Drafting a Straight Skirt

I had my sewing class last night and the first thing we did was take my measurements. I should say the first thing my teacher did was take my measurements. And there were a lot of measurement to take: 25 in all!

And then, based on my measurements, she showed me how to draft a straight skirt. I have to say, so far this drafting thing is pretty cool. It's all based on your measurements that you then plug in to formulas: math, wow! We'll see how it turns out at the end, if the skirt fits me better than a skirt I made using a commercial pattern. I can't imagine why it wouldn't, unless I stuff something up BIG TIME during the sewing process.

As an aside, apparently a commercial pattern in French should properly be called a patronage and a sloper should be called a patron. At least this is what my teacher explained. But most people call commercial patterns patrons. Maybe only professionals use the word patronage??? End of the aside. :)

Here's what I have so far:

We had a little mishap with the waist band seam allowance...I didn't notice that a chunk was missing out of the bottom layer of the fabric until after I had already cut out the fabric (starting with the hem of course). So now the waist seam allowance is like 5 mm!! I suggested that we could just move the pattern down on the fabric and have a 3.5 cm seam allowance for the hem, for example, but my prof. nixed that idea. Somehow a 5 mm waist seam allowance is preferable to a 3.5 cm hem seam allowance. I must confess, I don't get that. I even said I'd be willing to have a slightly shorter skirt so that the hem could still have its 4 centimeters, but she's convinced we can work with the 5 mm at the waist. Brave soul.

And here's the fabric I'm using:

I originally had this Ikea fabric earmarked to go on the wall as decoration. But I've had it for over a year and still haven't built the frame, and it's the right weight for the skirt (I believe), so I changed its destiny, like that, with a snap of my fingers! ;) Plus I was too lazy pressed for time to go into town yesterday and buy more fabric for class.

You may have noticed that the edges of the side seams are serged. Yes, I used a serger for the first time last night. And now the serger is broken. But I swear it wasn't me! The teacher thinks there's something wrong with the motor. I didn't even use the machine for 5 minutes, I couldn't have possibly broken the motor, right...right? When she opened it up it was all full of fluff and stuff so I think it hasn't been serviced in a while.

Speaking of serging, I'm not convinced. I'm convinced that drafting is the way to go, but serging, not so much. Why buy (another) expensive machine that is (apparently) rather capricious and difficult to thread when there are plenty of other ways to finish a seam? Including ways that don't necessarily require special tools? I quite like French seams and Hong Kong seams and seams that are just treated with a little zig-zag stitch. And if you have pinking shears, why not just pink them?

Personally I love pinking my seams. Pink, pink, pink! Do people not like it 'cuz they think it makes the garment look less classy, more homemade? I guess I don't especially desire for my garments to look professional. I want them to look good, but I don't need to follow an industry standard because I'm not an industrial seamstress!

What are your thoughts on this?


  1. :D I bought some of that fabric a while ago, to make a purse. It's rather pretty, isn't it? Your drafting class sounds fun, it's a skill I'd really like to have!

    I'm with you on the serging. I don't have a serger but we have some sewing cafés here where you can go and use the machines for like 5€ per hour. I tried it and while it was fun and may be convenient for some things, I don't think I'll need to buy one anytime soon. I love pinking for most fabrics, or French seams for sheer/light ones!

  2. It will be wonderful to have your own perfectly fitted skirt pattern!
    I have an overlocker and I use it all the time, but you are quite right, those other finishing techniques are perfectly adequate. I managed for fifteen years or so without an overlocker just fine!! It's just one of those things that once you have one you find a use for it and it quickly becomes indispensable... :)

  3. Erm make that twenty five years, without an overlocker...

  4. I agree that serging was fun (up until the machine went kaput) and I can see how it would be addicting. But I don't really think it improves upon anything in garment sewing, except that it is perhaps a bit faster. And when time is money...! But that's definitely not the case with me ;)

  5. I've learned that my serger doesn't work well for everything. As a seam finish for lighter/thinner fabrics, it can be somewhat of a disaster. I've also learned that my serger is a bit of a thread snob--I took it to the shop at the beginning of the year because the left needle was constantly skipping stitches, and learned that it was due to the thread I was using, which was a fairly old/inexpensive cone that I got for free. So I've slowly been replacing my serger threads with brand new ones as I need certain colors. That being said, I do like having a serger. Especially for when I make knit garments.

  6. I love pinking shears and I also love IKEA fabric for skirts (wink). I just bought a very inexpensive, or rather still not cheap but hundreds of euros less than the usual prices, serger from LIDL of all places. I haven't started using it yet, but it will be interesting to see what it and I can do.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts