Sewing Tips and Tricks

Using the Body-confidence to make the perfect pencil skirt!

Hey there! My name is Michele, and I’m here today to talk to you about hacking the AMAZING new Body Con-fidence dress into separates! I’ll confess something to you all-when I first saw the line drawings for this, I immediately thought, “Oh that’s lovely, but no thank you.” My distaste for my wiggly bits is so deeply ingrained that I decided right away that it wasn’t for me, and I am SO happy I changed my mind. Not only did this pattern lead to pretty much my entire new work wardrobe, it also nudged me a step in the direction of loving myself and the skin I’m in.

 

ANYWAY, back to the hack. So the first time I did this, I used the super scientific method of holding the pattern up to my body, figuring out where I’d like the top of my skirt (minus the waistband) to hit. I personally like pencil skirts way up there, so I drew myself a new “skirt” line on the pattern piece, about 4” below the crop line, roughly 6” above the tee line. This “skirt” line is going to vary wildly based on loads of things like torso length, tummy, booty, and thigh sizes, so, as with any new pattern, I would highly suggest making a muslin so you can figure out where exactly you want this line.

You’ll cut a front and a back, and since the front is wider than the back, I like to put a notch at the top on the fold to remind me when it’s time to put the waistband on. I like to go ahead and press a memory hem before sewing, but that’s a personal preference! Go ahead and sew your skirt together, right sides together, on both sides.

Next you’ll cut a waistband and elastic. Again, I like my pencil skirts up there, so my waistband is 6 inches, making it 3 inches when folded. You’ll measure the top of your skirt, you can do this before sewing it together as well, just don’t forget to account for seam allowances. Calculating the band is also a personal preference, some do 85%, some do 90%, some split the difference and do 87%, which is what I did for this band. The top of my skirt measured 35”, so 35 x .87 = 30.45, then you’ll add 1” for your seam allowance, so my cut band was 6” x 31.5”. Go ahead and sew that together at the short ends and press it in half. For the elastic, I like to use at least 2” elastic, but 1.5” would probably work as well, you’ll cut your elastic to the same length as your waistband, in this case-31.5”.

Now grab some clips or pins and let’s get this waistband on there! Clip your waistband and skirt top in quarters, then match your waistband to your skirt top, right sides together, and sew it on, stretching the band but not the skirt as you go. When you get close to the end, 3-4 inches away, stop sewing and grab your elastic! Using a bodkin or safety pin, thread your elastic through your waistband, taking care not to twist it, then overlap the ends by ½” and sew, using a zig zag stitch. Then you’ll close up your elastic opening, making sure not to catch the elastic in your seam allowance. Also, the elastic is totally optional, half the skirts I made don’t have it, but I like the extra security it provides.

Hem your skirt, just like you would the dress, et voila- an amazing new pencil skirt for your closet!

 

 

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