11 August 2014

Pattern Puzzle - The Japan Skirt - no block required!

The Japan Skirt - Self-drafted Pattern.


Rectangle skirts are nothing new.  What maybe new is the way you work your rectangle.  This particular pattern has been hanging on my pattern rail for at least 8 years.  Originally developed for merino ponti, grading up and down in sizes allows you to cut this pattern in a variety of knit and woven fabrics.  

Most important is that the fabric you use is good both sides.  The sample below has been cut in an African Wax Print on cotton.  These prints are renown for the fact that the better quality versions are printed on both sides.  Strange but true!  Equally a Merino Ponti will also be good on both sides.  In particular this would suit any drapey, double face fabrics (satin backed crepe).


You will all be aware of Rhonda's great work with rectangles for many garment types.  One post in particular has a fantastic rectangle skirt development that is similar to this #PatternPuzzle.


A google image search unearthed a commercial example of a very similar skirt from ZARUG, a creative women's brand from Bucharest.  Please note that this garment has an even hem where the drape meets.  Out pattern here will have a variable hem length.


With origins in folk costume and based on a rectangle, The Japan Skirt is simple in construction but versatile in application.  This skirt shape has been seen in the collections of Issey Miyake and Akira Isogawa, as an interpretation of the simplicity and elegance of Japanese Folk Costume.

The difference with this rectangle skirt is that I have worked on the fit around the waist with the inclusion of a dart on the only seam.  This provides some shaping and a place to hide the invisible zip.  Have also varied the hem length to add interest in the hem drape.

To begin:
  1. Draw up a rectangle of half width of usable cloth (72.5cm or 29") X back length of skirt (78cm or 31 ¼").
  2. Measure along the top edge of the rectangle (right to left) for half of your lower waist measurement (44cm or 17 ⅝").
  3. Mark the fold-back waist facing 4cm or 1 ⅝" inside top edge of rectangle.
  4. Mark diagonal cutting line for the placement of shaping dart and zip opening.
  1. Mark the turn back waist facing edge to match the angle of the zip opening.  In construction the 4cm or 1 ⅝" turning will be used to enclose the top edge of the zip.
  2. From turn back notch on waist facing draw a straight line to the outside edge of the pattern.  This will be the front edge of the waterfall drape and it does not need a 4cm turn-back.  We will add a 1.25cm turning for a rolled hem edge.
  3. Mark in the 'cut to fold' (right) side of the pattern.
  1. Cut along the diagonal line and open for the dart allowance and the opening for the invisible zip.
  2. This dart opening will have the smallest possible seam allowance (0.7cm or ¼") added to sew in the zip.
  3. This opening will also need to be at least 18-20cm or 7 ¼-8" long for the inclusion of a zipper.
  1. The stitching line for the seam that comes from the end of the zip should extend for at least another 20cm or 8" past the end of the dart.
  2. To make a variable hem length, mark 8cm or 3 ¼" above and below the existing hem line.
  3. Redraw new hemlines and eliminate the original line.
  1. Draw out the full and final pattern piece with your straight grain parallel with the fold.
  2. An alternative grain may be the he line if you are cutting a border print.
  3. The outside edges of the skirt have a 1.25cm or ½" hem allowance for a rolled hem finishing 6mm.
  4. The zip opening already has a minimal seam allowance (0.7cm or ¼").

Grading for different sizes and different fabrics is relatively easy on this skirt style.  I have indicated a larger than usual grade increment of 8cm (3 ¼") between sizes (4cm or 1 ⅝" on this half pattern).  The simple shape of this skirt gives it some flexibility in fit.  When looser in fit it sits lower on the waist and as the fit gets tighter the skirt simply sits higher on the waist.  This flexibility is enhanced when this skirt is cut in a stretch fabric.  Thinking Merino Ponti as a fab winter skirt.


The photo series below added 09.09.14.  Detail for the construction of the zip and seam.  :)  Sew skirt and drape seam allowance together first, for each side of the seam, before inserting zipper.


Hoping you all enjoy the experience of a self-drafted style.  We would love to see the variations you sew together.  Comment below if you would like to showcase your efforts here or if you have any questions. 
Enjoy :)

MAKERS

24 comments:

  1. I have just found your site. Fabulous! I so want to make this skirt. As you say, this would be a wonderful winter skirt in wool.
    -sewingelle

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    1. Hi Sewingelle, thanks for dropping by. Already following you. Love the yellow skirt. :) If you make it we would love to see it. Let us know if you have any questions.

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  2. Wonderful skirt, and agree perfect winter skirt. Just love your material.

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    1. Thanks. I have a weakness for the wonderful colours they have in the african wax prints. So suits our climate here. We would love to see your wool skirt when it's made. :)

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  3. i have one skirt like this for a long time and another which is similar. i can never believe how comfortable they are...... and now i think i will run up another as i have a length of tweed that is to much for a skirt and to little for anything else

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    1. Hi Eimear, thx so much for commenting. Now I have found and followed you on your new blog and added you to my google circles. Love the post about the retro wrap and your colour choices are amazing. Hope you don't mind if I share it on FB. :) Good luck with the skirt and let me know if you have any questions.

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  4. A great alternative for using a woven fabric. I'll give it a try. And thanks for the link :)

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    1. Hi Rhonda. Thx for dropping by. It looks like there is no limit to the number of things you can do with rectangles. :) Look forward to seeing your skirt.

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  5. What a fantastic pattern! I love rectangular skirts. It affords one the ability to play with striped patterns on the fabric. It reminds me a bit of Vogue 2762 (View C, from 20-3) which I have in my stash. I made a wool flannel skirt from it and it draped very well!

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    1. Hi Lovenicky. I agree and I think border print would also work really well. How are your projects going?

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  6. I have just found your site, wonderful. Thank you Ann

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    1. Hi Ann, thanks for dropping by our blog. If you like the #PatternPuzzles please join us on Saturday morning on our FB page for the question and answer style conversation. :) Look forward to seeing you there. The link is at the top right side of this page, just under the link to our website.

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  7. Replies
    1. Hi Natasha, thx for dropping by. And thx for sharing my work on your google page. :)

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  8. I'm having trouble getting my head round the construction. Does the zip have both sides of the dart sewn to it?

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    1. Hi Gabrielle. Yes, the zip is located in the dart, if that makes sense. It's one of those sewing moves that only becomes clear when you are on the machine ready to sew. I will try and take a photo of my skirt that shows what I mean. Will include in post above. :)

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  9. Thanks for the clarification. So there are two layers of fabric caught in each side of the zip, with the rest of the seam extending from the bottom.

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    1. Yes two layers caught each side. However I stop the seam before the bottom as marked on the pattern. :) photos on the way!

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  10. Thanks again, the photos are great.

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    1. So you have lined the fabric? The zip and the dart still confuse me. Why not a nice blind zipper in the fold of the fabric...

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    2. Hi MultiVroon, thanks for dropping by. :) It is an invisible zip and it's sewn into the dart space between the skirt and the drape. Have a close look at the last set of photos; you can see the zip open and closed. When I first made this skirt I was also confused about the zip until I actually had to sew it. Then it immediately makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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  11. Hi, what a wonderful place you have here! I would love to connect on facebook, as I see you have mentioned it in your comments. Regards Li Li

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    1. Hi Li Li, thx for dropping by. :) The link to our FB page is at the top right of this blog (or search studiofaro). I found your google page. Do you have a FB page?

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