Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The World's Easiest (and Comfiest!) Pencil Skirt

As I have said before, I thoroughly enjoy a good pencil skirt. And as a graduate student, knowing that very soon I'll be conducting assessments and providing therapy in a professional setting, I am trying to build up my wardrobe of pencil skirts and other professional attire. However, I am also lazy and like to be comfortable. Thankfully, a juxtaposition of those two things is possible! Also very easy. (Easy is good, cause again: lazy.)

This skirt was inspired by this post here, from one of my favorite blogs, Merrick's Art.

Materials Needed
Approximately 3/4 yard - 1 yard knit fabric (depends on your size)
Coordinating thread
Double needle (optional)

 1. Trace an existing skirt or use an existing sloper

I, luckily, had a pencil skirt sitting around that was just perfect for this, that I got last spring at TJ Maxx, aka the absolute best store ever. If you don't have a pencil skirt that fits you well, you can use a sloper. (You can look at my other pencil skirt post where I provide a link to a good sloper tutorial, if you'd like.) The reason that this skirt works perfectly is that it's slightly stretchy, just like the one this new one. And it fits very comfortably.

You could trace it right onto the fabric if you'd like, but I would eventually like to make six or seven million more of this skirt, so I went ahead and created this pattern piece for future use.\

You can see I've labeled the direction of the stretch (across our hips, not up and down) and have made a tentative outline of where the waistband hits. That way I can modify the width of the waistband in future skirts.

2. Cut out two pieces with the new fabric

Place your pattern piece on your knit fabric, folded in half, and cut out around the pattern piece. Make sure to add seam allowance if you didn't include it in your pattern piece.

In order to make sure your skirt is exactly symmetrical, you could cut out two pieces on the fold, but I don't care that much. Plus I was using a remnant so my surface area was somewhat limited.

3. Place pieces right side together and sew up side seams

Pin the two pieces together and sew as shown. You can use a straight stitch if your fabric doesn't stretch lengthwise. If, however, you are using a four-way stretch, you're better off using a zigzag stitch just in case stretching happens. That way the stitches won't break.

4. Fold down and sew waistband

I wanted my waistband to be about two inches wide, so I folded down the top of my skirt one inch, and then folded that over again about two inches. I didn't measure or anything, just eyeballed it until I liked where it was. Then I pinned it in place like below and pressed with a hot iron.

Remember, the skirt is still wrong-side-out. Now we have to stitch the waistband down. Since this part of the skirt will definitely stretch, we need to use a stitch that also stretches. You can definitely use a zigzag stitch, but I think it looks more professional to use my double needle here. So. If you are going to use a double needle, turn the skirt right side out. Then, stitch carefully along the edge of your waistband. I say carefully because since your waistband is folded to the inside of your skirt, and you're working on the outside, you obviously can't see it. Instead, you'll have to feel where the edge of your waistband is as you sew along.

5. Sew the hem (optional)

If you want to, you can now hem the bottom of the skirt. I would again recommend using a double needle for this. I chose not to though, mostly because it was late and I wanted to go to bed. Totally up to you!

Either way, now you have an awesome, suuuuuper comfy skirt to wear anywhere and everywhere you want!

(If you're wondering, no, that is not my bed in the background. :) )

On a different note: I am currently packing up and preparing to move within the next two weeks. This move is a big one... 800 miles... so I am wondering if any of you stupendous and marvelous readers might have any hints about moving cross-country? I've rented a moving truck and will be driving there, and my finances are tight. So if you have any cheap but helpful moving tips I'd really appreciate if you left them in the comments!

Also, due to the move, stuff around here is going to quiet down a little (more than usual, anyway). I have one more post planned but then I probably won't be around for at least two weeks. But I hope that when I do come back, I will have some great new projects to show you guys! And if I do pick up any tips from the move, maybe I'll make a post about that too. :)

Linked up at:
http://www.skiptomylou.org/ ; http://www.craft-o-maniac.com/ ; 
http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/ ; http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com/http://www.keepingitsimplecrafts.com/ ; http://www.notjustahousewife.net/ ; http://www.adventuresofadiymom.com/ ;http://carolynshomework.blogspot.com/ ; 


  1. You have the same mini ironing board from IKEA that I have! I recognize the purple flowers. :)

    Anyways, love the skirt! It's really similar to Mo's, which is on the top of her blog right now. Stretchy pencil skirts are definitely comfy and perfect for the summer.

    No tips from me, even though I've moved 2,000 miles twice in my life. It's all a blur... Good luck with the move!

  2. Good job! Love the color, you should be able to get a lot of use out of that skirt.

    Hope your move is successful. My only tip is don't move anything you don't really love/want in your new space :)