Five Tips to Successfully Fit a Skirt Block


Every year in May I offer a Skirt Block Mini Class. When you sign up during the month of May you get access to the drafting instructions and 5 email lessons that guide you through how to use them.

This mini class is only available during the month of May so if you missed out on the opportunity to sign up, I highly recommend you add your name to my mailing list so you won’t miss out again. You'll get a copy of The Perfect Fit Guide and weekly emails that will build your pattern making and fitting skills. Sign Up Here.

If you were lucky enough to get access, I hope you enjoyed the drafting process and have sewn up a test sample of your draft and are ready to assess the fit because in this video I’m going to share some important tips to help you get the fit you want.

Fit Tip #1

The skirt has been drafted to include 1" (2.5 cm) of ease in the waist and 2" (5 cm) of ease in the low hip. Your draft may have turned out to have more or less ease than this. The difference is likely due to the rounding of measurements during the draft calculations so some discrepancy is OK. As you know the draft is only a starting point. What is important is to determine what the ease is on your pattern so you are aware of the amounts. Simply measure the drafted pattern along the waist and hip lines and compare them to your body measurements. The difference will be the ease in the pattern. Understanding how much ease you have will help you to better assess the fit of your sample.

Fit Tip #2

Your skirt has been designed to sit at your natural waist. It's very easy to lower the waist later if you choose. I highly recommend keeping it at your natural waist for the fitting process.

The main objective when fitting a skirt is to make the hipline level with the floor and the side seams perpendicular to the floor. This means you may need to change your waistline position. To do this, place an elastic around your waist and adjust the skirt until the hip line is level and aligned with the fullest part of your low hip. Once a level hip line is achieved you can trace along the waist elastic to get your personal waistline position and shape. Once the waistline is established simply transfer the new waistline position to your pattern by measuring from the drafted waist position to the new waistline marking.

Fit Tip #3

If the waist is too tight or too loose, consider increasing or decreasing the circumference by altering the side seams or the dart intakes. The dart intakes and the side seam shaping on the draft are a starting point and based on a standard body shape. Fitting is your opportunity to customize the fit and shape of the skirt. However, remember you need to keep 1" to total ease in the waist so that you will be able to sit and breath while you're wearing your skirt.

Fit Tip #4

If the dart points seem to be poking out or dimpling you will need to experiment with the dart position, the dart length and/or the dart intake to achieve a smooth fit. In my personal fitting I changed my darts in all three ways and even eliminated one front dart and moved it toward the side seam to get the fit I wanted. Don't be afraid to adjust for the best fit possible.

Also consider the side seam shaping over the high hip area, don't be afraid to alter this if you need to. Pin out any excess or release the seam if needed. A very clever student used a carpenter's contour gauge to find exactly the right shape and then adjusted the pattern to suit.

Fit Tip #5

If you want to create a pencil skirt from your skirt block, taper the hem in by a total of 1 1/2" on each side seam. Removing 3/4" from each of the front and back hem width will create a lovely feminine silhouette to the final skirt.

I hope these tips help you to achieve the fit you want for your basic skirt block. Once you have a skirt block that fits you can begin using it as a design tool to create new and interesting skirt styles that are guaranteed to fit. I’ve got the perfect tutorial ready and waiting for you called How to Create and Balance a Flared Skirt

Next week I am going to share how to draft a basic waist band for your skirt. I hope you’ll tune in!

All My Best,


Interested in a more advanced project?
Explore the Designed to Fit: The Bodice Block online course.