Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

6Nap -Chapter 2


“Madness, anyhow. And a queer madness too! You wouldn’t think there was anyone living at this time of day who had such a hatred of Napoleon the First that he would break any image of him that he could see.”

My Chapter 1 (the corset) is still a work in progress – a bit of editing is needed before it’s ready for publication so I’m making a start on chapter 2 – the skirt.


Ideas and tutorials on how to re-create the skirt are thankfully fast becoming available on the Interweb:

Ernie K – double box pleat, godet pleat, single pleat, bias end pleat. All wonderfully origami’d from butcher’s paper

Sew2Pro has enlisted the very welcome assistance of Anita from Studio Faro for skirt analysis and drafting. Anita will be providing three methods of drafting the skirt. The first is available on Sew2Pro’s blog now.

Pattern Pandemonium has overtaken us all with this.

Even Dogstar, the original designers, are in on the act but keeping the skirt’s secret close to their chests. Facebook here

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 11.52.39


Let’s look at the skirt and its major features: this image is of a Dogstar skirt that has been colour adjusted not the actual Six Napoleon dress but it’s kinda the same.

253904d94770d247fac6d8fc60fc80d9 (1)

  • d7c25edc67374953149e8e261cd02e96one long pointy bit off-centre front (assume same at back): connects at centre-side seam on corset: inverted pleat
  • higher hemline at sides: mix of small inverted pleats and single pleats/folds
  • at least 4″ hem for weight
  • has appearance of a gathered flared skirt, so narrower at waist than hemline?
  • follows line of corset: longest point of corset is shortest length on skirt: inverted pleat
  • double layered skirt







In the twilight of just-before-sleep-thoughts I came up with this:


So I tested it. I don’t have professional drafting paraphernalia like a quarter sized mannequin but I do have a (rather dusty) Storm Trooper.


Pointy bit is too long. Scissors out and trimmed a bit off.


Better. Drape is way off as this was knocked up in a bit of cotton jersey but I think the essence is there. Do you?

Un-skirted the Storm Trooper, unpicked the tacks and this is the shape


I’m sure there’s some sort of geometrical formula at work here between side seam length and long pointy bit (technical term!), and the waist width and size of pleats. All I have to do is figure it out. Or I could just make version one and whack a bit off. Works for me………

“Thank you!” said Holmes. “Thank you!” and as he turned away it seemed to me that he was more nearly moved by the softer human emotions than I had ever seen him. A moment later he was the cold and practical thinker once more. “Put the pearl in the safe, Watson,” said he, “and get out the papers of the Conk-Singleton forgery case. Goodbye, Lestrade. If any little problem comes your way I shall be happy, if I can, to give you a hint or two as to its solution.”

The Adventure of the Six Napoleons by Arthur Conan Doyle




22 thoughts on “6Nap -Chapter 2

  1. Lol Such fun! Way ahead of me of course [only a few more marking days left] but the nearest I got to ‘drafting’ was playing with two pieces of kitchen towel at work…It looked OK though! Such a great challenge…

    • MY marking has finished – hooray! Now I’ve got another two summer jobs with a deadline this week – squeezing in sewing when I can. Can you think of an event to wear this to?

  2. Such an interesting process of design – thanks for showing us your development. But, really, I just can’t get over the fact that you have your own Stormtrooper. How cool is that??

  3. I really don’t understand how ones stormtrooper gets dusty.

  4. Love the storm trooper

  5. You have such genius! Math ratios at work here for sure. Possibly the golden ratio – most pleasing shape because it’s generally the ratio of the length to width of a person’s face: something like 3:2 or 5:3, close to 1.613.

    • Hi Chris. I just did some ratio maths stuff on my ‘pattern’ piece based on your comment and mine worked out at 1.7, so pretty close to the perfect 1.6. Thank you.

  6. I love your storm trooper in a skirt. Brilliant. Perhaps you could contact the copyright holders, and suggest supplying them with skirts as optional extras? I have no idea how you came up with that figure for the skirt (geometry is not my strong point), but well-done!

  7. I find this such a fascinating challenge as everyone will have their own way of achieving their own version, and probably none will be the same as the original. So far my front skirt is something like a 1/4 circle, so the whole thing, for me, should be like a half circle skirt with some pleats etc. I think Studio Faro has done a full circle, more or less, and think yours is too. And yes, I too thought “storm trouper??”

    • You use what you have Kate and the storm trooper was just getting dusty on a shelf in teenage boy’s bedroom. I actually think my skirt will be bigger than a full circle if that’s geometrically possible?

  8. Oh I have just realised he is tiny and so is the skirt. I thought he was full sized….

  9. You are brilliant. A storm trouper is way way better than a quarter size mannequin.

  10. Hey whatever works! I’m sure the pros do it the same way, they just make up silly Techo names for what they do! (How tall is your Stormtrooper? And where can I get one?). 😂

    • Storm Trooper mannequin is 10″ tall Linda and very old now. For a one-off dress I too think it’s fine to cut and hack until you get what you want.

  11. I’m loving the different ways everyone is adopting to create this skirt -fascinating.
    I also have serious storm trooper envy.

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