Saturday, November 29, 2014

Black Pencil Skirt

Worn here with my Belcarra in Black Crepe
Sometimes you just need to drop everything and sew yourself a black pencil skirt. Fortunately when this thought struck me I found a black drill in my stash and the skirt portion of a pattern I'd already used and I was on my way.

To be honest I'm not sure what possessed me to do this considering I'm pear shaped and fitting the lower part of my body usually ends in tears. I've been getting away with making skirts for a couple of years now, ignoring the usual pull lines that appear and hoping it will disappear if I use a different fabric next time. Or just hoping that no-one will notice.

In the middle of the madness of sewing my own wedding dress I committed to sewing myself a dress for my Hen's Night & the Sydney Frocktails event. They were within a week of each other so it made sense to kill two birds with one stone. Plus it was 4 weeks out from the wedding - what could go wrong?

The answer is lots. I made my Frocktails dress with Blue Ginger Doll's Billie Jean pattern only I chose to do the pencil skirt option. Now the pattern itself is great and I loved the end result but I actually couldn't have chosen a worse pattern for my body type. Long story short after doing a small bust adjustment and millions of fittings of the top portion and a full butt adjustment on the back portion of the skirt pieces and millions of fittings of the bottom portion, not to mention working with a fabric that had slight stretch so required a bit of negative ease I was DONE with this pattern. Like I said, I loved the end product but I really didn't need all that stress in the middle of sewing my wedding dress. Ugh.

Anyway the point of me telling you that is that something good came out of that week or so of fitting angst. I ended up with a pretty well fitting pencil skirt pattern - huzzah! Now don't get too excited. It still has a few wrinkles here and there that I have to diagnose and fix on my next version but my pattern pieces are oh-so-close to being "me" shaped.

You can see from the side that I managed to get the fabric to drop in a straight line from the end of the zipper down which was already a win. There are still a few wrinkles sitting on my hips there which point near the darts but otherwise the fit is spot on.

You can see from my poor pattern piece that I hacked away at it to open it up beneath the dart and again across the fullest part of my hips. This time around I even widened and deepened the dart which helped a little but didn't entirely fix the problem.

Overall I'm happy with this skirt and the fit is as close as my current skills and knowledge allows. If you have any tips that might help let me know because I'm very keen to have the perfect fitting pencil skirt.

I'm heading to my first Sydney Social Sewing day tomorrow and I can't wait! It's so great to have found such a lovely group of stitchers and I hope it becomes a regular thing.

I'll leave you with a quote I read earlier in the week.

People who care find others who care and they all end up caring about something even more than they did before they met - Seth Godin. If that's not our sewing community then I don't know what is.

Happy weekend!


  1. I think you've done a great job! I'm angsty over getting a new pencil skirt right now, as my machine is back in the UK and I'm in AUS until next year. The problem is, I have a bit of a paunchy tummy, and so a lot of RTW skirts are way too tight across that area, or too loose in the waist. I'm thinking of pioneering a new sewing term for myself, the FGA. The full gut adjustment. It's the only way I can think of EVER being able to make a skirt that covers my tummy properly! Sad, but true.
    You've got a lovely flat tummy though and the skirt looks great!

  2. I think I've seen stuff about that adjustment in my fitting book so it's not uncommon. I actually think it's nice to be able to identify what fit issues we face because then we can *eventually* get to a place where the fabric glides over those spots and fits us in a way that actually hides it rather than having pulling and wrinkling fabric. It's a totally different level of body acceptance but I think it's nice. All the best on your fitting journey!