I finished my drafting experiment in curved darts. But only after letting my mind marinate on the construction steps for several nights.
The aha! moment was TINY SEAM ALLOWANCES. To sew the curves accurately, I couldn’t treat them like typical waist or bodice darts by folding in the intake. I had to treat them like seams.
And since there wouldn’t be enough room for my usual 1-inch (2.5 cm) seam allowance, I marked the allowance that fit each dart – in some places it was as small as 1 cm.
In my original draft, I slashed and spread the skirt back so it could be gathered into an elastic waistband. When I got ready to cut it out of muslin, there was too much volume in the pattern piece. I realized I meant to add the volume to a full front piece, so I re-drafted the back and cut it out.
To complete my basted fitting sans waistband (which will be straight and cut-on, with interfacing in the front and elastic in the back), I gathered the back with 3 rows of stitches in the seam allowance that met in the center.
I tried on the skirt mockup in a hurry before work. I put it on backwards, pulling the six bobbin threads to cinch in the gathers, then turned the skirt around properly to check the fit at the side seams and evaluate the short hemline.
All were just right.
To contain my excitement for the success of this drafting experiment, I have decided to procrastinate on fabric selection. I think this skirt is asking for a solid woven with some body, but nothing too drapey. In my collection are a few solid linens, a black silk dupioni, a couple of gabardines, and a silk/cotton blend.
I will try to choose one of those to start, but I’d love to get recommendations from you.