Thursday, May 30, 2013

Skirt Week 2013 - How to draft a custom fit skirt pattern with a wide waistband.

Okay, ooooookay first of all YAY for Skirt Week 2013.
If you have no idea what I am talking about I would suggest you check out THIS post at Crafterhours because that explains it all. But come right back because you don't want to miss this post, okay!

A year ago I participated in Skirt Week for the first time and I got the surprise of a lifetime. First of all I got pretty surprised that one of my skirts was chosen from the Flickr group to actual go to voting. Then I got not-so-surprised when my skirt got like the lowest number of votes (yeah, thanks for nothing guys ;-))) BUT I guess the judges felt sorry for me or something because (and now comes the surprise of a lifetime-part) then I won Judge's Choice for THIS a-line skirt. Whaaaaat, man I am still so proud of that. 
And now I almost feel like I won something again by being invited back to do a tutorial to (hopefully) inspire others to make skirts. Thanks Susan and Adrianna from Crafterhours who arrange Skirt Week!

So I was thinking how can I help and inspire the most and my answer (which is not necessary the right one but never the less my answer) a tutorial on how to draft a custom fit skirt pattern with your own measurements (hence custom fit...but you know......) 
The skirt I am going to show you how to make is a (kind of) half circle skirt with a wide fitted waistband. 
A wide fitted waistband is a great tummy control type of waistband (pretty sure I learned that word from What Not to Wear (when they teach them what to actually wear....not when they basically break them and their wardrobe down in the beginning!). AND a half circle skirt is great for thigh disguise (yep, totally made that word up myself).
In other words I am making a skirt that would look good on a lot of different female body types. And you don't actually have to have a tummy or thighs that needs any disguising to look good in the skirt. Juuust saying!!!

In the end I will show you a skirt I made using this method with my measurements. But the possibilities are really endless with this model so lots of chances to use your creativity.

First we need 4 measurements....let's call them A, B, C & D.

A: Circumference of your stomach/waist area where you want the waistband to start. Generally (on post teenage years people) this is like 1-2 in./2.5-5 cm below your belly button. But YOU decide remember! Do what looks best on your frame and what you feel most comfortable with.   

B: The height of your desired waistband. I made mine 3 in/7.5 cm.

C: Circumference of your low stomach/high hip area where you want your waistband to stop. You get this by: start where you measured A, then measure down with the B that you decided and at that spot you measure the circumference and you got C.

D: From C to your desired length of the skirt. I choose just around knee length and ended up with 20.5 in/52 cm.

Along the way you need to make some Kindergarten level will be juuust fine!

 Now that you made your muslin, tried it on and made the changes to the skirt and waistband pattern (if there were any) you are ready to draft the pattern for the lining....if you want lining in your skirt. I kind of prefer not - especially in summer skirts - but some of my fabric for the finished skirt was a bit sheer so there was no way around it.
1) You use your skirt pattern but you don't need it as wide as the actual skirt. So what do you do? YES, you use same method that we used to make the waistband more narrow to fit measurement A
But because you don't want to cut in your finished paper skirt pattern you simply just fold it somewhere in the middle. Why do we not just take it off from the side seam? Because then we would loose our 90 degree angles which are so important for the finished 'lines' in the skirt. Try to sew something together with a 80 degree angle and you will see what I will be pointy not a straight line.
I have already made the fold on this 1) photo between the dotted lines.
The top curve (that is going to be sewed on the bottom of the inner waistband) will become a bit pointy when you fold (those pesky angles) so when you copy the pattern you will need to smoothen that out. See yellow dotted lines on photo 1).
2) Here you see the copied lining pattern with a smooth top curve and still all 90 degree angles. Since you copied your skirt pattern that already have seam allowance you don't need to add that. But you do need to shorten it so it does not stick out under your skirt fabric. It shortened it so it just covers the sheer fabric but again that is up to your skirt design.
3) This photo is just to show you how to sew the inner waistband to the lining. When you, in the very end, sew outer waistband (with skirt) and inner waistband (with lining) together  - right against right side of fabric - at the top waistband seams, you will get a skirt with no visible seam allowance - at least when you look from the top. Since the skirt and lining does not have same length and width we obviously does not close it by the hems.

And now I think it is time to see that skirt I made, right!

A curvy/wavy color block skirt made with three different thin cotton fabrics that all have a great drape which is kind of important in this type of skirt.
In case you are interested in an actual sewing tutorial for this specific skirt I can tell you I have plans of making that too in the near future. So keep an eye on my blog and if you are a new reader visiting from Crafterhours (welcome!!) maaaaybe you should consider following me with Facebook, Bloglovin or how you prefer to follow blogs! Whatever you need for this is in my right side column.

Now go make your own skirts! (Told you I can be bossy!)

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