Drafting Patterns for Skirts and Dresses

Skirts and Dresses may be the backbone of your wardrobe.  A dress is so easy to pop on in the morning, and a skirt is versatile - you can dress it up or down, and wear it with many different blouses and tops for many different looks.

Using your basic dress block, you can design skirts and dresses of many silhouettes - slim, full, short, long, combinations fit and flare - anything your little heart desires!

The dress block, of course, consists of the bodice and skirt - so you can separate them to create just a skirt, or use complete block to create a dress (with or without a waistline - more on that later!)

The Basic Sheath

Nothing beats a basic sheath for style - and it really shows off a great figure!

The sheath is so easy do draft - it's really just your basic dress block! - but I've added a high waist and color contrast for interest.

You can also make it in a simple, solid color for your go-to dress - one you can accessorize in so many ways for so many looks!

Add sleeves or a collar, and the whole look changes. 

The Pleated Skirt

A pleated skirt is classic, and can be done in a variety of ways, too.

I've chosen to use a flat front for a sleeker look, but the pleats can run all the way around the waist if you prefer. 

Pleats can be wide and deep, or very narrow.

You could add just a couple of pleats on an otherwise straight skirt, for a bit of flair and stylish detail.

Or, make a skirt with a multitude of skinny pleats in a shiny fabric - it's very dressy and anything but "schoolgirl"!

The Circle Skirt

The circle skirt is a simple, very full skirt. 

I'm sure you've seen photos of the popular "poodle skirts" of the 1950's. Those were simple circle skirts, usually made of felt, with a poodle applique on the lower left side of the skirt - hence the name!

The circle skirt can be soft and fluid, or, worn with a crinoline and a fitted blouse, a very 50's Dior-style fit-and-flare look. 

This one requires some math to draft, but don't worry - we'll walk you through it.

The Drop Waist Dress

The drop waist dress is flattering on almost every figure. It makes you look long and lean - and who doesn't love that!

Our version is super-simple.  The bodice is, really, just your blouse block! (with the opening in the back instead of the front).

The skirt is the circle skirt - just adjust it for wearing at the hip rather than the waist.  Easy! And it looks great!

Of course, you can make variations with a pleated skirt or a handkerchief hem skirt (that one is a lovely, 1920's look). 

And, changing the neckline or sleeves will give it a different style, too. 

Before you create these dress, skirt or blouse styles, you'll need a well-fitting dress block.  You can create one from a commercial pattern, or draft your dress block using your own measurements. 

Once you have your fitted block, create an almost infinite variety of styles using the in-depth tutorial "A Beginner's Guide to Designing Skirts, Blouses and Dresses".  Check it out now!

More Skirts and Dresses

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