Are you as in love with pencil skirts as I am? I love how elegant and feminine they are. And I’m secretly in love with this stretchy version. It’s easy to make and tailored to fit your measurements. The best bit? It only takes an afternoon to make. Now there’s no reason not to have a wardrobe full of these little fashion beauties!
- 1.5 yard (1 metre) stretchy fabric (like jersey)
- Measuring tape
- Fabric scissors
- Sewing machine
- Sewing thread
1. Measure Up for Your Pattern
Start by measuring around your waist. Note this measurement down as your waist measurement.
Measure around the largest part of your hip/thigh/bottom area. Note this down as your hip measurement.
Measure from your waist to your hips. Note this down as your rise measurement.
Measure from your hips to your knees (or where you want the hemline to end). Note this down as the length measurement.
2. Make Your Pattern
Make a pattern for a quarter of a skirt. Get out a large sheet of paper - wrapping paper or paper that's been taped together will do just fine.
Draw a rectangle with its longest side against the edge of the paper. The rectangle should be as long as the rise and length measurements added together plus 4in (12cm) for the waistband and bottom hem.
The rectangle should be as wide as your hip measurement divided by four plus 1in (3cm) for seam allowance.
Now to shape our skirt. Redraft the top width of the skirt so that it is as wide as your waist measure divided by 4 plus 1in (3cm) for seam allowance.
From the waistline you have just redrafted, measure out the length of your rise measurement plus 2in (6cm) for your waistband. Mark this point on the long side of your rectangle.
Gently curve the line running from the waist to the mark you just created. This will help give your skirt that classic "nipped in waist" cut.
For a true pencil skirt, the skirt should curve in from the knees towards the bottom hem. Measure 2in (6cm) inwards from the outer bottom edge of the rectangle. Mark this point out.
Gently curve the skirt inwards towards this mark.
Cut out your pattern.
3. Cut Out Your Top
Give your fabric a good tug from side to side and from top to bottom. One direction should feel more stretchy - this is the bias. This stretchy direction is what you want running across your hips and waist (as opposed to stretching down from waist to hem).
Fold the fabric so the stretch is running from left to right (as opposed to up and down).
Place your pattern on the fold with the long, uncurved side against the fold. Pin your pattern in place. Cut around the pattern and you should have half a skirt.
Repeat to get another half of a skirt.
4. Pin and Sew Your Skirt
Place the two halves of the skirt together, right sides together. Match the edges as best you can. Pin them together.
Sew down the sides using a stretch or zig zag stitch and a half inch (1.5cm) seam allowance. Be sure to follow the curve of the skirt. You should end up with a tube of fabric that's slightly tapered at the two ends.
You may need to try the skirt on at this point to check the fit. Different fabrics have different amount of stretch in them, so you may need to take the sides in a bit more if the fabric is really stretchy.
Once you're happy with the fit on the sides, trim the seam allowances to 1/5in (0.5cm).
4. Finish Off the Skirt
Now you need to create a waistband and hem the bottom.
To create an even waistband, turn the skirt inside out and fold the fabric over by 1in (3cm).
Fold the fabric over one more time and pin in place. You should now have a perfectly measured waistband with the fabric folded twice. This will lend extra stability to the waist (great for tucking in shirts!).
Sew along the bottom edge of the waistband (the edge furthest away from the top edge) using a stretch or zig zag stitch.
Repeat steps 1 to 4 for the bottom hem.
Wear Your New Pencil Skirt
And you’re finished. Well done!
This version of a pencil skirt is super-comfortable! I’m planning on whipping up a few more of skirts in different colours since they’re so easy to dress up or down.
Do you think you’ll be joining the pencil skirt brigade? And if you do, what colour do you think you’ll be making?