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Flared Skirt Tutorial 
5th-Apr-2005 11:40 pm
Mary Jane Feet
Okay so today while I was drafting some patterns I decided to do a skirt tutorial. This is how to take make a flared skirt. The skirt I'm showing is a 6 gored (gores = panels) gathered to a waistband style. You can apply it to any kind of flared skirt tho.

To clarify a bit gonna give a basic summary of the steps. You start with a muslin rectangle. Slash it vertically. Pin it to musling. Spread the pieces. Redraw the hemline. Cut out your muslin pattern piece and use it as you would a storebought pattern.

You're going to want to start with a rectangle. Whether its the exact same measurement as your waistband or you're gathering to a waistband its up to you. Just make sure it'll eventually end up fitting over your waist and hips.

Nothing but a rectangle. Your starting piece.

Next thing you're gonna want to do is slice the pattern about every inch or so. Only slice up to the seam allowance. I don't have images of me doing this but you'll see what I'm saying by the next image.

Step 1:

Down center front pin the top and mark the center. Spread the pieces to approximately what you want your flare to be. I'm using twice the waist measurement. Make sure the pieces are slightly (or drastically if you're flaring it a lot) curved on top and bottom. Doesn't have to accurate yet.

Step 2:

Starting from the center measure out half your hem. Mark the spot.

Evenly spread the pieces until they reach the mark.

If you've spread them correctly it will look like this. It ends up having a gentle curve (Or more extreme depending upon the amount of flare).

If you didn't curve them it'll end up looking like this. This is bad. Notice how the straight edges on the bottom look choppy. You want them to flow from one to the next.

Step 4:
Keeping the pieces straight smooth them out until you reach the top. Pin the top securely as you go along.

Again it should be curving.

If its not curved it'll look like this. Again this = bad.

By now it should look like this. Curved on top and bottom.

Step 5;

Smooth out the hemline with a fabric pen.

You're ready to cut it out and sew. *dance*

This is the original skirt.

This is what it becomes.

Me spreading out the flare.

Hope you enjoy. Any questions go ahead and ask. I know I'm bad at articulating instructions so I'll gladly clarify. Or if you're inexperienced and don't know how to apply it to what you want ask. If I have time I'll draft it while taking pictures. At least to the best of my ability :P
6th-Apr-2005 07:05 am (UTC)
that is a purdy skirt!!
*steals the lace*
6th-Apr-2005 07:15 am (UTC)
Oops posted on the wrong lj. Sankie and if theres ever any lace you see me using just ask. I'll pick some up. The lace in the fashion district is cheap and gorgeous.
7th-Apr-2005 02:22 am (UTC)
*sweatdrop* I need to learn some better sewing before running all over collecting purdy lace

and while I'm here WEBPAGE!! *nudge nudge* we're still at square one remember =P
6th-Apr-2005 07:22 am (UTC) - Great!
That's a really useful little tutorial - thankies! I wish the fabric and lace in London was cheap too. There's lots and lots of gorgeous fabrics - I went down Berwick St the other day looking, but anything I liked was over £45 per mtre. I thought I had expensive taste, but then realised that that's how much most of the stuff costs.
6th-Apr-2005 11:42 am (UTC) - Re: Great!
Lordy, which shop was that? 0_0 I live in the UK too and manage to find some nice reasonably priced fabrics, John Lewis is a good place as they have an excellent haberdashery with lots of good quality stuff. Also Abakhan but that may just be a north west chain, they're great cos they sell a lot of remnants, past season etc stuff for dirt cheap.. Quality varies but I could spend a fortune in there! I think it's just a case of shopping around.. £45 sounds like a hell of a lot, maybe it was a designer one?
6th-Apr-2005 03:08 pm (UTC) - Re: Great!
lace is ALWAYS expensive when it's pretty :(!
6th-Apr-2005 07:35 am (UTC)
Hey! My pattern making book as instructions in it like that. ^^ Where'd you learn this?
6th-Apr-2005 09:59 am (UTC)
I learned basic drafting from Patterndrafting for Fashion Design. I used what I learned combined with previous knowledge to apply it to loli skirts. I love the slash and spread technique. Its half technical half by feel.
6th-Apr-2005 09:33 am (UTC)
I'm a bit lost. Is the point of the cut fabric to just help you accurately flair your skirt? If so, where does the cut up piece go in the end? I can't tell if you just cut out the lines you made using the cut fabric as a guide, cut out the fabric that the cut piece was pinned to, unpin the cut piece and sew it up normally. Or, if the cut piece of fabric was sewn onto the skirt.
Other than that, this is a wonderful tutorial. Do you mind if I put it onto Poor Dolly? Proper credit given, of course.
6th-Apr-2005 09:55 am (UTC)
Its to accurately cut the skirt shape. So you get the proper curve on the top and bottom. If your curve is too sharp the drape throughout the skirt is uneven.. Its kind of like a trapezoid skirt without the weird uneven hem. The cut up piece is just a piece of muslin. You chuck it in the end or save it for later flaired skirts. The whole tutorial is for drafting a muslin pattern piece. I think I answered the basic question but there were a lot and its 3 am :P I may come back tomorrow after sleep and realize I missed something.

