Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Self-drafted pencil skirt

This has been a LONG time in the making.

I bought this fabric the first time I went to Goldhawk Road, London, when I was still in the UK. Erm, that was about September 2011. It's wool with a silver thread running through it. I think the lining was actually bought in John Lewis, not on Goldhawk Road. At the time, I remember thinking ooh, that's expensive, but when I consider now, I think the fabric was about GBP15 a metre. Being wool, it was 60 inches wide, so I had a metre. Bargain! (Sorry, I'm using both imperial and metric at the same time. A bad habit of mine which I need to curtail!)

The pattern started as my first ever self-drafted skirt. In October 2011, Sew Country Chick ran a pencil skirt draft-a-long, which I decided to join in with. I got so far. I drafted the pattern in October and even managed to stitch up a muslin. Yes, you did read that right, I sewed a muslin! I even got the fabric and lining cut and managed to sew the darts in the shell. Then life changed, we finally sold up and moved to New Zealand!

I didn't get to finish the skirt last winter, so I was determined to finish it for this. I managed to get some sewing done while I had my ankle in plaster, but it was slow going...

Anyway, the skirt is finally finished.

I found a bias binding which managed the lining to use for the seams. All seams for the main skirt are bound using this bias binding. It's the first time I've used Hong Kong seams, but believe you me, this fabric frays like anything! All seams on the lining fabric are French seams.


The zip is just a centred zip in the back of the skirt. For the waistband, I stitched the lining to the skirt, then attached curved Petersham to the top. The lining doesn't have darts in it, I ended up changing allegiance and following Sunni's pencil skirt sewalong who suggested that the lining should just have pleats in it.


The back of the skirt has a back vent. I think a back vent looks so much better, plus it's stronger for fabric which is as loosely woven as this. I got a bit confused with the lining for the vent and ended up fudging it, but this can't be seen on the outside and it now looks like it's just a seam that's meant to be there! [I cut back both sides of the lining by the vent and had to stitch one cut part back on again - oops!]

The inside of the vent and the hem are all finished with the bias binding too. The wool fabric was really bulky and just wouldn't have worked hemming up without the binding.

So the finished article...

I really pleased with myself how this skirt has turned out. The only problem with it, is that it's now too big around the waist. I think perhaps my drafting wasn't great, but it was a first. I get loads of compliments when I wear it. The colours are great for cheering me up on a grotty day. Plus the skirt is warm and is great for wearing on a windy day in Wellington!

The details
Fabric:  Teal green and black wool with a silver thread running through, purchased on Goldhawk Road, October 2011
Notions and lining:   Green lining fabric from John Lewis, also purchased October 2011, black zipper, green bias binding
Pattern:  Self-drafted pencil skirt, based on sewalongs from Sew Country Chick and a Fashionable Stitch
First worn:  Ages ago at a Wellington Sewing Bloggers meet on 19th May, it's just taken me a long time to get the photos done...
Worn with:  In these photos, a white T-shirt and dark green cardigan from Glassons (the former is losing it's shape...), black tights (most likely from Marks and Spencer in the UK!) and black pumps bought cheaply recently as a stop gap.


  1. Well done! Sounds like lots of new techniques were explored. I hope to see it again soon! Love the bias binding on the hem...

  2. I Love the colours in this skirt. Perfect for dreary winter.

  3. Having seen this in real life I have to say that the colour is amaaaazing :) It's no wonder you get compliments.

  4. What a great skirt, the fabric looks stunning and I love the bound steams :-)

  5. Such pretty fabric - you did a fabulous job! :D

  6. Your Hong Kong seams are beautiful! You've done a lovely job on this and it looks lovely.

  7. Love this fabric! It's beautiful, especially with the light sparkle :) And great job on drafting your own pencil skirt!