Draft a Flirty, Flared Skirt for Spring

Trace your pattern piece and transfer markings.

Fit is everything in sewing and if you have a straight skirt pattern that you have altered to fit you perfectly, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. You can turn that straight skirt into any number of styles because a straight skirt pattern is basically what the fashion industry calls a "sloper" or "block" and is  your basic building block for a garment. 

One of the easiest styles to create from a straight skirt pattern is, believe it or not, a flared skirt. And what is more on trend and perfect for Spring 2012 than a short, flirty skirt? 

I am in the process of making a project for Stitch where I want to do just that. Follow along with me, and I'll show you how to go from straight to flared by eliminating darts:

First, you will need to have your basic pattern making tools, because you are making a pattern! See my recent SewDaily.com blog post for more details on that. 

Next, you will want to trace off your existing pattern without the seam allowances. I am using a skirt sloper that I created, and am starting with the skirt back. If you are using an existing, altered pattern just use translucent paper such as medical office roll or Swedish tracing paper, or use dressmaker's carbon marking paper.

Draft your flare lines; slash and spread pattern.

Be sure to transfer all of your markings, including hipline, notches, darts and (VIP!) your grainline.

Cut your new pattern out. Draw evenly spaced lines straight down from the top of your skirt piece parallel to the grainline, including one or more from your dart(s). The more lines you draw, the more little flares you will get. For the side, use your hip curve to draw a line that curves to 1" below the hipline. (I kept this flare smaller to keep a smooth hipline.) Don't slash too close to the center back to keep the grainline intact.

These spaced lines move the flare away from the side seam and distribute it evenly around the skirt. You can play around with the flare add your own design spin, but don't spread your pieces too far apart or you will throw off the grain.

New pattern with seamlines and hemlines.

Next, you will do a slash-and spread method, cutting each of the lines up toward the top of the skirt until there is a tiny hinge. Close up your darts, allowing the pieces to spread and your pattern to become perfectly flat. You will see the waistline form. Space the hinged pieces evenly, forming a new hemline and taping the darts closed.

Tape your pattern down on a new piece of pattern paper. Draft in your seam and hem allowances, do the the same steps for your front skirt piece, keeping the flare spacing the same, and you are ready to sew! 

You can do the same process using a favorite straight skirt from your closet. See this blog post for some tips to get you started.

Speaking of spring patterns, you can find all the latest patterns from the Spring 2012 issue of Stitch in the Sew Daily shop. They are adorable!

Have you done anything to change a pattern? Let us know and show us your work below.

Happy stitching!

Other sewing topics you may enjoy:


Pattern Drafting, Skirts

About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and SewDaily.com. She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and SewDaily.com. She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

6 thoughts on “Draft a Flirty, Flared Skirt for Spring

  1. Hi: This project in in process and is actually going to be a dress in the spring issue. I will definitely post it when it’s complete! I apologize for the photo quality! Love the idea of using a colored background! FYI, the post on Feb. 29 will show a finished skirt that used this method combined with an insert method.


  2. Thank you for your great instructions on how to ‘flare’ a skirt!!! A different colour for the pattern vs the alterations would be great – to easily distinguish what is what. I am actually making a ’50’s apron for my daughter and her friend who love to bake!