Me in my new pencil skirt that I made out of a mini-challenge with three other sewists. (My legs are not as blotchy as they look here—ick!)
"Every now and then your wardrobe needs an injection of something, new, trendy and fun. That was the thought when we spied the pencil skirts shown in the large graphic prints and florals in the June 2009 issue of Lucky Magazine. These skirts provide a great way to update a classic...so with that photo spread and a little conversation, we—Marji, Carolyn, Cidell and me—were ready to create our own versions. Here's my interpretation of an updated yet classic pencil skirt; please visit Marji, Carolyn and Cidell's web sites to see theirs."
A feature in Lucky magazine highlighting the pencil skirt done in large scale prints/graphic prints.
The Challenge: Create a pencil skirt that works on our own body and use a bold print. Participants are Carolyn, Cidell, Marji and me. (Marji proposed the challenge after reading Carolyn's post of May 9 and asked a few fellow sewists she emails and talks to regularly if they wanted to participate.)
Fabric and fabric source: A cotton twill with loads of lycra from Paron's Fabrics in NYC. The amount of crosswise stretch in this fabric is unbelievable! That means it's extremely comfortable to have on, but I had to take extra measures that it wouldn't drop to the floor after a few hours of wear (see below). There was no need to line this fabric (hooray!)
Construction details: Once I got the fit down, this skirt went together in no time. I relied heavily on Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing, which has extensive details on constructing a waistband with petersham ribbon. Go get this book before you make a skirt or pants with a ribbon waistband.
Because of the tremendous stretch in this fabric, I needed to ensure the waistband wouldn't expand. Following Sandra B's advice, I easestitched the waistband first, then I took a strip of the selvedge edge and stitched that on top of the easestitching. I graded the seams and then shaped and attached the white petersham ribbon. Sounds complicated but it was very easy to do.
I felt like I needed to "ground" this preppy print somehow and give it some details with holding power (does that make sense?). Luckily I have a 50-yard roll of navy grosgrain ribbon (left over from a home dec project) that was just calling out for me to use it. I created pocket flaps and added the navy ribbon as trim, and I added a band of ribbon at the outer waistband:
There is a 7-inch invisible zipper at the side, but that's about it for construction details. I didn't even need to worry about a slit for walking ease because of the fabric's stretch. I definitely took the easiest route of the four of us!
And there you have it, my pencil skirt. I'm so glad Marji issued this challenge because I always wanted to try a ribbon waistband. I plan on wearing this skirt a lot this summer, to work, to the beach club, around town, etc.
You know what would be great? To see some of you sewing bloggers form your own mini-challenges. I'd love to see a maxi dress done on different bodies, for instance.
Coming next: The BWOF knit dress with the hole in the back. Stay tuned!