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Topic: Pencil skirt w/ tutorial  (Read 14265 times)
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« on: December 21, 2009 02:48:46 PM »

I had pretty much never drafted an actual pattern before and it turned out to be halfway decent.

Start by taking these measurements: waist, hip (this includes your butt), waist to hip and hip to wherever you want your skirt to fall. Also, maybe measure from hip to hip in the front and back separately. Now take a piece of paper and draw 2 rectangles. One is for the front of the skirt; the other is for the back.

For the front, put your waist divided by 4 + 1/4 an inch (dart) + 1/2 inch ease at the top, your hip divided by 4 OR hip to hip in front/2 + 1/2 inch ease a little ways down, and your waist divided by 4 + inch at the bottom. Draw a curve on the left. On the right, mark down your waist to hip measurement from the hip up and your desired skirt length + 2 times whatever width you'd like for your hem for the entire length. I had about an inch, so I added 2 inches.

For the back, put a quarter of the waist measurement + 1 inch (dart) + 1.5 inch (pleat) + 1/2 inch ease at the top, 1/4 of your hip measurement or your hip to hip measurement for the back/2 + 1.5 inch (pleat) + 1/2 inch ease a little ways down and half your waist + 1.5 inch (pleat) + 1/2 inch ease at the bottom. Curve it on the left and on the right, mark down your waist to hip measurement and the same length as the front top to bottom. By the way, the dart on the back should extend almost to the hipline.

In the diagrams I put the hip and waist measurements divided by 2. Don't do that.

Also, the given widths of the darts were right for me, but say you have huge hips and a tiny waist or no hips at all, the darts need to be wider or narrower accordingly.

Now get out your tissue paper, wax paper, newspaper or whatever and cut out the rectangles with the appropriate dimensions. Label the foldline. Transfer all the measurements and markings from your draft to the pattern. A little above where your knees will be, mark a line on the back piece. It should look pretty much like the draft but more human shaped.

Fold your fabric longways and pin the pattern, foldlines together, and cut out leaving an inch around the edges. I suggest tracing around the pattern with chalk or a white pencil crayon (as long as you know itll come off) so youll know where to sew. Youll end up with this:

Now transfer all the markings (hipline, hemline, darts, etc) from the pattern onto the cloth like so:

Front ^ (I initially put 4 darts but decided against it. Yours should only have 1 dart on each side)


Now take your back piece and baste along the line for the seam and pleat. Stop at the line you marked above your knees.

Sew and remove the basting.

Now press the seam open to form an inverted box pleat. Make sure that on the right side it looks like a seam going all the way to the end.

Sew the pleat flaps at the marked line.

For the darts, fold along the dotted line and pin along the solid line.

Make sure its not a weird shape on the right side and sew.

Also, make sure the back piece darts fit the shape of your butt before moving on.

For the lining, I used a piece of fabric that was my hip measurement + 3 inches long and my desired length of skirt + 1 inch wide.

Its a little crazy because I didnt have a single piece of lining big enough so I sewed a bunch together.

Hem one of the long edges.

Cheesy Now youll be putting it together. Take your back and front pieces and place them right sides together, making sure the top, bottom and hiplines line up. Its more important for the hiplines to line up then the edges. Pin long the lines you traced around the pattern.

When youre sewing it, try make as few tucks as possible.

As you can see, I didnt quite pull it off. Anyway, do your best and press the seams open. Youll end up with something more or less skirt-shaped.

Awesome! Go show your Mom, then lets keep going.

Sew the top (unhemmed edge) of the lining to the top of your skirt. Youre going to have to gather the lining to make it fit. Pin the ends first, then pin it halfway and just keep pinning till you can sew it. Then sew the seam allowances together.

I am not sure about the proper way to insert an invisible zipper, but you could probably find a tutorial pretty easily. I recommend finding out how to do it properly. Before starting, rip open the seam to make an opening a little shorter than the zipper. Make sure you can fit into it before inserting the zipper.

What I did was just sew the outside of the zipper on the right side of the fabric inside the seamline marked from having ironed it. Pin it first and make sure it sits right and everything, because it totally sucks to pulls out all the stitches and restart. Try the skirt on again and make sure it all fits. Alter it if it doesnt.

To make the waistband, I modified the method outlined in Reed Books Canada The Complete Book of Sewing for making a basic waistband. Decide how wide you want your waistband, double that and add an inch. This is how wide a piece of fabric you will be cutting out. It be as long as your waist measurement + about 3 inches. Also cut out a piece of fusible interfacing, same length, but only double the desired width of waistband; dont add an inch. I mean, you CAN, but its not necessary. Iron the interfacing onto the waistband so that you have the same seam allowance along both edges. Then press the seam allowances to the inside of the waistband, then fold it not quite in half longways and press it so one long edge is visible, coming out a just a little past the other long edge if that makes any sense. Take a look:

Now what youre basically going to do is pin it onto the skirt, starting at one edge folded in to line up with the zipper opening, then pin it all the way around. You may as well decide on the shape of your overlap at this point and pin that too so you can sew it all in one go. Do so.

Decide where on your overlap you want the buttonhole, read your sewing machine manual on how to do it and do as it says. I extended my overlap so that the button would be a little to the side. NOW, find a button, mark where it has to be on the underlap and sew it there. Your machine might be able to do this for you as well.

Fold the edge of you skirt, fold it again (youve marked lines here, by the way), press it and sew it. Now youre done. Put it on; take some pictures.

Red belt WITH dry cleaner's tag. Haught.

(By the way, if you try this out, I'd love to see the finished product!)
« Last Edit: November 23, 2012 06:31:22 PM by retretretretretret » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2009 03:47:32 PM »

I love that you made a YELLOW skirt! Great choice of colors!

« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2009 06:16:14 PM »

Love it with the red belt!
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2009 04:53:08 AM »

I love that you sewed pieces together for the lining! I have done weird things like that it is makes something really unique!

It turned out great and I think the fit is great on your bum and legs, but I see you have some baggage on your hips. Or is that the way you are posed? My suggestion there might be to make cuts inside the seamline on that hip curve to let the curve lay flatter on your body  Grin

« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009 07:37:14 AM »

looks great and i love the colour, but I have to say this method would NEVER work for my body shape. i have a small waist and VERY hippy hips that require a lot more precision in tailoring. oh well.

« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2009 03:34:33 AM »

Love the skirt and the colour. I want one. Great job

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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2009 09:46:21 PM »

So cute, and Oh God do I love those shoes.

You're just closer to me when you fall.
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2010 09:21:43 PM »

My suggestion there might be to make cuts inside the seamline on that hip curve to let the curve lay flatter on your body  Grin

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried but it didn't work Sad. I think what I'll have to do is rip the seam and undo the gathering at the hips. Ugh. Oh well.

And thanks to everyone else for the lovely comments.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2010 09:27:14 PM by retretretretretret » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010 07:36:47 AM »

Thanks for the tute!  I have blogged about it here: http://hideousdreadfulstinky.blogspot.com/2010/05/skirt-inspiration-tutorials-pencil.html

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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2010 09:03:01 AM »

nice skirt! thanks for taking the time to 'tute it.

It is better to have crafted and failed then never to have crafted at all.
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