Self Drafted Swing Skirt

August 2, 2013

Today I finished my self drafted 1940’s inspired swing skirt. Prepare for a bunch of twirly photos! After seeing all the amazing self drafted skirts in the Sew Mama Sew challenge, I had to try it out for myself.


I purchased the Design and Sew an A-Line Skirt class on Craftsy (pssssst it’s on sale right now!) and watched all the videos before starting on my own flat pattern design. On my first attempt I had some trouble with my hip to waist ratio, which resulted in some head scratching as I had to curve out my line and then square up the corners (you’ll see what all that means when you take the class). I quickly found myself being the “Oh this usually doesn’t happen, but if it does, try this” example. It was great to work through those issues though, and after one base muslin and a wearable muslin attempt, I had a passable A-Line skirt with darts! Well, in all honesty it was a barely wearable muslin since I pinched out all of my wearing ease when trying to add the darts. So sure, it was “wearable” if I didn’t breathe…

It was slightly frustrating, but the amount of information I learned about flat pattern drafting opened up a whole new world for me. So worth it!


After deciding the A-Line wasn’t my favorite skirt shape anyway, I moved on to the next lesson and gave the “slash and spread” method a shot (heck yeah free hips and no darts!). I recently bought a WWII era mail order skirt pattern that was one size too small, so I used that as a reference for the amount of spread and then drafted the rest to fit my measurements. This skirt was a total “wing it and hope for the best” project so the waist band and button placket is a hot mess. Well, maybe not that bad but it’s certainly not my best work. That white trim at the waist is actually hiding the raw edges of the waistband that I sewed to the outside. I’m not sure what my thinking was with that, but rather than rip it out and do it again, I just covered up my mess with bias tape. It works, right?


This was my first time attempting an in-seam placket closure and it’s functional, but I need to make some changes for next time. (Note to self: in-seam placket goes in before the waistband. Duh!) The buttons look super cute though and the placket method is a great closure option when your seam allowance isn’t wide enough for a lapped zipper.


I really love, love, love the silhouette of this skirt and the fit is awesome! The one thing I do not love is how long it takes to do a 2 inch hem on a bias curve. I swear I was at my ironing board longer than I was at my sewing machine. Uhg!

Oh well. It was all worth it though because this skirt makes me feel so graceful. Even when I’m falling over…


Ha! I’m getting over an ear infection so my equilibrium is still a little skewed lol!

Now that I know what construction details I have to iron out for next time, I can see many more self drafted skirts in my future. I may never buy another ready-made skirt pattern again!!

Have you ever attempted drafting your own skirt pattern? What were the results?


Have a great weekend, everyone!