01 July 2013

Pattern Puzzle - Ruche Skirt with Fishtail

The strangest shape was posted for our Pattern Puzzle last Saturday.  I then spent the rest of the day playing like mad with Adobe Illustrator and have broken the pattern making process down into each individual step.  Hopefully in the next week or so you will see this posted on the website as a pdf download instructions.

Starting with the sketch: This is a idea from my Sketchbook from at least 3-4 years ago.  I believe I found it in a forecast magazine of that time (Textile View).  The design is elegant but may have some inherent problems to be dealt with in the first toile/prototype.  

Fabric choice will be crucial as the ruching suggests much of this skirt will be cut on the bias and there may be a little tension between the ruching around the thighs and the flare I have drawn into the hem.  I am also concerned that the gathered hip yoke could be puffy if not sewn well.  I would probably work with a light weight, finely woven wool suiting as I know from experience that it behaves well on the bias.  This skirt style is typical of the patterns we make in the Draped Skirts workshop running in early October 2013.

Below is the pattern plan marking all the relevant adaptations and changes required to achieve this style.  If you have a skirt block you know and trust, now is the time to try out this adventurous style.  You can get the instructions to drafting your own Skirt Block and Pencil Skirt on our website.

Set out below are the final pattern pieces (not including lining) for this style.  A quick toile in calico will test my skills and hopefully answer my earlier questions. 

These Pattern Puzzles are set as inspiring and challenging ideas.  No guarantee until we have tested and perfected the pattern.  

Keep your eyes peeled for the worksheets I am making from this new idea. 
Enjoy :)


  1. what a beautiful skirt! I will have to try this! I really enjoy your pattern puzzles on Facebook.

  2. Hi Karen. Thanks so much for the compliment. I will be posting more on this skirt pattern over the coming weeks so why not join the blog for all the detail. Enjoy! :)

  3. I love this skirt with the fishtail. I'll have to try this too!

  4. Hi Lovenicky. Sounds like you will be busy! Do you have a good skirt block for your pattern making?

    1. I think I have a paneled straight skirt pattern (centre front panel, 2 side fronts, 2 back panel and 2 side backs) that I can tweak to emulate this look. Your blog has really inspired me to more design changes to the my basic sewing patterns.

    2. Sounds like that might work if you are able to get the correct placement for the darts. I do have a worksheet for sale on my website that gives step-by-step instructions for a basic skirt draft (not too expensive) and instructions for a Pencil Skirt pattern. http://www.studiofaro.com/resources-and-downloads/pattern-making-worksheets-downloads