Sunday, 18 September 2016

How To Draft Your Own Circle Skirt | Free Tutorial

Evening all! 

So this year I have taught myself how to draft my own patterns in a way that makes sense to me, which is pretty amazing! So as this was requested by a fellow seamstress I thought I'd do a tutorial on how I draft and make my circle skirts. This is part 1, where I will focus on drafting the pattern pieces using your own measurements. Part 2 will come later this week and will be all about making the actual skirt! So let's jump right in...

What You Will Need:
Pattern drafting paper (or A3 paper and a good glue stick)
A ruler (I had to edit this post as I actually forgot to include this!)
A set square or a protractor
A calculator (unless you're excellent at dividing by decimals in your head)
A large table or area of hard floor
Patience and flexibility
About 1 hour

Optional extras include a cat who doesn't like your attention being on anything but him.

STEP 1. Measure
You need to take your waist measurement and the desired length of the skirt. I take the waist measurement snugly so I can just fit 2 fingers between the tape measure and the waist. This way it will hug the body when worn and accentuate your waist. To take the length of the skirt, measure from the point of your waist down to where you want it to stop. For the one I was making it was 67cm, which stops at my friend's knee. But obviously, everyone is different!

STEP 2. Draft

1. So I don't use pattern paper or anything for circle skirts, since the pieces are so large it would cost a fortune. Instead I always have a pad of A3 paper on hand and stick about 9 sheets together like so:
People laugh at me when I ask where my "good" glue stick has gone. Some glue sticks are just better than others. 
2. Once all the pieces are stuck together you need to draw a right angle in the corner, it doesn't matter which one!

I knew taking Standard Grade Graphic Communication would come in handy one day!
3. You now have to do some maths magic, and don't get too excited when I tell you that you get to use pi. Divide your waist measurement by pi (or 3.14 if you don't have a pi button) and then by 2. This will give you the radius of the circle which will form the waist of the skirt. I usually round it to 1 decimal place, but I don't think it would cause too much difficulty if you rounded it to the nearest whole number.

4. Draw from the point of the right angle straight lines which are the length of your radius. (This was a really difficult instruction to phrase... see photo below)

Label the right angle A, the vertical line B and the horizontal line C

Like you're drawing a triangle basically but don't join the points to make it one. 

5. You then need to take your radius and mark a series of points from your right angle between the space B to C. This will form a curve.

Join the dots (YAY!) and you have your waist for your skirt (DOUBLE YAY!).

6. Now draw a straight line from points B and C - this line should match your skirt length with about 2cm added for seam allowance. Label your new points D and E. 

You should now have a corner called A; waist labelled BC; a straight line BD and another CE.

7. Repeat the join the dots interval measurement trick that we did with the waistline to create a curved hem for the skirt. 

8. Now add a 1.5cm seam allowance to line CE. You can do it from point A to E if you want but we don't actually need to talk about A anymore. A can go.

9. Add a fold line to line BD like this one here:
10. Cut out and copy this exact pattern onto another piece of pattern paper, but with adding the 1.5cm seam allowance to BOTH lines (CE and BD) this time. 
If it helps you keep track, the first pattern piece we made (with the fold line) can be labelled front skirt and piece 1; and the second pattern piece can be labelled back skirts and pieces 2 and 3. Pieces 2 and 3 are cut by cutting 2 pieces of fabric but not on the fold, as we need that centre back seam for the zip.

STEP 3: Make the waistband:
Take your original waist measurement and add 8cm to this. This is because of stuff to do with pi which I don't fully understand but intend to work out! Draw a rectangle which is this measurement divided by 2 (in my case 87cm + 8cm = 95cm/2 = 47.5cm ) by 12cm. You can change the 12cm around if you want a wider or narrower waistband, I just think 12cm is a nice width). Add a fold line to one of the shorter sides to the rectangle so that you can cut this on the fold.

And once you've done all of that, you should be left with all the pieces you need to make your very own circle skirt which *should* fit you perfectly!

Be sure to check my blog later in the week on part 2 of this tutorial, which is when we will make the actual skirt using these pattern pieces! Til then, happy drafting!

Lots of love,


1 comment:

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