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How-to

Vionnet-Inspired Skirt: Plan Your Own with a Worksheet

Use our worksheet to record a few measurements and create a designer circle skirt
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Design a Vionnet-inspired maxi skirt and use our worksheet to record your measurements.

Legendary couturiere Madeleine Vionnet (1876–1975) has been called “the queen of the bias cut.” She designed glamorous garments that gracefully followed the lines of the body. No other designer has emulated her success with bias-cut garments, like the Vionnet-inspired skirt shown.

This maxi skirt is based on the skirt of a 1937 evening gown by the designer. It is no ordinary circle skirt. It is made up of several geometric pattern pieces, including a two-piece yoke that consists of one and a quarter circles.

The complete design, as well as the construction sequence for creating the flowing skirt, are explained in  “Grainlines in Concert” by Emily Magli, a featured article in Threads #214, Summer 2021. Emily is a sewing instructor specializing in couture techniques at Textile Fabrics in Nashville, Tennessee.

Design it yourself

To draft your own version of this skirt, you’ll need a few supplies:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pattern tracing or drafting paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

The Vionnet skirt worksheet, attached below, lists the three measurements you must take in order to plan the skirt.

Measure around your waist, then from your waist to your preferred hip-yoke depth, and finally, measure from your waist to the floor for a maxi skirt, or to your preferred skirt length. Record the measurements on the worksheet, then follow  Emily’s instructions in the article and on the worksheet to design the five simple pattern pieces that form the Vionnet-inspired skirt.

The worksheet also has places to note the results of a few calculations to plan the skirt pieces, so you can reference the dimensions as you draft those pattern pieces.

Vionnet masterfully combined her knowledge of math, science, and art to create a skirt that embodied her ideals as a designer. It is achievable for any home sewer willing to make a few calculations. You, too, can design like Vionnet.

Learn more about the queen of the bias cut

Discover these additional Threads articles about Madeleine Vionnet:

Quick to Make: 1920s Panel Dress

Vionnet in Miniature

Vionnet: The Greatest Dressmaker

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