How to: Create a Vent

Hey friends! Please note that as of 4/6/2012, this tutorial has been refashioned. The instructions and photos have all been updated to produce a much more professional result. If this is your first time visiting this tutorial, read on, if this is your second or third time (or 4th or 5th) give a read through the material as some of it has changed a bit.
One thing I found when making my navy blue pencil skirt from the Jenny Pattern from BurdaStyle is that the back had a slit and not a vent or kick pleat. I have strong feelings about slits. Slits, for skirts, belong in the front along one leg, if they belong anywhere at all. That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. I really feel that adding a back vent or even a kick pleat (kick pleats are closed back vents) adds real value and durability to a garment. Slits are much more likely to tear or distort over time from wear.
You might also be surprised that though this little tutorial brings your skirt up a notch, its very easy to do. Weird huh? Usually things that look better on garments are much harder to do. I mean don’t you find it a relief to know that this is easy peasy? Come now, let’s cheer! OK enough silliness, down to brass tacks.

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  • Suzanne - That is SO TRUE about them tearing! My plus size Burda pencil skirt had this happen TWICE! This is a better way to go!
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  • karen - Yay, that’s great! One thing: when you say ‘give’ the seam allowances strips of organza do you mean add the strips of organza to the edges of the seam allowance once they’re pressed open ie as a type of hong kong finish?
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  • A Sewn Wardrobe - This tut is psycho helpful. Thanks so much for taking the time to post it! I’m totally going to use this in a pencil skirt I have planned for fall.
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  • Revival - Thanks for the tutorial but could you please add with pictures how to do the lining part please?
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  • jayne - ditto on the organza to seam allowance question and the lining part request :D loving this sew-a-long idea.
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  • Sandra - I LOVE this! Thanks for this tutorial, I’ve always thought the seam vent was a bit dodgy but didn’t ever take the effort to find out how to change it. This looks so much better. And that’s what the organza is for!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - No, actually I add strips of organza to the wrong side of the skirt where you would actually sew the seam. I’m going to do a follow up tutorial for this hopefully by Friday.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Yes, I hope to have this up by Friday. It will be much more clear with photos. So sorry!
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  • Ellen - I’m a little behind. I have my muslin cut out. Luckily for me, my pattern actually has a back vent, but this looks very easy. I’ll be interested to see the pictures with the lining. And hopefully, I’ll get my muslin fitted tomorrow. :P
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  • Kennis - Thanks for posting the tutorial! I am making a pencil skirt out of McCall 5590 and am trying to decide how much ease I should add to the waist and hip. Could you share how much ease you have on yours?
    Thanks again and keep up the good work!
    Kennis
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - I like to have about 2 inches of ease in the skirt and 1 inch in the waist. The 2 inches in the skirt gives me room to walk and sit and the 1 inch in the waist makes the skirt sit right and not slide around too much.
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  • Carrauntoohil - Wonderful tutorial! Lots of clear pictures plus great descriptive text make this one of the best I’ve seen. Thank you so much for putting it together — I’m definitely bookmarking it!
    BTW, I don’t have any organza strips… would twill tape work the same?
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - I think that twill tape would work just fine down the length of the back seam. It would give it good strength and durability. I would get a thinner twill tape, I think the thicker it is the more you are likely to see a bulge on the right side of the skirt.
    Thanks so much! I’m glad you like the tutorial!
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  • srkeeler - Thank you so much! I am going to try a straight skirt from my first attempt at a skirt sloper. I knew I wanted to do a back vent, but couldn’t get a straight answer on how to go about it. You are awesome!
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  • rachel - i like the inverted kickpleat in my gab and khaki skirt
    easy to walk and classy
    always put dart on the pleat
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  • Natalie | FrizzyDizzy - This is brilliant. I spent forever looking at a Simplicity pattern’s instructions trying to figure this out. Those pictures are tricky sometimes. This tutorial is perfect! Wish I had it sooner though :P ReplyCancel

  • Ibeth Dellemann - Hallelujah, I got it!
    Thank you so much, I hate to admit it, but I could not comprehend the instructions from the pattern.

