Pattern drafting - finished skirt

When I was pondering which style of skirt to make for my pattern drafting course, one reader's comment really struck a cord with me. Reana Louise said, "DO IT! And make a skirt like something you've never made (and might never make again) while you've got an expert on hand to answer questions". Reana's comment forced me to think outside of my style comfort zone and to actually contemplate designing and wearing a skirt I didn't think would suit my body type. Out of my six inspiration images, it's this skirt on the right that really made my heart sing. But lack of confidence and negative assumptions about my body shape made me initially discard it as an option and settle on a more gathered type of skirt. But Reana's comment kept niggling away at me and I'm so glad it did!


Despite my issues with wearing most types of skirts - outlined here - I do actually love this one! It's not perfect by any means, but it looks and feels better than I could have imagined. And I guess that's all to do with the fact that it was designed to my exact measurements.

I chose darker colours to flatter my curves and a jersey yoke - which you may recognise from here - to accommodate the muffin tops comfortably. The middle part is made of a canvas type cotton and the bottom band is linen. I'm seriously tempted to knock a summer version up in brighter colours and completely in cotton or linen.


I still have issues with lining garments, meaning I don't actually know how to so it properly as I've never fully-lined anything...yet. So I improvised by underlining the bottom two thirds of the skirt, which has worked out absolutely fine for this. Phew!

I wanted to show you this next picture mostly to brag about my neat insides, but also to giggle about my shape. It really is quite funny seeing in 'black and white' just how much larger my butt and hips are compared to my waist...no wonder I have fit issues with skirts!


I'm not going to lie, and you've probably realised it by now, but I'm really proud of this make. A lot of work and re-working goes into designing, drafting and then sewing a garment and I'm so pleased to have an end result that I like. I mean, for one, look at all that stripe matching...


No, really...look at it! The tiny pocket is practically camouflaged, but I assure you it's there...see?
Among many firsts during this make, I also learned a new technique by inserting my first ever exposed zip. It was easy overall, but a tiny bit fiddlier than I originally anticipated. I used a combination of two excellent tutorials to guide me though it - this one by BurdaStyle and a video tutorial featuring Gertie.


So, erm...I kinda like my skirt! I realise that some of you may actually want to know more about the design and drafting process, so I'll do a separate post on that aspect either later this week or early next week.

If you've had a go at pattern drafting, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Do you prefer it to working with ready-made patterns?

123 comments:

  1. I think that shape looks really good on you.

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  2. Oh my gosh that turned out SO cute! I love the mixed prints. Yours looks better than the original. Well done :)

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    1. Better than the original?!? Wow, thanks!!!

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  3. Blooming heck, Marie! Your sewing is flourishing. This is absolutely brilliant. Classy but edgy and suits you. I think that for a combination of prints and fabrics, you've totally pulled this off. You look hot! And that whole skirt came out of your own head - amazebobs!

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words (too kind) Karen! It didn't completely come out of my own head though...I did totally rip off my inspiration skirt ;o)

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  4. That is really really nice on you!! Well done for diving in and finding out you CAN wear a slim-fitting skirt... :)

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    1. Thanks, it actually is a revelation!

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  5. That looks fantastic, I'm super impressed! xxx

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  6. That is an awesome skirt. Inspired - I want one!

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    1. Thank you! Wish I was talented enough to just whip one up for you ;o)

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  7. I also struggle with the hip to waist ratio but then I'm all "Pattern mods are a small price to pay for an hourglass shape". The menfolk seem to dig it, amiright? Ahem. Your skirt! Oh your skirt is BEE-yoo_TEE-ful! Love the fabric mix and all the fun details! YOu know how I feel about an exposed zip.... but I was really surprised you haven't lined plaything yet. How is that possible?? It's not hard girl. Conquer your lining demon!

    re: pattern drafting.... after I unpack and actually start sewing again I have a long list of projects to get through. But after that, I'm thinking I might be done with buying patterns for a while because I have all these mad ideas.... I think with a sloper and my existing (extensive) pattern library I'll be able to draft quite a bit on my own.... we'll see how that goes!

    and ps. my love, the new blog design looks great and I'm so happy you're doing sponsorships now... but you MUST lose the comment captchas. They drive me mad. I love you enough to deal with it but you are surely losing commenters because of it. Disqus! It's not hard! I promise! xoxo

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    1. Thanks so much lady! And yes, I must learn how to line stuff, it's pathetic really! Haha!

