I'd like to share my first attempt at pattern drafting with you today. I've seen a lot of box pleated midi skirts around lately and thought I'd have a go at drafting my own. It was a lot of fun.
I started with this highly technical drawing:
The dimensions are taken from a 8 panelled RTW midi skirt I bought a couple of years ago. I thought it was a pretty good place to start from.
Even though the "inspiration" skirt has a straight waistband I drafted a curved one based on my skirt block. I find curved waistbands much more comfortable than straight ones.
Once that was done, I divided the measurement along the bottom seamline of the waistband by 8 to get the top width of my panels. It was almost exactly the same as the measurement from the RTW skirt, so I used the same hem width for each panel as the RTW skirt has.
I then decided how deep I wanted the pleats to be - 1 inch - and therefore added 2 inches to each side of my basic panel piece, curving the waist and hem with my pattern master.
I made it a bit more complicated than I needed to initially because for some reason I decided I needed to make it panelled, as the RTW skirt was, hiding the seams inside the pleats. I was going to have 2 centre panels front and back, with pleats either side and between them, and then side panels without pleats at the side seam.
The dashed line in the photo above shows where I marked the cutting line for the side panels. I traced this off and ended up with the two pieces below.
However when it actually came to cutting out I came to my senses and realised I didn't need seamed panels, so I pinned the side piece over the seam allowance for the centre panel and cut one complete front and one complete back, marking the top of the pleats with snips into the fabric.
When it came to sewing I stitched the tops of the pleats down 2 inches from the edge, and then pressed and stitched them in place.
Here's a photo of one piece before I sewed them together and added the waistband.
The construction was pretty straightforward. I cut two front and two back waistbands and interfaced one of each. Then there was just two side seams to sew, a lapped zip to insert and the hem. The seam allowances are all finished with the overlocker.
This is a pretty different style for me, both in terms of shape and fabric, but I think I like it. The fabric by the way is from Ikea, I think it was £4.00 a metre. I easily got this out of 2 metres, even allowing for pattern matching.
I envisage wearing it like this most often, with a black top and opaque tights, but also like it with the denim shirt I've styled it with below. I think that needs sheer tights though, the black look a bit heavy. I'd also like it with a black blouse - I think I'll feel most comfortable pairing it with black - or a cropped top that sits just over the waistband.
So that's my first attempt at pattern drafting. It was a pretty straightforward style for a first go, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Now to make some tops to go with it!