These are the step-by-step instructions for drafting the 2-dart Skirt Blocks, starting with an image of what the final (standard) block will look like, and an example of my personal block and how it differs to the standard.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the downloadable PDF file of these instructions.
Example: Finished Skirt Blocks
This first image is what the block looks like at the end of of the step-by-step instructions below, using the measurements specified on the Preliminary Tab. The shape of yours may end up looking a little different.
Comparison - My Skirt Block
This is what my block, using my personal measurements, looks like. This is to show you that if the shape of your block ends up looking different to the one I am making, it doesn't matter (as long as you are using your correct measurements, of course!). This is the point of making your own block: it will reflect what your body looks like.
Note also that this is the end result of making a toile and making necessary changes.
Skirt Block Figure 1
Draw a rectangle:
- Width of rectangle: From A across to B = (Hip measurement ÷ 2) + (1 inch ease)
- Height of rectangle: From B down to C = Skirt Length measurement
- Complete the rectangle - making sure all angles are squared
- Mark A, B, C & D as shown
(For this example: Width = 19 inches, Height = 22.63 inches)
Skirt Block Figure 2
Work out the Skirt Back width measurement: Back Hip Arc + (0.5″ ease)
- Measure this from A, on the A~B line, mark this point D.
- Draw a line from D, down to the C~D line, mark this E. Make sure the D~E line is squared to the A~B line.
- Mark the Centre Back (CB) and the Centre Front (CF) lines as shown.
(For this example: Skirt Back width = 9.5″ )
Skirt Block Figure 3
- Hipline Depth: Mark down from A, on the A~D line. Mark the depth line F.
- Draw a line from F across to the B~C line, mark the hipline depth on the Centre Front line with an H. Make sure the F~H line is squared to the A~D line.
- Mark where it crosses the D~E line (the Side Seam line) with a G.
(For this example: Hipline Depth = 8.5″)
Skirt Block Figure 4
- Work out the CB to side seam measurement at the waist: Back Waist Arc + 0.25″ (for ease) + 1.75″ (for darts).
- Using this total, measure from A on the A~D line. Square up 0.25″ from this point and mark it I.
- Draw a back waist guide line from A to I.
- Work out the CF to side seam measurement at the waist: Front Waist Arc + 0.25″ (for ease) + 1.5″ (for darts)>
- Using this total, measure from B on the B~D line. Square up 0.25″ from this point and mark it J.
- Draw a front waist guide line from B to J.
(For this example: Back Skirt - 6.625″ + 0.25″ + 1.75″ = 8.625″ from point A toward D, Front Skirt - 6.625″ + 0.25″ + 1.5″ = 8.375″ from point B towards D )
Skirt Block Figure 5
Draw guidelines to help draw the side seam curve in the following step.
- Draw a straight line from I to G (the Back Skirt side seam guide), and mark the halfway point.
- At the half-way point, measure out 3/16″, towards the D line, at right angles to the I~G line and mark the point K.
- Draw a straight line from J to G (the Front Skirt side seam guide), and mark the halfway point.
- At the half-way point, measure out 3/16″, towards the D line, at right angles to the J~G line and mark the point L.
Skirt Block Figure 6
Draw the side seam curves, using a French Curve.
- Back side seam: Draw a line from I to G, touching the point K.
- Front side seam: Draw a line from J To G, touching the point L.
Note that this general curve may not suit your figure. As with all blocks, you need to make a toile, make any adjustments, then refine the block so that it reflects your figure.
Skirt Block Figure 7
BACK SKIRT DARTS
Mark the darts* on the Back Skirt. Measure and mark along the A~I guideline.
- The first dart on the Back is 2.88″ from the CB**, mark a dart 1″ wide, and mark the centre. Draw a line down from this centre point, 5″ long, at right angles to the A~I line.
- The second dart on the Back is 1.25″ from the first dart, mark the dart 0.75″ wide, and mark the centre. Draw a line down from this centre point, 4.5″ long, at right angles to the A~I line.
FRONT SKIRT DARTS
Mark the darts* on the Front Skirt. Measure and mark along the B~J guideline.
- The first dart on the Front is 2.93″ from the CF**, mark a dart 0.75″ wide, and mark the centre. Draw a line down from this centre point, 3.75″ long, at right angles to the B~J line.
- The second dart on the Front is 1.63″ from the first dart, mark the dart 0.75″ wide, and mark the centre. Draw a line down from this centre point, 3.75″ long, at right angles to the B~J line.
* These dart lengths and placements (for the Front & Back) are a general guide only. Refine these when fitting your toile.
** The first dart is placed to align with the Bodice Block dart so that the waist darts on the Bodice & Skirt align to make a Dress Block.
Skirt Block Figure 8
Draw the Waist Curve (using a French Curve) for both Front & Back, and draw the dart legs.
- Draw curved lines, as shown, from A to I (Back) and B to J (Front).
- Draw the dart legs. The two legs for each dart should be the same length. Measure them to make sure.
Your Skirt Blocks are Finished!
Your block is now finished. You can now:
- Label the block (e.g. Skirt Front/Back, Size, Name, etc..)
- Cut out the block shape from the cardboard.
- Mark the dart points by pushing an awl (or another sharp implement) through the cardboard.
- Notch the dart legs AND at the hip line (G) - on both F&B - as a balance point.
- You can download the step-by-step instructions above (11 page PDF file) here. If you have an iPad, you can use it on your iPad to refer to while making your block.
- You can download a condensed version (5 page PDF file) here. You may prefer to download this for printing to save paper. You can refer to these step-by-step instructions online if any steps on the 3-page summary need further explanation.
- You can download a 1-page Outline for reference also.
- Once you have cut out the Front & Back, you need to check that the side seam lengths and the hip curve match. You can do this by "walking" the block side seams.
- The dart placements and lengths will not suit everyone. These should be adjusted on the block, if necessary, after making a toile.