Thursday, September 11, 2014

#DIY Tutorial: How To Make A Fitted Midi Pencil Skirt?

Hello Loves!
 There are so many pencil skirt tutorials out there. I've tried some of them. One in particular Mimi G's and it makes a nice skirt but does  not give me the desired fit I like in the midi. 
It is loose from my hip down. This is because my proportions differ from waist, hip, thigh, and calf. When your proportions differ like this, you have to make adjustments to your pattern to accommodate. That is the beauty of self drafting your own pattern and creating custom fit clothing. Unfortunately, information about fit is missing from a lot of the tutorials that are available. There is no explanation of how this look works for different body types; just steps to create a garment. If you are looking to achieve the best fit you have come to the right place. 

Today I am sharing to ways to make a fitted midi pencil skirt; one with a single seam in the center back and the other with two side seams. The two side seams options allows for color-blocking, which is a popular trend!
                       Single Seam Midi Pencil Skirt                Two Side Seams Midi Pencil Skirt
  • Waist
  • Length from waist to calf (It's generally 27 - 29 inches; depending on your height) plus 2"
  • Calf Circumference with your feet apart
*If you wish to make the TWO SIDE SEAM version, be sure to skip to that section of this post.*
Step 1: Using a tape measure draw a straight line to the desired length of your skirt. Label one end top and the opposite end bottom. *This line is the center front*

Step 2: Square a line from the top of the pattern (top of the line drawn in Step 1) equal to 1/2 your waist measurement (add 2 inches if you do not want the skirt super tight) *You will need to add 3 -4 additional inches in the waist if you are using a double knit b/c they have less stretch.*

Step 3: Square a line at the bottom of the pattern (bottom of the line drawn in Step 1) equal to 1/2 your calf measurement with your feet apart. *You will want to add an additional 2 inches if you are using a double knit (For single knits I use 13 inches and double knits I use 15 inches in width at the hemline)*

Step 4: Using your tape measure connect the waist (top) line with the hemline (bottom) by drawing a straight  line 7 - 10 inches from the hemline (bottom). Then connect those lines using your curved ruler (if you do not have defined curves like mine, then a straighter line will work). *This is your center back seam*

Step 5: Draw a line 2 inches in from the center front line. Add arrows if you desire. Label the pattern including the grain line you just drew and "cut on the fold". *This is your grainline*

Step 6: Using your paper cutting scissor, cut the pattern out.
Skip to the Cut & Sew Section of this blog post.


You will need to use 1/4 of the measurements taken in Steps 1 - 4. 
You will need the following calculations (be sure to use your actual measurements):
Waist = 30
Calf Circumference = 26

1/4 of the waist = 30 * .25 = 7.5 
The waist measurement plus 3 inches for double knits = 7.5 + 3 = 10.5
You will use 10.5 for Step 2 (above)
1/4 of calf circumference is 26 *.25 =  6.5 
The calf circumference plus 2 inches for double knits is 6.5 + 2 = 8.5
You will use 8.5 for Step 3 (above)

 Step 1: Fold  your fabric wide enough for your pattern to fit on. Then align the center front of the pattern to the fold line of the fabric using your grainline as a guide to ensure it is straight. (Be sure to have the wrong side facing up;  right sides together)

Step 1a: For the two side seam style, fold the fabric wide enough on both sides creating two folded edges the length of the fabric.

 Step 2: Using washer, weights, or pins secure the pattern to the fabric so you can cut it out.

Step 2a: For the Two Side Seam Style: Place the pattern piece on one side and cut (Follow step 3 twice) and then flip the pattern and repeat on the other side.  .

 Step 3: Cut across the top, down the center back, and across the bottom of the pattern/hemline. (DO NOT CUT THE FOLDED EDGE)

Step 4: Stitch the center back seam (seam with the curve) using a stretch stitch. (Check you sewing machine manual for instructions on dialing this stitch on your machine). 
Step 4a: For the two seam you will use the stretch stitch on each seam. 

Step 5: Serge the seam you just sewed (OPTIONAL) and the top (waist) and bottom edges (hem) of skirt.

Step 6: Measure your knit elastic around your waist then subtract 1 inch and cut. Then overlap the ends about 1/4 of an inch and zigzag stitch over the edges.

 Step 8: Mark the elastic by folding it evenly in half. Make three markings 1. center front (aligned with the zigzag stitched) 2. left side and 3. right side.

Step 8: Using pins, align the overlapped edge of the elastic to the center back seam of the pencil skirt.
Step 8a: For the two seam version align the zigzag to one of the side seams.

Step 9: Fold the skirt at the waist in half using the center back seam as your side then clip the opposite side marking the center front by cutting a slit.

Step 10: Align the marking on the elastic with the slit you just made.  Repeat for the right and left sides of the skirt.

Step 11: Zigzag stitch the elastic to the top edge on the inside of the skirt. (Be sure you have the skirt turned inside out).*Apply slight tension to the elastic as you sew as it will be smaller than the skirt*

Step 12: Fold the elastic down and pin it in place.

Step 13: Straight stitch through the elastic applying slight tension so that it is straight when feeding under the needle.

 Step 14: Turn the bottom of the skirt up 1". Use a ruler to ensure your hem is even all the way around the skirt.  Press the hem and then pin it.

Step 15: Using a straight stitch, top stitch around the skirt creating the finished stitched hem. 


I hope you enjoy your skirt. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Just leave a comment below!

If you make this tutorial, please share it with me on my Facebook page or instagram @rhiannasstudio or #RSTutorial

As always, Thank you for reading!
~XOXO Rhianna's Studio


Nonhlanhla Ndondo said...

This is so good! We have the same body type, I'm so glad I found a design for a well fitting midi skirt! at long last! Thanks. keep posting!!

miku barbie said...

How can I get perfect calf measurements

Rhianna's Studio said...

Thank you so much Nonhlanhla Ndondo