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How hard can it be? Pencil Skirt....
Advanced beginner...getting adventurous
LDT2011
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LDT2011
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Date: 6/15/12 8:41 AM

Now you see I was looking for the perfect pencil skirt (They never *fit* correctly). The only one I find comfortable is a stretchy one I have at home (problem is I lost weight so now its too loose). In my serch I stumbled upon this one.
I looked at the price and thought ummm...maybe not..but reading the description I started to think if its that *basic* maybe I can make one.
Its just a tube of stretch jersey I'm guessing? With a split on the back seam. Looks like there's only one seam.
Advice please? What do you think?

I've not sewn stretch material before. If I take measurements how much smaller should I cut the material to take into account the stretch?
-- Edited on 6/15/12 8:43 AM --

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Ms. McCall
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Date: 6/15/12 1:50 PM

Hopefully someone will be along shortly with a better explanation or a link to a great demonstration, but I struggled with this, so I know it's easy to get confused when sewing stretch fabric.

You want to sew a skirt based on the finished garment size you will want. So you take the fabric you're going to sew the skirt out of, fold in half and wrap around your hips. You want to wrap the fabric around in the same direction as the fabric will be in the finished skirt.

Wrap the skirt to the tightness/looseness you want in the finished skirt. Mark where the fabric meets with two pins. Lay the fabric out and measure the distance between the two pins. This is the total circumference you will want at your hips in the finished skirt. Now do the same at the place where you want the top of your skirt to hit, or at your waist.

Take a pattern that is closest to the shape you want, look at the finished garment measurements on the pattern, and use the size closest to the size you came up with from your fabric.

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Debbie Lancaster
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Date: 6/15/12 2:53 PM

One-seam skirt tutorial for wovens and stretch wovens

Skin-tight pencil skirt tutorial for really stretchy fabric

I've made skirts using the second technique, but I can't say they fit all that well. It all depends on whether skin-tight is your thing or not. You can also change the angle of this very stretchy skirt to make it a slight A-line, which eliminates the slit problem. The eye still sees it as a pencil skirt, but you can walk in it.

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Debbie

LynnRowe
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In reply to LDT2011 <<
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Date: 6/15/12 4:42 PM

First find your pattern. There are loads of pencil skirt patterns available. Some will be for knit fabrics, but others will be for wovens and/or stretch wovens.

A stretch woven fabric will have some give, and is comfy to wear, especially in tight garments such as pencil skirts. You can use a stretch woven fabric in place of a pattern that calls for a woven.

Stretch wovens, in general, are not difficult to sew, and you'd barely notice the stretch factor until wearing the garment. If you own a pair of stretch jeans, such as Gap, you'll know what I mean; you can barely tell them apart from regular non-stretch denim until you wear them.

Some knits have little or no stretch at all...just to make things more confusing for us!

I wouldn't use jersey knit for a pencil skirt, as it will cling and you won't get that straight down hang of the skirt. The fabric will cup your butt and wanna hug your back thighs. If you want the silhouette of the skirt in your link, you'd do better with a stretch woven fabric.

I would recommend you look at a few different pencil skirt patterns for a couple that have the details you like, then check what the recommended fabrics are.


-- Edited on 6/15/12 4:46 PM --

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heathergwo
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Date: 6/15/12 8:18 PM

I recently made a pencil skirt for my sister. I used a stretch woven as was recommended above.

If you want the LOOK of the pencil skirt, I highly recommend you make one with a stretch woven rather than a stretch knit. The knit won't give you the same look as a "real" pencil skirt.

I used a very lightweight stretch wool that I found at a store out here for 1/2 off. It was a beautiful dark gray/heathered fabric. It was SUPER easy to make. I used pattern McCall's 6038. It had some various views, but I made the straight, regular one. I first made a muslin to ensure a good fit for my sister. I ended up curving out slightly from the waist to the hips and I omitted the little slit as she didn't want it (but those aren't hard to do). The waistband came out great - used an invisible zipper - and it fit her really well. The good thing about the stretch woven is that it hangs like a woven but gives you that little extra stretch for ease of movement and sitting, etc.

Anyways, here's a link to my skirt. Hope you have fun!!

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a7yrstitch
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In reply to LDT2011 <<


Date: 6/15/12 10:30 PM

Advice please?...........

Buy a portion of knit fabric from the remnant bin. Play with your stitches until you can sew up a seam with some stretch to it and no little waves.

Then, alter the skirt you have that is too loose. You can start by pinning, then basting, then stitching.

Then, take measurements from your altered old skirt. In addition to carefully measuring the skirt seam to seam at multiple horizontal points, you will also need to measure the stretch of the original fabric.

Then study some articles and/or threads on cloning a garment.

When you pull the practice, alteration, measuring and cloning together, you'll have an excellent start at finding and working with the best pattern.

Oh, take measurements on that old skirt before you start altering it too. And keep notes all along the way.
Old skirt hip, 36 inches, need to remove 1.5 inches.
Old skirt 4 inches below hip, 37.5 inches, need to remove 1 inch.
Etc.

For the type of fit you will want, take your measurements every two to four inches. (Depending upon your particular curves.)

And read a bit about negative ease to understand where you might and might not want to use that in your skirt.

Best wishes.

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a7yrstitch
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In reply to heathergwo <<


Date: 6/15/12 10:37 PM

heathergwo,

Great suggestion on the stretch woven. One of my all time favorite skirts for day to day wear, and the office, was a paisley print on pinwale corduroy with a bit of stretch. Looked like regular corduroy but it was softer and smoother. And the fabric did stay where it was supposed to stay. Just a fit, not too tight, not too loose and stayed that way all day. And, so very, very comfortable.

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wendyrb
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In reply to LDT2011 <<
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Date: 6/16/12 2:35 PM

Hi, with my body type, I'm all for stretch woven. However, if you want a simple way to make a knit pencil skirt, go toMy Webpage, that's Mimi G. This is my first hot link and it seems to work, but let me know if not so.

Mimi posts a lot here and blogs with tutorials. She has a video of her making a very tight knit pencil that's easy and fun.

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n45
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Date: 6/16/12 3:57 PM

I was just going to recommend the mimiG link.
Her videos are very clear and beginner friendly. She's inspiring many non-sewers to try these skirt projects out and they are getting good results.
-- Edited on 6/16/12 3:58 PM --

LDT2011
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In reply to wendyrb <<


Date: 6/18/12 8:28 AM

Quote: wendyrb
Hi, with my body type, I'm all for stretch woven. However, if you want a simple way to make a knit pencil skirt, go toMy Webpage, that's Mimi G. This is my first hot link and it seems to work, but let me know if not so.



Mimi posts a lot here and blogs with tutorials. She has a video of her making a very tight knit pencil that's easy and fun.

Just watched the video. Wow! It looks so simple. Really clearly explained. And I like the 'cheat' with the measurements So no having to draw out paper pattern first just direct on the fabric.

------
'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

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