Doris skirt - full seat adjustment

May 16, 2019 1 Comment

Who knew women have curves? Okay, you can laugh, because that’s like super obvious. But in my defence, after designing kids wear for so long, it still catches me by surprise! With the challenges of the Dia sweater and the Full Bust Adjustment instructions fresh in my mind, I came fully prepared to test my new women’s pattern, the high waisted Doris skirt! With the help of 43 amazing pattern testers - all with very different body types - I worked on getting the base fit and size blending instructions just right to ensure the best possible fit.

In most cases, even the testers with more challenging curves, got away with a perfect fitting skirt by following those blending instructions. But why do others still end up with some annoying, but very common fitting issues? A lot of these common fitting issues can be caused by a mismatch between your personal proportions and the way the width is divided over the pattern. In this blogpost we’re going to focus on fitting issues caused by a protruding or full butt and it’s solution: the full seat (butt) adjustment (FSA).

By performing an FSA, you will add volume to the hip measurement at the back and length to the centre back, creating a better fitting pattern.

How do I know if I need a full seat adjustment?

Some signs and fitting issues that could indicate the need for an FSA:

  • Your hip measurement (around the fullest part of your butt, not around your hip bone) falls into a larger size category than your waist measurement.
  • You have a full, muscular, juicy booty :)
  • Store bought fitted skirts that fit well around your butt are too big at the waist
  • Fitted skirts that do fit your waist tend to be on the snug side around your butt, and as a result they ride up and/or pool at the small of your back.
  • Diagonal wrinkles going from the side to the butt.
  • Outward flare of the hem.

First Doris sample by Ashley: the diagonal wrinkles and outward flaring hem at the front are clear signs that an FSA is needed.

 

First Doris sample by Anouck: there's a slight tightness visible at the back around the butt.

 

Most of us women fall in different pattern sizes for our waist and hips. And just because you have one or multiple size difference between your waist and hips, doesn’t always mean you need to do an FSA. During testing, most women with a 1-2 size difference between the waist and hips, ended up with a great fitting skirt by just following the size blending instructions. So if you have a 1-2 size difference, I advise to first give size blending a go.

But if these fitting issues already sound familiar to you or they appear in your first muslin, I’d advise to do an FSA. In any case, always start by making a muslin before cutting into your pretty fabric!
Let’s dive in!
 

CALCULATE

When doing an FSA, you will start off with the pattern size based on your waist measurement. This will be your pattern size starting point. You’ll need to calculate the difference between the hip width of your pattern size starting point and your personal hip width.

Example:

Your waist measurement = 76 cm, which corresponds to pattern size DD, making size DD your pattern size starting point.
Hip measurement of pattern size DD = 100 cm
Your hip measurement = 109 cm
Difference between pattern size DD hip and your hip measurement = 9 cm

 

Based on the amount you need to add through your FSA, you either need to add 1 or 2 darts.

SCENARIO 1 - Less than 5cm difference  - ONE DART
When the difference between the hip width of your pattern size starting point and your personal hip width is less than 5cm (2”) - Start with the pattern size based on your waist measurement and create 1 dart in the back pattern piece.

Calculation example:
Your waist measurement = 72 cm = pattern size CC = pattern size starting point.
Hip measurement of pattern size CC = 96 cm
Your hip measurement = 100 cm
Difference between pattern size DD hip and your hip measurement = 4 cm
You have to increase the back pattern by 2 cm over 1 dart. (which then doubles as you cut 2 back pieces)


SCENARIO 2 - More than 5cm difference - TWO DARTS
When the difference between the hip width of your pattern size starting point and your personal hip width is more than 5cm (2”) - Start with the pattern size based on your waist measurement and create 2 darts in the back pattern piece.