    IbethReplyCancel

  • Genevieve - Thank you this was very helpful! I am planning to refashion an old pair of jeans into a pencil jean skirt, but needed to know how to add a kick slit. Thanks once again!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Beil - Question: how do you attach the lining of a french vent to the skirt with a single lapped zipper? I would like it to look like the lining in the Pendleton skirts where the wool shows ,then you see the lining. Do you have a book on sewing for sale in the book stores ,or to order from you? Thank you.

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    • Sunni - Hi Rebecca!
      I’ve actually not written a book – just my musings here on my blog. For a skirt with a french vent – or slit, in my opinion – I tack the zipper to the lining by hand with a slip stitch. Hopefully that helps.ReplyCancel

Pencil Skirt Sewalong – the Fitting

So, here we go. Tackling a basic pencil skirt. All together now.

These collective gatherings (that’s what I’m calling them) are going to be about things that the pattern doesn’t tell you. I think it’s a great idea to start with something really basic, but also flattering. Hence why we are creating a pencil skirt. As you know, I’m using the Jenny Skirt pattern from Burda Style, however you are welcome to follow along with any pencil skirt pattern you might have. This is a fairly basic skirt and so the principles should be able to translate to another pencil skirt pattern without any problem.

In this first little lesson, I’m going to tackle the fitting. Now before you go cutting into that expensive fabric you just bought, it’s good to whip up a toile or commonly known as a muslin. This way we get a perfect fit. A perfect fit for you. And that’s exactly what you want in a pencil skirt. What could be worse than a baggy or too tight, shapeless, ill-fitting pencil skirt? That’s right, nothing! Ha ha ha!

From the list I gave you in my last post, you’ll be using the following for the fitting.

  • muslin – the yardage required for your skirt
  • permanent marker
  • enough elastic to go around your waist
  • straight ruler
  • french curve or hip curve – this tool is optional, in fact you might not even require it, unless your hip needs a big adjustment.

To start, cut out your pattern pieces for your size. Make sure you measure yourself and pick the correct size. Now cut out the muslin. I only cut the basics. For a skirt like this, I cut the outer shell, and one layer of the waistband. Mark your pattern pieces, especially the darts with the permanent marker (I use the straight edge ruler on the darts to make them nice and poker straight). Stitch up your muslin according to the directions from your pattern. Leave the back open, where the zipper would be inserted open, but mark the seam allowance with your permanent marker.

OK, now we’re ready to give the skirt a try on. I find that it’s best not to try and complicate a fitting. There are many different methods for going about this, but most important is that you fit a garment so that it is easy for you to wear. With a pencil skirt there’s a few things to keep in mind. A pencil skirt, should fit close, but not tight, through the hip and waist. From the widest part of the hip, the skirt should hang straight, with enough room to walk and sit. And don’t forget to press this muslin as you go along. That also will affect the fit.

To try on your muslin – wear the undergarments you would normally wear and I find it’s very helpful to know where my natural waistline falls. This is where the elastic comes in. Tie the elastic around your natural waistline (the thinnest part of your waist) and move around for a minute to let it settle. Even if you plan to make a lower waisted skirt, this is helpful to find out where in relation to your natural waistline you want the waistline of your skirt to fall. Also try the skirt on inside out. It’s much easier to pin out seams and such when it’s inside out.

Try on the skirt muslin. Pin up the back, where the zipper should be and give it a good hard look in the mirror. What to look for – bulges in the fabric. And no, I’m not talking about the bulges in our body, we all have those, specifically you are looking for parts in the garment where there are wrinkles in the fabric, because it’s hanging wrong. Even more specifically, look for these in the waist through the hip. Now, the skirt might be altogether too big, and therefore have no bulges, so take this into consideration too. This was my issue. It felt like it was about to fall off. I wanted just a bit more snugness.

