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Sew over it: Ultimate Pencil Skirt

Here’s to finishing my first make of 2016! I believe it’s possible to sew up a pencil skirt in a few hours but I’ve been working on this one since Boxing Day! Mainly because, between Toddler Boy and Baby Boy, I don’t have the use of my hands for most of my waking hours – it took a couple of 2a.m. sewing sessions to get this done, but it was well worth it. I’m in love.

   

Pattern: Sew Over It’s Ultimate Pencil Skirt

Fabric: this wool/polyester mix, also from Sew Over It.

Cost: I went for the printed pattern (£14), to save myself some time, but there’s also a digital pattern at £8.50. I’m already planning to make more (and my aunt has asked me to make her one) so this was a good addition to my fledgling pattern library. The fabric was £13/metre and I ordered 2m but seem to have loads left over. I’m tempted to try a cropped cardigan/Chanel-inspired jacket as a practice run before I try to make one in tweed – but I’ll need a bit more experience first!

Alterations: I shortened the pattern by the full length of the “shorten/lengthen here” lines. From memory I think it was about 2-3 inches in total, as I wanted it to hit immediately below my knee and the pattern seemed rather long. I graded from a size 12 waist to size 10 from the hips down, as I’m still carrying a few post-baby inches around my waist. Perhaps I should have been optimistic and just cut a size 10 as there’s plenty of room in the waist. I found that the hips fit perfectly but I seemed to have a lot of excess fabric from the hips down. (Do I have abnormally skinny thighs and a big bum?) I pinned it to fit a bit better from the hips down, drew a new side seam along my pins using a hip curve, traced it back to my pattern for next time, and sewed the new narrower seam. My first bit of pattern alteration/drafting went surprisingly well and the fit was much better! Next time I will widen the back darts to take out about an inch in the back and it should be perfect!

Fit: I got a good fit, with the alterations above, but I do wonder how much of that is because of the nice chunky, forgiving, wool covering up any cutting/sewing errors. Good thing I like tweeds and boucles!

Difficulty: I found the instructions nice and clear, for the most part. I accidentally attached the waistband facing upside down, but that didn’t seem to cause a significant problem so I left it. 

The fabric was actually rather chunky but has a nice drape. It was a bit difficult to cut through, I had to use shears instead of my rotary cutter, but sewing it up was surprisingly easy. It does feel a bit bulky at the side seams of the waistband though – when I make up my tweed versions I might try and cut the waistband in one piece instead to avoid the additional side seam.

For my first time fitting a concealed zip, which I did with a regular zipper foot as I couldn’t find my invisible one (sod’s law!), I think it turned out well enough! Practice will make perfect..

  
I followed this Colette Patterns blog post on matching patterns, to try to cut all my pieces such that the horizontal lines in my tartan could be matched up. I wasn’t 100% in the end but it was a good enough job for me! 

I really love how the kick pleat turned out, I think it’s a nice professional touch they’ve included in the pattern, and the instructions made it nice and easy to sew.   
While I was looking for my invisible zipper foot, I found some labels I had ordered years ago when I first decided to learn to sew, and never used because I never actually sewed anything. So I resolved to use them in all my makes now. Here’s to the very first one!:

Update with some real life pictures:

 – Michelle –

5 thoughts on “Sew over it: Ultimate Pencil Skirt

  1. […] Over It , £13/m.. I have used part of this monochrome tartan wool blend fabric for a pencil skirt, but still have a fair amount left so I’m tempted to try and make a matching cropped jacket […]

  2. Great job! I love the fabric, very classic.

    1. Thank you! I definitely agree, it’s a lovely fabric and I’m thinking this will be a well worn wardrobe staple piece!

  3. Skirt looks great! I’ve tried the pattern but made too small so gave up on it… maybe I’ll try again! Also, nice use of EF&P! (I’m a law librarian)

    1. Hehe thanks! I think this was while I was shy about showing my face in blog pictures but the sewing community is so lovely that I soon got over that! Good luck if you do decide to have another go, I’m sure it’ll be great!

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