Calculation example:
Your waist measurement = 76 cm = pattern size DD= pattern size starting point.
Hip measurement of pattern size DD = 100 cm
Your hip measurement = 109 cm
Difference between pattern size DD hip and your hip measurement = 9 cm

You have to increase the back pattern by 4,5 cm over 2 darts. (which then doubles as you cut 2 back pieces)

PRINT AND PREP

Print out and trace the back pattern piece in your pattern size starting point.  Make sure to transfer the size blending line (green line). Mark out the side seam allowance - 1cm for the side seams and 2,5cm for the hem (blue line). From here continue on creating one dart or two darts.

 

DRAFT

One dartDivide the waistline in 2 equal parts. Square down. Draw 2 little circles where the line crosses the hem allowance and the side seam allowance - these are your pivot points.

Two darts | Divide the waistline in 3 equal parts. Square down. Draw 3 little circles where the line crosses the hem allowance and the side seam allowance - these are your pivot points.

 

CUT


One dart | Cut down the vertical line from the waist line to your hem pivot point and into the hem allowance towards the pivot point. Cut horizontally from the centre back and out to the side seam pivot point, and cut from the edge of the side seam to the pivot point. Add numbers to the 4 parts of the back pattern.

Two darts | Cut down the vertical lines from the waist line to your hem pivot points and into the hem allowance towards the pivot points. Cut horizontally from the centre back and out to the side seam pivot point, and cut from the edge of the side seam to the pivot point. Add numbers to the 6 parts of the back pattern.

 

SPREAD

Put a piece of paper underneath your skirt back pattern. In the next few steps we’re going to spread the pattern to create that added space you need in the butt area.

STEP 1
One dart | Tape part 4 down. Using the hem pivot point, spread part 3 out the amount you need to add. Tape in place. Move part 2 up the same amount you added in the width. Make sure the center back seam stays aligned. Tape in place. Draw a horizontal line going out from the bottom of part 2.

Two dartsTape part 6 down. Using the hem pivot point, spread part 5 out the amount you need to add for dart 1. Tape part 5 in place. Move part 3 up the same amount you added in the width. Make sure the center back seam stays aligned. Tape in place. Draw a horizontal line out from the bottom of part 3

 

STEP 2
One dart | Using the side seam pivot point, spread part 1 out to match the line coming out from part 2. Tape everything down.

Two dartsUsing the side seam pivot point, spread part 1 & 2 out together to match the horizontal line of part 3. Tape part 2 temporarily in place. 

 

 

STEP 3 - only for two darts version

Using the hem pivot point, spread part 4 out the amount you need to add for dart 2. Tape part 4 in place. Draw a horizontal line out from the bottom of part 2. Using the side seam pivot point, spread part 1 out to match the line coming out from part 2.

Draw a line between the bottom right corner of part 2 to the bottom left corner of part 3 (green line). Remove the temporary tape securing part 2 and line up the bottom of part 2 with the line. Tape everything down.

 

DARTS

 

STEP 1
Draw a horizontal guide line coming from the bottom of part 2 or 3 (purple line).
From the blue seam allowance line, draw horizontal lines coming from the left side of the splits (green lines). Where the green line meets the sides of the splits, draw vertical lines upwards, marking the edges of the new darts (red lines).

 

 

STEP 2
Measure the width between the dart edges and draw a new vertical line exactly in the middle.

One dart | Mark the bottom point of the dart 10cm (4”) down.

Two darts | Mark the bottom point of the right dart (CB side) 10cm (4”) down. Mark the bottom point of the left dart (side seam side) 9cm (3 ¾”)  down.

 

 

STEP 3

Draw the dart legs.  Redraw the waistline by connecting the dart legs with the waistline (purple line).

 

 

This is your new adjusted back pattern piece. Make sure there’s a 1 cm seam allowance around the whole pattern part.

 

BACK YOKE

If you like to use the back yoke option, you can temporarily close the dart and redraw the yoke seam on top of your new back pattern piece. Cut along the new yoke line. Close the dart of the back yoke and tape in place. Redraw the bottom yoke seam to create a smooth curved line.

 

 

Final step is to add seam allowance to the top of the new back pattern piece and to the bottom of the new yoke pattern piece.

