Lesson 3, Pencil Skirt: Drafting Your Back Pattern Piece

I hope if you are following along everything is going great and if you are just reading I will be posting a link to this tutorial on my side bar in case you should ever decide to make your own pencil skirt pattern in the future.
Drafting back pattern piece:
  1. Fold your paper in half. Mark your waist line a couple inches down from the top edge on the fold.  Measure down from the waist mark your hipline width measurement that you figured out in lesson 1. Draw your hipline quarter width line across the fold. Mark the edge.
  2. From your hipline edge you drew, draw square a straight line up and down to establish your side seam.
  3. Now where you made a mark for your waist draw a straight line across for your waist line. We will adjust that part after we draw your darts.
  4. 3 1/2 inches from your waist line fold, make a mark for your first dart. You have to figure out your dart width from the chart in lesson 1. My waist hip difference is 8 inches so I will have 2 back darts, each 7/8 inches wide. After you have marked your first dart with parallel lines, measure over toward your side seam 1 1/4 inches and mark your second dart. Remember if your waist hip difference is 7 inches or less, you will only have one dart. Draw a straight line directly down the middle of each of your darts and use your ruler to taper to the dart point like in the picture.
  5. Measure your waist, skipping the darts till you have your quarter waist measurement you figured out in lesson 1. Mark your waist and side seam intersection.
  6. From that spot you just marked square up 1/2 inch. This will create your waist curve. You did this for your front piece too, remember?
  7. Draw your hip curve freehand or with your hip curve ruler.
  8. Mark your hemline by measuring your skirt from top waist fold. Mark a straight line across for your hem.
  9. Open up your skirt on the fold to draw seam allowances and the kick pleat. At the hem and side seam intersections on the front and back pieces you have to measure up 1/2 inch and draw a little curve. I ‘m sorry I forgot to mention this in lesson 2 but you can go back and adjust that now. Can you guess why we have to do that? Because we raised up our waistline 1/2 inch so we will get a little droop at the hem if we don’t raise the hem in that spot too.
  10. For seam allowances add 1 inch at sides , center back and the hem. Add 1/2 inch at the waist .
  11. For your kick pleat mark up about 8 inches at the center back seam hem intersection. Square out an extra 1 inch for your kick pleat.
  12. Mark down  9 inches from your center back seam waistline to make a notch for your zipper.
  13. Done! Any questions? Next lesson we will be sewing up our skirts.

For your skirt you will need about a yard of fabric, some bias tape for the waistline, and a 9 inch zipper.


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  1. says

    Great sew along, i shoule be joining too after am done with all other engagement next week. BTW I am the 300th follower of your blog. Great blog you have

  2. Mongs says

    wow this is so good, thanks for your patience and effort in sharing this with us, I’ve got to book mark this! I’ve yet to try sewing from a pattern. I guess I’m just so lazy.


  3. says

    I’m a little confused about drawing the kick pleat and unfolding it 🙁 Do you cut into the folded side to make the pleat? Does this make any sense?


  4. says

    I don’t understand the zipper notch – how wide should it be? I’m really wary of zippers and this will be my first clothing project to include one.

    • Justine of SewCountryChick says

      Hi Melinda, The zipper should start about 7 inches below the waistline.

  5. Anonymous says

    Thanks for this tutorial. I have drafted both front and back blocks and will sew them up tomorrow!! Can’t wait. One question though, what is the length of the back darts please??? Currently I’ve made them the same length as the front ones. Thanks, Sharon

  6. Sharon says

    Hi, thanks for your tutorial. I’ve drafted both the front and back and will sew them up tomorrow. Can’t Wait!!! Quick Question – what is the length of the back darts? I’ve currently made them the same as the front (3.5″ from memory)….do the back ones need to be longer?

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