Drafting Basic Straight Skirt Pattern

 basic straight skirt patternProbably the Basic straight skirt pattern is the best pattern a new sewer/pattern should start by, it is the base for almost any type of skirts, which a basic garment for all females, and it is very simple to draft, cut and sew piece too. A few measures here, some lines there, and the skirt pattern is done and ready for cutting and sewing.

In this detailed and comprehensive tutorial, I am going to show you how to draft the basic straight skirt pattern, which will be used later as a base for drafting other styles of skirts. Almost any style of skirt can be developed from this base, only circle skirt pattern has its own drawing method, yet it can be developed from this base too.

What is basic skirt?

A skirt is called basic if the width of the skirt doesn’t change too much from hips to him, if the him width is less than 1” wider than the hips width, then it is a basic skirt, this is why it’s called straight skirt or pencil skirt, because it goes in same width from hips to him.

Measurements for basic skirt pattern drafting:

  • Waist measurement.
  • Hips measurement.
  • Skirt length as desired.

Drawing Back Pattern:

Start by drawing a rectangle on the paper, the rectangle width should equal quarter hips measurement + 1/2 inch, the length equals the desired skirt length. Then name the rectangle points 1, 2, 3 and 4 as shown on the shape.

Why we are using quarter hips measurement? Simply because we are going to draw half the back only, since the body is symmetric, there is no need to draw the full back nor the full front unless we are going to draft asymmetric pattern, which we are going to cover later.

On that rectangle, the line 3-4 will be the skirt’s him line, and waist line will be constructed on line 1-2.

To define Hips line, measure 8” under point 1 to define point 5, from point 5 draw the hip line across the rectangle, touching line 2-4 in the point 6.

Next step is to measure from 1 to 7 quarter waist measurement + 1 5/8 inches. Logically we measure quarter waist measurement because this is quarter a skirt. Why we are adding 1 5/8 inches?

Actually, we need to draw two darts, those darts are an extra space that’s added into pattern and removed later while sewing that pattern, we are going to add two darts each of them is 6/8”, the last 1/8” is just left as an extra ease.

Q: why to add darts on pattern since we are going to sew them away later? Because darts are used to shape the skirt and give it same form like the real body.

Assuming that the waist measurement is 24”, then the 1-7 measurement = 6 + 1 5/8 = 7 5/8 inch.

From point 7 measure half an inch up and mark the point 8, then connect points 1-8 and 8-6.

Divide line 1-8 into 3 equal parts, and mark points 9 and 10.

On each point, draw a perpendicular line, to construct darts.


From point 9 measure half the dart width (3/8 inch) in each direction, that’s 3/8 inch to right and mark point 91, and 3/8 inch to left and mark point 9b, then do the same on point 10 to mark 10a and 10b.

On the perpendicular line from 9 measure 5.5” and mark point 11, then connect point 11 and both 9a and 9b, on the perpendicular line from 10 measure 5” and mark point 12, then connect point 12 and both 10a and 10b. That is the two darts for the skirts’ back.

Final step for back is to shape the side line from point 8 to 6, to do this divide the line and mark point 13 at middle, then measure 1/4” outwards, name this point 14, then connect point 8-14-6 in a curve.

Drawing Front Pattern:

Drawing the skirt front pattern will take almost the same route like the back pattern, however, the pattern will be mirrored and the wait will have only one dart, only one dart is enough to shape the front area, two is needed to shape the back area, which is obvious.

Draw a rectangle on the paper, the rectangle width should equal quarter hips measurement (only) with no addition, the length equals the desired skirt length. Then name the rectangle points 1, 2, 3 and 4 as shown on the shape.

Why there is no room in the front skirt? Because the front should be a bit narrower than back, we already added all rom in the back pattern.

From point 1 measure quarter waist measurement + 7/8” to point 7, 6/8” for the dart and the final 1/8 will be left as ease.

Above point 7 measure 1/2” and mark point 8, then connect point 8-1 and 8-6.

Divide the line 1-8 equally and mark point 9, downward point 9 draw a perpendicular line and measure 4” and mark point 10, right and left point 9 measure 3/8 in each direction and mark points 9a and 9b, then connect them to point 10 to define the front dart.

Mark point 11 center the line 8-6 and measure 1/4″ outwards to point 12, finally connect points 8-12-6 in curve.

Final Thoughts About Skirt Pattern

This basic pattern is called high waist, straight skirt pattern, as the measurement from waist to hips is 8″, which is the usual for average height women, shorter women can shorten this length, and vise verse, however, if you are really keen at drawing a perfect pattern, the seat height measurement should be used, however this is not necessary in 99% of cases. later on we are going to use this fundamental pattern as a base to develop the A-line skirt, panel skirt, and mermaid skirt.

if you like this basic straight skirt pattern tutorial, or if you see any point that need improvement or modifications, if you didn’t understand any step and you need to ask, please mention it in a comment here and I’ll reply you as soon as i cant.

Leave a Reply