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A one dart skirt to a two dart skirt

birdlady1 | Posted in Patterns on


I have to do my final project skirt for class which needs to be done in two weeks.  So I got up earlier to try and start it.  I don’t want to leave it two long because I cannot afford to wait too long. 

I have decided on a design.  We all bought a pattern from school so that you can use it to create our own size pattern.  It has the grading from size 4 to 18.  I saw a girl with a skirt which reminds me of a vintage skirt.  It had four small pleats (knife pleats) in the back with a placket above the pleats.  I want to make a v yoke in the front with three buttons coming down the front of the yoke on each side (going down towards the v point).  I am sorry I cannot draw a picture to show .  I also want to put two buttons on opposite sides of the placket in back.  The problem I am having is that the pattern we bought only has one dart in the front and back.  I want to create two darts for the front and back.  I was wondering if I can get away with using a one dart to create this style?  If not, I measured from the front skirt from the 16 grade to the first dart line, 5 1/4″.  I then measured from the other dart line to the centre front line 4 3/4″.  On the back skirt, I measured from the 16 size line to the first dart line 4 1/4″ and from the second dart line to the centre back 16 size line 4 1/2.  I am not sure how to create the two darts from that..  Can anyone help me with this?

I have tried looking in Armstrong’s book but have not come across this problem.

Thanks for any input you can come up with. 




  1. sewslow67 | | #1

    I have frequently changed from one dart (either front or back, or both) to two darts.  Here is how I did it:  I traced the one dart on a piece of tissue paper.  Then I measure it every 1/2-inch or so, from top to bottom and made a new dart in the same proportions, but half the size.  You want to make sure the shape is about the same as the original one. 

    I then place the new dart on one side, and then the other side of the original dart and, using pattern transfer paper, marked it on my pattern.  Before cutting my fashion fabric, I paper-fit my pattern to my body.  If it fit, I continued with my project.  There have been times when I had to repeat the procedure a few times before getting that "perfect" fit, but most of the time the first try worked great.

    I hope this helps and that it works for you.  Good luck with your project.  Your design sounds like it will be lovely. 

    1. birdlady1 | | #2


      Thank you for your quick response.  I hope the project design and how it turns out is okay.  I really do not feel like repeating this course again. 

      With respect to my skirt design, I did not turn the girl's pleats upside down to see how they were  (kick pleats or inverted pleats).  I know it is hard to visualize, but do you think that the pleats would look better as 4 kick pleats with the placket above it with two buttons on opposite sides or 4 inverted pleats with the placket, etc.?  I am not that experienced with designing skirts so I am not too sure what would look better.  I did not want to ask the lady if I could turn the skirt up a bit to review even though she works in my office.


      1. sewslow67 | | #3

        Actually, the inverted pleats might look prettier.  I think it might depend on your fabric, and you might try a couple out on a scrap to see which ones lay better after they are stitched at the top and pressed.  I think some fabrics work better one way and some the other.  Just a thought.

        As for your office mate;  I suspect she wouldn't mind if you asked her if she would "consider" showing you how the pleats worked on her skirt.  She might even bring the skirt in on a day she's not wearing it, and let you take a look.  I know that, if you had asked me, I would be more than happy to do that for you ...even if we had never met.  I think most of us enjoy helping others when we can, and maybe it would make her day if you asked her.

        1. birdlady1 | | #4


          I traced the kick pleats on the tissue paper and then took a piece of white paper and marked the lines and folded them.  It looked pretty good.  I am just wondering how I can do 4 inverted pleats.  How would I outline the lines?  Is there any page on Armstrong's book where I can see a picture of it.  The source I am using right now is on page 277-281 of the 4th edition.  When I was in the class before I did a A-lined skirt with one kick pleat (page 278, figure 1a).  How can I do a 4 inverted pleats with a placket on top?


          1. sewslow67 | | #5

            I don't have Armstrong's book, so I will look in several of the books that I have that might show this kind of example.  I've got get back outside for now though (I'm painting the house and want to get the one side done before the sun hits it.)

            I'll write more later ...probably later this afternoon, after I have a chance to check a few things out.  I'll think about your challenge while up on the ladder ...maybe the fresh air will set off something creative.  giggle

          2. sewslow67 | | #6

            I've been thinking about your pleats: It seems to me that an odd number would be more pleasing to the eye than an even number.  How about trying three pleats/  I think you could actually do three pleats quite nicely, depending on the size.

            If you still want to do kick pleats, you might try doing the center pleat in a inverted pleat, with two kick pleats on each side ...each side going the opposite direction than the other.  I don't know if I'm explaining this right, but it would be like doing two kick pleats on each side of the middle, with creases on one side facing left and the creases of the pleats on the other side facing right.  Does that sound understandable?

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