Pattern drafting is something I have enjoyed playing around with since I was a teenager. Many, many months ago – right when we first got to California – I was sent a review copy of Nicole Smith’s delightful pattern drafting book, Skirt a Day (This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.) I read through the book and decided to try drafting a wrap skirt. I took measurements and cut out pattern pieces. Then the pattern pieces sat on my bedroom floor/sewing table (they were supposed to be on the table, but somehow they would drift down to the floor every few days. Little hands helping maybe? Then I took an old sheet and cut out all the pieces, which also sat on my sewing table for weeks. I would sew one seam, them it would be days before I would get the next seam done. But, finally, the skirt is finished – and, miraculously, it no longer makes Anna cry (see the instagram story here). Hooray!!!
I am incapable of following a pattern – or even pattern drafting instructions – perfectly. I like to cut corners, and that’s what I did here. Sometimes I regret the corner cutting, but for this project it worked fine. I serged the edges of all the pieces and then stitched them together – no hemming required. I also added a horizontal half pleat on one end of the skirt (left in the photo above), just because I liked the look better. My ruffles are less angled than those in the pattern, just because it’s easier to not angle ruffles and it’s a small miracle to sew a skirt with ruffles at all when you have small children “helping”. I also made the front panels a little wider to prevent the skirt blowing open or being ripped open by small hands, but I think I would like it more if I had added even more width to these front panels so that there was even more overlap. I want to make some way to “catch” the skirt if it starts to blow open – any suggestions? This makes a nice, cool skirt, perfect for the hot weather we are already seeing in California!
I really liked this book, and definitely recommend it if you want to give pattern drafting a try. The techniques are pretty basic, and you could get a better fit by following a more detail-oriented tutorial, but the simplicity of these patterns and designs makes the book approachable even if you have never tried pattern drafting before, and you will come out of the book understanding a lot more about how skirts are designed and made.
Have you ever tried pattern drafting?