The skirt block is drafted in stages and every
text stage is detailed on this page below. Advanced users
who have made blocks before may prefer this one page method to the stage aid
pictures and text that follow on the next pages.
My preferences is for the picture/text stages shown on the
following 10 pages. Each have thumbnail pictures with text instructions
for that particular stage, making it easier to teach a group stage by stage.
On the following pages each picture enlarges to full A4 size with all also
suitable for class use with Overhead Projectors once copied to OHP
transparent film sheets.
You are Aiming to Achieve This -The Skirt Block
Stage 1 -
Draw a line down on the left of your paper which measures your skirt
length plus 1cm. Mark the terms Centre Back and Hemline as shown.
Stage 2 - Use your hip measurement from your list and add the ease of 5cm to it.
Divide that figure by 2.
Use a set square to draw a line across the page
and mark off this measurement of hip plus ease divided by 2.
Stage 3 - Using a set square draw a line on the
right of your paper which measures your skirt
length plus 1cm. Mark the term Centre Front as shown above.
Stage 4 - Join the two sides. Check
that the top measurement of your rectangle is accurate and measures
the hip measurement plus ease divided by 2. If out re check the
side lines with a set square. Add your name and the date in the bottom right and
Part 2 - Hipline and Side Seam
Stage 5 - From the top waistline edge of the rectangle
mark several positions 24 cm down which are parallel to the waist.
Join up those dots and you now have your hipline position.
Stage 6 - Draw your side seam in by dividing the rectangle at
the centre. Using a measurement half the width of the rectangle mark
points at the waist, hip and hemline. Join them up.
Part 3 - Marking the waist
Stage 7 - Next mark the waist. To do this measure 5 cm
on each side of the side seam line at the top of the rectangle and
make a clear mark on each top waist line. N>B
If you have a thicker waist this is the time to make
that adjustment. So for example to allow for a thicker waist you
might make those same marks, but only 4cm instead of 5cm.
Part 4 - Make the Hip Curves
Stage 8 - Where you placed the side mark at the left back
waist side seam in the last stage, is the point for you to begin your
Now draw a shallow
curve from the back waist mark to the side seam and ending at the
Stage 9 - Where you placed the side mark at the right front
waist side seam in stage 7 is the point for you to begin your right
front hip curve.
Draw a shallow curve from the back waist mark to
the side seam and ending at the hipline.
Part 5 - The Front
Stage 10 - At the top of the centre front seam use a set
square and measure down 1 cm. Make a right angled mark on the centre
front line at the 1cm point.
Now curve that line across to meet the side waist
at the top of the side seam hip curve. This is shown as a red line in the picture
above. This makes the front waist line.
The top of the back skirt waist is a straight waist
line and needs no curving.
Part 6 - The Back Dart
Stage 11 - Measure the length of the straight back waist
from centre back to the new side waist mark. Make a note of that measurement and call it
Now take the actual total waist measurement from
your list and divide it by 4. Call it measurement B.
Take measurement B from measurement A.
With the difference you will make one dart or two
If the difference is less than 4cm you will make
1 dart only. If the difference is more than 4cm you will make 2
The first dart or single dart will be 9cm away from
the centre back. Mark the spot 9cm from the centre back
waist on the waistline. From that point drop a spot or line 15cm
long and at right angles from the first mark.
Now divide the dart difference equally on either
side of that line. Make 2 equal marks.
Part 7 - Joining Back Darts
Stages 12 and 13 - Join up the points made in stage 11 to produce the back
dart shown in stages 12 and 13.
Part 8 - The Front Darts
To find out how
much excess you have for the front darts you need two measurements.
First take the
actual waist measurement from your personal list and divide it
by 4. Call the figure you get C.
Next use your
tape measure and measure the front waist curve on the actual block.
To do this stand the tape up on its end and shape it around the curve
you have drawn earlier. Call this figure D.
Take C away from
D. This figure is the excess you use to make your front darts on
the curved waistline.
Now make the main
front (red) dart. Use a set square to help. Mark several
points 10 cm away from the centre front line at the top area of the block.
Make it 11cm long.
Make sure the line you
draw for the main front (red) dart is parallel to the centre
front. Check it is 11cm long. Make it up to 2cm wide at
the top edge of the waist.
If you have more
excess to use up than 2cm, then move along the waistline to the next
clear area and place it exactly between the hip curve edge corner and
the centre top of the first dart you made.
Make any second dart
11 cm long and as parallel as possible to the hip curve.
Stage 16 - Completed Block
The block is now complete,
but you will need to know how to deal with larger waists and cutting
the blocks and making a muslin style toile on the next few pages.
Part 9 - Thicker Waistlines
When you mark the points for the waistline in stage 7 you
can adjust this stage to accommodate a thicker waist.
So for example instead of marking points 5 cm in from the
side construction seam as instructed you might mark them 4cm cm in, allowing
the waist on your block to be 1 cm larger on each side.
Bearing in mind the principles of symmetry this will make
the waistline a total of 4cm larger overall when the item is constructed as
a toile or straight skirt garment.
So use the instruction given in Stage 7 to make the gentle
curve to the hipline, but with your wider waist measurements in mind.
Part 10 - Cut the Net Blocks
To make the net block cut away the waste paper at
the centre front curve.
Finally separate the two blocks by cutting evenly up
the side seam. For each stage picture with its own text explanation go
to these pages.
Next you will need to make a toile in muslin to check
the fit of the block. The pattern derived from the block may fit
perfectly or you may need to let out or take in darts and side seams
if required and then transfer those adjustments from the fabric
alterations to the card block.
To make the toile you will need approximately 1.60cm of
90cm wide cotton fabric or 80cm of 150cm wide fabric. If you are
on the large or on the taller side you may need to adjust this amount
and simply by twice your finished length of fabric.
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