      I look forward to seeing all your upcoming makes and I'll look into Disqus...I just don't like how it doesn't seem to link back to commenters' blogs :o(

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  8. That is gorgeous! Inspired - I want one!

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  9. Gurrrrl, you cray! Your hour glass shape is amazing! I love that you used jersey for the top. Rather than "muffin top" control I'd say it helps hug curves without digging in, something I definitely need to try!

    And I am totally in love with your Mondo-esque pattern mixing. I was similarly adventurous when I made a kinda self drafted skirt. I actually cut up my Colette Meringue pattern, adding piping and stuff. You can see it here: http://tinyurl.com/b5tta6h It was only my second garment so it's a bit wonky, but being adventurous is fun!

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    1. Thanks very much for the kind words! Your skirt is super cute, I love the 60s vibe!!!

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  10. What a fabulous skirt, I think it's better than the inspiration one! It does suit you and the back looks smoking hot!

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  11. I love it :) Definitely suits you - clever clogs!

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    1. Thank Kat - I appreciate the comment as I know you normally read blog on your phone ;o)

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  12. This is sooo lovely! Looks shop bought! I want to try but I think Id fail :)

    Lil xxx

    http://lilyribbons.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Go for it Lily, I'm sure you won't fail! But, if you do then you'll learn some valuable lessons and your next try will be even better ;o)

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  13. wow - that looks great! and all out of your own head too!

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    1. Well...with a little help from the inspiration skirt ;o)

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  14. Such a stylish design and great execution! Nicely done!

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  15. What a fab skirt! It fits you super well and the finish is really well done. Mixing the prints also add to the look. I likey a lot.

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  16. Wow! You should be really proud of that skirt, it's gorgeous! I love the mixture of prints (I'm a sucker for monochrome). I also have the same fitting problems - I'm an hourglass and that means I have to change EVERYTHING. I don't really know which size to choose when cutting out patterns as I am different sizes all over. My frustration over this has led to me setting up my own blog (www.sleeksilhouette.com) where I'm hoping to chart my progress with pattern drafting. I've only just stumbled across your blog (I love it!) so can I ask which pattern drafting course you're doing? I'd love to do one! I'm also looking forward to your post on drafting it! Congrats, you are right to feel super proud!
    xx

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    1. Thank you Katy and I wish you well in your sewing journey...there's a wealth of support and resources at your fingertips online! I'm taking a course at The School of Sewing in Leicestershire - http://www.schoolofsewing.co.uk/

      Off to check out your blog now ;o)

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    2. I just saw your lovely comment on my blog, thank you! I'm at that stage when every comment gets a little dance :) (I hope that won't ever end!) Thanks for the link to the sewing school, I'll check it out! I'm also going to try to make the Mathilde top of Tilly's you made too, it looks gorgeous on you!

      xx

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  17. You've done a brilliant job Marie, it looks fab on you! I've never properly learnt how to line things either, which is why I never show the insides of my makes! But yours looks professional!

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    1. Haha, high five for cutting lining corners! We must learn though, apparently it's easy!

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  18. Check your bad self, Marie! This looks awesome and it really suits you. I have signed up for a pattern drafting class at a local school but they're being FRUSTRATINGLY SLOW to organise them - I must go up and give them a prod, this is really inspiring :)

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    1. Thanks Roisin! Oooh, how exciting...do give them a prod, I think you'll love the classes once they start!

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  19. hate to break it to you-but i agree with everyone else. beautiful work and you look great in this skirt. you can totaly pull off skirts! kudos for trying something out of your comfort zone and making it work.

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  20. wow, what a fab job you've done of your skist. It really suits you. Well done. I love your fabric choices. I'm always scared with skirts (and trousers - aah) too being pearshaped. So good for you. It really worked out. :-)

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    1. Maybe you'll give it a go too now?

