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.
9 thoughts on “Baste the Waves”
This is quite spectacular! I don’t have any fabric suggestions as I’m not in the States, but I hope you find something suitable.
Thanks, Siohban! I am in awe of the results myself. Hope it works out just as well in wearable fabric.
I agree on choosing a solid. The cotton/silk blend you have might work nice. Or maybe some Japanese Double Gauze? Cotton + Steel’s Indigo looks like a delicious choice: http://www.cottonandsteelfabrics.com/catalog/fabric/substrate/double-gauze/?page=1
Oooh, double gaze is a great idea…thanks, Brooks Ann!! The silk/cotton I have is the same Radiance brand I think you used in your red pencil skirt. I will take a look at it tonight. Its a teal color.
ooh, teal sound great!
Yeah, Marni. I am definitely feeling some teal.
I have no idea what fabric to suggest but I love experiments like this – it is magic when they work out. And the idea of treating a dart like a seam is a breakthrough in designing. Well done.
Thanks, Kate! That magical feeling is real! I felt like Harry Potter working up a spell. Darts as seams was so illuminating to me. I’d seen it referenced in my patternmaking books, but didn’t realize I needed them for these curved darts until I noticed how they looked like princess seams. Now my mind hunts for darts as seams everywhere!
The skirt is great and it looks like a very flattering style. I picture a medium weight linen looking nice. By the way did you notice that the lines in your skirt match the wall art behind you in the first photo? Nice!
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