This tutorial describes how to use measurements to create a pattern for a fitted pair of gaiters. This particular pattern is for two-layer gaiters with a one-inch overlap on the closure, top and bottom edges that are turned inside, and designed to be worn with flat shoes. Easy variations will be mentioned when appropriate. Some basic math is required to draft any pattern from measurements unless you are using measurement tables. Basic math is described in this tutorial. The primary difference between spats and gaiters is the height of the garment. Spats are usually short, and gaiters are usually tall. Sometimes gaiters are also called leggings. Either can be loose or form-fitting. Spats patterns can easily be adapted from gaiter patterns by cutting them shorter on top.
Preparing to Draft
The photo below shows the basic tools I use to draft patterns. The surface is a typical cardboard cutting board with 1″ squares. I use a clear “quilting” ruler, but any ruler will work. You will need scissors, a pencil, eraser, note paper, measurements, and a calculator. You will also need paper to draft on. I use butcher paper. Drafting paper (with the squares drawn on it) is wonderful if you can afford it.
I used an index card for the measurement information for this pattern, as well as defining characteristics for the finished product. In the upper left corner is a crude illustration of a gaiter, with the measurements notated. The finished product will be plain brown gaiters (no edging), with buttons. Needed measurements are the circumference of the top of the calf (just below the knee), the largest part of the calf, and the ankle. You will also need the vertical distance from the ankle to where the “Top” circumference was taken, and where the “Calf” circumference was taken.
On the bottom of the note card I made all my calculations and created a reference table to use for the drafting. On the left are the raw circumference measurements of the person being fitted. The second column gives the modified circumference measurements for the finished gaiters. I added 1/4″ of ease to the top edge to prevent it from cutting in. I did not modify the calf measurement since the gaiters will be fitted and need to be completely snug at the calf to avoid bunching, wrinkling, and sagging. I added 1/2″ to the ankle to add ease for movement and wearing over shoes. I will only be drafting one half of the gaiters, so the “1/2” column are the half modified circumference measurements that will be used on the actual pattern. Use your calculator to divide each “Mod” measurement by 2, and write that number in the “1/2” column.
Drafting the Pattern
Draw a horizontal line the length of your “1/2” column “Top” number.
Draw a vertical line which is the distance between the ankle and the “Top” measurement. Make a mark at the height where the “Calf” circumference measurement was taken.
Starting from the “Calf” mark, draw a line the length of the “Calf” from the “1/2” column.
Starting at the bottom of the vertical line, draw a horizontal line the length of the “Ankle” from the “1/2” column.