Punk Skirt

A skirt inspired by its material

The Inspiration

This design came about purely because of the material. I was browsing for other things when I saw the material in the sale section. The neon pink woven into classic grey and black tartan caught my eye and I instantly knew what I wanted to make.

I could see a punk A-line skirt with classic motifs like pleats and a large waistband that were a counterpoint to modern and punk design choices like superfluous metal buckles.

A photo of the grey, black, and neon pink tartan material

From Sketches to Patterns

I decided to refine my design elements and try a few different combinations. I felt pleats took away from the bold pattern of the material and after trying a few combinations of metal buckles and clasps concluded that I didn’t have a good way to integrate these without the skirt feeling cluttered.

To solve these problems I took a stripped down approach. By using only a few pleats to good effect I avoided disrupting the material’s pattern while giving extra emphasis to the juxtaposition of classic (pleats) and modern (flat). I also removed buckles from the design as I felt a waistband wide enough to make buckles work created an imbalance between the width of the waist and the length of the skirt.

To make the pattern I first drew a template for a standard A-line skirt and drew where I wanted the pleats. Then I cut along my lines and traced what was left leaving space for the return material of the pleats. I ignored the waistband for now to wait until I had figured out the fit with a mock-up of the skirt.

Making the skirt pattern AKA template

Mock Up

The basic shape was there, but it needed work. The pleats were completely at the side and needed to be moved a few centimetres to bring them to where they should be. I also shortened the length of the skirt as it was a little too long for this style of A skirt. The biggest change was the waistband. I went through several mock up waistbands until I settled on one that looked right.

A mock up of the skirt using scrap material

Finished Skirt

This was a great design project to work on and I was able to use a lot of skills from other areas. For example, making the pattern template was just like mentally unravelling packaging to design it in my product design ALevel.

I also found that with the design motifs less was more, which is something I have found in other areas. I learnt from art the power of carefully considered design motifs and from architecture the importance of a big picture or narrative that ties them all together.

My biggest shortcoming was the fitting. It took many attempts with the mock up skirt to get the shape right which might be something that comes with more experience in tailoring. However, I think I speed up the process by studying fitting techniques and learning where to measure and how to translate the measurements to the pattern.

In all, I learnt a lot and had fun.