Along with the drafting blocks for a bodice (""), dress (""), and trousers (""), a block for a skirt represents a rather straightforward use of the approach, as the adjustments for different measurements are relatively simple. Of course, once a basic skirt shape has been found, a vast variety of variations can be constructed.

Technique Materials

As for the other drafting techniques, you'll need large sheets of paper (I use large newsprint blocks of the cheapest quality), a pencil and eraser, a yard or meter ruler, a smaller ruler, a square and a "French curve" that can be replaced by sliding a dinner plate along, to produce a nice smooth curve. A calculator is useful, in addition. You will also need a set of body measurements (waist, hips, and waist-to-hip distance), and waist-to-knees distance. The latter is necessary only to determine the length of the dress.

This block construction method has been adapted from the following excellent reference :
Winifred Aldrich, Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear, 5th ed., Blackwell Publishing: Oxford, 2008, 215 pp.

8 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Mar 18, 2014, 02.05 AMby silverrowan

    Hi! I’m wondering if you added the watermark to the PDF download option? I find this site agonizingly slow and tried to download, but its useless because of very large solid black letters covering the instructions. I know I’ve found these instructions useful in the past and I was hoping to use them again! Thank you.

  • Missing

    Nov 24, 2012, 03.02 PMby Katja Obring

    Hey, I just came about this today, and since my planned sewing project was stalled for lack of thread (and severe rain stopping me from wanting to venture into the city center to buy it), I decided on a whim I’d try it. It needs some fine tuning, but mostly the fit was really great. Thank you for an easy to follow tutorial! After 4 hours I have a basic block, and a wearable muslin \o/

  • Missing

    Nov 3, 2012, 05.59 PMby Inese Andzane

    Thank You for putting up these step-by-step instructions! Very nicely written and easy to follow (I just did a try on mm paper just to play around – next one will be for real :)) I had done that in school, but it was a while back and I had forgotten most of it…

  • Photo_on_12-5-13_at_12_28_pm_large

    May 31, 2012, 05.00 AMby Wendy Bond

    Thanks for this. It’s awesome, super clear instructions. It inspired me to draft my own skirt block. I am excited to do a task that was once daunting! If I sew it decently enough I will upload to Projects and let you know!

    Thank youuuu!


  • Missing

    Jan 31, 2011, 09.51 AMby melibli

    Thank you so much for this how-to! I made a skirt following this and I am totally happy with the result!

    1 Reply
    • Photoge01_large

      Jan 31, 2011, 04.16 PMby gedwoods

      If you upload the skirt to the Projects, could you give a pointer here to the result? I’m sure others would like to see how tutorial leads to results, and I’m curious for sure!

  • Burda-trousers_large

    Jun 24, 2010, 06.02 PMby woman

    oo this is exactly what i’ve been looking for! will try it out soon, thanks so much for this! :D

  • Missing

    May 26, 2010, 12.44 PMby vanee

    thank you sir for showing us how to draft patterns, i find it very interesting and i’m trying it

    i would like to know if you can show us also how to draft bridesmaid dresses like mermaid dresses, and also suits, working clothes.

    thank you for your help

    1 Reply
    • Photoge01_large

      May 26, 2010, 01.45 PMby gedwoods

      Actually, Vanee, bridesmaid dresses will actually involve a variation on the basic bodice block. If you look at my Technique on constructing a princess line dress from the basic bodice block, you’ll see instructions on how to transform the bodice block into a dress. There’s nothing to stop you from lengthening the dress shown – I did a short dress, but you would lengthen it before adding flare, and that will take you very close to a bridesmaid dress in a fairly simple format. You will need to elaborate and innovate further to get close to the final design you will need. For suits and working clothes, between my 8 blocks now published, by adapting these suitably, you should be able to construct most such garments. If you look at my “Make It” projects, I show several ways of adapting blocks to get finished garment designs – these are for my designs, but the same principles apply to developing any other design.

  • Nhouse_large

    Apr 16, 2010, 02.44 PMby nhouse


    Thanks so much for the skirt sloper “how-to”. I used it last night. It was super easy to follow. I love the end result. I can’t wait to make a skirt with it. I will credit you when I do. I am also going to use your other sloper instructions to make others. Thanks a bunch.
    1 Reply
    • Photoge01_large

      Apr 16, 2010, 03.25 PMby gedwoods

      Can’t get much better than that! Thanks for the feedback!

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