Design Variation : Contrast Panels
Dividing your patterns into panels is simple to do and allows for creative color blocking or manipulating stripes in various directions, as was done with this skirt. Use this method to create geometric patterns, or use curved panels for a more organic looking skirt.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your straight skirt front and back slopers onto drafting paper, leaving space all around for design features and seam allowances. Lower the waistline on both front and back slopers, following the instructions. Change the skirt length as desired on both front and back slopers.
2). Draft the waistband. Draft a 1½”-wide two-piece contoured waistband with separate facing, following the instructions. Eliminate the darts by drawing the waistband below the dart points. Make sure to include a 1″ to 1½” extension for the hook and eye above the zipper in the center back.
3). Design the panels.
a) Decide where you want to add the contrasting panels; you can add them to only the front of the skirt or to both front and back. Also decide the shape of the panels. If you want the front panel designs to continue to the back, make sure the design lines continue through (and align at) the side seams.
b) Draw the desired panel design lines on the skirt front (and skirt back if desired). Make sure to mark the grainlines on each piece, as well as registration marks at each seamline. If you are not using striped or directional fabric, all the pieces should be cut on the straight grain.
c) Trace each of the pattern pieces along the design lines. Add ½” seam allowances to the edges of each piece. Add 1½” hem allowance to the pieces that have a bottom edge. If you are using striped fabric or other directional fabric, adjust the grainline arrows to create design interest as shown.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE : Contrasting panels can be created anywhere on your pattern by adding as few or as many seamlines as you wish. Just be sure to add registration marks to the pieces so you remember how to join them together. It helps to label the pattern pieces too.
›› 1½ yards of 44/45″ fabric
›› ¾ yard of fusible interfacing
›› 7″ zipper
›› Zipper presser foot
›› Hook and eye
›› Matching thread
Sew the Block Party Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. To duplicate the skirt shown here, use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following:
• From fabric : one skirt front on the fabric fold (lengthwise grain), two skirt backs (lengthwise grain), two skirt middle front and middle back pieces (crossgrain), two skirt side fronts and side backs (bias), and two front and four back waistbands on the lengthwise grain.
2). Apply interfacing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of one front and two back waistbands.
3). Assemble the skirt. With the right sides together and the registration marks aligned, assemble the skirt front. You can join the smaller pieces together first, or work from the center of the skirt out toward the sides. Press and clean finish each seam. Repeat for the skirt back, if there are design panels. Insert the zipper in the center-back seam. For help sewing curved seams.
DESIGN NOTE : For the skirt shown here, I changed the direction of the same striped fabric for each piece. If you want the stripes to run crosswise or diagonally, change the direction of the grainline arrow before cutting the fabric. (If you are not showcasing striped fabric, all the pattern pieces can be cut on the lengthwise grain.) For even more contrast, try using different fabrics in complementary colors. This skirt has panels in the front and back and features a center-back zipper.
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