My lace design has regular repeating rows of curlicues, scrolls and flower motifs that I felt would have been spoiled by waist shaping darts; also the lace fabric is quite thick and darts would not have sat nice and flat on the inside. Plus, they would have been visible through the wide holes in the lace.
SO, I aimed to eliminate the darts from my skirt and maintain the integrity of the rows of repeating motifs in the design.
And I should mention straight off that I learnt this process from using Tomoko Nakamichi's Pattern Magic books of course...the point of which is to learn how to manipulate a sloper and fabrics in order to achieve a desired effect. I probably say that each and every time I mention the books, so please forgive me for repeating myself. I guess I just love this sort of thing since I am a bonafide maths and fashion and sewing nerd; three, not-irreconcilable passions that are wrapped up together and catered to in one neat package. Working through the exercises has taught me loads about pattern manipulation.
Anyhow, without further ado...
I chose the skirt pattern Vogue 1247 as a starting point because:
a. I have used it a few times already and am happy with the fit.
b. It has only one shaping dart on each side of the front and the back, and obviously one dart is way easier to eliminate than two.
c. It has a high straight waistband that I could transform into a yoke fairly easily. A waistband or yoke was an essential component to stabilise the lace at the top of the skirt.
d. It is a reasonably straight little skirt, enabling me to easily match up the lace motifs down each side seam as well.
I am showing the process using the front pattern piece only... exactly the same process applies to the back piece.
I usually use old newspaper to make up my pattern modifications, but just in honour of taking photos today I have used some nice plain brown paper instead. Yah I know, so classy ;)
Draw the pattern piece with the dart marked.
Mark a horizontal line from the point of the dart extending out to the side edge.
Cut along the outside edge of the dart.
Cut along the horizontal line from the side edge to the point of the dart.
Rotate the top side edge into the centre to close the dart, and tape it closed.
Just to visually simplify the next step I've traced off a new paper piece from this new, dartless skirt front piece....Now, my lace had straight, horizontal straight rows of motifs.. to indicate how this appears on my paper pattern piece I have marked some horizontal straight rows in red.... Now, see how the sides of the skirt curve up quite dramatically from the centre front? The visual effect of the curving row of lace, even though it is apparent curving and not actual curving; is rather unflattering imo and would look messy and chaotic. So, I wanted the top of the skirt to be cut in a straight horizontal line, to preserve the straight line of the lace design.
Cut off that top side curve.
The lower skirt piece remaining is your new skirt front piece. The curved piece cut off the top is used to create the waistband/yoke section as below...The waistband of Vogue 1247 is a straight waistband; trace a new waistband including seam allowances.
Transfer the top side curve markings to it.. this will be the new curved side seam of the waistband/yoke.
Extend the curve up to the top of the desired yoke/waistband height; then freehand draw it a bit higher and then curve it down to join onto the waistband top, to square off that top corner.
This process results in a dartless skirt with a straight top edge that preserves the horizontal rows in the lace... and with a straight waistband shaped into the side edges.