Alright. That’s enough of me geeking out on just how incredibly cool of a technical leap that all is. Let’s make two more skirt patterns… The first is the old-school way of making gores, by adding triangular insets to rectangular patterns:
Cut two pieces of fabric with a height of your skirt length (plus seam allowances and casings) and a width of your hip measurment (plus seam allowances on each side). (top) Cut two pieces of fabric that are your skirt length plus hem in height, and somewhat less wide than your hip measurement. Divide these pieces with a line from the upper left corner to the lower right corner. (bottom) This above picture shows the cut lines marked.
Each of the body pieces will have two triangles attached to its long sides. (This trick works best in fabrics that look roughly the same right side up and up side down, as at least one of the triangles has to be rotated.
We want to take a note from Alcega's book and line up the triangles so that we never get two bias edges together. Also, the length on each seam, from top of skirt to the end of the shorter piece of fabric should be equal to the length of the body panel. It looks a little pin-wheeley.
Sew that up, and sew the other body piece as a mirror image. So the two constructed pieces together. You should have two rectangles, with two triangles on each side. Add a casing at the top. Now, the very nice thing about this method of cutting skirts is that the hem is basically self-marking. You’re just going to hack off those stray pin-wheel tips, in a gentle curve that sort of disappears 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the way across the panel. Here’s the not-so-nice thing with this method:
The fullness is concentrated wherever the triangles are added.
Even when I fuss with it to make it poofier, you can see a very pronounced U shaped stress wrinkle in front, and most of the fullness stays stubbornly at the sides. (side view shown)
The effect is, admittedly, less dramatic in a fabric with a better drape to it. Soft linen or thinner wools on a human-sized frame will be far more successful with this method. The problem is, this method is inherently flawed, and will never produce a skirt with a smooth drape and evenly distributed fullness. The problem comes in here:
The bodies of the skirt are cut on the straight of the grain, and they're straight across the top, so they want to go straight down. All of the fullness radiates from a single point, which forms a godet and concentrates the fullness directly below the point.
Next: How to Build a Better Gore…