Sunday, January 27, 2008

Twirl-Drafting The Skirt

I sewed together the muslin bodice and tried it on The Princess. The little tucks in the front are perfect. It's amazing how such a simple little thing like the tucks can move a garment from "blah" to "boutique". Without them, this little bodice would have been shapeless and squarish. This explains my addiction to vintage children's patterns very well-those little design details add so much charm to Little Dresses, don't they?

I pinned in some very slight alterations to the bodice, mainly shortening the sleeve depth and removing a smidgen of width in the front and back necklines. See?

You may have noticed that the muslin bodice is lined. What? You don't line your little muslin bodices? I am SUCH a nerd, aren't I?

On to drafting the circle skirt pattern. Math will be involved. If you can divide, this is easy. If you can't, get a calculator. Or a Random Teenager, if one is available. This is your chance to find out if your kid sleeps in class. Oh, the stories I could tell.....

To draft the circle, I have to know the circumference of the bottom of the bodice. So I measured it with the tape measure, and it came out to 25 inches. So that step was pretty easy.

Now I need to draw a circle with a circumference of 25 inches. Here comes the math part.

I used this handy little mathematical formula:

Circumference=pi X diameter

Now I know the circumference (25) and I know pi (3.14), so I get

25 = 3.14 X diameter

I divide 25 by 3.14 and the answer is 7.96 inches. Let's just call it 8.

I make marks 8 inches apart on the paper. Then I mark the middle-that will be 4, yall.

I put the protractor like so, and rotate around from the marked middle:

And I get half the circle:

Since I'm such a nerd, I put my cloth tape measure on edge and measured around the outside of that red half circle. And guess what? It measured 12 1/2", which is perfect! Life is good.

I did a little thinking and decided my skirt needed to be 17 inches long, so I marked it off and cut it out and here is my skirt pattern!

The astute among you are saying "That's not a half circle!" You're correct. Since my muslin is only 35 inches wide, I can't cut a half circle. I'm cutting a quarter circle instead, with one edge on the fold.
The next design technique I used was the eyeball method. I eyed this pattern piece, drew in some lines, used the eraser a few times, and finally decided on the placement lines for all those little ruffles:

I'm off to sew together a little skirt!


CandlebyNight said...


Jen said...

Thank you so much for the blow-by-blow details. It makes it seem so much easier. Not that I'll be attempting anything quite this ambitious anytime soon -- :)