Specific points to consider – take a good look at the darts. Don’t be afraid to lengthen or shorten the darts if they fall at a strange point on your body. You’ll find that they are too long if they create little divets at the bottom. If they are too short, you’ll see that there is a bulge in the fabric between the bottom of the dart and the hip. To fix either of these, unpick the darts, try on the garment, and pin out the darts that fit your body, making sure to create symmetry for either side. You’ll find it easier to pin your skirt tight at the hip for this alteration and then pin out over darts you’ve marked with permanent marker. Once your finished, take off the skirt and remark the darts on your sewing pattern. Another point to consider – the darts might be just fine, but the sides might need to be taken in. This is the case for me. Pin out the sides, take off the skirt and adjust your sewing pattern. Make sure you pin out the same amount on each side of the garment for symmetry. You might need the french or hip curve here, especially if you only need to take in the waist. When marking your pattern, you’ll need to adjust and blend the new line for your skirt side.

It also might be that the fit widthwise seems fine, but the hip is a little off. For this, you’ll need to cut along the top “cut here to lengthen or shorten line” and lengthen or shorten. (Every commercial skirt pattern typical has these. It’s those double lines that say, “cut here to lengthen or shorten” and usually there is one near the top of the skirt and near the bottom) Make sure if you need the hem longer, that you cut along the bottom “lengthen or shorten” line. You’ll need to blend the lines with your straight ruler or french curve afterwards.

It’s also a good idea to sew the new adjustments into your muslin and try it on again. Walk around in it and sit down. Also start looking at things like the back vent, is it too high, too low? What about the hem? Too short, too long? Make sure you make the adjustments for those as well.

Hopefully this gives you a general idea of what to look for when fitting your skirt. Just remember, it should be comfortable. If it’s not comfortable you probably won’t wear the final garment. And who wants that when you’ve pored so much work into the thing?

Happy Fitting! If you have questions, I will try to stay on top of answering them in the comments section. And don’t worry, this is just muslin, right? You’ll do marvelously!

And don’t forget, this is collective. If you fit differently, give us your opinion. What helps you when you are fitting a garment? How do you go about the fitting process? Books, websites, resources that you recommend?

  • Jen - This is going in the vault. I tried one pencil skirt last year, and it was such a debacle. I’m pregnant now so it will be a while before I’m pencil-skirt-ready, but I can’t wait to try!
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  • Debi - Fabulous! Thanks so much for this!!!
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  • Jayne - ok ok, I’ll get that magenta fabric out of the closet and try this. A well-fitting pencil skirt is exactly what my wardrobe needs.
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  • Amy - Aha, this is what I needed when I made my first pencil skirt! I’ll be keeping your tips in mind when I attempt another, thanks :D
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  • Ellen - I’m ready! I found some black crepe-y stuff in my stash. I meant to get the muslin at least cut out today, but alas, it didn’t happen.
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  • Alexandra Mason - This is great :)…thank you!
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  • Sarah - When I pin-fit, I have to do it right side out because my hips are wildly uneven. But other than that, this is very clear and sounds quite helpful.
    (darts still give me pain….)
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  • Alana - Alrighty – I am all muslined up now (after some serious anomalies in the pattern measurements) and I’m going to work on the fitting more tomorrow.
    I seem to be getting a bit of a poufy uterus thing happening at the front that I’m not sure how to tackle. Could it be the lengths of the darts do you think?
    :)Alana
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Yes, I think you should unpick the front darts and pin them out to your personal preference. It might also be the dart and hip combo. It’s possible that you have a long waist to hip measurement and that the hip line needs to be lengthened too. This would be where you cut that “shorten or lengthen” line and add a little length.
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  • Sandra - Great tips. I’m lengthening mine about 3-4 cm I think. I have some puckering going on at the hips and not sure if this means I need to cut a larger size on the bottom or whether I need to lengthen at the hip line. Ideas?
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  • Sandra - Actually, the puckering is right across the front at the hips. It doesn’t feel too small though, can sit and bend happily.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Hey Sandra,
    It sounds like a little length at the hip line would be just the ticket. I have found that for a number of skirts I need to lengthen this area just a tad, and I don’t think it’s because I have weird hips. I think it’s just that the hip curve which would have been used to draft the pattern is again, made for that one person’s hip.
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  • frk.bustad - I can’t wait to go through this tutorial! Looks supergreat, and perfect as I’m planning to make a Jenny in red/black houndstooth wool mix!
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  • Tasia - This is fantastic, great fitting tips!
    One thing I’d suggest would be when picking your size, cut out the size for the widest part of you.
    For me, I have to pick the size for my HIP, which is usually two sizes larger than it would be if I’d chosen a size based on my WAIST. It’s easy to pin in, when it needs to be tighter like you’ve shown. But if it’s too small it’s a lot harder to let it out and figure out how much to add.
    It’s super late, this comment, but perhaps it will still be helpful for the late starters!
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  • Liz - I’m pretty late for this project, but I just put up my muslin pictures on flickr. Something is not quite right, and I’m not sure what.
    My butt looks slim from the side, but in the front there is a bit of poofing around the darts. In my pics I had to fold down the waistband to my true waist. And as a side note, I usually always have to shorten my waist in tops and dresses by 1″, since I’m only 4’11″.
    The hem on this muslin is pretty long, so I’ll have to take that up.
    What are your thoughts?
    Thanks!
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  • Libby - Thats my 21st birthday!
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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!

