The Pencil Skirt Saga


This skirt is part of my pencil skirt saga.  I have been searching for the right pencil skirt pattern since I began sewing. I thought that I had found it once, but it turns out that it only worked for fabrics with extreme amounts of stretch. I wanted something simple and sleek that would work well with stretch wovens. I didn’t think that I was asking too much, but it turned out to be an epic quest.Red-Floral-Pencil-Skirt

Styling the outfit with my favorite denim jacket (actually my only denim jacket) and my favorite refashioned band tee. All I am missing is my red lipstick.

I have tried several different patterns and I’ve tried drafting my own, but I never seem to get it quite right. This is actually my second try at the pencil skirt from Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing. My first skirt was way to big. After wearing it out once I realized that I should never wear it out again. Luckily I had enough of this cheap Joann’s stretch woven, bottom weight, fabric left over to make another. So if your curious about my first try just picture this skirt, but twice as big in the hips.


Not quite sure how I feel about the extra high, curved, waistband. What do you think?

I graded the pattern from a 10 at the waist down to an 8 at the hips. The first time I made this skirt I just couldn’t believe this to be true. I ALWAYS have to grade up for my hips, never down. So I added an extra 1/8 of an inch at the hips on the front and back side seams, you know, just to be safe. This was a mistake. I have always thought of myself as being pretty bootylicious with an hour glass figure, and I am, just not quite as curvy as this pattern is designed for.Pencil-Skirt-#7

For this skirt, my second try, I simply removed the extra 1/8 of inch I had added and prefer the fit. Was my quest coming to an end? Or is it never ending? I see fit problems with this skirt. I have a bit of a kangaroo pouch look going on, but am not sure if that can be helped. Should I lengthen the font darts, shorten them, or turn the two into one? Oh, adventures in fitting. I do however love the way my bootay looks in this skirt, so there is one problem solved.Pencil-Skirt-#3Pencil-Skirt-#4

Bootay shots.

Another issue I have with this skirt is the waistband. It didn’t line up at the side seams quite right and there wasn’t enough overlap in the back for a button. Honestly, in these photos the back waistband is kept together with a safety pin. I plan on adding a pair of hook and eyes in the future, but thought the safety pin was appropriate for the punk rock styling of the photo shoot, however subtle. I plan on redrafting the skirt, possibly even contouring the waistband to avoid gaping in the back. Pencil-Skirt-#8

A few fitting problems aside I feel great in this skirt and it really lines up with the style I have defined for myself through the Wardrobe Architect Challenge. I think that this look hits three of my style defining words, chic, powerful, and fun. And most importantly, I feel damn sexy in it. Incase you can’t tell from my photos. In fact, I added a picture very much like this to my January Wardrobe Architect Challenge blog post. I would wear this to a party, to the bar, or to a show. You can expect to see more pencil skirts in the future. I am considering cutting and sewing several at once, so there may even be a pencil skirt parade in this blogs near future. I am sure you are all sitting on the edge of your seat with anticipation. I know I am and that’s what counts.

For those curious about the shirt. This is a refashion of one of my favorite Primus shirts. I decided to refashion a couple band shirts I had when I realized that I had been wearing the same style, man’s size small, band tee since high school (10 years ago). I think this looks much better and can be worn more casual with a cardigan over it. This particular shirt has bust darts in the sides to fix some armhole gaping.


*A note on bra straps. Some people are offended by bra straps and think they are unsightly. I, quite frankly, don’t really care if my bra strap peeks out on occasion. There are greater sins, like plumber’s crack or whale tails. The occasional slip of the strap, meh. Doesn’t bother me so much. 


7 Comments Add yours

  1. lindsymoran says:

    I love the high curved waist! It looks great on you.

    1. Thanks, I wasn’t sure about the waistband. I was thinking of putting a regular one on next time.

      1. lindsymoran says:

        It’s a great pattern, I also love the length. The high waist line almost gives it a cummerbund look which I like. I bet it would look amazing with a sequin gold tank. Someday, I’ll sew again. It’s great to follow along with you. ❤

  2. Really nice skirt. The fabric is lovely.

    1. Thanks! It is always surprising when I find such a nice piece of fabric at Joann’s.

  3. embee says:

    Nice! Props for the Primus shirt…I actually found this post via the sewcialist firehose and I was intrigued by the styling- floral and Primus is an edgy combo! 😉 I have an old Primus shirt that I tried to dye red and it ended up pink and purple so I haven’t worn it in a veeery long time. Maybe I should try to fix it! I’m really excited to read back on your Wardrobe Architect posts since I’m doing that, too (although I don’t have the time to be as thorough with it as I want right now). I can definitely see chic, powerful and fun!

    1. I love Primus 🙂 I would say do whatever you can to make that shirt work for you. Maybe try to dye it red again? I am excited about the Wardrobe Architect too. It was so liberating going through my closet and getting rid of close that were just wasting space.

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