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How to Drape a Skirt

Start with a simple style to learn core design skills

Threads #204, Aug./Sep. 2019
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Draping is a wonderful way to interact with the body’s silhouette and the fabric of your choice. Before you can realize your creative vision, however, you need to know the basics. A straight skirt is a good starting point for working with fabric on a dress form. A straight skirt sloper is the basis not only of other skirts, but also of pants, so you can get even more benefits from this process.
The skills you learn include planning the muslin blocks, molding them to the form, and transferring the draped garment to pattern paper. I call these fundamentals the alphabet of fashion.

I have always seen draping as a poetic expression when used in creating a fashion piece. Practice draping a basic garment to get the feel of working in three dimensions. When you’ve mastered the techniques needed to drape a basic skirt (and a bodice, as I…

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