The distance between these draftalong posts are getting further and further apart as I have to learn more functionality in Adobe Illustrator. I have to admit the process is for the most part a joy, if only for the fact that I’m finding out just how much of what you can do relates to sewing patterns. There are some fab tutorials on YouTube (check out Melly Sews, Unsteadyllc and Kymy) that show you how you can use Illustrator to digitalise your sewing patterns, it’s so exciting for a complete nerd like me! I mean to take Melly Sews’ classes one day for sure.
So starting this part of the draft along you should have two skirt block pieces that look like the two above (unless your front darts were the same size as the back darts on your straight skirt block, in which case you will have no residual dart in the back). For the purpose of this step we are going to ignore the extra flare we added at the side seam. We are not going to omit it, but we aren’t going to use if for any measurements or calculations either, so just disregard it for now.
Firstly, we want to measure our skirt block and do a couple of calculations. Taking a tape measure or a bendy ruler, measure the width of your skirt hem (not including that flare I mentioned) on the front and back and write these measurements down. Then measure your hip line on the front and back pieces and record these measurements too. Divide all your measurements by three so you can divide each line into thirds. On your hip line mark the first third as point 1 and the second third as point 2. Mark the equivalent points on your hemline 3 and 4 as below.
Dividing Up The Panels
Draw a line that joins points 1 and 3 and then extends up to the waist. Move your back dart if you have one so that it centres on this line (this is as simple as rubbing out your dart and redrawing an identical one on your new line). Draw an identical line that joins points 2 and 4 – this second line is going to be your grainline for your side panel.
Now get a new piece of paper and trace off everything in blue in the diagram below making sure to leave space on your paper at the sides so we can add pleats in later. As you can see we lose our back dart into the panel seam, completely eliminating it.
These are your centre front and back gore panels and are cut on the fold if you want a six gore skirt. We are going to add a centre back zip when we finally make up our pattern though so be aware that you can change fold lines and grainlines as you desire.
With another sheet of fresh paper trace out the panels indicated in blue below. These will be your side panels, note how you trace the line bisecting points 1 and 2 and make it your grainline.
You now should have the following pattern pieces (see below) and that is all for today, we will add pleats to our skirt in the next post, almost there!!