A Pretty Painful Pencil Skirt

Thank goodness it’s finally done! I thought it was going to be started and finished in a day… two weeks later I’m finally at posting stage!

I started this skirt for a Pencil Skirt Challenge in Stitch One, Rip Twice a few days before the June 31st deadline. I thought this would be simple: I had picked a lovely knit from my fabric stash and had already printed and cut out my Burdastyle Kasia pattern. Alas, my one day project went on for almost two weeks as problem after problem presented itself. The first problem, I didn’t have enough fabric for the pattern. Have you seen the Kasia pattern? Three layers of fabric in the front! So I had to do a few modifications. Here’s a pic of the pieces I cut to the left with all of the pattern pieces I didn’t use to the right.


Just a teeny tiny variation!

I didn’t have enough fabric to cut out the pockets, so I attached a square behind each curve…


…and used a zig zag stitch with a very short stitch length to cover the raw edge. I call this ‘mock piping’ – if you squint at it from far far away it actually looks like piping! If you’re going to try this one at home, remember to apply non-stretch interfacing, otherwise the zig zag will stretch your fabric.

Then I put the waistband together and adjusted the side seam of the skirt to fit it. Then added the waistband facing. Then tried it on. Then let the disappointment take over. It looked horrid. I completely overestimated the quality of my fabric – it didn’t hide anything! In addition, my hips don’t stick out width ways (it’s all in the butt) so I looked like an Oompa Loompa! Finally, the good quality knit I used for the waistband facing was too thick resulting in super bulky seams. [Somewhere in there I realised I didn’t have a zip or the right sized buttons. I also failed to obtain both in the one shopping trip, so it took two! More delays!]

Back to the drawing board!

I knew I needed something underneath to pull everything in to bring out the pencil shape. A lining. I had to make a lining. I had to draft a lining from scratch, technically a whole new skirt! Oh joy.

So I found this simple tutorial on how to draft your own pencil skirt sloper and went ahead with that. It was very easy to follow on and the sewing was very minimal – only a few darts, back seam and hem. The only adjustment I needed to make was to the side darts which had to be lengthened to take some of the width from the hips.

Off went the facing, off went the zip, in went the lining and in went the zip. Lining hemmed, lining attached to centre back skirt seam and skirt hemmed. A bit of stitch in the ditch between the waistband and skirt and I’m finally done! Hooray! I learned something new too, toilet paper will suffice in the likely event of not having tissue paper to secure a knit while hemming 🙂


From the front:


and the side:




I struggled to find something to go with it. I tried a black top with thick black tights, but that was too much black. I tried skin colour stockings which looked pretty average too. Finally settled on the brown top with the thin black stockings, though wasn’t entirely happy with that ensemble either. Next time, I think maybe these stockings with the black top would look better? Yes? No?

In other news, I had to take my overlocker to be serviced. I bent the pin on my needle plate, another issue that came up during the pencil skirt challenge! So I am without my baby for two weeks 😦 I’ll have to wait for it’s return before I can get onto the shirt dress which I was hoping would be my next project. Not to worry, I’m going to make a start on one of those woolly jumpers from this post instead.


15 thoughts on “A Pretty Painful Pencil Skirt

  1. Thank you for linking out to my pencil skirt tutorial.
    I think your skirt turned out great and you sound like you saved it with the lining and some really clever tricks. I like it, but yes, yellow is a hard color to style – too much black and you can look like a bumblebee!
    As well as the pattern, I’m also offering a Sew A Skirt beginners tutorial series which will cover all of the basics from choosing fabric to darts, zipper, lining and more. It’s going on right now with lots of lessons still to come.

    • You’re welcome. I’m all for giving credit where credit is due, I quite often go hyperlink crazy in my posts! I’ll be sure to check out your series, thanks for sharing your talents!

  2. Awesome! I’m glad to see it all finished up. & toilet paper…who knew? You are not one to give up easily are you? I normally get frustrated when things don’t go my way and quit:) your perseverance paid off sista!

    • I tell you now, it would have been a different story if it wasn’t part of a challenge in which I had publicly announced I would take part. I hate projects that drag out, I’m an instant gratification person when it comes to sewing! If it takes too long I normally do chuck it aside!

  3. I think the result is great, and toilet paper is a clever idea! I use that paper that comes with swimsuit when they’re new (I work on a swimming pool) and works like a charms… but I think toilet paper is simpler to find in any house… or I hope it is 😉
    Thanks for sharing!
    MammaNene @ SergerPepper

  4. The colour opposite yellow on the colour wheel is purple. It sounds strange but the two colours actually go together quite well, so maybe try a purple top? What a shame about the trouble you had to go to for the pattern, I’ve had that before and it isn’t fun :/

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