Find the mid-point of the “Ankle” line. Draw a vertical line from the “Top”, continuing past the ankle. This will mark the opening for your gaiters later in the drafting process.
Draw a curved line along the back of the pattern, creating as smooth a slope as possible between the defined horizontal points. Continue the line below the ankle for 2″-3″, curving the line out slightly. 1/4″ out is usually sufficient. A 2″ down drop will keep the gaiters clear of the sole of your shoe, but if you wish to cover more shoe you can extend it further. If you are designing the gaiters to be worn over heels, the line can be extended significantly further than the 2″ so as to cover part of the heel itself. For example, a shoe with a 3″ heel can have gaiter covers that descend 5″ below the ankle.
Starting about 1″ above the ankle, draw the top of the extension over the shoe. The angle shown above will work well for a flat shoe. If you plan to wear the gaiters (or spats) with a shoe with a slight heel, the shoe top line should be steeper. If you plan to wear the gaiters (or spats) with very high heeled shoes, you may want to keep this line nearly vertical. For most spats or gaiters, a 5″ long shoe top will work well, but this can be changed depending upon the size of the wearer’s feet, or the desired appearance of the gaiters. Military leggings, for example, usually have very little shoe topper. A depth of about 2″ works well in most situations, but again it depends upon the style you wan to make. Regardless of the depth, smoothly transition from the tip of the shoe topper, to the vertical mid-line, to the back of the heel.
Add seam allowance, and you have the inside panel pattern piece for your gaiters. In this case I used 1/2″ seam allowances front, back, and bottom. On the top I used a 1″ seam allowance so I have more freedom with turning in the top during construction. If you do not want to turn in the top and bottom edges, or if you wish to make your gaiters one-layer, omit the seam allowances for the top and bottoms of the gaiters and use a bias fabric edge binding instead.
The two outer pieces are based on the inside panel piece. First I made the Front Outer Panel, copying the seam lines and the vertical line marking the mid-point of the ankle. Next to it, I made the Back Outer Panel, also copying the seam lines and the vertical line marking the mid-point of the ankle. I will be using 1/2″ buttons for the closure, so I want a 1″ overlap. On each of the Outer Panels I drew another vertical line 1/2″ outside the mid-point line (making it 1″ overlap cumulatively, centered on the mid-point line). This I marked to be cut on the fold.
If you want to make your gaiters single-layer, instead of marking to cut on the fold extend the edge again by the amount of overlap plus seam allowance (in this case 1.5″) so you can fold it under and self-finish the opening.
To see how to construct the gaiters based on this pattern, continue on to: Making Two-Layer Spats or Gaiters
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