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How to Draw up a Basic Skirt Pattern to Your Own Measurements

Updated on April 21, 2016

To be able to make your own patterns give you the freedom to make any design you like, instead of being totally dependent on the commercial patterns available and even if you want to use commercial patterns it gives you the knowledge to combine or reconstruct patterns any way you want.

This pattern will be the basic pattern from which we will work from in follow-up hubs, where we will manipulate this basic pattern into different styles.

After drawing up this pattern, copy it onto cardboard - it will last longer like that. Make a hole near to one edge, thread a longish string through it and thus you can hang it up on a hanger in a cupboard and so keep it safe.

List of What You Will Need

- A 1.5m long ruler or yardstick (OPTIONAL - although it will make drawing the longer lines a lot easier and more true to their measurement)

- A normal 30 cm ruler

- 2 different color sharp pencils (OPTIONAL - makes it easier to differentiate)

- Rubber eraser

- Pattern paper ( At least 1.5 cm wide and 1m long) Buy them over the internet or ask your local newspaper for remnant rolls.

- French curve (optional)

I prefer to use pattern paper because it has the necessary width and continues length that is needed for patterns. You can use old newspaper but you will first have to stick a few pieces together to get a big enough piece.

Figure 1
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 5
Figure 6
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Figure 7
Figure 7
Figure 8
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Figure 9
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Figure 10
Figure 10
Figure 11
Figure 11
Figure 12
Figure 12

Measurements Required



Waist to Hip:

Waist to Knee:


1. Make a small dot in the bottom left corner about 5cm in from the corner and mark it 1.

2. Square down and across from 1 with your long ruler more or less 2/3ds of the paper. (FIG. 1)

3. Markers 1-2 = (hip measurement รท 2) + 1.5cm, square down; this line is the centre front line of the skirt. (FIG. 2)

4. Markers 1-3 = waist-to-knee measurement (for the skirt length), square across to 4 on the center front line. (FIG. 2)

5. Markers 1-5 = Use the hip-to-waist measurement and then square across to 6 on the center front line. (FIG. 3)


6. Markers 5-7 = Use the quarter of the hip measurement plus 1.5cm for ease, then square down to 8 on the hem line. (Fig. 4)

7. Markers 1-9 = Use the quarter waist measurement plus 4.25cm. (Fig. 4)

8. Markers 9-10 = 1.25cm; join 10 to points 1 and 7 with dotted lines. (Fig. 4)

Divide the line 1-10 into three equal parts and mark the points 11 and 12. (Fig. 5)

Using the line 1-10 and square down from points 11 and 12 with dotted lines. (Fig. 5)

9. Markers 11-13 = Measure 14cm on the dotted line and make a mark 13. (Fig. 6)

10. Markers 12-14 = Measure 12.5cm on the dotted line and make a mark 14. (Fig. 7)

11. Construct the darts by making a mark 1cm on either side of 11 and 12 and then connect those marks with the marks made at points 13 and 14. (Fig. 6)

12. Draw in the waistline with a slight curve. (Fig. 7)

13. Draw in the side seam and curve it 0.5cm to the outside to 7. (Fig. 7 & 8)


14. Markers 2-15 = Take quarter of waist measurement and add 2.25cm to it. Make a mark. (Fig. 9)

15. Markers 15-16 = Measure 1.25cm and make a mark (16) and then join 16 to points 2 and 7 with dotted lines. (Fig. 9)

16. Markers 16-17 = take one third of the measurement of the distance between 2 and 16 and make a mark. (Fig. 10)

17. Square down from 17 with a dotted line and measure 10cm on that line and mark it 18 (17-18). (Fig. 10)

18. Make a mark 1cm on each side of 17 and connect those lines with the mark at 18. (Fig. 11)

19. Draw in the waistline with a slight curve. (Fig. 11)

20. Draw in the side seam curving it outwards 0.5cm to 7. (Fig. 11)


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    • profile image

      Andrea 2 years ago

      Great article.please how to i make this in a quarter scale measurement.

      Thank you

    • Anne Scullard profile image

      Anna-Mart 5 years ago from South Africa

      hi there long time no see! thanks for the complement!

    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 5 years ago from hub

      Great outline on how to make your own skirt pattern:) Coming from a pro! Thanks:) Simple is always good!