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  21. Wahey, that skirt is FAB! Love the combination of colours you chose, they 'work' so well together. And the bum versus waist - totally know where you're coming from there!

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  22. Wow, super cute! Who says skirts don't suit your figure!?!?! You're so creative!

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    1. Thanks Adrienne, this was heaps of unexpected fun!

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  23. I love this! It definitely veers from your usual style, but it looks awesome on you - it's so sassy! I love that exposed zip :)

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    1. Thanks Lauren, I'm pretty pleased with it!

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  24. MARIE!!! It's so unique, so perfect, and even though it's different than what you normally make it's so you! Does that make sense? What I'm trying to say is that it's great!

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    1. That totally makes sense and thank you so much!

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  25. FAN-TAB-U-LOUS!!!!! You can't have body issues whilst sporting that super skirt - it's against the rules! Wonderful!!

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  26. That skirt is amazing! Not only did you do a great job sewing, but it looks fantastic on you! I can't wait to see more things like it!

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  27. This skirt is seriously my favorite thing I've seen that you've made. Very inspirational. I love the pattern mixing, and it fits you perfectly! I WISH I had your fitting issues--my hips and butt are barely there! You look great, and so does this skirt!!

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    1. I guess we're all different and have our individual difficulties - which make us so unique and interesting ;o)

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  28. Oh Marie, I think this skirt is perfect and honestly you look great in it! x

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  29. Omg that looks AMAZING on you, I love it! I would so buy that as a pattern off you... And the inside is as lovely as the outside. You've definitely conquered your skirt shape fear girlie, you now need to make more of these. And release your version as a pattern!!

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    1. Thanks so much Sabs! I'd love to release this pattern, but I have no clue where to start. I'll look into it though as it would be great to see other versions of it ;o)

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  30. Oh my god can you make me one! That is the best skirt I have seen in ages. Reana is a girl of much sewing wisdom! So glad you took her advice and stepped out of your comfort zone because the end result is amazing.

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    1. Aaaw thanks Kat! I wish I had the expertise to make you one!!!

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  31. Wowzers!! Your skirt is amazing! It looks fantastic on you, and I love the fabrics, also the stripe matching is fab! :)

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  32. Even though I don't deserve it, I'm taking the 0.03% credit for this skirt because it is amazing! It looks like it fits you oh-so-well, the fabric choices are delicious, and that incredibly neat exposed zipper is getting my OCD insides giddy. YOU madame, are a rock star. And uuuh, if you ever want to share the pattern please do ;) xxx

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    1. You deserve all the credit my dear, it's your words that made up my mind! I would totally love to share the pattern...once I learn how ;o)

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  33. Fabulous style. Great fabrics used. Top fit. Wow - an exposed zip. And really neat inside skirt.
    Congratulations.

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  34. That looks gorgeous! Better than the inspo.. the pocket lineup is amazing:)

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  35. What a great skirt, I love the different fabrics you used - and using knit for the waist band sounds like a really great idea! You should totally make more

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    1. I'm certainly tempted to make more!!!

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  36. Oh wow it's gorgeous! And what a perfect fit. Plus I think it looks great on your shape!

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  37. This form fitting style is extremely flattering on you Marie, I could see you in a lovely darted shift dress which would, in my opinion, create the same beautiful lines on you. Drafting to your measurements, as you have done, is the best way to achieve such a perfect fit, well done, I love it.

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    1. Thank you Deb and funnily enough...a darted or princess seam shift dress is our next course challenge ;o)

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  38. Marie this is stunning, and I'm so glad that you went for a style that pushed you out of your comfort zone. What a genius idea!! And your resulting skirt is every bit worth it, an unusual uniquely you piece and doesn't it just look fab!!! Well done xx

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm so pleased this little experiment worked too!

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  39. That's one great skirt! The contrasting fabrics are very effective.

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  40. Gorgeous! Kudos for daring to take a leap into an unknown territory! I remember one of your issues with skirts being that you felt they cut you in half, making your upperbody appear short. That contrasting yoke was a really cleaver idea to take care of that problem!

