Monday, June 04, 2007

Finally a Photo: the first true self-draft


I made this skirt a couple of weeks ago; it's been waiting for a photo op before I wrote it up. DH was taking ebay pictures last night and I jumped in and made him take a picture.

This is my first truly self-drafted pattern; something that came from math and rulers and didn't have any elements traced from another pattern. My inspiration was Loes Hines' Tango Skirt, which is a pull-on ten gore skirt with a bit of trumpet flare at the bottom (you can't tell that from the photos at the website; you've got to click on 'Line Drawing' on the right side of the skirt page to see how the skirt is made).

Anyway, I thought...it's one piece, no zippers, no darts...how hard can it be?

I added what I *thought* I wanted for ease to my estimated hip measurement, (it'd been awhile since I measured and I was too involved to strip down to the skivvies for a new one) and divided that measurement by 10. Then I added 3/4" (for 3/8" seam allowances) and I had the width of my gore....I'll call it 'X' inches. 'X' inches turned out to be a measurement that ended in '.9', so I fudged it up one tenth of an inch so it was easy to measure. I drew a rectangle that was the new 'x' inches wide, and the length was my waist-to-just-below knee measurement, plus 1 3/8" for the elastic at the top (1") and the hem (3/8"). At the bottom, I marked the center point, so I'd know where to balance the curve. I measured to the top of my knee, since that was about where I wanted the flare to start, and eyeballed how wide I wanted it (I think I added 2 1/2"; that'd be 1 1/4" on each side; I'd check but the pattern piece seems to be AWOL at the moment). A French Curve ruler to true up all the curves and angles, and I had my pattern piece! I angled the seams back towards the center at the hemline, to help pull out extra fullness in the hem allowance (I have a Kwik Sew flared skirt pattern from which I learned that little trick). I cut ten of them from one of the knits I picked up at the Sir's Spree last month.

Sewing it was a snap...10 seams, elastic waist and hem. I did try it on before I added elastic or hemmed it, and I found that it really was much too full in the hips. It wasn't just an inch too big (the addition resulting from rounding the gore measurement); it was nearly a whole gore too big; I think I'd overestimated the amount of ease I needed (2" of ease comes to mind...I think that's what I estimated). So I just took the skirt back to the serger and re-sewed each seam 1/4" deeper, then tried it on again. *That* was right (for a lightweight stretchy knit, anyway), so I finished it out w/elastic and hem and it's done!

You really can't see the flippy hem in the pictures; it just looks sort of pleated at the bottom.

I'm not sure the length is dead perfect; it feels a little short for this forty-mumblemumble something female, but I think I'll just pass it off as a summer skirt and it'll be ok. But for a fun exercise in pattern drafting it worked great!

12 comments:

  1. Looks great, Lisa! I like the length a lot. Good job on the drafting.

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  2. I think it looks cute, and not too short at all! As a fan of the original Tango skirt, I predict you'll be making a lot of these!

    BTW, you'll probably need a little more ease when you make it as a woven. But the way you went about it is great, making it bigger and re-sewing the seams deeper.

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  3. Thanks! I kept waffling on whether to just order the Tango or not...finally I thought I'd just give this a try and see how it worked.

    I think I started with a generous estimate of what my hip measurement was (been through some weight fluctuations; I need to retake some measurements...); so I probably had more than 2" of ease in the beginning. I'll probably leave the original pattern to try with a woven, but I will trim a copy down for knits ;)

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  4. It's the perfect length, love it. Congrats on your self-drafted pattern!

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  5. Great skirt and a very flattering up to date hem length. Congratulations, I think you deserve to be proud of your draft.

    Susan W

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  6. You have great legs, great looking skirt. I still like to wear my skirts that length.

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  7. It's a great skirt! Nice job. I think the length is great. You have really nice legs!

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  8. Great skirt, and I think it's the perfect length -- especially with your great legs! Wear it and don't be shy! Any longer and it would be frumpy.

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  9. Great work on the drafting! The length is perfect on you - I say if you have the legs, you should show them.

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  10. Lisa,

    Wow! I'm impressed. Great job on drafting your summer 10-gore skirt. The proportions look really good on you.

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  11. Nice looking skirt. You did a great job.

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  12. I agree with everyone else, as another 40 something, I think it is a great length, goes great with some fun flats or sandals for summer! Very cute skirt!

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