  • AnaJan - 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:
    http://leko-mail.net/b/5681.jpg
    available for free at:
    http://leko-mail.net
    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.
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  • Jennifer - 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!
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  • Eithne - 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.
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  • Marybeth - Check out this link for instructions on how to draft all different kinds of skirts…
    http://vintagesewing.info/1940s/42-mpd/mpd-08.html
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  • Erica - 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…
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  • Sandra - 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…
    http://www.burdastyle.com/profiles/sandrasews
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  • Alexandra Mason - I’m excited, can’t wait to get started….going material shopping tomorrow :)
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  • Carlotta - 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.
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  • Ellen - 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!
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  • Jennifer - I have been eyeing the Jenny skirt for a while! I am in!
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  • Pattern Junkie - Ooh, fun! Count me in!
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  • Alana - Super exciting – I bought all the bits and pieces this weekend. Well except or the french curve – the fabric store had sold out!
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  • Jayne - 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
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  • Jayne - ….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
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - 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.
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Danger! Curves Ahead Pencil Skirt

Here is number 1 of three pencil skirts fit to be made for my Self Stitched September-ness. This is the Jenny Skirt Pattern from Burda Style. Can I just say, Love at first stitch. As per usual with Burda Style patterns, this pattern did not come with great instructions. No problem, as pencil skirts aren’t really that complex.

Onto specifics. I made this from a navy blue polyester wool blend. Not my favorite fabric to work with, but it was on sale and that does the trick sometimes. I needed a skirt in a basic neutral color too. This definitely fit the bill. It’s lined in silk charmeuse, which was a thrifted skirt from just a little while ago.

Things I love: The shape is superb on this skirt. I’ll admit, I got this one just a bit snug, but you might be surprised to find out that not only can I walk, I can sit! Ha! And talk about comfort. For something that does not really look comfortable, it is. Especially lined with the luscious silk. Pajamas, more like. Pencil Skirt Pajama. I also love the zipper. For those of you who’ve been visiting here for awhile, you know I simply abhore invisible zips. I’ve never had good luck with them. NEVER! But I did some digging around in some of my old mags and found this article for putting them in. It was back in a Sew Stylish issue which is apart of the Threads empire. (I can’t find the article on the Threads website, I’ll keep looking, but maybe I’ll just give you my version of the zipper insertion) Ummm…have you ever seen a zipper look so beautiful? Yeah, me neither. I’ll admit, it is warping just a bit and I think this is because in general, I got the skirt a bit on the snug side. But this takes the cake as the most gorgeous invisible zipper insertion I’ve ever attempted. I also love the bias cut waistband. Normally I don’t take too kindly to bias cut parts to garments. I would rather have the whole dress, not just the silly lining cut on the bias, if you know what I mean. This waistband is different. The bias part of it hugs that curve at your waist, making you appear even thinner that you would think.

