My 3 Monsters: DIY Custom-Fit Pencil Skirt

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DIY Custom-Fit Pencil Skirt

DIY Custom-Fit Pencil Skirt at
Hi, guys!  Today I've got another sewing project for you, and it's my most ambitious project to date.  You know how most of the projects on my site start with "Super Easy" or "30 Minutes" in the title?  Well, not this one.  It's a little bit more advanced, but still totally do-able if you follow the steps exactly.  I got this BEAUTIFUL dogwood blossom print fabric from Wholeport this month and decided I wanted to make myself a tailored pencil skirt.  

{You may recognize the fabric as a retired Vera Bradley print.  So was the fabric I used for my casserole carrier last month. You will find lots of the retired Vera Bradley print fabrics at Wholeport if you look.  I hesitate to share that best-kept secret with the whole internet because it is such a fabulous resource.  Just promise you'll leave a few yards of the prettiest prints for me!} 

DIY Custom-Fit Pencil Skirt at
I found this blog post from Kayla at Freckles in April via Pinterest a while back and I was intrigued.  I have been sewing a long time, but I had never drafted a pattern before.  Unless you count all the dresses I sewed for my Cabbage Patch dolls when I was a little girl . . . Anyway, I used the resources linked to in that post and found a few more that I found helpful and came up with a really nice skirt.  Seriously, it's probably the nicest article of clothing I have ever sewn.  I was more than pleased with the results.  I think I was a little worried about it being too tight so I measured big and ended up taking it in an inch on each side, but now it fits like a glove.  Almost like . . . it was made just for me. 

So, here are the directions for drafting a pattern block. {source: House of Marmalade}

Most of the time I was working on it, I had no idea what I was doing or, more to the point, why I was doing it, but I followed every direction to a tee and it all came together in the end.  Just do what it says, use accurate measurements, and trust.

This post will tell you, very basically, how to turn your pattern block into a pencil skirt.  {source: House of Marmalade}

These instructions assume you are pretty familiar with the process of sewing a skirt.  It shows you how to create the facing for the waist, and how to cut and mark the pattern.  I wanted to have my zipper at the center back, so I cut the skirt front piece on a fold to make it one solid piece and cut two separate pieces for the skirt back.  

DIY Custom-Fit Pencil Skirt at
BEFORE you cut your fabric, you will need to alter the pattern to add a small back vent to make walking easier.  This tutorial teaches the easiest way to do that. {source: A Fashionable Stitch}

Now you are ready to cut out your fabric.  Be sure to add 5/8-inch seam allowances and enough fabric at the bottom for a hem.  Line your facing pieces with fusible interfacing to give the waist some structure.  Mark the darts on your fabric and you're ready to start sewing.  I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but here is the order in which I sewed things:

1.  Stitch darts at waist on all pieces.  Press toward the center.
2.  Since I didn't line my skirt, I sewed a very narrow rolled hem on each edge of the vent to give it a finished look, then sewed the center back seam and finished the vent.
3.  Sew the skirt front to skirt back at side seams.
4.  Sew facing front to facing back at side seams.
5.  Install invisible zipper, following these instructions at Fashion-Incubator.  The tutorial is for a neck facing, but the process is the same.  You will also finish the waist edge of the skirt at this time.  {Oops.  I still need to sew in a hook at the top of the zipper in the picture below.}

DIY Custom-Fit Pencil Skirt at
6.  Hem the skirt.

DIY Custom-Fit Pencil Skirt at
I LOVE the way this skirt turned out!  Now that I have my custom skirt block made, I can almost whip up pencil skirts in my sleep.  I already have plans for another skirt that is a little longer than this one in lace.  For now, I'm having fun styling this one.  I'm loving the idea of mixing the floral with tiny stripes and lace this spring.  What do you think? Are you up for the challenge of custom pattern drafting?

Have a great day!



  1. That skirt is LOVELY!

    1. Thanks! Anything made out of that fabric would be pretty -- I give the fabric all the credit!


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