Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Pencil skirts

 Back in the very early Spring, I started looking for some summer inspiration, and I came across a picture of a young lady in a pencil skirt and shirt.  Truth be told, there were plenty of images of pencil skirt + shirt.  But this particular one was not just any pencil skirt – this one was white and blue toile.  (I could have sworn that I saved it on Pinterest, but apparently not.  You’ll just have to trust me on this one.)  This seemed like a pretty good starting point to a summer “uniform”.  I find pencil skirts comfortable and most importantly – I can function in them all day, unlike some rather voluminous skirts that I have that seem to always get in the way when I’m trying to do certain things.  So – a plan.  I became a bit obsessed. A bit too much time spent on internet “research” for fabric, because I had nothing that looked anything like the picture.  Neither did I find anything remotely similar or pencil skirt compatible on any of the sites that I browsed.  Then at some point between lockdowns, when Fabricland was actually open, I decided to go for a browse.  Nothing sparked my imagination – I must have made the rounds of the “fashion fabrics” at least twice.   Feeling like my balloon had deflated, I headed off to the home dec section and there I spied the elephant print – well, it’s not just elephants – rather a whole African menagerie.

100% cotton … a little bit stiff … but I was sure that after a run through the washer and drier it would work quite well.  Oh – and the price was right … $5 per metre.

Back view (in case you couldn't figure that out).  Even found a random blue button that matched.
Hong Kong finish on the hem, but obviously that detail didn't make it to the edge of the back slit.

Unfortunately (or may-be fortunately) I didn’t stop at 1 metre of one fabric.  I found 3 more!  If I was going to adopt a uniform for summer, I certainly needed more than one skirt for the purpose.

Brown and grey paisleys.

Another lonely button put to good use.

I used my self-drafted pattern – midi length.  Made slight changes in the way I finished the back slit/ pleat and waistband – it would be way too boring if I made exact duplicates.  So - three skirts happened in fairly quick succession.

And what the can I call this print?
Please ignore the misaligned print.   Much effort was expended on matching of this print and trying to keep things on grain, but when all was said and done - I was off.  Oh well - I can't see my back side, so I just pretend that everything is lined up perfectly.

Because this home dec fabric, cotton though it may be, is a little rough, I added shortie silk linings into each of the skirts - just so they wouldn't get caught up on things.  Pencil skirts have to hang properly to look good - no?
Number 4 is on a black background, and after No. 3, being quite sick of pencil skirt sewing, I decided that the dark fabric would have to wait until Autumn.

And now for my rather sad attempt of picture in mirror.  I know that everyone likes a good picture of person in garment - I'm working on it.  

Now as for the shirts to go with the skirts … they’re not hopping from fabric stash to closet at quite the same speed.  Shirts take longer to sew than pencil skirts, and apparently I can’t keep motivated stitching the same shirt in different fabrics one after another.  About the progress on those … later.


  1. All three look fabulous! Can't wait to see the shirts you're making!

  2. I love home dec cottons and linens for skirts! I've got some is that covered in bright little tropical birds that will make a great skirt... I'll make it up if I ever have to go back to the office. :)

    1. Sounds like a lovely choice for a skirt. I think we tend to overlook so called "home dec" fabrics when it comes to sewing for the closet.