For some time now I’ve been wanting a “perfect pencil skirt” pattern so that I could bang out pencil skirt after pencil skirt without the woes of fitting and adjusting each time. Take a simple pencil skirt pattern from your stash, make a muslin, work out any fitting issues until you’re super-happy, use the final muslin to re-draw the pattern pieces and voila - your perfectly fitted pattern. More details on muslins here.
I took a Sunday afternoon to work on the muslin, and then the skirt in fashion fabric sews up in about an hour. I’m really pleased with the results – check out the swayback adjustment, look at that close fit along the lower back! Smiles. The side seam looks like it’s angled forward, but that’s only because I’m craning sideways to get a decent butt shot with my camera…
Once it was perfected and finalized, I immediately cut out versions in 4 different fabrics/lengths. It sews up in a flash, and there’s a lot of room for creativity here – change the length, add trim, cut up the front into piece work. We’re gonna have some fun with this one, maybe a skirt sew-a-long for “me-made-May”? If you’ve never worked with Burda patterns before, you can buy them in standard pattern envelope format in stores, or buy the magazine and trace the pattern, or download the PDF and print and assemble yourself. Personally, I love the Burda magazines – for $12.99, you get a wide variety of patterns and options, and the articles are interesting too. If you are looking to make this particular pattern, you can find the PDF here: 05/2012 #136. I won’t post illustrated instructions, as the Burda ones are fairly straight-forward.
Apart from my usual swayback adjustment, I tapered the skirt in a little more from the hip down to bottom of the skirt, I love a really sleek pencil skirt. I also found there was a bit of extra fabric at the front, across my tummy/crotch area, so I pinned it out (swayfront?) and retraced the muslin piece onto pattern paper again. And, I tried removing the front darts as I have a little tummy – no need to take in fabric there! Worked beautifully, the skirt hangs really well.
A little extra something, if you decide you don’t want a waistband, but would rather just sew on facing and flip it over to the inside of the skirt, no problem. Take your front pattern piece, pin in the dart (if using darts), and just trace around the outline of the skirt top. Then, measure out about 2″ width for the facing, label the piece, and you’re done! Repeat for the back piece.
Posted on Burda
Here’s a bunch of online patterns, in case you want to make a pencil skirt, like, now…