Monday, November 5, 2012

Tutorial for Mystery Pocket Skirt

As I said yesterday, Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking and I are doing a joined tutorial on the mystery skirt she discussed previously in her sewing circle. I'm pretty impressed with how similar it came out (if I do say so myself). Part I of the tutorial will be featured here - the pattern drafting part. Part II - the sewing part is featured on Suzannah's blog, so don't forget to check it out one you're done with Part I!
This is my version of the skirt! (for more pictures of the skirt you can check out my full post about it here)

Let's compare it to the original skirt:

When I draft a pattern, I look at the basic qualities of a skirt in order to assess what my basic pattern will be and what I have to add to it. So, let's take a look at the skirt:
1) the silhouette: The skirt is an A line skirt with a waistband and seam in the center front. The dress is high waisted and form fitting.
2) the pockets: the pocket look like they are part of the panel of the skirt rather than a patch pocket. The pocket consists of a slit and a square pocket sack in the inside of the skirt (which I saw through the fabric in one of the close up pictures)
3) Fabric: The fabric seems quite sturdy and doesn't really drape, thick cotton? cotton sateen? wool?

General Thoughts:
1) I decided to really make the pockets part of the panel of the skirt rather than a patch pocket, BUT I will add instructions throughout the tutorial so that you can make the patch pocket version if you like. The patch pockets are much easier if you ask me, but they don't achieve exactly the same look as the require to stitching and have a little more bulk. You're welcome to chose which ever way you like!
2) lining - I chose not to line my skirt, I don't really like to line my skirts but in retrospect I kind or regret this decision and I may add a lining anyway. You may want to line your skirt as it will add more structure to it (as the original skirt has) and the inside of the pocket isn't the prettiest so you may want to hide that as well. I'll add instructions for lining as well throughout the tutorial.

This tutorial will include the following segments:
How to draft a form fitting A line skirt
How to draft a built in slit pocket/ patch slit pocket.
How to sew an inverted corner.
And of course how to draft and sew the whole skirt!

Lets get on with in!

These are your basic materials for drafting the pattern, you will also need pattern paper. The french curve isn't a must have but it does help drawing.. well, curves.

1) First, Measure your waist and divide by 4 (you should probably add between 1\4 to 1\2 an inch ease to this measurement unless you like your skirt to fir very very tightly). Mark this measurement on you pattern paper.

2) Next, measure the distance between your waist and your hips (the widest part of your butt). Mark this at a right angle to your waist measurement.

  3) Measure how long you want your skirt to be down from the waist and mark it down on the same line you marked the wait hip measurement (it will obviously longer. well, hopefully) and square the whole thing (meaning two sides will be as wide as your waist and two  sides will be as long as your skirt will be).

cut this square out.

Devide your rectangle into three equal pieces.

Slash on the lines that you mark, BUT DON'T CUT THE WHOLE WAY.

  See? I left a little tiny bit of paper in the end.

Now we're going to take a new sheet of pattern paper and mark our Hip-Waist measurement we measured before.

 Match up the rectangle we slashed and the measurement we marked on the paper (they should both have waist-hip measurements marked on them.

Tape that whole slashed part down, we don't want that one moving!

  measure around your Hip and divide that by 4. Mark this measurements at a 90 degree angle from your waist-hip measurement at the Hip Level.

Spread the slashed rectangle across the Hip Line.

Spread out the slashed rectangles so that the edge of the right slashed rectangle lines up with the end of the hip measurement. The Middle rectangle should be in.. well, the middle. Tape everything down!

Trace the bottom curve.

 Trace the upper curve.

Trace around the whole thing!

Cut the traced pattern out. Notice I marked the pattern with center- this is the side of the rectangle we taped down first - the side that doesn't flare out. This will be our Center Seam for the back and front.

Next we're going to draft the waistband. Mark a line an inch and a half down (or however wide you'd like your waistband to be) that follow the curve of the top of the pattern.

Cut along the line

We now have the pattern for the back skirt and the waistband!

Retrace your back pattern. we're going to make a front pattern out of this. (this is the back pattern without the waistband)
 Mark 2'' down and then 10'' down on the side seam of the pattern.

Measure 4'' and 7.5'' out and trace the trapeze we created.

Trace a round corner using your french curve (or your eyes) creating the rounded top of the pocket.

Measure up 3/4 inch from the bottom line of our trapeze. Mark a line up to this point. This will be the bottom of the pocket.

Mark a line 2'' away from out 10'' line and perpendicular to it. Then mark two points, one 2'' from the top and one 3'' from the bottom on the line we just drew.

Now we'e going to draft the pocket slit. in those points that we just marked, we going to create w 1/2 inch by 5'' rectangle. meaning, we're going to draw 1/2'' lines through each point and connect these line to create a rectangle.

Trace around our pocket and cut it out!
we now have all our pattern pieces! the pattern above is the front skirt and the pocket, and we already made the back pattern and the waistband in the first part of the tutorial.

For the sewing instructions check out Suzannah's Post!
Let me know if you have any questions!

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