Swing is Back! Time to jump, jive and shout.
You will need that soft fabric swing skirt if you want to be a hep cat on the hardwood.
Chapter 8 discusses your advantage in the fitting department because you sew! Here we will design a simple skirt and then turn it into the swing. You've probably worn it for years as it is a classic style and flattering to most figures. With the return of big band music, you need one of these so you can cut a run in style!

Start with your measurements (bottom half). Wearing the undergarments you would wear under your skirt, hose, panties, etc. Stand and breath normally. Take your natural waistline measurement - don't suck in your gut or your skirt will not lay correctly. Now, take your hip measurement. Accurately taken, this will allow proper room for the natural curves around your hips. If one is slightly higher than the other, use the higher measurement overall.

Determine the Stance by tying elastic at your waist and at your fullest hip level. The hip elastic is level, parallel with the floor. The waist elastic may curve up or down the same as your waist. Many of us have a tummy that pushes up the front waistline. Or perhaps a bit swayback, this dips the waistline down in back. By measuring the distance between the two lines on the sides, center front and center back, you will know exactly how to choose/draw your basic skirt pattern.

measuring below the waist

simple skirt pattern
Choose a straight cut pattern in your proper size now that you have accurately measured. Patterns don't always fit perfectly as you well know. I always lay out the pattern on tracing paper and trace around, incorporating the proper size changes in the tracing process. Now you have a pattern that fits you perfectly you can reuse for any style. From this traced pattern, you will trace other patterns incorporating your changes.

Cut this out of inexpensive test fabric, construct, put on and it will hang beautifully - you cannot go wrong. Ease is built in and amounts to 1/2" at the waist and 2" in the hips.
Change the style of that pattern by breaking it up into panels. The panel line in this demonstration is located at the dart. Directly on the fabric you will be using draw the center panel with a chalk pencil. Trace around the top from center front to first dart leg. Mark the dart point and then mark in the little holes that form the panel line. Trace where your lower hemline will be. Add seams and a hem while following the dots.

Repeat for side front panel on the fabric. In doing this you eliminate the dart, but the fitted seam joining will curve on your body the same way. If you would rather do this on paper, simply trace the your pattern when it is the correct size. Add seams and hem, trace and cut out the new paper pattern. Mark the panel line on your paper. Cut it apart on that line into the center front and side font panels and when you pin it to your fabric mark the joining seam allowances before cutting out.
panel lines and dart
Finally! We are ready to make style changes now. To these panels you add flare for a full swing. Mark at the hemline how much extra is wanted. Draw a straight line from dart point to new point at hem. There lies your new pattern, now get to work! a-line skirt
This is a trumpet skirt, below mid-calf. The long skirt is made first in paper and then cut in two at the panel line. Flare is added just at the lower part. Just above the knees to hemline. Could it be any more simple? Not possible. tulip skirt

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