Go for it ^.^ I've never been possessive of things I post on the internet.
6th-Apr-2005 12:47 pm (UTC)
You are my new best friend.
6th-Apr-2005 01:48 pm (UTC)
Beautiful skirts
6th-Apr-2005 02:34 pm (UTC)
Great tutorial! Added this to the memories! Thanks a lot!
6th-Apr-2005 03:10 pm (UTC)
Is there a reason for cutting the pattern in calico/muslin?
Just curious. I've always pattern cut in paper, (for costs sake) just wondering if it has any benefits/reasons? I guess you can tell straight away from the pattern how it fits, or is that what you use as a toile? *curious* :D
6th-Apr-2005 07:24 pm (UTC)
making a muslin for an outfit first is always a good idea, especially if you are going to end up using expensive fabric. with muslin, you can create the actual piece of clothing first, in it's entirety, and try it on to see if it fits and how it lays. then you make changes straight on the muslin, and you can keep trying it on afterwards. this way, if you make mistakes, it won't ruin your nice fabric. muslin is relatively cheap, $.99/yd (and that's if it's not on sale).

when i sew, i will use either a muslin if it's something new or complicated or draft a paper pattern myself if it's something simple.
6th-Apr-2005 03:49 pm (UTC)
wow, this is great. pretty
6th-Apr-2005 08:37 pm (UTC)
wow...thanks for sharing!!! ::glomps:: i think i'm going to go and make one
6th-Apr-2005 08:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the clear instructions. It really bugged me that I don't have a simple loli skirt base to reuse. But 6 pieces of that? It does make it look very full without a petti, but isn't it a little excessive, concerning fabric costs? Oh and the lace makes me swoon.
6th-Apr-2005 09:00 pm (UTC)
It is six pieces but the total measurement at the waist only comes to twice the waist measurement. This way my skirts can be consistent from xs to xl. If I did it all as one piece for front and back the xl would no longer fit on the fabric.
7th-Apr-2005 01:51 am (UTC)
Ah I gotcha, this is much easier. Thanks for the clarification.
7th-Apr-2005 12:18 pm (UTC)
What a great tutorial! But could you clarify a few little things for me? ... So the six panels are cut according to the sliced/flared pattern and sewn together? Then, how is the waist gathered correctly so you end up with the right waist measurement? (half of the original length?)

Sorry if this is a bother >.>
7th-Apr-2005 09:34 pm (UTC)
I knew somebody would ask this. What I did is took the measurement of my waist, doubled it, then divided it by 6. Then for the hem I took my final measurement and multipled it by 2. You can easily take your waist, double or triple it, divide it by 2 and only use two panels to flare.
14th-Apr-2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
i must be dumb

The width of the original rectangle pre flaring is one sixth of double your waist measurement?
Then the flare after the snipping is double the width of the original rectangles witdh?

Then when you make the flare pattern with the original rectangle and toss the snipped up rectangle asside you cut out six panels with pattern you now have on the 2nd piece of muslin that isn't snipped up.
So you have 6 panels which when sewn together make a skirt with double the waistband to the size of your waist, which you "fix" by gathering and making a proper waist band.

Wouldn't there be slight peaks and valleys when one flared panel met the next when your joined all six panels together?

What am i missing here?

or do i have it figured out (i doubt that heheh)

help me clever lady with beautiful lace!!
16th-Jun-2006 07:18 am (UTC)
I think that's what she did, I can see the two seams in the front (meaning three panels at the front, and three at the back)
5th-Jul-2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
I desperately want to make this skirt. DESPERATELY.
This is great, thanks! I hate using patterns, I always have to make my own, this is absolutely PERFECT.
Hayley Jane
31st-Jan-2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
I apologize for commenting on a post that's roughly two years old, but I do have some questions, if you don't mind. ^^;

I'm also pattern-challenged, so forgive me doubly!!! ^^;;;;

Are there two pieces of muslin, the slashed one and a whole one (to use as a pattern piece)? Would that mean that one would cut two pieces of fabric and just sew the two pieces together (with a side zipper and a button on the waistband)?
31st-Jan-2007 11:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah you would have a front and a back piece with side seam zipper. Zippers usually go on the left side.
1st-Feb-2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
Cool; now I got it. Thank you. ^^
11th-Oct-2007 03:45 am (UTC)
I'm also sorry for the really late comment, but I also wanted to ask a question or so (this is going to be my first skirt ever, so forgive me if I sound moronic.)

You doubled your waist measurement because you gathered the fabric at your waist, right? So if I don't do the gathering (I'm probably going to do elastic instead -- it's for a Halloween costume that is going to get ruined anyway (bloodbath party). It only has to hold up for one night and it definately does not have to look good.) then I don't have to double it, is this correct? But I should probably make it a larger than my actual waist anyway, yes?

As for the flare, when you are first laying out the sliced up piece, do you mainly focus on the end two just for an idea of what you want the flare to look like? Is there any sort of method to this, like are there certain angels you are looking for, or not really? And is there a way to ensure that it is symmetrical, or is it more of a guess and check operation?

I'd appreciate your thoughts greatly.

Thanks for the tutorial, and your time!
13th-Oct-2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
oke ... this is a very old post BUT
I just wanted to ask this question anyway ...
roughly how much fabric did you use in total?
21st-Mar-2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
This is very helpful! :) I'll have to remember this, and may even try it for a mockup I'll be doing soon :)
7th-Jun-2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you
I can't afford lolita clothes so I have to make them.
This helped me a lot
12th-Jul-2010 03:28 am (UTC)
I cannot wait to make this skirt!
Thanks for making the tutorial :3
19th-Nov-2011 09:17 am (UTC)
I know this is an old post, but could the OP or someone else go over how she made the bottom ruffle? like size, and such.
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