It all started two weeks ago, when I went to Paris and met up with a bunch of creative and giggly ladies: Jo, Kirsty, Lisa and Ninie. It would not be surprising if I told you that we spent an entire day fabric shopping and taking about sewing. We visited a number of fabric shops, and in one of them I saw a roll of the softest denim with the most amazing drape and a bit sheen, which, I thought, would be great for a skirt #109 from the February Burda Style issue. This issue features a mini collection called White/Blue, showcasing denim and white shirts. Since the denim trend continues to grow, a denim skirt may be both fashionable and practical garment in a girl’s wardrobe.
Since I could not get this skirt out of my mind during the entire week in Paris, the first thing I did when I got back home was to make a muslin of this pattern... and found many flaws in it!
According to the description, “The classic denim skirt gets an update in this stylish knee-length style, with its centered box pleat, large patch pockets and versatile wraparound waistband.”
It turned out that the pattern has not one, but two box pleats: one on the front and one on the back. If you have large hips like I do, you will know that the back pleat plus the side patch pockets makes the bottom appear triple the size. So, I decided to get rid of the back pleat, creating a slightly flared silhouette. Another detail which I dislike in this pattern is the wraparound waistband. For a moment, I tried to imagine how I would look in a coat wearing a protruding waistband knot.
The final thing which went wrong with the muslin was the back pattern part which did not entirely correspond to my body shape, especially with the flared shaped back. In order for it to fit me, I would need to drop the waistline, to add some fullness to the hip area and add a few centimetres of length. Without thinking too much, I decided to re-draft the pattern from scratch, using my basic sloper and, therefore, pursuing my skirt collection challenge!
In fact, modifying my basic skirt sloper took me way less time than all the modifications I would have added to it based on the muslin (I think). If you have your basic sloper handy, draft along with me! Here are the changes which I added to my basic sloper.
The front piece
- Add 20 centimetre pleat to the front centre.
The back piece
Don’t forget that I decided to create a flared silhouette to my basic straight skirt sloper.
- Draw a vertical line starting at the centre of the back dart to the hem.
- Slash the pattern piece along the line, close the dart and spread the pattern open at the bottom.
- Tape the waist and re-draft the pattern.
Once both pieces are ready you need to re-check the length because it may change as a result of the pattern manipulation. For this, place the front pattern piece on top of the bottom pattern piece, making sure the side seams coincide with each other, and re-draw the hemline.
How easy is that?
To summarize, making this skirt confirmed how lazy I am about drafingt anything and that I buy too many patterns! I may think that drafting takes a lot of time, but sometimes making a modification to a patterns turns out to be more troublesome. I don’t want to take any official pledges but I mentally made a pact with myself to give drafting a chance.
As for the skirt, it has quickly became my favourite: so comfortable to wear and easy to match with any top, really. The only annoyance is that the fabric wrinkles very easily. But then, I like ironing.
Do you also think that drafting may be a faster and easier solution than modifying an existing pattern? Do you have recent examples?