Drafting my own pencil skirt began with the best of intentions. After noticing a few minor fit issues with the Wannabe Hack skirt, I thought it would be a good idea to have a crack at drafting my own, and I had just the book to hand.
Well, so I thought. I hadn’t bought “Patternmaking in Fashion Step by Step” due to any glowing recommendations of its patternmaking tips, rather, I’d bought it because it was only a fiver in Urban Outfitters. Also it’s in English, French and German. Lucia Mors de Castro had me at Schnittmuster.
Now, patternmaking involves a certain degree of maths. You heard me. MATHS. Not my favourite subject at school, but this is where the lovely invention of calculators comes in. Calculators are a godsend for the lazy seamstress wanting to draft their own patterns. Number crunching is just not my forte unfortunately.
I was getting along just fine until I stumbled across a bit of a problem. To explain the process, a set of sample measurements are used, which were nowhere near mine. The difference between my hips and my waist is not that big, meaning I’m markedly different from de Castro’s sample. I hit a bit of a brick wall when figuring out the darts, so I turned to Google for help.
Which really, should have been my first option. When I taught myself how to sew, I didn’t do so from books, I did it by using the vast wealth of free lessons and tutorials available from the sewing community online. That’s not to say sewing books are worthless; I love books and own several about sewing, but it’s not hard to find a decent tutorial online. I found that and more on House of Marmalade, which hosts a fantastic tutorial on drafting your own skirt block and pencil skirt. Success! I started over on some fresh brown paper and got back to work.
It may be from the school of wonky skirt blocks, but I’m quite proud of my first efforts in pattern drafting. The real proof, however, will be in the pudding; I’m currently in the process of whipping up my first self-drafted pencil skirt. Wish me luck! Here’s hoping it fits…