Things I don’t love: This brings me to the parts I’m not so crazy about. I do love the bias waistband, however the downside of this is the slight puckering at the back. This is caused from the bias. I know this for sure, because I’ve attempted this sort of look on a few other garments before and always had the same result. Drag. I also do not love the slit at the back. It cheapens the look of the whole thing and it was a little on the high side. It was a bit too friendly on the “hello” side of things, if you know what I mean. It really should be a vent or kick pleat, which for pencil skirt #2, you’ll definitely see.

And that, dear friends, is that. A seriously dangerous skirt, with more curves than I even knew I had! I was thinking it might be kind of fun to do one of these skirts together. Giving you some fitting tips and sewing tips that you wouldn’t normally get from the pattern and not to mention, it would be like a collective little sewing league where we could all share our problems, issues and tips. What do you say? Maybe a little flickr pool to boot. Come on, come on, it’ll be fun, it’ll be fun!

  • karen - I totally agree about the slit – it lets a beautiful skirt down. I feel a bit self-conscious walking around in mine, knowing quite how much upper thigh is being revealed. It would look far better with a vent or kick pleat. But seeing as I don’t quite know how to adapt the pattern … I would happily come along for a Jenny Skirt Ride!
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  • Erica - I have been eyeing the Jenny Skirt as my inaugural return-to-sewing pattern and would be so totally down with a sew along! Count me in!
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  • yahaira - this skirt on you = gorgeous.
    I’ve had my eye on this skirt for a while, but the thought of printing and taping it all up and the fact I can’t tell if it comes in my size have all stopped me dead. though if I’m sewing along with you I’ll definitely give it a go.
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  • Alessa - What a wonderful skirt! Very nice curves and the lining is super-cute. :-) I’d like a sew-along, I could definitely do with a pencil skirt!
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  • Alexandra Mason - Love your skirt, i have never made a pencil skirt so it would be great to join in a sew-along :)
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  • Suzie - Its gorgeous – what a perfect fit! And the zipper really is super neat!! I LOVE the fact that you used a thrifted skirt as the lining material – why have I never thought of that!
    I commented on your blog before (on your pencil skirt inspiration post) that I’m planning to make a few pencil skirts so I would DEFINATELY be up for a Jenny sew-along…especially if the Burda instructions are a bit sparce!!!
    Bring it on!
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  • Audie - I just bought this pattern and would love to do the sew together! Especially since I have never inserted lining OR successfully inserted a zipper (invisible or not). And the burda instructions are pretty confusing when trying to put this thing together.
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  • Pinkicing - I love your color sense! and I would love to try a sewalong.
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  • Pinkicing - I love your color sense! and I would love to try a sew-a-long…
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  • Sarah - You look sensational! Count me in for the pencil skirt group. I’m tackling one for my Hepburn Hepburn project.
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  • Seemane - Great skirt & nice job on the zipper Sunni!
    Re: waistband puckering at the back, I’m a novice – but would cutting the front on the bias (as per instructions) but cutting back waistband pieces on the straight-grain cure this problem… but still get the waist-slimming effect on the front ?
    P.S. I bought & downloaded the Jenny skirt pattern ages ago but have not used it yet, so a sew-a-long/tutorial would be fabulous please !!! :) You could call it “Sew-with-Sunni” :)
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  • Sandra - Love this! I have made up the Jenny and looove the shape. Unfortunately it was in fabric from old curtains in my house that didn’t end up looking as groovy as I was imagining. So I’m keen to make up another. The shape is so flattering and love love love the bias waistband. I’m up for a sew along. Already have the pattern cut out.
    http://www.burdastyle.com/profiles/sandrasews
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  • Shannon - I love the skirt! But I am seriously impressed with the zipper! It’s perfect. I would love to see the article you mentioned. I will have to try and look for it.
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  • Seemane - I’ve found which issue of Sew Stylish magazine the article on invisible zippers appeared in – it’s this one :)
    http://store.taunton.com/onlinestore/item/sewstylish-spring-fashion-034007.html
    SewStylish Spring Fashion, Vol. 2
    Published 2009
    Product #034007
    So I tried looking on the mag’s website (http://www.besewstylish.com) and it redirects you to http://www.craftstylish.com/sewstylish.
    I found a page on there, posted on July 18th, 2009 “How to Insert an Invisible Zipper into a Side Seam”(http://www.craftstylish.com/item/50357/how-to-insert-an-invisible-zipper-into-a-side-seam) by Jennifer Stern and they tell you to see the tutorial on her blog (http://jsterndesigns.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-to-insert-invisible-zipper-into.html). As Jennifer is one of “Sew Stylish”‘s contributors and her post came out July 2009 (after the magazine article came out in Spring 2009) I wonder if any of the info./content is related at all :) ?
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  • Karin van D. - Gorgeous. You, the skirt and you in the skirt. Beautiful!
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  • juebejue - i love it! perfect skirt and PUUURfect lining (can you tell that i love it?). great job on the zipper, i could tell that you hand stitched the lining to the zipper? I never thought of that. maybe i will use that method for the dress I am working on! :)
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  • Angela - Oh my… fabulous and fabulous and more fabulous! Great zipper insertion!
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  • Tasia - Hot! I love the lining and lace detail, the idea of using thrifted garments as lining is brilliant! You know, I’ve been eyeing this skirt pattern as everyone has such success with it.. I am probably too late for your sew-along but this is definitely inspiring!
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Stitching Spotlights 8.6.2010

