Friday, 5 April 2013

How to Make the Classic Skirt Pattern

This is the second instalment of skirt making information that I would love to share. I'm so impressed with some of the pattern making techniques that I am learning that I would love others to have the same information and success!

The Classic Skirt
The classic skirt is a straight skirt with a darted waist and a waistband. It has a vent in the skirt back for ease of movement. Before attempting this skirt you need several measurements; the waist and hip.


Make sure that your hip measurement is your largest measurement, otherwise your skirt will not fit properly!
The measurements that I use for these instructions are:

WAIST: 75cm  1/4: 18.75cm
HIP: 108cm  1/4: 27cm
HIP WAIST DIFFERENCE: (1/4 hip minus 1/4 waist) 8.25cm
SKIRT LENGTH: 60cm

Take a careful look at the image below of a skirt block and follow the instructions given. No fancy rulers required for this pattern!

Skirt block

Step 1: Draw a rectangle 1/4 of your hip measurement wide (27cm) and as long as you want your skirt (60cm). This will be your skirt front.

Step 2: Mark 1/4 waist measurement on the of rectangle and the halfway point between waist and hip measurements next to it. Mark the hip line 17cm below the waistline.

Step 3: At the halfway point between hip and waist, extend the waistline 1.5cm above the line and curve it down into the waistline at the centre front. Curve the side hip line from the same half way point to the hip line (17cm below waist).

Step 4: As half of my hip waist difference is about 4cm, I then need to take another 4cm out of the waistline using darts. Make the front dart no wider than 2cm. In my case, I need to make 2 darts to accommodate the 4cm difference. The dart should be positioned 10cm from the centre front and be made 8cm deep.

Step 5: The skirt back is created in the same way except the back dart is to stop 3cm above the hip line making it 14cm deep. Again, if your hip to waist difference is more than 2cm, you will need to make 2 darts. In my case I made the large dart 2cm wide and 14cm deep and the smaller dart 1cm wide and 8cm deep.

Step 6: The skirt vent is added in the centre back by extending out 4cm and up 14cm.

Step 7: The waistband is a straight strip, your waist measurement long and 6cm wide. (The waist band folds in half so it will finish 3cm wide.)

Once you have completed your pattern, make sure to add seam allowance to the side seams, waistline, hemline, vent, waistband and centre back. Cut out your pattern and test it on some calico or scrap fabric before cutting your fashion fabric. I needed to adjust my pattern slightly for a better fit the first time, but the effort is worth while!

To construct the skirt, sew darts and side seams together and finish off. Attach the waistband and insert the zipper. Finish off the waistband and any lining. Sew centre back seam to the vent. Complete the vent and hem the skirt to desired length. It's as simple as that!

To get the skirt to fit as well as possible, make sure you carefully press the darts out as they form the shaping!

Classic Skirt front
Classic Skirt back

My skirt pictured above is fully lined with an invisible zipper. Once this pattern is mastered, the fit is excellent as it truly is made just for you!

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