For a look that’s both classic and modern, try a high-waisted skirt. If you thought these looks were only suited for vintage costumes, think again. Paired with a chic blouse and cute shoes, they’re surprisingly flattering on many different body types.
The process of drafting a high waist is super simple with an end result that looks tailored and polished. The next seven projects start with the basic high-waist pattern and change it up with plenty of different hem and waistline options. If you can draw a straight line with a ruler, you can master these looks in no time.
Draft the Basic Pattern
For many people, a skirt that sits on the natural waist is already high, especially after wearing low-waisted styles. However, for those of you that love retro or more feminine looks, the high-waisted silhouette is a fun option. The waistline is raised above the natural line, often creating the illusion of a smaller waist.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your basic, customized skirt front sloper onto drafting paper. Do not include seam or hem allowance but do trace the darts. Make the following adjustments:
- Raise the waistline as much as you like (typically 2″ to 2½”) by drawing in a new waistline, parallel to the existing seamline.
- Shave ¼” off the side seam, starting at the top edge of the new waistline and tapering to nothing at the old waistline, to make the skirt slightly more close-fitted.
- Mark registration dots at the original waistline on each dart. Extend the dart legs straight up from the registration dots to the new waistline.
2). Repeat for the skirt back, raising the waistline to match the front.
3). Draft a facing pattern as explained.
4). Complete the pattern. Add ½” seam allowances to all the pattern edges, except the center front and back, which should be cut on the fabric fold. There is a zipper in the center-back seam. Add 1½” hem allowance, or as desired.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE : Once you draft your basic high-waisted patterns, before adding seam and hem allowances, copy them onto patternmaking or drafting paper so you can use them as the starting point for several of the high-waisted skirts in this chapter.
›› 1½ yards of 44/45″ fabric
›› 1 yard of fusible interfacing
›› 7″ zipper
›› Zipper presser foot
›› Hook and eye
›› Matching thread
Sew the Basic High-Waisted Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following :
- From fabric : one skirt front on the fabric fold, two skirt backs, one front facing on the fabric fold, and two back facings.
- From interfacing : one front facing on the fold and two back facings.
2). Apply interfacing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of each facing piece.
3). Stitch the darts. When you pin the darts, make sure the waistline registration dots are aligned. Machine-stitch from the top edge to the registration points, make a soft turn, and continue on to the dart point. Press the darts flat toward the center front.
4). Install a lapped zipper in the center-back seam.
5). Sew the side seams. With right sides together, stitch the skirt front and skirt back at the side seams.
6). For how to add a facing.
7). Hem the skirt. Press under the bottom edge ½” to the wrong side, then press under another 1″. Machine-stitch or hand-sew the hem as desired.
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