    I draft all my patterns, to this date I think I've worked with def no more than 5 ready-made patterns. I have a myriad of fit-issues (and they involve tricky parts to change, like shoulders, sleeveholes and sleeve head), and re-drafting my sloper is a lot easier than altering a pattern drafted for someone else. Initially I despaired at how hard it was to make something that fit, but now I like the freedom of not being restrained to someone else's vision.

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    1. Thank you and well done for drafting all your own patterns...that's pretty impressive!!!

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  41. Congratulations on drafting and sewing your own self design skirt. You will have loads of fun doing it again. Look great x

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  42. This is amazing! I love the contrasting going on and it would be so pretty in Summer colours too! I think the jersey tummy panel is genius too... Always appreciate a bit of give in that area...!

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    1. Thanks Elisalex, although you don't need any give my dear ;o)

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  43. ooo Marie, this is fabulous. it looks so good on you - perfection! I have a similar bum/hip-waist shape - I don't mind the curves, but I do mind the struggle when it comes to fitting skirts (there's no hope when it comes to buying rtw skirts). I'd love to hear more about the process. hmmm.... perhaps I need to do a similar drafting course.

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    1. Thanks Shivani and yes, I will do a post about the process for sure! I would recommend a good drafting course, you'll get a lot out of it!

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  44. It looks good! I like the shape of the yoke. And I have the same problem--my waist is definitely much smaller than my hips and backside, and it makes fitting things from the waist down a struggle! I haven't had much luck with pattern-drafting. Too much math, I guess. But I've gotten used to taking things in at the waist during the fit-as-I-go process. I did sort of draft my own jeans pattern for the Kenneth King course at Craftsy, and while it needs some tweaking, it seems to be a good start!

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    1. Wow, drafting your own jeans sounds impressive!!!

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  45. Wow - that is fantastic! It's so flattering on you and I love the combination of fabrics you used. I love it! Well done!

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  46. Absolutely gorgeous! Really flattering and I love the mix of prints.

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  47. LOVE how you combined the fabrics for this skirt! And great idea to use jersey for the waistband. Overall, a win!

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  48. Ooooo! Gorgeous! I really love how you used your inspiration skirt to develop this project.

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  49. That is one terrific skirt! And it looks great on you!

    I have similar fitting issues--I call my shape an hourglass pear. Tiny waist, full bust, with full hips, backside and thighs a good size larger than my bust, and slightly narrow shoulders to make things just a bit more challenging!

    Have a feeling you'll be drafting more patterns to fit your unique shape! And loving it! :)


    Taja

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    1. Hourglass pear...I think you hit the nail on the head there!

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  50. I LOVE this! It's so, so chic! What a successful pattern drafting experience! Great job, girl!

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  51. Holy crapola, this has GOT to me my most favourite of your makes, probably ever! It's haute. And you look haute in it! Such fabulous finishing too. I can't even be sure if I'm crushing on your skirt or you. You look great!

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    1. Hehe, you make me giggle! Thanks very much!

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  52. Kinda like it? I kinda love it! Knockout!

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  53. This is fab Marie - you have every right to be proud of it. I love the combination of different fabrics - something that I have seen in shops, but have never really dared to do myself. Well done!

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  54. Cute skirt and great first go!

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  55. Stunning skirt, stunning original design. Just love it.

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  56. Wow. You look sizzling hot in this skirt, Marie! I imagine your boyfriend really liked it ;)

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  57. Wow, what a fantastic skirt! The 3 different patterns and the exposed zipper. Inspired!! I'd love to know more about how you drafted it, as I am learning to draft patterns and really enjoying it. I shall check back to see. :)

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  58. How did I miss this blog post?!! It didn't seem to show up in my reader for some reason. So glad I popped over to your blog and found it. I have to say that this has got to be one of my absolute favourite things you have made - it is simply fantastic! It suits you so well and I'm so impressed that you drafted it yourself - well done you!!!

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  59. Wow! It looks fabulous! And how exciting to have such a success from your class. My skirt from my class turned out too big somehow :(

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  60. can you please send me the pattern of this beautiful skirt..my id - rajatvatsyayan05@gmail.com

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