the class was a stunning success. once i understood the basic concepts, i really felt quite comfortable. the idea behind making my own skirt patterns appeal because i have a body that doesn't fall in line with ideal measurements (whose does?). so, it just makes more sense (plus then i can do the things i would want to, because i get the principles).
so first you get someone to measure you. you want the measurements to be just a tad snug if you are doing it over clothes. if you are not, then you have a pretty kinky relationship with your measurer and what the hell do you need a skirt for anyway? you want to have good accurate measurements to work from and if you try to measure yourself, you don't get as good a fit as if you stand in an open position instead of contorting your body to measure it.
waists are the smallest part of your trunk, usually this is about belly-button height. hips are the fullest part of your body; this usually falls about the top of your pubes (my guide, not julieta's) and included the biggest part of your bootie. there is usually about 8 inches between waist and hip measurements (distance from waist to hip, not difference in widths). i have a high waist so my hip length is actually nine inches. generally, 8 is a good standard to go by and will not usually steer you too awful wrong.
you want to be sure that you have accurate measurements because you want the skirt to fit. otherwise, why are you making it? this means that you will have to be real and not shave off an inch or so to make the skirt ideal. if you make it too tight, you will look even bigger than you are. if it fits, you will like it and if you like it, you will wear it, and if you wear it, then you will feel better about you and your skirt making abilities.
also, when measuring for a skirt, you need to consider darts (to get that fitted feel). how to do this? measure from one nipple to the other. this makes several assumptions, not the least of which is that you have two nipples and no more or less (so you third nipple freaks must make the crucial decision to choose the two pointy nipples atop your breastestes). lest you think i am having you on (the distance between nips for a skirt?!?!), let me assure you that i am solemnly serious. think about it, when you are wearing a fitted skirt, the darts line up with your nipples (and shoulder blade points, but i've a big butt, so no darts are necessary in the rear (no pin the tail on this donkey)).
now most skirts are made in four panels (even skirts that have only two seams are usually based on four panels, with the material folded and cut just so); so divide your waist and hip measurements by four (cuz you will be making four panels to cover what you just measured). also, divide the dart (the nipple to nipple measurement) in half (cuz you have two darts). decide on the length of your skirt (i like mine to end around my knees, it is where the body has a natural cut-off~~at the joint).
next, using butcher's paper, heavier tissue paper, or newsprint (basically any paper that is big enough to make your pattern; stay away from most fabrics at this stage, they have too much give and a decided bias against pattern-making), measure a line to represent the quarter waist width. perpendicular to that line, starting from the left corner, draw a line for your skirt length.
using the standard 8 inches for hip length, draw a line that runs parallel to the waist, 8" down from the waist on the length. next, draw another parallel line to the waist, at the bottom of the length. now draw a straight line from the right hand edge of the bottom of your skirt up to the hip line (this should now look like a rectangle with an L on top of it). now, use a curved measure (sometimes referred to as a hip curve or a french curve), connect the top right corner of the rectangle (hip) to the parallel line above it (waist). the waist measurement and the hip measurement will vary and the curve measure will help to transition from the full hip to the tucked waist line. the majority of your pattern is now done!
i'll draw it up in stages and post those later.
my own measurements are hour-glass like; altho i am large, i am shapely. in fact, it usually stumps people when they realize i am a good deal heavier and larger than they first thought. today was no different, my measurer asked the instructor to do my measurements because she thought they were incorrect. they weren't.