Secretary Blouse and Sheath Skirt: Skirt Toile Version 1

I am in the midst of preparing for a move to a new apartment on September 13, 2014. Since I will not be able to finish the altered skirt toile by then I thought it best to show how the first version is progressing. I have an opportunity with the current version to show the alteration I continually have to make everytime I draft a skirt using the Size 4 measurements. I never had to make this adjustment for myself or others. At times I am tempted to simply deduct the 3/8″ I must remove from the front measurement BEFORE drafting the pattern. However, experience has taught me that once the basics of the drafting technique are altered the rest of the process is effected and often the resulting pattern has fitting issues in more than one area. So, I follow the instructions as I’ve previously shared and then make the needed alteration.

The alteration for the Misses Size 4 Sheath Skirt Front is detailed in this posting.

Sheath Skirt Toile, Front, in Misses Size 4.

The excess fabric arises in both the Basic Fitting Shell and any Sheath Skirt pattern whether additional style ease is added or not. An amount between 1/4″ to 3/8″ has to be pinned in between Center Front and the first dart on the skirt front. The resulting amount is then removed from the Front Skirt Pattern.

This toile turned out too curvy at the hipline and I have pinned the areas that will need correction on the pattern. Everytime I use a Hip Curve ruler this happens. I get better results if I dot in the curve by hand from waist to hip on the front pattern and then trace that to the back pattern. The resulting side seam at the hip curves slightly but not as much as when using the ruler.

Close-up of Skirt Front-Misses Size 4-with alteration.

As you can see, the alteration has to also be made to the waistband pattern. One way to eliminate this step is to fit the skirt toile BEFORE drafting the waistband pattern. After obtaining the measurement that needs to be removed from the Skirt Front pattern, measure the waist from Center Back left to right. Use that resulting measurement for the finished length of the waistband.

Back of Sheath Skirt with Kickpleat-Misses Size 4.

The Kickpleat for this skirt was drafted following the instructions in the patternmaking book. It is very unusual and I have not seen it in any other book or on-line tutorial. It may be due to the fact that (a) it uses more fabric and that (b) the patternmaking system originated sometime in the late 1950s and was taught as a method for custom dressmaking.

Bottom of Kickpleat.

The kickpleat is wide enough at the bottom to prevent the legs from showing when walking. I personally like this feature as it gives the skirt a classier appearance. The kickpleat for me allows the wearer more freedom of movent. Its function is for that purpose. If you desire to have a flash of leg show then a slit is the way to go at the Center Back or Side Seams of the skirt.

Back of Sheath Skirt with Kickpleat.

The Kickpleat runs the entire length of the skirt from waistline to hem. It requires a special zipper application which I will present in a tutorial when the skirt is under construction. I personally love this kickpleat because it is never crooked and never sags. It is secure and will not be noticeable when care is taken to hand press the skirt back. Also the fabric should be light to medium weight. Heavyweight fabrics will be too bulky at the waistline when constructed the way this kick pleat requires.


One thought on “Secretary Blouse and Sheath Skirt: Skirt Toile Version 1

  1. Pingback: 1930’s skirt pleats and details | bywayofthanks

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