Measurements. Waist Measure. A close measurement around the smallest part of the waist. Before taking the other measurements, pin a tape measure or narrow strip of muslin around the waist; let the bottom edge indicate the waist line.
Hip Measure. A loose measure taken over the fullest part of the hip about 6" below the waist line at the hip. If the skirt is to be narrow at the bottom add 2" to the hip measure.
Length of Front. Measurement from the waist line at the center front to the floor.
Length of Side. Measurement from the waist line over the hip to the floor. Take the measurement of both hips; if one hip is larger than the other, use the longer measure.
Length of Back. Measurement from waist line at the center back to floor.
Construction of Skirt. A gathered, or pleated skirt made as wide at the top as it is at the bottom should not be curved out at the waist line in front, as the gathers will take up the extra size at the hips. In making such a skirt, straight strips of cloth may be sewed together. When a skirt fits smoothly around the hips, it must be wider at the bottom and narrower at the waist than at the hip line. This is done by slanting the strips of material from the bottom to the top sufficiently to make it fit the figure. When a skirt is made to fit the figure, it is always necessary to raise the waist line at the back to make the top of the skirt fit smoothly around the waist line.
Two pieces of material may be slanted off on one edge, raised at the waist line and fitted in with darts. As a rule the skirt is divided into several sections, or gores; the number and size, however, is dictated entirely by the prevailing fashion. A skirt pattern made of two pieces, like the one shown in the illustration, may be divided into any number of gores desired; the width at the bottom may be varied to meet the requirements of changing styles.
Study carefully accompanying drawing. Use a piece of drafting paper several inches longer than the back measurement and a trifle wider than one-half the skirt measure; if the paper is not wide enough, an extra strip may be pasted, or pinned, on one edge. Let the long edge of the paper represent line AB; draw line AC at right angles to it 7" or 8" from the end of the paper; let point A represent the center front of the waist line. As you are drafting one-half of the pattern, you will use one-half the waist measure and one-half the hip measure.
To Locate Points with Which to Draft Back of Skirt. Measure out from point A on line AC one-half the hip measurement, locating point L. Measure down from point A on line AB the length of front measurement; locate point M. To locate point at bottom of skirt through which the center back line must pass, put a pin or thumb tack through the 1" mark on a tape measure and place it on point M; with a pencil on the edge of the tape opposite the figure which indicates one-half the width of the skirt desired, describe an arc of a circle (a small part of a circle), slightly above point M; in the same manner, with point L as a center, describe another arc with a radius (measurement from center to outside of circle) the same length as line AM letting it cross the first arc at point W; draw a line through points L and W (this makes a temporary back line).
To Draft Top of Skirt. The waist line of a gored skirt always curves up from the center front to-, ward the center back. The slant varies with the width of the skirt at the bottom; the wider the skirt is, the higher the waist line will be raised at the back. By experimenting with many different skirt measurements it has been found that the height of the curve in the center back above the center front is about 1/10 the width of the bottom of the skirt.
At right angles with line AC draw line ON which represents 1/10 the bottom of the skirt measure so it will intersect the indefinite line LW at point N. Draw a slanting line AN (the curve for the waist line will be drawn under this line after the point for the hip dart is located.)
To Locate Hip Line. The hip line at hip is about 6" from waist line. The hip line at center front will be shorter than at the side because the waist line curves down in front. The hip line at center front equals 6" minus the difference between the length of front and side length. The hip line at the back equals 6" plus the difference between the side length and back length (if the back length is shorter than the side length, the hip line will equal 6" minus the difference between the side length and back length.)
To locate the position of the hip line, divide line AN in the center, locating point P; with the end of ruler on line AN draw line PR 6"
long and place point U for side length of skirt. To locate the hip line at center front, measure down length of center front hip line and locate point Q. From point N measure down on line NW the length of back hip line and locate point S; with the tape measure, measure the length of the hip line QRS. If this is longer than half the hip measure, locate the point on line QRS and draw a new line VW through this point without changing the width of the skirt at the bottom; from point V measure down on line VW the length of the back, locating point T. Curve the waist line, as shown in the illustration. (It is curved up at point P to shape the top of dart properly.)
To Draft Dart at Point P. Subtract one-half the waist measure from the length of line AV. Measure out on line AV each side of point P one-half the difference and draw the slanting lines to R shown in illustration for the hip dart.
If a skirt is very narrow at the bottom it may be necessary to take up some of the waist line at the back with gathers, or by slanting in the back line from the hip to the waist line.
This skirt pattern may be used for a two-piece skirt. Place the center front of the pattern far enough from the edge of the material to allow for a pleat or seam in front if you desire the skirt to open in front. Cut 1" outside of line VT for the center back of the skirt; or, place line AM on the center fold of the material and line VT on a fold of the material and join the skirt at the hips instead of the center front and back. (Have the placket opening at the top of the left hip seam.)
This pattern may be used for a three-piece skirt by placing line AM on fold of goods and having seams on the hips and center back.
One style of four-gored skirt may be made in the same manner as suggested for the three-piece skirt, except that the skirt opens under a pleat in the center front. If you desire to open the skirt on the side of center front, cut a new pattern of the front gore on doubled paper, calling the folded edge line AM. Measure the distance to the right or left of this line that you desire to have your opening. Cut the paper open at this point parallel with the folded edge. REMEMBER seams must be allowed in cutting out the material.
The number and size of gores in a skirt change so often with the prevailing styles that it is not deemed advisable to give in this text a detailed discussion for dividing the foundation skirt into its many possible divisions or gores. However, in order to give a general idea of the manner of dividing a foundation skirt, the accompanying drawing shows the skirt divided into five gores. This drawing will be suggestive of the principles which may be employed in making any desired number or style of gores. Before dividing the skirt into gores, study a commercial pattern and notice the relative width of the gores at the hips and bottom and divide your skirt accordingly.
The following figures were used in dividing this skirt:
Front gore at waist equals 1/6 waist measure.
Front gore at hip equals 1/6 waist measure plus 1".
Front gore at bottom equals 1% times size of hips.
Side gore at waist equals 1/4 waist measure.
Side gore at hip equals 1/4 waist measure plus 2 1/2".
Side gore at bottom equals twice the size at hips.
Slant the side gore in from each side of the hip line 1 1/4" to the waist line.
Back gore at waist line equals 1/12 waist measure.
Back gore at hip equals remaining half hip measure.
Back gore at bottom equals remaining half skirt measure.
Take up remaining top of pattern in a dart in the center of the side gore.
Put on the skirt right side out and pin it together. If the seams over the hips do not slant forward or backward at the waist line, if it fits smoothly around the waist and hips, if you can sit down in it comfortably and the lines of the seams are good, your skirt will need no alterations. If the skirt is pleated, the pleats should hang as indicated in the pattern. The skirt should be evened around the bottom after the band is put on. It is an excellent plan to put on the skirt (after the seams have been stitched and the placket opening finished), pin the band in place and make it even around the bottom. A good way to even the skirt around the bottom is to have the person whose skirt is to be hung stand on a table, holding a yard stick straight beside her, with one end resting on the table; the hem of the skirt may be turned up evenly at any length desired, moving the yard stick as you turn the hem.
If the skirt hangs forward at the bottom front, raise it at the back waist line. If it draws across the hips, let out the seams at the hips, and if necessary, at the center back. If the seam at the hip slopes forward, or backward, near the waist line, pin it straight. Be careful that the seams all have a general direction straight toward the floor.