August 11, 2010

Pencil Skirt Sew Along & A Gazillion Ways to Build a Better Pencil Skirt

Oh, Oh, Oh! I'm so excited to have a little sew along! Hip Hip Hooray!

So, the whole goal of this is to get you all involved and let us all in on your secrets for pencil skirts too! I'll be working with the Jenny Skirt Pattern from Burda Style, but really you could bring any pencil skirt pattern to the table for this. I plan to create "lessons" (yes, this is my flute teacher side coming out) for you to follow along with. I plan to give you the low-down on how I fit a pencil skirt, create a kick pleat on a pattern that does not have one, insert an invisible zipper and some of the finishing details of skirt making that I find rather nice. I'll be getting these pencil skirt lessons going next week, so keep it bookmarked here. I've made up a little list of things you're going to need for this sew-along:

  • muslin - as much as you would need to make your size pencil skirt; be sure to look at your pattern requirements

  • a choice fabric for your finished pencil skirt - look at the pattern requirements and add at least a 1/2 yard to your order to ensure that you'll have enough length

  • lining fabric - again use the pattern requirements for this and add at least a 1/2 yard to your order

  • thread

  • interfacing - enough for the waistband, 1/2 - 1 yard should do it

  • a 12-14 inch invisible zipper

  • 1/4 yard of silk or polyester organza

  • a permanant marker

  • a straight edge ruler

  • a french curve or hip curve

I also wanted to give you some inspiration from fellow stitchers around the web for other ways to try a pencil skirt. I mean what about a lower waisted pencil skirt, like Selfish Seamstress has here:

How about a side zip and pleats along the bottom, from Pretty Ditty:

What about with a bow, from Casey and Gertie:

Pockets anyone, maybe with a button-up front? Courtesy of Stephanie Hillberry:

Perhaps a ruffle down the side, from Erica B.:

You can create princess seams, or give it a hidden waistband. There are hundreds of things you can do with a pencil skirt. Hundreds. I plan to give a few tutorials on some of these. Oh what fun!


  1. I'm in the middle of sewing a pencil skirt. I wanted to make a skirt for me, but I didn't like the way it looked on me, so I'm going to finish it for my brother's girlfriend. This means I'll have to alter the pattern a bit, since there's almost 2 sizes difference between her hips and mine (ahem - I'm the big one here).
    I'm using the Leko pattern #5681:
    available for free at:
    I made the front and back blocks, and I pinned them together according to her measurements. Now I have to sew them together, insert a zipper and a lining, attach a waist band, and hem it.

  2. Yay! This sounds like fun! I have the PERFECT wool I have been dying to make into a pencil skirt! I want to cut it on the bias though, which I have never done before. Any tips for that would be greatly appreciated!

  3. I'm about to make a pencil skirt so the timing of the sew along is perfect for me! Especially looking forward to the kick pleat tutorial.

  4. Check out this link for instructions on how to draft all different kinds of skirts...

  5. Awesome! Can't wait to get started. Thanks for posting all of the variations, that's fantastic. I realize now I should probably follow the lower-waisted version. Now all I have to do is choose the color and fabric...

  6. Great! I'm going to make the Jenny in black linen for a wardrobe staple. I've already cut the pattern and made adjustments for my size. I have my fabric and I may have some lining lying around. So I'm ready to go!! Curious about the organza in the list...

  7. I'm excited, can't wait to get started....going material shopping tomorrow :)

  8. I'd love to make a pencil skirt sew along! Especially as my very first sew along (summer sessentials) hasn't been very successful so far (5 garments were somewhat a big goal for a sort of beginner like me), I'd be curious to try the formula with only one garment. Moreover, I already have the pattern : Vogue 8640, whom I love the double darts...
    I can't remember wether I saw it on the internet, but I happen to find back circle ruffle a great detail, too.

  9. I'm an experienced sewist that has not be able to sew a satisfactory skirt at all this year, much to my dismay. Perhaps, participating in a sew-along is the inspiration I need. I'm in!

  10. I have been eyeing the Jenny skirt for a while! I am in!

  11. Super exciting - I bought all the bits and pieces this weekend. Well except or the french curve - the fabric store had sold out!

  12. ok I just got back from sewing back to school dresses for the grandaughters. Time for me :-) I just bought the Jenny skirt pattern, now off to find fabric-yikes! here we go

  13. ....and I'm stuck already...where's the yardage requirements on these downloadable (Jenny Skirt) patterns? I bet I'm looking right at it :D

  14. Actually the yardage requirements were not listed on the pattern directions. I just looked. I'm sorry I didn't mention that before. They have the yardage requirements listed on the Burda Style Jenny Skirt page. It says a flat 1.5 yards. Doesn't give fabric widths either! I would say 2 yards for 45" fabric just to be on the safe side.

© A Fashionable Stitch. All rights reserved.