A very useful tool

OK, I lied...

There's more math. Sorry.

But not a lot, okay? I just didn't want you to leave early. We haven't even gotten to the good part yet.

When you're making a circle pattern for anything, you're going to be doing it in slices unless your fabric is unbelievable wide...like fourteen feet wide. Hmm? Didn't think so.

So, we'll be making this pie in slices. We start with how many slices we want, which in my case is six. Sometimes twelve for really big stuff, but usually six. Why?
It's useful to note that fabric as it drapes turns out on the straight grain, and turns in on the bias. That means that the center front panel of a skirt, without a seam and cut properly, lies flat, and drapes very nicely. The seams, which will be on the bias, will turn inward, concealing them and giving you a very flowing appearance.

Where this info is useful in a cloak: cut your two front pieces with one edge on the straight grain, so that the front of the cloak hangs straight and doesn't turn inward.

On a skirt (we'll get back to the cloak in a minute), you want the center front and the center back to not have any seams. Down the hip bones and right on the sides is okay, but the center front and center back need to be clean. Six pieces allow you to do that. Four pieces wouldn't; neither would eight.

Six it is then. Now we need to figure out the shape of the pieces - this is really just a slice of a big circle. Circles are measured in 360°, BUT we're doing the math for a portion of a circle, in this case half. We'll work with 180°:

180° / 6 pieces = 30° per slice.

Let's review, adding a couple more useful measurements:

The radius of the circle
that will be the neckline:
The angle of each slice: 30°
Length of the cloak:
(neck to bottom edge)
Width of bottom hem: 2"

You're on your own for seam allowances. I like 1/2". Now, to the real drafting.

«  Back to Circle Drafting, page 1.

A wide hem is harder to stitch in place, but the weight of it makes the cloak flow much nicer.


Help keep this site free! Please visit our sponsor.