Although I've now been sewing for 2 and half years, I've somehow never gotten around to sewing one of the most simple wardrobe staples, a pencil skirt. I have to admit I'm not much of a pencil skirt wearer, I always think of them as for smart, elegant women in offices and that's really not me. Not to mention I often cycle or walk several miles each day, and there's no classy way to get on a bike in a tight skirt, even if I was so inclined.
However, I saw several beautiful heavyweight cotton prints in my local fabric shop before Christmas and decided this one would make a great autumn/winter pencil skirt. I love the geometric, Aztec style print, but I think it's really something you don't want too much of. I can't imagine doing an entire dress in this print, but its great for a skirt, bag or even jacket.
The pattern I used is from the second Great British Sewing Bee book, Sew Your Own Wardrobe. I find this book quite frustrating a lot of the time, as the patterns I've used had mistakes and missing dots and notches all over the place. The size chart is also in a difficult place to find, and the pattern measurements aren't then listed anywhere near the pattern to remind you of which size to cut. However it has a lot of patterns in it including some great wardrobe staples and even a few men's and children's projects. So all things considered I think it's still pretty good value for money.
I cut a size 14 going by my measurements, but found it to be too big around the waist. Even after taking the side seams in, it's still not quite tight enough. It has a tendency to wiggle down round my hips rather than sit nicely on my waist...which I think results in a much more unflattering fit. Although I am pleasantly surprised at how my legs look quite long in these photos?!
The instructions are O.K, but I still had to look up how to do a skirt vent online as I wasn't sure I had understood it correctly from the instructions, and ended up doing a slightly different method.
The pattern also didn't mention understitching the facing, which I decided to do, or any method of stitching down the facing so it won't turn out. I decided to tack the facing to the side seams and darts to keep it on the inside, but as the fabric was so thick and reversible I could probably have stitched it down all the way round, if I could be bothered.
I'm pretty chuffed with my pattern matching skills too, there's the odd slip up down the back seam, but generally the side seams aren't noticeable at all. I also managed to get the whole skirt from 1 metre of fabric quite easily, when the pattern suggests 1.7m!
This may have been my first pencil skirt but I don't think it'll be my last!