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Pattern Drafting Skirt

Pattern Drafting

Hand Drafting A Skirt Block Page 2


By Pauline Weston Thomas for


Pattern Drafting a Skirt Block - Measuring


Taking Body Measurements to Make the Pattern Drafted Skirt Block

The first stage of the skirt draft is measuring yourself or your friend. You or your chum should just wear your normal underclothes, normal pantyhose and normal bra as you might when you wear the top layer of the skirt.

Print off the Picture chart below to help you record the actual measurements. It will enlarge and then become A4 size.

For measuring stand with feet together and be relaxed, but do stand straight and be upright in your posture.  Take the tape measurement by neither having the tape too slack or too firm. If too slack the toile garment when made will be too loose.  If too tightly measured the end garment won't fit.  So be realistic about the numbers you see on the tape measure and use a quality fibreglass tape measure rather than a cloth one which may be stretched with usage.  Open weave cloth ones are often given free with magazines and soon lose shape. A tape measure costs about 1.

Picture  Showing Where to Take Skirt Measurements

Where to Measure for a Skirt Block

Click to enlarge then print off

Picture showing where to measure to take the measurements required for the skirt sloper.

Measuring the Hip

To measure the hip use your tape measure to measure around the fullest part of the hips which is usually about 23 cm below the waistline. Take the tape measure around that fullest hip part until you have the hip measurement.  But if your fullest part is much higher or lower than 23cm down make a note of that when you take the measurement.

Measuring the Waist

This is a measurement that should be taken right on the waistline and the tape should feel as firm as a waistband might.

Measuring Skirt Length

This is not difficult, but may cause you to debate a little.  I usually use a measurement which is to the knee.  In my case this is 56cm as I am the average UK height for a woman.  Generally you may wish to make the block up to 70cm long dependant on current fashion.

But if you will mainly be making longer skirts and adaptations of this block, it's useful to have a to the knee block and also a mid calf or above ankle block.  I leave you to decide.  In the main don't worry too much about it at this at this stage because you just need to understand and be able to follow the method.  The point of making the initial block is to get a good fit around the waist and hips.

The length is something you can always adjust later.  Also when you make up a cotton or muslin or calico toile mock up of the pattern you have drafted from these instructions, you are better having one to the knee so you can adjust the side seams easily if required. 

Approximate Conversion of Centimetres to Inches Chart

This chart is for a quick approximate conversion to cm if you only know a desirable skirt length in inches.

You must check exact measurements with a tape measure or rule.

Centimetres Inches Centimetres Inches
41 cm 16 inches 46 cm 18 inches
51 cm 20 inches 56cm 22 inches
58 cm 23 inches 61 cm 24 inches
66 cm 26 inches 71 cm 28 inches
76 cm  30 inches 84 cm 33 inches
89 cm  35 inches 94 cm 37 inches

For more information on Skirt Pattern Drafts go to:-

Picture and Text Stages of
Skirt Pattern Drafting with Pictures


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