A Skirt Mockup!

An early sketch of my skirt design idea.

After finishing my Good Enough Skirt Block last week [Ed. note: I wrote most of this most weeks ago and never posted it!], it was time to settle on a skirt design and start making a pattern. I was delighted to find patterning easy and intuitive once the block is made and design chosen. There are questions, of course – how will this idea work out in fabric?? – but there are many relatively simple that can be made to the block and then voila! A skirt pattern.

The very first step for creating my pattern was to estimate the length. I guessed by holding my fashion fabric (pre-dye, more on that later) at my waist and draping it to what looked like the right length, then measured the length. I traced my block onto a fresh piece of craft paper and added this extra length to the block.

Guessing at how long my skirt should be with some casual draping.

Next, I made a 2” contoured waistband that sits at my natural waist. This waistband eliminated the front dart (since that dart was 2” long exactly) and shortened the back dart. I then closed the remaining back dart to create an A-line shape. Once the dart was closed, I measured how much that fabric was added at the back hem and mimicked the same A-line opening on the front pattern piece. Once I had my A-line shape, I then added princess seams at about halfway along the waist arcs. The most fun of the patterning process was creating the inseam pockets that are built into the side front pieces.

It's a pattern for a skirt!

For the mockup process, I decided not to include the pockets in case I decided to make big adjustments to the side front. Having just made the skirt block mockup, making the skirt mockup felt natural and easy.

Fun with mockup cutting. I love drawing stitching lines and seam allowances directly onto the fabric prior to cutting.

And with a few work sessions, I completed all my thread marking and basting and put on the skirt mockup for the first time for a quick look. And my first thought is, I love it! The volume feels exactly right. I’m not sure about the length – it feels like I might want to go shorter – but I probably will wait until I’ve got the skirt basted up in the fashion fabric before deciding exactly what length I want.

Absolutely thrilled with the body and drape of this skirt mockup. I feel like a Victorian feminist ready to ride off on my bicycle.

Having established that the volume was right and length was close, I ripped up the mockup and added the inseam pockets. I patterned these pockets with help from the Closet Core Pietra Pants as inspiration, a pattern I’ve made a few times, know well, and especially love the pockets.

Admiring how the arc of the pocket curve mirrors the curve of my waistband.

I require a deep pocket. Must carry sippy cup, phone, keys, ball of yarn...

And that is the mockup! Pretty much as soon as I finished it, I ripped it back into individual pieces to use as underlining for my fashion fabric. More on that process soon!