I’ve been doing some heavy duty cleaning out, which is why the delayed posts. The latest spritzer upper was going through my jewels. What a mess! I spent two hours unknotting and detangling some 20 odd necklaces. I’m rather terrible with jewelry and throw it all in a box, so it gets tangled and knotted and then I don’t wear it. Every few years or so, it’s time to clean it up. This time for good.

I made this handy dandy cork board jewel keeper. Rather simple. Bought a frame, some cork board and covered the cork board in blue silk, which matches my bedroom. I’ve seen this idea floating around the net these days and felt it was such a good idea because it keeps things detangled and you can hang up your jewels for inspiration and to remind you to add that necklace to your outfit on any given day.

I also made the top drawer of my dresser into a jewel keeper as well. The cork board can’t hold everything now. I made a blue mat from the same blue silk, cotton batting and printed cotton fabric and put some bias tape around the edges. Easy, easy. Surprisingly, the jewels really don’t slide anywhere. And it makes opening this drawer such a treat, kind of like going to a department store and getting some jewels out of the glass case.

I found that my silver pieces needed some real cleaning too. I didn’t want to mess with that silver cleaner garbage and so looked up some recipes for homemade silver cleaner online. I had no idea it would be so easy. I lined a bowl in tinfoil. Boiled some water, added that to the bowl. Sprinkled some baking soda and salt in the bowl and Voila! Silver Cleaner. Soaked my silver jewels in that solution for a bit, gave them a rinse and now they are silver again. Ha ha ha! This method works super well, would recommend anytime!

Also considering buying this book. Got the recommendation from Casey’s blog and though I have made some of my own jewelry, it’s definitely nothing fabulous. I feel I could use a little “training.”

I realize this is more of a jewelry spotlight than a stitching spotlight, but hey, us ladies need something to accessorize with them handmade clothes right?

Wishing you a fabulous weekend!