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Straight skirt to A-line conversion
With 6 darts (2 in front, 4 in back)
cimmanon
cimmanon
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Date: 7/20/13 1:25 PM

I've recently finished my first straight skirt and now I'm looking to convert my pattern to an A-line. Most guides use either 4 or 8 darts, but I have 6. The darts are all roughly the same width, I just found that with a full abdomen, only 1 dart was necessary in the front. Looking at the facing pieces, the back facing is significantly more curved than the front.

My plan was to only remove the front darts and the outer darts on the back, and keep the inner darts in the back. If I do this, should I move the remaining darts to the center? From the center back seam to the side seam, my waistline measures 6 1/4", and the inner dart is 2 5/8" from the center seam (3 5/8" from side seam).

My straight skirt pattern still needs some modifications, but this is what it looks like.
-- Edited on 7/20/13 1:28 PM --

Mole Princess
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Date: 7/20/13 5:10 PM

I think you'll be able to remove the front darts pretty easily because your tummy doesn't really curve in much from a few inches below the waist, to the waist, as many, ahem, do. The front darts you have look to be providing more shaping, and lower down, than you need.

A-line can be accomplished though without changing any darts at all--just flare out at the side seams. Or were you planning on a four-gore skirt w/ a CF and CB seam?

cimmanon
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Date: 7/20/13 8:20 PM

I did try shallower darts in the front, but I have a bit of a hollow spot there (they were actually moved to the outside by about an inch from their original position), so it puffed up underneath the dart point. With the darts the way they are, the side seams have the same shape, making it easy to match stripes/plaids.

Ultimately, I plan on making a 6-gore skirt (3 front and 3 back panels), but I'm trying to use up my stash and I don't have anything suitable for that style of skirt at the moment.

Google found an interesting newspaper article from the 80's recommending moving front darts towards the side seams by 1" to disguise a full tummy.

I think removing the front darts and the one set of darts in the back will give a nicer shape, so my question still stands: should I move the remaining dart to the center?

Mole Princess
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Date: 7/20/13 10:04 PM

You mean have a curved center back seam and no back darts?

I think that whether you have back darts or not is a question of what look you are after. It's certainly possible to drape a skirt back in two pieces that has no darts if you want. But depending on how full your buttocks are you might have to make a flared, rather than just a-line, skirt if you try to get away w/ no back darts at all. (Darting rotated to hem.) Having back darts is completely fine and so you don't need to get rid of them.

Have you considered a princess seam skirt? Very easy to put dart shaping into those seams, and a nice lean look. Also, easy to adjust the amount of flare at the hem in various ways. A yoked skirt might work well also--you can position the yoke where you need the shaping.


-- Edited on 7/20/13 10:04 PM --

Miss Fairchild
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In reply to cimmanon <<


Date: 7/20/13 10:05 PM

What I think you want is an A-line without so much fit at the top and a flare at the bottom, right?

In that case, you rotate the darts to the hemline. Darts are meant to form fit the body, but can be rotated to other areas, such as a hemline, to add fullness, without the visual line of the dart. You place darts where they will need to be used; that is over the curves of your body. They don't need to be at specific increments, or some "standard"; your body is the standard.

To rotate a dart, draw a vertical line starting at the waist edge in the middle of the dart, going through the dart tip and ending at the hem. Slash on this line and close the dart by overlapping the dart lines on each other. This will open up more area where you slashed; this creates the A line.

Here's a tutorial: (scroll down to about the middle of the page) click here
-- Edited on 7/21/13 8:47 AM --

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cimmanon
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In reply to Mole Princess <<


Date: 7/25/13 3:28 PM

Quote:
You mean have a curved center back seam and no back darts?

I think that whether you have back darts or not is a question of what look you are after. It's certainly possible to drape a skirt back in two pieces that has no darts if you want. But depending on how full your buttocks are you might have to make a flared, rather than just a-line, skirt if you try to get away w/ no back darts at all. (Darting rotated to hem.) Having back darts is completely fine and so you don't need to get rid of them.


No, I mean to keep one pair of darts in the back, I'm a little self-conscious about them because they're longer than average. I'm concerned that they'll look odd if I don't shift them to the center of the pattern piece.

I may go with a yoke for the next skirt I plan on making, I think it will work well with the fabric I have for it.

Quote:
What I think you want is an A-line without so much fit at the top and a flare at the bottom, right?


No, that's not my question at all.
-- Edited on 7/25/13 3:30 PM --
-- Edited on 7/25/13 3:31 PM --
-- Edited on 7/25/13 3:31 PM --
Nancy K
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In reply to cimmanon <<


Date: 7/25/13 7:04 PM

You can make it into an a line by rotating the darts to the hemline, or at least one set.

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cimmanon
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In reply to Nancy K <<


Date: 7/26/13 7:16 AM

Quote: Nancy K
You can make it into an a line by rotating the darts to the hemline, or at least one set.

Thank you for not reading my question. I already know how to slash&spread. I'm asking about whether or not it's necessary to reposition the remaining dart on the waistline (either for aesthetic or practical reasons). I also know that I can't remove all of the darts because it would create an unbalanced skirt that's significantly fuller in the back.
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