Tailored skirt block & an A-line skirt

This skirt fits into the "simple style, gorgeous fabric" category. It is a 4-gored, A-line skirt made up in a Japanese cotton from Tessuti.

Originally, I was planning on generating the pattern using the Wild Ginger software program. I wanted to change the grain-line of the pattern and referred back to "Metric Pattern Cutting" by Winifred Aldrich. The skirt is cut with a CF and CB seam, with the grainline running down the centre of the panel, to give the skirt a better "hang". This is shown in the diagram below.

After reading through the chapter on skirts, I thought that their skirt block was different to the pattern that Wild Ginger was generating for me, so I decided to do a comparison of skirt blocks. This is what I found.

Comparing dart widths on different slopers
1. Wild ginger, my sloper, 4.8 cm back dart, 4.8 cm front dart
2. Winifred Aldrich, tailored skirt block, 4 cm back dart, 2 cm front dart
3. Helen Stanley, tailored skirt block, 6 cm back dart, 2.4 cm front dart
4. Vogue fitting shell (dress Sz 12), 4.8 cm back dart, 3.8 cm front dart
5. Vogue 1037, Badgley Mischka straight skirt, 3 cm back dart, 2.4 cm front dart (must be for small bums!)
6. My duct tape skirt sloper, 5.8 cm back dart, 2 cm front dart

The dart width does not change with size.

I have made a dress muslin using my Wild Ginger slopers. One of my problems is excess fabric at the front of the skirt. I don't know if the program can alter the width of the front dart, but I can't work out how to do it. I have used the Winifred Aldrich block, post pregnancy when I was a bigger size, and was happy with it. I want to move to computer aided design, but was not sure whether to use Winifred's block as-is, or modify it to accomodate the larger dart that I got developing a duct tape skirt sloper. After reviewing the photos of muslins made from my duct tape sloper, I can see that there is a problem in the back dart area, so first up, I went with Winifred's block as-is.

Now, because I wanted to sew a skirt quickly, and not mess about with muslins, I modified the block to an A-line skirt without making a straight skirt muslin...which is not too risky, given that I have used the block before (with a larger waist measurement) and I have done a lot of flat pattern measurement comparisons.

So a pretty simple pattern, but I think it fits well and it was satisfying to sew up a project in one day. I was tempted to add a hem band, but reminded myself that I am trying to "sew simple" for a bit.


  1. Very cute skirt! It looks very nice just being simple.

  2. Very very interesting! That's a good tip about running the grain through CF , I can see how that would create more drape at the side seams.

    When I did my pattern drafting course we drafted our own slopers and the darts were distributed according to the difference between waist and hip, 1/3 to the front, 2/3 to the back.

    The funny thing is, that's probably pretty accurate when you are young, because the fullness is in the dierriere, but not so accurate post -baby and middle age, where there's plenty of fullness at the front too!!

    Nice result though, skirt looks very pretty for summer

  3. I love your skirt! The little bow really adds to the cuteness.

  4. Cute lil skirt! How do you like Wild Ginger?

  5. nice skirt!!!!!!!!