Pattern-lifting for a pencil skirt

New quickie project: a pencil skirt.

I have a jeans pencil skirt i adore, from a friendly independent designer. I love it so much, that when i was pondering what to make next while wearing it… I… Umm… Well that photo wouldn’t be SFW, but basically i very quickly traced the skirt’s pattern onto baking paper!

It was easy enough. Trick was to pay attention to noting the darts, and making sure i contoured all the pieces as they lay flat, as opposed to the whole skirt (because that was not fully flat).

Then i cut up the pattern pieces, had to redo the one with the darts (you need to cut the dart’s seam line, twist the remainder of the skirt, and redraw the contour line. This creates room for the triangle of the dart.), and i was good to go.

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There was a lot of pinning involved, then sewing with bernina’s super stretch (No.9) stitch using overlock thread (super thin, super strong).

The finished skirt was worn to work today!

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Blue and green pencil skirts

So one of the things I realised recently is that i need a green, blue, or teal pencil skirt in my wardrobe.

Mostly because i am developing an allergy to the non-colour black. I have been avoiding it in shoes successfully for years, and i’m trying to get back to it on the clothes front.

My first step, therefore, was to go on polyvore and compile a list (ok, a board, fair enough) of some existing pencil skirts in various colours, to get an idea of what i was attracted to.

Here is what i found:

Blue and green pencil skirts

Dagmar neon pencil skirt

Slit skirt

A Wear midi skirt
$34 –

Teal pencil skirt
$74 –

Zara skirt

Printed pencil skirt
$22 –

Halloween Witch: The purple taffeta skirt

Purple WitchHalloween 2009. I didn’t know what to dress up as. Or rather. I was invited to a Goth Halloween party, so my original idea of Leeloo (from the 5th Element) wasn’t going to cut it. I went for the classic: Witch.

Step 1: The hat. I already had that.

Step 2: The wig. Not a requirement, but as soon as I saw this one I fell in love. The multi-dimensionality of the purple and black in the wig made it look amazing. The price tag? £10.

Step 3: The corset. Because this witch likes to look good. I had one already, in convenient black. In the picture I’m wearing a pink top and a black jumper under the corset. At the party I just had the corset for a lighter, more streamlined look.

Step 4: What to wear underneath!! I decided to make me a skirt. Thankfully our tiny Singer fabric shop had a roll of looooovely purple taffeta that fit the bill flawlessly. I took it home and in less than an hour turned it into a skirt! I must’ve gotten at least 5 compliments on the evening from random people absolutely loving the skirt! Not bad for an hour’s work 🙂

What you’ll need: 70cm of taffeta fabric, 150cm wide. Thick (3-4 cm) elastic band, 10cm less than the size of where you want the skirt to sit. I took 80cm, as my upper hips are 90cm. Thread that matches.

How to make it: Take the 70x150cm piece, and fold it with the good side in so you end up with a 70×75 piece. Sew along the 70cm length, to create a tube of fabric. This will be your skirt. Flip it so the good side is outside. Take the elastic band, and put it along the fabric’s looped edge, on the inside. Roll the fabric over it, creating a tube along the top into which the elastic can stay. Sew the fabric down. You will be sewing 3 layers of fabric, without touching the elastic. Bottom-most: the bad-side-to-you actual skirt fabric. Then the rolled inwards fabric for the channel, then the folded in (before it gets rolled under) fabric for the channel. If you can imagine this making a figure of “6” with the loop to the right, you’re sewing at the point where the loop meets the branch, and you’re sewing the loop bit flat onto the branch, with a little chunk of it rolled under. Once that’s done all around, you have a skirt. I used a rolling foot to finish the edges of the skirt in a straight line, but you could hem it properly if you prefer. I just couldn’t be bothered 🙂

Well that’s it. Great compliment-to-effort ratio!! I think the secret was in the colour of the skirt, and in using taffeta. I’d highly recommend making one of these to wear under a corset or narrow top for the festive season. Maybe in green or red? Hmm… Maybe I’ll make me one too 🙂