Added Dec 31, 2010
by Jamie Lau
Brooklyn, New Yo...
I learned the ins and outs of skirt making at Apparel Arts, a San Francisco-based fashion design and patternmaking school. This tutorial is based on extensive notes that I took throughout the program. (More detailed information can be found in Building Patterns, a book on the architecture of women’s clothing written by Suzy Furrer, the school’s founder and director.)
To ensure the most accuracy, wear undergarments or tights and enlist the help of someone to take your waist, high hip (HH), and low hip (LH) measurements. Tie one-quarter inch wide elastic around your natural waistline and stand with your bare or stockinged feet four inches apart. Looking straight ahead, maintain your natural posture without holding your breath in.
Measure around the elastic with the tape measure level and snug for your true waist measurement (28 inches). For the high hip, measure down 4 1/2 inches from the base of the elastic tied around your waist and take the full measurement around your hip at this depth. For the low hip, measure down 4 inches from the high hip and take the full measurement around your hip at a depth of 8 1/2 inches. If your height is 5 feet 2 inches or shorter, you may use high and low hip depths of 4 inches and 8 inches respectively, as in this example where we have a full high hip measurement of 34 inches and a full low hip measurement of 36 1/2 inches. If your high hip measurement is greater than your low hip measurement, use your high hip measurement for both.
To determine your skirt length, measure down from the base of the elastic tied around your waist to a desired point slightly above or to the middle of your knee (18 inches).
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