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Topic: Morning Glory Skirt (with tutorial!)  (Read 10639 times)
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« on: June 08, 2010 10:20:36 AM »

This is a skirt I designed and drafted a pattern for a few years ago, and didn't actually sew until maybe two years ago. I thought I'd share it though because the pattern is easy to make and a few people have expressed a desire to have one like it.

Note: it fits me differently than it fits the dressform because I made it for me, not it! Also, I think the dressform is pregnant. Soon little dressforms will be running around.  Grin
Anyways. . .

How to create the pattern:

Take five measurements: waist, hip, distance between the waist and hip, desired length, and desired width of hem.

Decide on how many gores you want (I chose to have six), but I recommend more than 5 because otherwise, it will not hang as well as the waistline will not have much of a curve.

Decide on the amount of ease you want in the waist and hip. I'd recommend around an inch for the waist ease and at least four inches in the hip, although this varies according to each person's body and tastes. Make a muslin first to check if you like the ease.

Divide the total of the waist measurement plus the waist ease by the number of gores you want. Do the same for the hip measurement and hip ease.

Draw a long vertical line as a base (it should be as long as your desired length).

At the top, draw a line equal to the waist of the skirt divided by the number of gores. The midpoint of the line should intersect with the vertical line.

Make a mark below the waist line for the hip. The distance should be equal to the measurement between the two taken earlier.

At this point, draw another horizontal line equal to the hip of the skirt divided by the number of gores. Its midpoint should also be on the vertical line.

Connect the ends of the two horizontal lines, and extend the line so it is as long as your desired length.

Draw the zigzag according to your tastes, but remember that it can't go any higher than 9 inches from the top on the edge because you'll need to put a zipper in (unless you make a drawstring version in which case you need to make the waist line longer than your hip measurement). Other than that, you have many choices. You can make the middle of the zigzag lower than the sides (like I did) or higher for a different look. You can make the zigzag fall at 2/3 proportions as I did or turn the bottom part into more of a bottom ruffle. It's all up to your tastes.

Cut out the top pentagon. This is a finished piece without the seam allowances. You can make a separate piece with the seam allowances, just be sure to mark the exact corners of the zigzag.

Cut out the bottom pentagon. Cut it in half along the vertical line. Arrange the two pieces so that what was the middle line is now the two outer sides. Don't tape it yet.

Spread the two pieces apart so that the top of the two still touch, but there is a space between the two at the bottom. This is to give the skirt extra flare at the bottom. How much is up to you. Once you have it as you like, tape it how it is and trace the outline onto a new piece. This is the finished bottom piece without the seam allowances. Again, if you do add them, remember to mark the actual corners of the zigzag. For those familiar with pattern drafting, generally the slash and spread method is used at several places in skirt pattern so that the flare is not evident in only one place, but I decided against this as it will be difficult to sew the zigzag as it is and there are enough gores to give an even overall effect.

How to sew the skirt:

Decide on the color scheme. You could make the zigzag very obvious by using contrasting colors (like black and white) or complimentary colors (purple and yellow), or you could make it more subtle with analogous colors (green and turquoise) or the same color but with different shades. I wouldn't recommend prints for this design.

I suggest a fabric with good drape. I used cotton broadcloth I think, but in retrospect, it is far too stiff for the design.

Be sure to cut out the number of gores you chose for each pattern piece. You can cut the pieces on the straight grain as I did, or you could be adventurous and cut them on the bias.

Sew the side zipper between two of the top pieces first as this is the easiest time. Sew all the top pieces together at the sides, but don't sew all the way to the bottom- stop at the mark for the zigzag edge.

Sew all the bottom pieces together at the sides also stopping at the marks for the zigzag edge at the top.

Pin the two parts together matching the zigzag marks. This is the trickiest part of making the skirt. You may have to pin and sew only one gore at a time. 

Finish the inside seams as you prefer. It's virtually impossible to make french or flat-felled seams, so I suggest mock French seams or stitching the seam allowances and pinking the edges.

Finish the waist. There is no waist facing because I don't like those- they only make it bulkier and they are hard to stitch down so they don't flip up and don't show on the outside. So instead, sew twill tape around the top edge. First trim the edge ( if you have a 5/8" seam allowance or more). Sew the twill tape so that one edge extends beyond the raw edge of the waist, stitching closely to the opposite edge. Iron this to the other side, and hand stitch (or top stitch) the free edge of the twill tape down. This is better than a facing as it is sturdy (and you don't need to fuss with interfacing), yet thinner (so the hand stitching is fairly close to the top edge) and doesn't have raw edges.

Let it hang a day before you hem it, especially if the fabric has a loose weave or if you chose to have a lot of flare, because of the bias.

If you do this tutorial, please don't sell the pattern. You can make, give away, or even sell skirts of this design all you like; I won't mind. But I'm giving it free here so that people can use it for free.  Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010 10:38:25 AM »

This is beautiful!! I wish I could sew :/

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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010 10:40:47 AM »

lol Little baby dress forms. ...scary.

Very pretty. Thanks for sharing! I love wearing skirts, may have to use this pattern one day.

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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010 12:55:20 PM »

When your dress form finally has her babies, can I adopt one please???

The skirt is uber cute - and I love your tute style, definitely one I think I'll be able to follow.

Can I ask why Morning Glory skirt??  (poss has a different meaning in the US to the UK!!)

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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010 12:58:55 PM »

cute skirt!

« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010 01:14:47 PM »

When your dress form finally has her babies, can I adopt one please???

The skirt is uber cute - and I love your tute style, definitely one I think I'll be able to follow.

Can I ask why Morning Glory skirt??  (poss has a different meaning in the US to the UK!!)

Haha, sure! I wonder how long the gestation period is for dressforms- you may have to wait a while.  Tongue

Originally, I wanted to call it the harlequin skirt because of the zigzags, but that sounded too much like the romance novels. I settled on morning glory, because those flowers tend to have white from the base running out to the edges in a zigzag-like pattern.
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010 04:55:34 PM »

This skirt is lovely.  It definitely reminds me of the morning glories I have growing in my yard.  Great name choice!

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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2010 09:30:28 AM »

Such a beautiful skirt! I'd love to make it, but I'm getting a little confused around the part about the pentagons..and onwards after that.. Undecided I'm obviously not an experienced pattern drafter! Wink

But the main point is to tell you how great your skirt is! Grin

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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2010 05:30:08 AM »

This is so pretty. Thank you for writing up a tute for it. Do you remember how much fabric it took?

« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2010 02:30:29 PM »

This is a beautiful skirt with a lovely name! (Has anyone else read the children's book Jack in the Green by Allen Atkinson? My family calls morning glories "brubs" because of this book.)
Anyway... Thanks very much for the instructions! It looks like it should be simple to make, but my visual-oriented brain is having trouble making sense of a few steps. Do you have any pictures of the process that you could post?
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