I very rarely, maybe once or twice a year, sew something for myself. That’s why I’m so excited for today’s post! Delia from the gorgeous blog DeliaCreates, asked me to join in with her pattern hack tour and share an item made with her new Pencil Skirt pattern.
I was a little nervous because this is my first time EVER sewing a pencil skirt, but there was no need for that. Delia wrote the pattern instructions so well that anyone can follow them. I took the instructions one step at a time and had a pencil skirt after about 5 total hours from start to finish (from taping the pattern to wearing the skirt). I was listening to an ebook the whole time, so imagine what you can do with your whole brain engaged!
(Abby’s showing me how to pose in the picture above. She’s the pro around here! I thought you’d like this behind the scenes moment.)
Just like her blog, Delia’s pattern instructions are clean and beautiful to look at with graphics and photos to help illustrate the process. I was seriously, seriously impressed. As you know, I just released my first pattern and I know what goes into creating a beautiful and functional pattern. Delia nailed it!
When learning about a new pattern, I always think it’s helpful to know what skills might be required/what I will learn from the venture. Here are a few things I either had never done before, or only done a couple of times before sewing this skirt. This is a great pattern for learning or practicing the following skills:
- Inserting an invisible zipper: this was my very first one! I need some practice, but I’m pretty proud that it actually zips up and I can wear the skirt in public.
- Blind hem: I’ve sewn bind hems on pants before, but nothing so obvious as a skirt hem. I really wanted it to look good, and it does! Thanks for the instructions there, Delia.
- Lining a skirt: I’m kicking myself for not taking a good picture of the inside of this skirt. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. Seriously, I want to drool over the red lining I used. The finish on the inside of this pencil skirt is so beautiful, it makes me even more proud of the inside that I am of the outside.
- Applying interfacing: OK, I’ve done this a thousand times before, but I thought it might be helpful to note that the outer waistband is reinforced with interfacing.
My pattern hack idea was a good one (if you don’t mind me saying so), but this method didn’t work out perfectly for me, as you’ll see. My idea was to create a lace kick pleat using a scrap of lace and not altering the pattern pieces, so newbies (like me) could actually do it and come out with a wearable skirt.
Where did I go wrong? Well, I shortened the skirt a good 3-4 inches (’cause I’m a shortie) and forgot to bring the kick pleat up an equal amount. YES, I MAKE MISTAKES, TOO. Because of this, I ended up with a tiny 4″ kick pleat rather than the hot mamma 7″ kick pleat included in the pattern. Ugh. But you know what this means, right? I just have to sew another one! I have new skirt on my sewing table now, with a new method for the contrasting kick pleat. It will hopefully make it’s way to you soon. In the meantime, here’s how to create a lace kick pleat with a scrap of lace:
Find the kick pleat marking and draw a line 3/8″ above it. Cut a piece of lace 3.5″ inches wide with a height of the distance between the bottom of the skirt and the line you drew. (In your case, this will be about 3.5″ by 7.5″ inches, but mine is shorter because of the afore mentioned error).
Cut out your skirt and all the pieces. Set everything aside except for the back skirt and your piece of lace. Take the lace and fold the long edges to the wrong side by 1/4″. Position the lace in the exact center of the skirt at the bottom edge and pin it in place on the sides. Stitch the lace in place as close to the edge as possible, using thread that matches the lace.
Continue sewing the skirt as described in the instructions. Super easy! The other method I’m working on takes a little more fiddling with the back pattern piece itself, and I’ll let you know how it works out. In the meantime, maybe you can sew and awesome (and longer) kick pleat that mine and share it with us?
All in all, I adore my new skirt and feel like a hot mamma wearing it! Thank you so much for stopping by today and reading about it today. And thank you so much for including me in the tour, Delia, and for creating an adorable skirt pattern than even someone with very little experience sewing women’s garments can make successfully. I think the pattern is a real winner!
Lastly, major thanks are in order to my friend Steffanie who took these photos for me at the last minute when I decided a tripod was just too much hassle (especially with three kids running around). She did a great job even though I am the WORLD’S BIGGEST DORK while getting pictures taken of myself. This, my friends, is why CailaMade is not a fashion blog.