The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

What's Up: Pencil Skirts! (And mini-tutorial)

I am head-over-heels in love with pencil skirts right now.  As long as they fit well, they are super flattering.  I think they are the most universally flattering skirt shape, in that they tend to make everyone look taller and more slender, while still feminine and curvy.  You'll be seeing more pencil skirts from me in the upcoming weeks as I have seven (!) on order from various clients.

During my last couple of weekends of personal sewing time, I made two pencil skirts for myself, and I plan to do a third (with coral ponte and apricot stretch lace) this weekend.  The first is a lined denim pencil skirt using the "corsetted" style that I copied off that was inspired by an Ann Taylor skirt I spotted last year:

Pinned Image

I'll write up a step by step tutorial of how I drafted and sewed this skirt if there's interest - leave me a comment if you want it!

Here's the version I made for myself:

I don't have great photos where I'm wearing it - the self-photography just wasn't working out for me that day - so here's the best I could do:
I wore these shoes when I got married!

I lined the skirt with some gray polyester fabric that someone gave to me (and was likely intended to line a curtain, since that's what she makes) and faced with some cotton fabric scraps so that it would stay put on my waist and not circle around me:

The second skirt is a simple ponte knit skirt with an elastic waist.  You'll recognize the fabric from my last post! 

I was really lazy in drafting this skirt so I am especially pleased that it worked out.  I started with the skirt pattern from Wendy Mullin's book Sew U Home Stretch.  I had already adjusted the basic pattern to fit me (graded from a size medium in the waist to a size small in the hips and size extra-small in length).  Instead of tracing the pattern and adjusting the sweep, I measured in 1.5 inches on each side at the hem line, used my french curve to blend this line into the hip and then just folded the original pattern along this line.

From this:

To this:

When I cut out the fabric, I squared the side seam a bit where it hits the bottom of the skirt.  I also made sure that the front skirt and back skirt ended at the same point on the chevron pattern so that I could approximately match the chevron stripes at the side seams.  I made a casing out of a strip of fabric 5 inches wide (folded in half) and inserted 2-inch elastic.  I like my skirts to have a wider elastic in them to compress that post-babies muffin top action!  And, ta-da!

This is what you get when you cram picture taking with toddler time.
And I should also mention the cardigan.  I followed a tutorial I found at Forty-Two Roads ages ago and turned a turtleneck that I really didn't like into a caridgan that I did.  All it took was some scissors, home-made bias tape, elastic thread, and a button! 
6 comments on "What's Up: Pencil Skirts! (And mini-tutorial)"
  1. I love the curved seams on the denim skirt. Very flattering!

  2. Superb.. Exact replica. I want to make a pencil skirt. If your tutorial is going te be something I can draft using body measurements then I am way too much interested in it:) Also I am looking forward to make a pencil skirt with pockets. What do you think how would it look ?

  3. Found your blog through Sew Much Ado. Love your skirts! Following your link to the cardigan tutorial.

  4. Love the curved lines on the pencil skirt! I would LOVE to have a tutorial on this. It looks fab on you!

    1. Thanks, Judi! I'm actually thinking I might make this one of my first patterns. I've made it for curvy and straight people, and you definitely have to make the curved seams differently for each body type. I hope to work on that later this spring!

  5. So cute! I would love to see the tutorial :)