FINAL TIPS

Quick fit pic of the last Doris sample with FSA sewn by Anouck - even though the darts aren't properly pressed here yet, you can clearly see the result of the FSA - the volume is placed at the back, creating a better fit around the butt.

 

Now you’ve completed your full seat adjustment, it’s very important to make another muslin to check the fit. Also check the fitting instructions in the tutorial. Sewing darts in knit fabric can be a bit challenging, so here are some final tips:

  • Creating slightly curved dart legs will decrease the chance of the dart points sticking out.

  • Don’t backstitch at the point of the dart! Instead, sew of the edge of the fabric, leaving a long tail of thread. Knot and trim the thread afterwards.

  • Press the darts very well!

  • Optionally, to add a bit of stability, interface your darts with a very light stretchable interfacing.

 

A big thank you goes out to my testers Ashley and Anouck - these beautiful ladies were instrumental in helping me create these FSA instructions. Both of them sewed up multiple samples and finally walked away with a great fitting custom made Doris skirt! And don't they look absolutely smokin' 🔥?

If you have any further questions, leave me a comment below! Or ask your questions in our facebook group

 




1 Response

Kristy Johnson
Kristy Johnson

July 13, 2019

Hello! I have the opposite issue where my waist is gg and my hips are cc. Do I also need to blend the inside pocket? How is this done and if blending is not required, what size should I use for the inside pocket?

Leave a comment


You might also like...


More Sewing Patterns →
Size Charts

KIDS SIZE CHART

Body measurements cm

Body measurements inch

Size

Age

Chest

Waist

Hip

Height

Chest

Waist

Hip

Height

80

9-12M

50

48

52

80

19,5

19

20,5

31,5

86

12-18M

52

50

54

86

20,5

19,5

21,25

33,75

92

18-24M

54

51

55

92

21,25

20

21,5

36,25

98

2-3Y

55

52

57

98

21,75

20,5

22,5

38,5

104

3-4Y

56,5

53,5

59

104

22,25

21

23,25

41

110

4-5Y

58

55

61

110

22,75

21,5

24

43,25

116

5-6Y

60

57

64

116

23,5

22,5

25,25

45,5

122

6-7Y

62,5

58,5

67

122

24,5

23

26,5

48

128

7-8Y

65

60

70

128

25,5

23,5

27,5

50,5

134

8-9Y

67,5

61,5

73

134

26,5

24,25

28,75

52,75

140

9-10Y

70

63

76

140

27,5

24,75

30

55

146

10-11Y

73

64

79

146

28,75

25,25

31

57,5

152

11-12Y

76

66

82

152

30

26

32,25

59,75

158

12-13Y

79

68

85

158

31

26,75

33,5

62,25

164

13-14Y

82

70

88

164

32,25

27,5

34,75

64,5

LADIES SIZE CHART

Body measurements cm

Body measurements inch

Size

High Bust

Bust

Waist

Hip

Height

High Bust

Bust

Waist

Hip

Height

AA

75

80

64

88

166

29,5

31,5

25,2

34,6

5 feet 5,5"

BB

79

84

68

92

167

31

33

26,8

36,2

5 feet 5,75"

CC

83

88

72

96

168

32,6

34,6

28,3

37,8

5 feet 6"

DD

87

92

76

100

169

34,2

36,2

29,9

39,4

5 feet 6,5"

EE

91

96

80

104

170

35,8

37,8

31,5

40,9

5 feet 7"

FF

95

100

84

108

171

37,4

39,4

33,1

42,5

5 feet 7,5"

GG

101

106

89

113

172

39,7

41,7

35

44,5

5 feet 8"

HH

107

112

94

118

172

42,1

44,1

37

46,5

5 feet 8"

II

113

118

99

123

172

44,5

46,5

39

48,4

5 feet 8"

JJ

119

124

104

128

172

46,8

48,8

40,9

50,4

5 feet 8"