This section is from the book "Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction", by Laura I. Baldt. Also available from Amazon: Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction.
Various types of skirts may be called to mind, wide and narrow, plain and gored, plaited and gathered. The plain skirt is made up of several straight widths of material joined together, the fulness at the waist taken out in plaits or gathers. For this, no pattern is necessary. The gored skirt, of whatever type, may be developed from a circular foundation pattern, the drafting of which is to be the first problem in skirt pattern making.
In Fig. 33 is shown a form upon which lines are drawn to illustrate some points which need to be fully understood at the outset, and never lost sight of in working with skirt patterns.
1. The tape drawn around the waist indicates the normal waist line. (Tape must always be so placed around the figure when taking measures.) It also indicates a measure to be taken, the waist, a snug measure.
2. The tape below this drawn round the fullest part of the form, indicates the hip line. The point at which this measure is taken varies with different figures. On very slight ones it may be only five inches below waist, on others as much as seven inches. An easy measure should be taken here, so that skirt will be large enough to meet around the figure.
3. Notice that the hip line runs parallel to the floor, but is not the same distance from the waist line at all points. Note the point at which it is farthest from the waist line, just over the round part of the hip. A measure should be taken here from the bottom of waist tape to bottom of hip tape. This is called the hip depth.
4. Three other lines are shown, these extending from the bottom of the waist tape to the floor, one in center front, one over the highest part of the hip, the other in the center back. These indicate that three length measures must be taken. In taking these measures, they will be found to vary, the center front being shorter than the hip length, and the center back either longer or shorter than the hip length.
Remember this point, and also that the hip line runs parallel to the floor. These will be of service later on. One other measure not indicated in the illustration is the width around the bottom of the skirt. It is not necessary to take this measure. It is determined by individual taste as that is affected by the prevailing style. It is well, however, to base it upon some proportion of the hip measure. This varies from one and a half to three or more times the hip measure. One must judge by the average skirt of the time. For drafting purposes at present it will be considered two and one-quarter times the hip.
1. Waist (snug).
2. Hip (4½ -7 inches below waist around fullest part, over bone in hip easy measure).
3. Hip depth (bottom waist tape to bottom hip tape).
4. Length; front, hip, back.
5. Width around bottom.
Draft a circular skirt pattern from standard measure, according to the directions given below, using diagram, Fig. 51, as guide for drafting.
Circular Foundation Skirt (Fig. 51)
Length over hip
Width around bottom