Pencil Skirt Pattern Sewing Instructions

Pencil Skirt Pattern Sewing Instructions

The Pencil Skirt sewing Pattern is an absolute classic for your wardrobe.  The complete sewing pattern has a full lining pattern included in the download.  However when you first receive the pattern it is my recommendation that your first make is an unlined version so you have an opportunity to test the fit and make of this new pattern.  For an unlined skirt, I would recommend a medium weight woven fabric and have made myself several version using both quality cotton prints from heirloom cotton patchwork fabrics and stunning African print cotton.  These skirts make the most ideal summer skirts.

For the unlined skirt there are four pattern pieces, the skirt front and back, the waistband and the zip guard.  The front skirt is cut on the fold.  The back skirt is cut as one pair and the waistband and zip guard are single cuts.  The waistband will need to have fusible interlining added for strength.  You’ll need a zip for the centre back opening and the sizes you need are included in the trims instructions on your PDF pattern.  For the lined skirt you’ll see the lay-plan and fabric chart below.
After cutting my fabric the first thing I always do is make sure the pattern pieces that need fusible interlining are fused and ready to sew.  Below you can see all the pieces cut for the Pencil Skirt, including the invisible zip for the fastening.  You’ll also need matching thread for your sewing machine and overlocker, if your using one for this sewing project.
In the following notes and images I will go through the order of construction as I would make an unlined Pencil Skirt.
  1. Sew the waist dart on the front and back skirt.  Then press them towards the centre of the the skirt.
  2. Overlock the side seams on both the front and back skirts, and the centre back seam, including the vent shape.
  3. Stay-stitch the waistline of both the front and back skirts to stabilise the fit of the waistband.
  1. Sew the side seams of the skirt at 1.25cm (1/2″) and press them open.
  2. Overlock the straight side of the zip guard, in preparation for inserting the zip in the centre back seam.
  1. On the walking vent extension, on the centre back seam, double turn and sew the open edges at 0.7cm (1/4″).
  1. On the centre back seam, mark the length of the opening on your invisible zip.
  2. There is usually 2cm (3/4″) extra length in your invisible zip, than the length of the opening.
  1. Insert your invisible zip in the centre back seam.
  2. Sew the rest of the centre back seam, through to the walking vent.
  3. Press your centre back seam open, and press the walking vent in one direction.
If you’re looking for an Invisible zip sewing tutorial to guide you through this process, Ann from 1 Puddle Lane has the best tutorial here.
  1. Add your zip guard to the inside of your centre back seam.
  2. The zip guard should be 2.5cm (1″) longer than the opening in your skirt.
  3. Before adding the waistband, take this opportunity to try your Pencil Skirt on to make sure you are happy with the fit.  This si the perfect opportunity to make any alterations necessary.
  1. Attach your waistband to the waist of your Pencil Skirt.
  2. The button stand section on the waistband should be the same length as the width of your zip guard, 4cm (1 5/8″).
  3. Stitch the waistband on at 1cm (3/8″) seam allowance.
  1. Press the unattached edge of the waistband under by 1cm (3/8″).
  2. At the zip opening ends of the waistband, fold the waistband in half, with right sides together and stitch at 1cm (3/8″).
  1. Turn the waistband ends out to the right side and press the waistband in half.
  2. Pin the waistband in position, with the fold edge just over the stitching line.
  3. Sink stitch (stitch in the ditch) the waistband in place.
  1. To finish the hem of your skirt, overlock the raw edge.
  2. Then hand stitch in place with a blind stitch, or use the blind hemming foot on your machine.
  3. The last step is to add a button and buttonhole at the waist.
Remember that this pattern comes with a lining pattern, and as soon as you have tested the unlined version you’ll be ready to try the fully lined version.

Checkout all my ‘Off The Rails’ PDF sewing patterns on the website.

Click on the image above if you fancy trying this pattern.  It’s available in nine sizes in the one PDF download, and includes all necessary tables for fabric usage, trims required and size charts.  If you think about posting your makes, please include the hashtag #PencilSkirtPattern or my handle @studiofaro.  Then I can share all your wonderful work. 😉
Anita McAdam
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