The A-Line Skirt draft


Before getting into the actual drafting of the skirt pattern and the other patterns to come, it is important that one has at least a basic knowledge of English Language and Maths and is familiar with the basic tools, equipment, and the measurements that are required for drafting patterns and sewing.

 Basic Tools


Measurement Tape

Ruler 6” or 12”





Fashion Ruler or Hip Curve Ruler

Yard Stick

Tracing Wheel

Tailor’s Square or Plastic Triangle

The Measurement Chart

 NAME                                                              TELEPHONE#

BUST                                                                         WAIST

NECK                                                                         HIPS

SHOULDER LENGHT                                               HIP LENGHT

BACK NECK – WAIST                                               WAIST – KNEE

BACK  NECK – FLOOR                                              WAIST – FLOOR

BACK WIDTH                                                           SKIRT LENGHT













These tutorials are being given as a result of years of a request from my former students and the general public to resume teaching and the constant pressure of being reminded that knowledge should be shared and not taken to the grave.

The tutorials are structured in the simplest form and target the novice, seamstresses, tailors, designers, and as an additional research source for schools that are preparing for CXC exams or anyone that is just interested in knowing about garments and how they are constructed.

Along the way, I will dismiss some of the myths that some people have regarding garment making and I will also allude to some of the trade secrets within the garment industry. The areas that I will address throughout the tutorials are as follows, all areas of garment making pattern making, grading, quality control, types of equipment and accessories, costing, manufacturing, fabric, and cutting.

Last but not least, I will reply to as many of your request for information on any of the topics depending on the quantity, but please bare in mind that it takes time to prepare the various articles and that I still have a life of my own as much as I want to share my knowledge with all of you and that it is all voluntary.

It is important that you know or realize that everybody falls into a particular size category according to their body measurements. Although people come in all types of shapes and heights, they still fall into a particular size. Let me clarify at this point that garment making falls into two categories, mass production or custom made. Mass production is where garments are produced in a factory setting and manufactured in bulk, all produced in the same size and needs some form of alterations for some of the purchasers, depending on their shape.

Custom made is where a garment is made specifically for an individual using their personal body measurements and the customer usually have one or two fittings.

I will start the tutorials off with the A-line skirt, which is commonly referred to as the fitted skirt and is the simplest of all the patterns drafts to draft. First, you would need to have the actual body measurements of the person’s waist, hips, hip length, and skirt length. Note that pattern ease is added to the draft when drafting, and style ease and seam allowances are added to the final pattern draft in which I will explain throughout the drafting of the patterns. Well, let us get started.


Waist                               28 Inches

Hip                                  40 Inches

Hip Length                     7 3/4 Inches

Skirt Length                   24 Inches




What people refer to as the basic skirt is the A- Line Skirt which is also referred to as the fitted or straight skirt in some circles. Please note that all skirts designs derive from the A- Line Skirt in the world of fashion.  In order to draft the skirt pattern, you will need to take the following measurements, waist, hip, hip length and the skirt length. For the drafting of the skirt for this exercise, the following measurements will be used as a guide to arrive at a final pattern.

Waist                             28 inches

Hip                                 40 inches

Hip Length                    7 ½ inches

Skirt Length                  24 inches

  Let’s get started, but before let me simplify further why I said that the skirt is the easiest of the patterns to draft. The A- line skirt is made up of three panels, a front panel, and two back panels. When drafting patterns, the front and back patterns are drafted separately using the actual body measurements. The style ease, seam allowances, and hem allowance are added to the final pattern draft. (Note that pattern ease and style ease are two separate allowances that serve two different important purposes in the drafting of patterns).

Please note that in this particular skirt draft that I have included in the draft all seams and allowances to the pattern to simplify for those who do not want to go through all the hustle of drafting multiple patterns. Normally patterns are drafted without seam and allowances and they are added to the final draft. This method of adding seam and allowances directly to the pattern during the drafting is not possible when it comes to drafting complex designs and can only be done on the final draft.



 With your tailor square, square back and down.

A is the starting point.

1 from A = the hip length 7 ¼”

2 from A = the skirt length 24” plus 2 1/4 inches (waist seam and hem allowance) = (26 ¼”),

square back from points I and 2.

3 from 1 = half of the hip measurement (10”) plus 1 1/4” (1/2” style ease and ¾”

seam allowance = (11 ¼”).

4 from 2 = the same distance as 3 to 4. Connect 4 to 3 and continue to 5.

5                Falls on the waistline.

6 from A = half back waist 7” plus ½” = 7 ½” (Compensation for side seams to fall at the sides

and not forward). Square up to 7.

7 from 6 = ¾” (½” to accommodate curve at hipline to waist and ¼” seam allowance at

waistline). Shape waistline 7 to A with curve stick.

8 from 3 = 3/4″ (3/4” added to waist line).

9 from 4 = 3/4”.

10              = the middle of 2 and 4, shape 9 to 10 with curve stick.


11 from 3 = half of the front hip measurement (10”) plus ½” (pattern ease for hip) = (10 1/2”),

plus 1 ¼” (1/2” style ease and ¾” seam allowance), plus 5/8”center back seam allowance = (12 3/8”).

12 fall on line 2.

13 fall on line A. Connect 12 to 11.

14 from 13 = half of the back waist 7 minus ½” (represent ½ added to the front waist) = (6 ½)” 15 from 14 = dart allowance (1 ¼”).

16 from 15 equal ¾’ (seam and back length allowance).  Square up to 17.

17 from 8 is the same distance as 7 to 8 and shape hip line 7 to 8 with curve stick.

18 from 13 = The same 16 to 17. Connect 18 to 17

19 from 18 = half of the back waist measurement (3 ¼”). Square down from point 19 to 20.

20 fall on the hip line. Shorten dart 2” from the hip line.

21 from 19 = ½ of the dart allowance (5/8”)

20 from 21 = the full dart allowance (1 ¼”)

23 equal the middle of 12 and 4. Shape 23 to point 9 with curve stick.




Please note that this skirt was drafted with seam and hem allowances and the standard pattern ease as required for a fitted garment. Ease is added to a garment according to the style of the garment.

Seam allowance: Side seam 3/4″. Back seam 5/8″ and waist line 1/4″.

Ease allowance 2″.

Hem allowance 2″.

The back dart is shortened 2″ from the hip line

Cutting lines are the style lines. Shape bottom side seam out or in for personal preference in shape.

Back splits lengths are usually 5″, 7″ or 9″ according to the length of the shirt or personal preference.



2 comments on “The A-Line Skirt draft”

  1. Reply

    Thank you for this post, I ve just blogged about the skirt I made from it. All other A-line skirt tutorials sounded so confusing, but I made your one in no time at allwww.

    • Wayne Cadogan Reply

      I am happy that you found my tutorial simple to understand. I have been hard press for time recently, but do look forward in the near future for other tutorials on other topics.

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