Cherry Blossom Dress Sewalong Stage 3: Working Out the Skirt Measurements and Cutting Out
Welcome to the 3rd installment of the Cherry Blossom Dress Sewalong!
Hopefully you’ve managed to get your bodice pieces drafted and cut out.
Today we’ll be cutting out the skirt.
The skirt of the Cherry Blossom Dress is a circle, made up of 4 quarter circles. We won’t be making pattern pieces for this as there’s no need. Instead, we’ll be working out the dimensions using a little bit of maths, then we’ll measure it out straight onto the fabric and cut it out.
If you have a rotary cutter you’ll be able to cut all 4 pieces out easily.
If your a scissors person, you’ll still be able to cut them out all together as long as you use plenty of pins :).
Before You Start
You will also need:
A pencil or pen
Calculator (there’s probably one on your phone)
Rotary cutter, cutting mat and pattern weights (optional)
If the idea of the maths scares you a little bit (or a lot!), there’s this that will work it out for you. We have Pauline in Lincolnshire to thank for this as she found it and told me about it 🙂
Working Out the Skirt Measurements
You will need your waist measurement plus 10 cm, and the measurement from your waist to just below your knee.
The skirt of the Cherry Blossom Dress is basically a circle with a chunk out of the middle. It’s a bit like a doughnut.
We’re going to cut 4 quarters of doughnut out of 4 squares of fabric.
At the moment, the measurements you have tell you how wide the doughnut is, and how far it is round the inside of the doughnut.
To work out how big the squares of fabric need to be, and where to cut the hole out of the middle, we need to work out the distance from the inside edge of the doughnut to the centre of the hole. Then we’ll add this to the distance across the doughnut.
To work this out we need to use pi.
Put simply, the distance around the edge of a circle is roughly 3 times the distance across the middle of the circle, passing through the centre. Pi is that number exactly.
So using pi will enable us to work out the distance from the inside edge of the doughnut to the centre of the hole.
On your measurements printable, find your waist measurement plus 10 cm.
Divide it by pi.
Now divide that number by 2.
The reason for this is that we only need to know the distance to the centre, not right across the circle.
Record your answer on your printable.
Now find your waist to knee measurement. Add this answer to it and record it on your printable.
This number tells you how big you need the squares of fabric to be.
Take your waist to knee measurement plus the distance from the inside circle to the centre. Add 5 cm or so. Cut out 4 squares of fabric this size.
For each square, you’ll need to establish which corner is the top.
When sewing the skirt front and back, it will hang better if you have the grain running up and down the centre seam. So when cutting out the skirt 2 pieces, make sure you have 2 with the right side up and 2 with the wrong side up.
From the top corner, measure down one side and mark off the distance from the centre to the inside edge plus your desired skirt length.
Do the same along the other side.
Then measure across the skirt, marking off with pins at regular intervals. Cut along where you have pinned.
Now take the distance from the inside edge to the centre, and measure down and mark off. Do this on the other side too, then measure across with the tape measure and mark off. Cut along where you pinned.
These are your skirt pieces cut out!
The next stage will involve assembling the front and back skirt sections and sewing them to the bodice.