THE SIDE-PLAITED SKIRTLessons III and IV are devoted to skirts and it will be well for the student to thoroughly master these, as any part slurred over will cause trouble later on.

Fig. F is a combination of a side-plaited and a box-plaited skirt. The student is expected to draw two skirls and not combine them as done on the lesson plate.

Begin with the side-plaited skirt (Fig. F which is a full front view). Draw the form, being sure to make a graceful ellipse at the top, and after placing the belt as directed in Lesson II, mark off at the waist the size of the center box-plait, the sides of which are an even distance from the center line. Decide upon the width of the side plaits, which must be in good proportion to the box-plait, and on each side of the box plait mark them off, being sure to have all the plaits the same width. From these points draw lines down, flaring slightly until they touch the bottom line of the skirt form. Each plait will touch this line at X, the nearest point 0 is back, draw so, as in the skirt with fullness at the bottom (Lesson II), but make each plait a sharper point than in the gathered skirt. The deeper the plait the farther back 0 is from X. The plaits are wider at the bottom than at the top. Not being stitched down, they open somewhat after leaving the belt.


After drawing a complete form for this skirt and placing the belt as directed before, draw the front box-plait, marking the size at the waist. On each side of this front plait, mark off the distance between
it and the next plait, then the size of the following box-plait, which must be the same width as the first one, until all the plaits are marked at the waist. Draw all lines down until they touch the bottom line of the form, flaring slightly as in the side-plaited skirt. You will observe that each box-plait has two XX’s, and a very gentle curve up between them. The star (*) is the distance between the box-plaits, and is back, the same as 0. This star line curves up, and the deeper the plait the higher the star line is from X.

For both box-plaited and side-plaited skirts be careful to make the plaits even at the bottom and at the top, and if your lines are straight the width between the top and the bottom will also be even.


To the student with untrained eye the lines of an over-skirt, panier, and puff seem very confusing, but after studying and drawing the three figures G, H, and I, the literal meaning of the lines will be understood, and the student will be able to use this knowledge to great advantage when sketching from a costume.

In Fig. G, for example, one side of the over-skirt is plaited and the other side is gathered. It will be well for the student to make two drawings and not combine them as on the lesson plate, thus deriving more practice upon the subject.

This over-skirt is longer in the back than in the front, consequently it shows the under part of each plait.

The under-skirt is sewed on at the waist and flares. Note the guide lines of the under-skirt as they run up to the waist line.

The over-skirt is also sewed on at the waist but flares more than the underskirt as it descends. XX is the edge of the fold and hangs straight down. The “ square ” is the inside crease of the fold, which also hangs straight down from the belt, the lower part only being exposed to view.

Begin with the curved line in the front of the skirt (that is, after the form is well drawn), then draw XX down from the waist and curve it around. It descends as it goes until it almost touches the under fold (square), where it comes out from under the skirt. The under fold hangs down, curves around, descends until it almost touches the next XX, etc. Note the guide lines of one of the plaits as it runs up to the waist line.

The other side of this skirt being gathered, the lines of the fullness at the top fall down between the lines of the fullness which run up from the bottom.

Note how the over-skirt fits around the under-skirt, descending toward the back.


If the student has been successful with the lines of Fig. G, the panier will be easy to draw.

The lines of the panier (Fig. H) are the same as in the over-skirt (Fig. G), but the panier projects at the hips in a ruffle effect while the over-skirt hangs straight down.

This skirt is drawn three-quarter view, which shows the full panier on the near side and but little of it on the far side. Note how different the lines look on the far side, as you see but little of the under surface of the goods.

The lines for the puff are somewhat different and yet somewhat the same as in Fig. G, as the lines curl around and fit into each other. A skirt that is puffed at the hips will extend past the normal skirt line. Note these lines as seen through the puff, but instead of the ruffle effect, as seen on the panier, the goods is drawn in again, hence the puff. The puff means that the goods is gathered and is very full, therefore the goods beneath the puff is also very full, as the lines indicate in Fig. 7. The lines under the puff are heavier, caused by the shadow cast by the puff. Note the erispness and the sharpness of the lines as they curl around and fit into each other.


As we learned before “ the lines follow the form ” so the yoke must fit around the form, hence it follows that the yoke line (if a perfectly plain yoke) will follow the waist line.

If there happens to be a fancy design on the yoke, the general direction of the yoke will fit the form, but will be broken into by the design.

Place the tucks an even distance from the center line the same as the plaits, but if stitched down, as they are in Fig. J, they will not flare. Note the guide lines drawn through the ends of the tucks (where they stop) and where the fullness begins.

To test the knowledge acquired from this lesson draw numerous forms three-quarter view, or full front, and dress them in skirts like the ones illustrated in this lesson. Use pen-and-ink clippings of skirts.

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