The 20 min Pencil Skirt

So yesterday my wife Lu mentioned she would like a new skirt for work. She promptly showed me one she bought many years ago. A simple stretch fabric with elasticated waist and no zip. 

This got me thinking as I had some lovely black 2-way stretch left over from my last project so I duly studied the shop bought skirt: 2 pieces of identical material for front and back with a piece of elastic encased around the top. So out came the paper and ruler to draft my version.

It is so simple and great for beginners. You need your waist and hip (widest part!) measurements and decide on a length. 

1m of medium weight 2-way stretch fabric
1m of 1″ wide elastic
Sewing machine/Overlocker 

Here’s how to draft the pattern.

For this tutorial I will use: 34″ Waist, 40″ Hip and a waist to Hem length of 25″

Get your paper and ruler and draw a line down the centre (this will be the centre front/back)

Now square across top and bottom your skirt length of 25″

Mark the upper line with your Waist minus 2″ and divided by 4. (So 34 – 2 = 32/4) = 8″

Draw a parallel line 1.5 inches above this line but make it 1/4″ longer.
Now draw a parallel line 8.5 inches below the upper line (This is the Hip line)

Mark the Hip line length as Hip minus 2″ and divide by 4. (So 40 – 2 = 38.  38/4) = 9.5″

Mark the end of the lower line half an inch longer than the waist length so 8.5″

Finally draw a parallel line 1″ below the bottom line

It should look like this:

Now join the top 2 lines with a ruler and the bottom 2 lines in the same manner. Finally draw a curve from top to bottom passing through the hip mark. (If you have a french curve use it!)

Here is the final pattern (Red line). Remember the centre line you cut the fabric on the fold!

How to put it together in 20 mins! (Note I overlocked the hems and seams but of course you don’t need an overlocker just a normal machine)

Cut out your 2 pieces. 
With Right sides together, sew the side seams with a half inch allowance from top to bottom. 

Turn up the lower hem 1″ Press and stitch in place.

Turn down the waist 1.5″ and stitch in place leaving a gap of about 2″ to insert the elastic. (I used 1″ wide elastic so sew just over 1″ from the top to form a channel (the casing) for the elastic)

Insert elastic, making sure it doesn’t twist. Pull elastic a little tighter than the waist and sew the ends together. Now finish the top seam, closing the elastic casing. 

Turn skirt right sides out, press and wear!

The finished skirt, not hanging well on a mannequin without legs!

Here it is with legs!

OK it’ll take a few mins to draft the pattern but putting it together is a breeze and you should certainly have a wearable skirt within the hour!

Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

Until next time….Happy sewing

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