 cm margin on each side, which gives me the width of appr. 102 cm. 

The length of the pattern paper piece is 180 cm, or almost twice the width.


Below is the illustration of the finished draft. I lettered different steps so you can follow along.

1. Right Side seam

From the bottom left corner of your paper, along the left edge, draw a line equal the skirt length + calculated radius - 92.1 cm in my case. Mark the top point as point A – it will be the center of your circle. Measure down the calculated radius, mark as point B. Mark the end of the line as point C
BC = side length of your skirt

2. Waistline arc

With the compass on A, set to the calculated radius, draw an arc from B to the right. The arc length should be equal your waistline measurement without ease.  Mark the end of the arc as point D.

3. Right side seam

Draw a line from point A through point D, adding your side length measurement to end the line at point EDE = BC = side length of your skirt. Mark the lines BC and DE as side seams.

4. Hemline arc

With the compass on A, draw a larger arc to connect point C with point E. CE is the skirt hemline.

5. Left side seam

Divide the  waistline arc BD by half, mark the half point as point F.

Draw a line from point A trough point F to the larger arc, marking the point where the line crosses the hemline arc as point G. Arc segment CG must be equal arc segment GE.

Mark line FG as side seam.

6. Center front and center back

Divide both arc segments BF and FD in half, marking center points H and I. Do the same on the larger arc segments CG and GE, marking points J and K. 

Connect point H with point J, and point I with point K, marking the lines HJ and IK as center front, and center back respectively.

7. Skirt length adjustment at center front and center back

From the points J and K on the hemline mark up the front and the back length of the skirt. Adjust the waistline arc to go through this new points - orange line on the illustration.

The 3/8 skirt draft is finished. Now, let's discuss the grainline placement.


I went for four pattern pieces and added seams at center front and center back.  Here is why:

If you decide to make your center front and center back on grain you will end up with least fullness in those areas, with most flare at the sides. This creates a wider overall silhouette. If that’s what you want, eliminate center front and center back seams, using them only as a lengthwise grain guide.

If you, however, center the grainlines on each of four pattern pieces (blue lines on the illustration), the fullness will be equally distributed all over – my preferred option as it is more 'slenderizing'.

Of course, here you will end up with all seams off grain, which will require more effort when sewing the skirt – but it’s well worth the effort. (I’d recommend careful handling of cut pieces, preferably on a flat surface, and basting the seams before machining them)

The Part 1 is completed – we drafted our master pattern. I hope this makes sense ) In the next part I will explain how to add pleats to the back. While I am planning to upload all the posts week you can draft at your own pace. I'll be happy to discuss or answer questions in a dedicated thread in a Couture Collective forum.

As usual, I'd be happy for any comments pointing at possible typos or unclear instructions. I am learning with you)

P.S. I got a few questions about the fullness of the skirt. The skirt on the Vogue Patterns envelope looks fuller, so in case you doubt that the skirt is full enough, I'd suggest making a muslin at this stage. If you do, stay stitch the waist so it doesn't stretch out of shape. 



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