Before you can start drafting all the skirts you love, you first need the basic skirt block. From this skirt block you will be able to make all the variations you like ūüôā

So let’s get started.

To start, you are going to need a large piece of paper. If you are buying paper, you are best to buy the plain brown wrapping paper otherwise you can use left over wrapping paper from christmas or birthdays.

Step 1: Taking your body measurements

For this pattern, you are going to need your waist, hip, length and wait to hip measurement.  Taking your waist measurement requires you to measure around the smallest part of your torso, which should be just above your belly button. To measure your hip take the measuring tape and measure around the largest part of your hip, or bottom. This is usually around 20cm below your waistline.

Next you will want to take note of how far the distance is between your measured waistline and hip line. As mentioned, this is usually 20cm apart. But if your body measurements are less or more. Please note down your body measurements for the distance between waist to hip.

The final measurement is your skirt length. This is measured from the hip down.Write down your desired skirt length. For this tutorial I will be making the skirt length 40cm below the hip line.


Step 2: Drafting the Base

Now we have our measurements, it’s time to draw the pattern. Draw a horizontal line to mark the top of your skirt,¬†then draw a vertical line down the center of the page. From the top horizontal line, mark your ‘waist-to-hip’ measurement on the vertical line and square left and right.¬†Name this line, ‘hip-line’

Now that we have the hip line, we can start to draw the front and back of the skirt. From your hip line, measure down the vertical line to the length of your skirt. Mine is 40cm. Square left and right. Name this your hem line.
Patterns are made in quarters. The back of your skirt will be left of the vertical line, and the front will be on the right. Before you continue, you might want to add a couple of centimeters to the hip and waist measurements of your skirt. This will give your pattern a little bit of an allowance for movement. I am going to add 2cm to the hip and 1 cm to the waist.

Step 3: Time for some calculation

The front quarters of your skirt block will be created 1.5cm wider then the back,¬†this makes the front of your skirt a total of 3cm wider then the back.¬†To get the front width measurement for your pattern, simply divide your ‘hip’ measurement by 2.¬†For me, that’s 95/2, giving me 47.5cm.
Now you will need to minus 1.5cm from from this calculation, which will give us the back skirt width of the skirt. The total width of the back of my skirt is 46cm. Divide this by 2, to obtain the quarter measurement. and mark the back width measurement of your skirt¬†along the hip line to the left side of your vertical line.¬†In my case it is 23cm. Square up and down and name this your ‘Center Back’.
Now to create the front. Remember the front measurement quarter is 1.5cm wider then the back. Add the 1.5cm to your quarter measurement to obtain the front¬†quarter¬†width,¬†in my case it is 23+1.5, giving me 24.5cm. Mark this to the right of your vertical line and square up and down. Name this your ‘Center Front’.
To check you have done your calculations correctly, simply add the front and back measurements together and multiple by 2. This should give you your hip measurement.

Step 4: Adding the Darts

Now we are going to create the darts. The position of darts may very depending on how your body curves. Pick your desired location and mark the width from the CB and CF vertical line.¬†For my pattern, I am going to position the darts 8cm from the CB and CF. Square up towards the top horizontal line,¬†name this line your ‘waist line’.

The new vertical line from your waist line is the center of your dart. On the back of your skirt, we are going to create a 4cm dart. From the center of your dart, measure 2cm to the left and right. Now connect it to your hipline.

We want to shorten the dart so that it does not create a tight fit all the way to the hipline. To do this you will want it roughly 7-8cm above your true hip line, mark and redraw darts. The front of the skirt will only have a 2cm dart since we have less curves at the front. Repeat process, but this time we only want a short dart. I am using 10cm from the waist line.

Step 5: Draw the waist line

To finish the skirt block, we need to draw the waist. Like the front of your hip, The front of your waist is, bigger then the back of your waist by the 1.5cm per quarter which we used earlier giving us 3cm in total.
To measure how far we curve the side seam of the skirt block in wards, we will need to minus the total width of our darts from the hip measurement (since the darts will close the fabric) and we also need to determine the waist measurement for the front and back quarters of the skirt.

Starting with the back of the skirt. Our hip measurement was 23cm. When we Minus the back dart width from the waist line, of 4cm this gives us: 19cm for the back of the skirt.The front hip width was 24.5cm, so when we minus the front dart of 2cm we have 22.5cm for the front of the skirt. Adding these 2 figures gives us 41.5cm. When we multiple that by 2, we get 83cm. Our measured waist line is only 69cm. So we need to take in the sides of the skirt.To do this we want to repeat our calculations we did to make the front bigger then the back by 1.5cm. If you remember we: divide our measurement by 2, minus 1.5, and divide by 2 again. Instead of using the hip measurement, use your waist measurement. This gives me 16.5cm (which is our back waist measurement).

Adding the 1.5 to the 16.5cm will give us the front waist measurement. Which is 18cm. Now we know that the back should only be 16.5cm after the darts have been closed. we simply subtract 16.5 from 19cm and this give us our side curve for the back. We need to bring in the back of the skirts side by 2.5cm. Repeat for the front (22.5-18= 4.5cm). Draw your curves by curving the line from your waist to hip.

Congratulations you have created your basic skirt block! You can now use this basic block to start any skirt creation. Remember seam allowances are added once you are ready to sew your new design. learn how to make a pencil skirt from this base pattern.

View the video tutorial version: