I drafted a pattern during my lunch break. No food. No phone. Just my supplies and the sketch of a mini skirt that my mind wouldn’t shetup about until my hands got to work.
The skirt I wanna-be-sewing has four, topstitched darts that radiate from the waist toward the side seam. To get there, a little slashing, a little spreading, and maybe later….a muslin mockup of the final pattern to play with dart length and spacing.
I started with with my skirt block. This version is only 3 months old and already full of pin holes.
I traced a full copy of the front and drew in the new hemline. I got cold feet about the mid-thigh length and found myself hesitating to cut off the excess right away.
The back will have a dirndl look with elastic inserted into the back waistband to make it a pull-on skirt. To create this, I evenly spaced and cut four vertical lines, numbering the remaining pieces to keep track of them before spreading them apart to 1.5 times the width of the original hemline.
Using a bendable ruler and french curve, I plotted four, parallel curves across the skirt front. Then, I held my breath…and slashed through each line.
Washi tape holds the closed darts together.
After drawing in the curves for the darts, I realized they could easily be sewn as pleats. Which means I could have TWO styles for this pattern if I squared off the dart legs. I did this and they became match points for four asymmetrical pleats.
During my next pattern playdate, I will finish labeling all of the pattern pieces. Then, I’ll trace a copy of the pleat-ready front pattern, draw in the stitchlines of the four darts I originally planned, and cut out the dart intake.
In my Skirt Skills class (aka couture for beginners), I learned to sew from stitchlines vs. cutlines. So my pattern will remain seam allowance-free, allowing me to mark the stitchlines directly onto the fabric.
A straight front waistband (that will double as a separate facing) was drafted to accompany the elasticated back waistband.
Before I test out the pleated and darted versions of this pattern in fabric, let me know what you think. Have you ever sewn or designed a garment with asymmetric seams? This will be my first!
14 thoughts on “Pattern Play: Asymmetrical Darts”
Thanks for saying so, Meg.
I can’t wait to see how this looks made up! Great creative thinking. K
I can’t wait either, Kathy! Thanks for the encouragement.
Asymmetrical patternmaking does make your brain work extra hard! I recently made an asymmetrical wedding dress. It was made of striped fabric, so asymmetrical stripe matching added to the puzzles I had to solve! It was quite a challenge, but it turned out so beautiful. I’m sharing the story of its creation on my blog now: http://www.brooksann.com/sewing-room-blog/ You’ve got multiple puzzles too in this cool skirt with your left to right asymmetry (with curved darts or pleats!) and your front to back asymmetry (lots of fullness added in back with a sleek hem in front). I can understand how a design idea like this got your mind buzzing enough to head straight to your drafting tools. I’m very excited to see how this experiment turns out!
You know what, Brooks Ann….I wouldn’t be surprised if seeing that dress got me dreaming of asymmetry. It blew my mind with is architectural beauty. Thanks for sharing so many details about the making process.
Looks exciting! Couture design!
Yes, Robbie, it is kinda exciting to see how this will turn out.
Really love how you showed your process! Also, the curved darts/pleats on the front are such a cool detail. It’s incredible you drafted them yourself, but that you designed them, too? Doubly so. Great job!
Thanks, Ebi! Once I see how this looks in fabric (and on my body), I’ll know if I’m on the right track – until then, I think I’m still holding my breath! In the meantime, I am prepping some white challis and muslin to mock it up before I run out of air ;-).
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