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Head, Meet Desk.

It never fails, does it? I planned to make the skirt out of a pattern that I just KNOW I have in the boxes.
And then I couldn’t find it.

So, I tried to “frankenpattern” with another skirt pattern I had which seemed pretty nice, only as per my usual SOP, I just gave a quick ‘drive by’ through the directions and the lay out diagram and went at it. Big mistake.

And there I was with two huge pieces cut out of the yardage and that horrible sinking feeling of having not only ruined the fabric but also needing to punt with what was left. Punting is not one of my best things.

BUT. Since I had fabric that did not have a directional print, I had one more trick up the proverbial sleeve, which was making a gored skirt. Now, the theory behind a gored skirt, from a ‘getting it all out of the fabric you’ve got’ standpoint, is that the gores (the pieces) are basically triangles with rounded bottoms and flat tops (ok, so they are really trapezoids with rounded bottoms; I’ll concede the point). And that means that you can flip them, like this drawing, and get really tight and efficient use out of the fabric you have to get the pieces out. Now, every formula I’ve seen for drafting the gore says this:
Step 1: Measure your waistline.
Step 2: Measure your hips.
Step 3: Measure the length between your waist and where you want the skirt to end.
Step 4: Draw a vertical line down the center of a piece of paper longer than the length between your waist and where you want the skirt to end. This is your center line; it is also the guide for the straight of the grain of the fabric.
Step 5: Divide your waistline measure by the number of gores you want and using a ruler, put that number at the top of the line. For example: If you waistline is 30″, and you want 6 gores, then put 2 1/2″ right on the top of the line and draw a line, at 90-degrees to that vertical line from the end of the ruler on the left to 5″ on the right. (ok…30 divided by 6 is 5; half of 5 is 2.5″ and you put that figure right in the middle)
Step 6: Measure down from the top along the vertical line, the distance between your waist and your hips and put a mark there. Take your hip measurement and divide that number by the number of gores you want. Take that number and divide that by 2 and put that measurement on the ruler at the intersection of the vertical line and the line you made for the distance between your waist and your hips. So, for example, the distance between your waist and your hips is 7″ and your hip measurement is 40″ (and we are still working with that 6 gore skirt). 40 divided by 6 is 6 2/3″; 6 2/3 divided by two is 3 1/3 which is slightly less than 3 1/2, so put 3 1/2 at that intersection and draw another horizontal line from 0 at the left to 7 on the right.
Step 7: Taking a yardstick, connect up the end of the waistline on the right and the hipline on the right and with the bottom line. Do the same on the left and you will end up with a trapezoid.
Step 8: At the top, where the center vertical line intersects the waist line, measure down 1/2″ and make a mark. Make a gentle curve between both ends of the waistline mark (if you have a French curve, this is a lot easier than free-handing it)
Step 9: At the bottom, where the center vertical line intersects the bottom line, measure down BELOW the bottom line, 1/2″ and make a mark. Mark a gentle curve between both ends of the waistline mark.
Step 10: Add 3/4″ on both sides of the gore and cut out. Cut out as many gores as you figured.

Now, I’m not sure what I did (other than perhaps sucking in my stomach), but I ended up having to cut out another gore. So I would add another step to this:
Step 11: Make a muslin out of your gores and adjust if necessary.

Sheesh. There are moments when there is a part of me which wants to declare this to be a ‘wadder’, but…I’m…not…going…to…give…in.

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  1. Shiphrah says:

    Ease! Don’t forget to add in ease!

  2. htwollin says:

    Shiprah – THAT’S IT! You know, none of the instructions I found said anything about ease…

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