The work-to-weekend pencil skirt

I fully thought I wouldn’t be able to stick to this 1-hour-a-day sewing method, but it’s my second week and it’s going well… Save for a few days which had me traveling to New England, I made a big effort to sew just a bit even if I was tired. 9-10 PM is sewing time in this joint!

Anyway, here’s what I have to show for this week. The goal was to make a skirt that would work for work and for the weekend. I think I’ve accomplished it!

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Although it looks it, a simple pencil skirt, this was not. This skirt was drafted from scratch (hel-loooo, old patternmaking books!) to fit my shrinking frame. (I would’ve normally taken a shortcut and copied a garment I already own, but my skirts are two sizes too big.)

Pencil skirts are the first thing most people learn to draft, and as such I feel that they’re deceptively simple. But I approached this as if I were drafting a pair of pants and scrutinized the fit when trying the muslin. I did not place any darts in the front, even though most instructions for drafting a pencil skirt advise to do it. Why? I didn’t miss them in mine, I’ll say that. I placed two darts at the back to distribute the 1.5″ dart depth I’d normally need– this created a smoother fit over my, uh, back curves. I also placed the zipper at the center back, and that gave me an extra seam where I could manipulate to fit my curves and remove excess fabric. Any ladies with big bums will tell you, bagginess in the lower back is such a pain!

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I am really happy with the fit. The two issues I’ve faced with store-bought skirts are that they ride up and/or twist around the waist, and I wore this for the entire afternoon without experiencing either. This skirt is definitely ready to be worn to work this week.

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As far as construction, I thought it might be a good idea to cut the waistband perpendicular to the grain, since my fabric was only a two-way stretch– I found that it kept the waistband from stretching and sagging as the day wears on. Is this a real thing that people do? No idea. But it worked for me.

I also finished all the cut fabric pieces with the serger before putting them together. This saved me a lot of time because I didn’t need to switch between machines as often. Does anybody else do this?

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Oh, the fabric is a black cotton twill from Paron Fabrics in NYC. I got it for about $6 per yard and it’s treated me nicely. Nothing crazy to say about boring black twill, though.

Anyway, this skirt was really just a muslin for another skirt I want to make. Here’s to next week’s project!IMG_1701

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6 thoughts on “The work-to-weekend pencil skirt

  1. This is lovely – a great basic! I’m interested to read that you left out the front darts, I might try that. I did draft my own pencil skirt pattern but didn’t have instructions for doing a waistband or facings so kind of left it to one side after making the toile. Thanks for the reminder i shoudl return to it!

    • Hi Kathryn! I drafted my own waistband and I basically measured from the waistline 1 1/2 inches down, and drew a line that followed the curve of the skirt’s waistline. Cut this piece out so each of my skirt pieces (front and back) was now split into the skirt and the waistband. For the waistband at the back, which had the darts, I closed the darts on the paper pattern piece and taped over it, so that when I cut the waistband there’d be no darts but the shaping would still be there. Then I added a 1/2″ seam allowance all around the waistband, as well as the top of the skirt piece left over. The facing is actually the same pattern piece as the waistband.

      Let me know if that helps you!

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