Skirt Diaries – Ep 1 “Pilot” – How To Draft A Basic Custom Skirt Pattern – Skirt Or Sloper Block DIY

Hello and welcome! Thank you for visiting my fresh little blog. Since this is the first post on this blog, let me introduce myself. My name is Janani— a twenty-something-year-old Calgarian who is a recent fashion college graduate obsessed with making all sorts of things. You’ll get to know about me and my life later on! 😊
On my very first blog post, I’d like to share with you something I learned in my very first pattern drafting class four years ago.

This will be the first of series of posts on making all sorts of skirts using a custom skirt pattern.
Today we are learning to draft your own skirt pattern. Using this pattern as a base I will be showing you how to make all sorts of skirts every week.
I personally think this is the easiest pattern to draft if you are a beginner.

I have my trusted “Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear” by Winifred Aldrich to guide us through easily. If you are a beginner this book contains really good basic foundation drafts.

To start out you will need the following,

– A pencil
– A ruler (50cm preferably)
– Paper
– Measuring tape
– Ribbon or a tie
– French curve ruler (optional)

For this draft, you will need three measurements,

– Waist
– Hip
– Waist to hip

Here’s an illustration I found in the same book that should help with the measurements. When taking the measurement for waist to hip tie a ribbon around your waist and hip and measure the distance between—-remember hip measurement should be the biggest part of your bum. 

Now that we have all the basics out of the way, Let’s get drafting.
I have drafted mine in half scale so it’s easier to capture.
These steps should be easy to follow,

Step one: Divide hip measurement by half. Add 1.5cm to it. Draw a horizontal line with this measurement and label the ends #1 & #2

Step two: From #1 draw a vertical line to the length of you prefer. Label it #3. I go about 60cm and chop later on according to the style.

Step three: #5 should be measured from #1. This is your waist to hip measurement. Square this horizontal line across meeting the #2 line. Label the point #6 and intersection of #2 and #3 lines #4.

Step 4: Divide the hip measurement by 4 and add 1.5cm. Mark this on the #5-#6 line. This is your #7. From this point draw a line vertically. Mark the bottom intersection #8

Step 5: Take a quarter of your waist measurement and add 4.25cm. Mark this on the #1 – #2 line. This is your #9.

Step 6: Mark #10 1.25cm just above #9. Connect #10 to #1 and #7. Use dotted lines.

Step 7: Divide line #1 – #10 into 3 equal parts. Mark #11 and #12

Step 8: From #11 square down 14cm and from #12 square down 12.5cm. Label the points #13 and #14. Mark 1cm on either side of #11 and #12 and connect these points to #13 and #14. These are your back darts.

Now you finish your back skirt pattern draft. Take a deep breath! I know it’s a lot but we are getting there.

Step 10:  From #2 measure out half of the waist plus 2.25cm. Mark this point as #15. From #15 measure 1.25cm. This is your #16.

Step 11: Connect #2 to #16 and connect #16 to #7.

Step 12: Measure the distance between #2 to #16. Two third of this measurement will be #17

Step 13: Square down a line that is 10 cm from the point #17. The endpoint of this line will be #18. Add 1cm each side of this point #17 and connect those to#18. This is your front dart

Step 14: Trace around your new skirt patterns. #10 to #7 and #16 to #7 should be curved outside. You can freehand this curve or use a French curve.

When tracing the waistline, slightly curve it in.

Make sure to label your pattern as below. It’s important to add “Notches” with “T” marks. These help us match the pattern. These notches should be on the hip line, and end of your darts. The back should have a double dart which is a 1cm part. Also your Grain-line parallel to the CB – center back line.

It’s a good idea to secure your paper patterns on a stable Bristol/ cardboard since you’ll be using this basic pattern for all sorts of other designs.

To ensure this pattern fits you, I recommend you make a mock-up skirt with an opening on the side. Use a cheap, lightweight cotton.

I hope the steps were easy to follow. Next week I will be making a post on how to draft and sew a simple A-line skirt with dart manipulation.

See you soon! Happy drafting! 😉