So you want to start creating your own patterns and clothing but you don’t know where to start? Well I’m here to tell you that drafting your own blocks is by far the best and most basic way to start your pattern cutting journey.

So what exactly is a block?

A block is the starting point of all patterns, a basic foundation to build your patterns from. It is sometimes referred to as “sloper” (although I prefer block) and is based on your basic body measurements.

In this post I’ll be showing you how to draft a skirt block, the simplest of our basic blocks.

The measurements you will need are:

- Waist
- Hip
- Waist to knee

Using the Diagrams below, follow these step by step instructions to create a great fitting block.

Step 1: Create rectangle and mark your hip and side seam

- Make a mark in the top left hand corner of your paper, label this point 1
Square away from point 1 and mark point 2

(1->2 = 1/2 hip+1.5cm)Square down from point 2 and mark point 3 (this is your Centre Front line)

(2->3 = waist to knee)Square down from point 1 and mark point 4 (this is your Centre Back line)

(1->4=2-3)Draw a line connecting points 3 and 4. This is your Hem line.

From point 1 measure down and mark point 5

(1->5= waist to hip)Square across from point 5 towards centre front and call the intersection point 6. This is your hip line.

Measure across from point 5 and mark point 7.

(5->7= hip divided by 4 + 1.5cm)Square down from point 7 towards your hem and call this intersection point 8. This is your hem

*Remember at this point to check that all your corners are square!

Step 2: Draw in your waist, hip curve and darts onto the back piece

Waist:

- Measuring across from point 1, mark point 9

(1->9= waist divided by 4 +4.25) Join point 9 and 7

From point 9 square up 1.25cm and mark point 10

Draw a line from point 1 to point 10

Darts:

- Mark 2 evenly spaced points on line 1->10 (do this by dividing the line by 3) and mark them as point 11 (closest to point 1) and point 12 (closest to point 10)
Square down 14cm from point 11 and mark point 13

Square down 12.5cm from point 12 and mark point 14

Make a point 1cm each side of point 11 and connect both of these new points with point 13 to create your first dart

Repeat this process using point 12 and 14 to create your second dart

Hip Curve:

- Find the midpoint of line 9->7 and square a line towards the centre front measuring 0.5cm
Using the end of this line as a guide to go through, draw a curved line from point 10 to point 7

Step 3: Draw in your waist, hip curve and darts onto the back piece

Waist:

- Measuring from point 2, mark point 15

(2->15= waist divided by 4 +2.25cm) From point 15 square up 1.25cm and mark point 16

Connect point 4 and point 16 with a straight line

Darts:

- Mark 2 evenly spaced points on line 4->16 and label the one closest to point 16 as point 17. This is the only point we use to create a dart on the front
Square down 10cm from point 17 and label point 18

Make a point 1cm each side of point 17 connect these to point 18 to create your dart.

Draw in line 7-15

Hip Curve:

- At the mid point of line 7->15 square a line towards the centre back measuring 0.5cm
Using the end of this line as a guide, draw a curved line connecting point 7 and 16

And that’s it for the drafting part, well done!

Now all you need to do is trace this off (aways keep this draft as a master copy), pop some seam allowances on and mock up a toile to check the fit…good luck!

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