August 7, 2014

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial {Delia Creates Pencil Skirt Pattern Remix Tour}

 Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Hello everyone!  I am thrilled to be part of the beautiful Delia’s Pleated Pencil Skirt Pattern Remix Tour! I’m so happy for her and her latest pattern release of the Pleated Pencil Skirt!  Her pictures are amazing and you just have to click over and check out her pattern if you have not seen it yet! It’s lovely, and the presentation of the pattern is just so great.  Delia is so cute and professional—her taste is impeccable and I know I can always count on being inspired when I stop by her blog.

Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Today I get to show you how I remixed the pleated pencil skirt pattern to be just a bit different.  I added seams to the front and back panel of the skirt. 
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
I like how it adds a level of interest to the skirt, particularly if you are using just one color of fabric.  Alternatively, you can use this method to make a great color blocked pencil skirt. 
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
I wanted to use the blind hem option but I also wanted some length to my skirt and had to go the route of just hemming the typical way.  The blind hem would have been so good for this skirt!  Next time.  I will remember to lengthen the skirt where Delia’s pattern tells you to and try the blind hem out.   Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Shall we get started?  Please keep in mind the following:  The methods I used to seam the skirt may very well not be the best method.  I am not a pattern drafter and my measurements I give you are not 100% precise, but rather guidelines that will yield similar results to my skirt.  I did do a little bit of math to get a close measurement, but because the skirt sizes vary and slant, and I do not draft patterns, I will give you a general outline of what I think will work for your skirt.    With that in mind, let’s proceed!
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
First, you’ll need some tracing paper, the Pleated Pencil Skirt Pattern, and a pen or pencil with a ruler to make straighter lines. 
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Trace the front panel as per the directions and size according to the pattern instructions, including the dart. 
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Cut out the dart on the tracing paper. 
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Now take the dart on the tracing paper and match the cutout to make one line and tape it.  This omits the darts on the skirt but allows the skirt to be the same width to match the waistband.  Please note that your tracing paper will not lay flat now.  Do not worry about this.  Flatten it as best as you can and move on. 
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Mark down on the edge (where the fold would be) from the top of the skirt at 6” and then again at 10”, or the fullest part of the hips on the skirt pattern.  Draw a line parallel to the bottom of the skirt, at the 6” line and the 10”. 
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
For my size 8, I wanted the middle panel to be 7.5” wide at the top of the skirt.  Since it is cut on the fold and therefore is half of the skirt, I measured and marked 3.75” from the fold line.  I drew a line straight down about an inch before starting to taper out to my next measurement that I drew on the 6” line in the step above.  My next measurement that goes on the 6” line, is where I want the middle panel to taper out to. I wanted it to taper about a 1.5” overall from where it was at the top of the skirt (9” total width now, so half is 4.5”) so I drew a slightly curved gradual line from the 3.75” mark down to 4.5”.  Stick with me here...it’s actually really easy.  From there I drew another mark at the widest part of the skirt on the hips, which for my size ended up being about 10” down from the top of the pattern.  At the 10” down line drawn in above step, I wanted it to taper just one more inch apart, so the total width of the panel at the 10” line down from the top of the pattern is 10”, so I made a mark at 5” and gradually drew the line down once more.  From there I lined up my ruler so that the bottom edge was flat and even with the bottom of the skirt and drew a line straight down from the 10” line.  Whew!  Does that all make sense?!  Check out the next two pictures in case the do not.
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Cut along the line you just drew so it looks like the picture below.
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Ok, now here you can either retrace your pattern and ADD a seam allowance along the curved part you cut, or you can cut it out with the fabric and add your seam allowance when cutting. I chose to forgo tracing the pattern again and remembered to add a seam allowance on either side of the pieces cut, indicated in the pictures.  Also, you can make the seam width however you would like, but remember that whatever seam allowance you draw, you will need to remember it and sew precisely, so that you do not distort the skirt in any way.
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Now open up your folded portion, which is now your middle panel of the front of the skirt.  Take one of the side panels and place it, right sides together, on top of the middle panel and match up the edges and pin.  Pinning is very important here because of the curving of the pieces.  If you don’t pin carefully then one of your panels will end up longer when you are finished sewing.  Sew and repeat with other side.  Don’t forget right sides together and also don’t forget that you are only sewing the allowed seam width you gave yourself on the previous step—no more, no less. :)  Finish the seams with a serger or a zig-zag stitch.  I had white thread on my serger and actually no red serger thread, so I just sewed a zig-zag stitch.
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Ironing is your best friend with these curved areas now.  So after you sew the two side panels onto the middle one, iron that skirt front well from the back first, pulling gently on the seam to get all the curved area out and ironed, then turning over and ironing from the top.
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
So this is what your skirt panel will look like now.
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Now that you’ve made your front panel, do the same thing for the back, EXCEPT I started with an 8” wide middle panel rather than 7.5” and worked the same as the front but with different measurements, which were drawing a line out gradually to 11” total (so half it with the folded part) and then 12” (half it with fold).  **Important:  You are measuring from the pleat line you sew down, NOT from the edge of the back pattern piece.  (sorry for the horrible night time picture, but I wanted to make sure that you were aware of this step and didn’t do it wrong!). 
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Ok, so here is my chart to let you know the numbers.  Please take note that these are NOT measurements on the fold, but the total width of the middle panel on the front and then on the back.  So when you follow my directions above, you will need to half these measurements when using the pattern pieces, because they are to be cut on the fold.  I realize that the sizing does not change .25” from size to size consistently—sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.  Feel free to adjust the numbers for your skirt however you please.  However, I do believe that these measurements will still produce a skirt with very similar results as mine.    Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial

I hope if you decide to try it out that you will love it as much as I love the end result on mine. 
Seamed Pencil Skirt Tutorial
Thanks for having me on your tour, Delia :).  Have a lovely day, everyone!
I was given the pattern from Delia so I could do the remix tour.  All opinions are mine.

16 comments:

  1. super tutorial!and a great idea!you have a nice skirt!

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  2. You look awesome! Love the skirt, that blouse, and you can totally rock the red lipstick! Wow!!!

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  3. I love how that looks! The color blocking option would be so cool. Thanks for showing us this awesome remix!

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  4. I agree with Cheri! You are rocking in red. Thanks for sharing such a great, versatile remix!

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  5. Oh and thanks for adding those charts too! Wowza. Really great remix!

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  6. I love this!!! I've posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-seamed-pencil-skirt/2014/08/10/
    --Anne

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  7. Just one question? Why do you seams pucker? I noticed form photo that they don't lay flat.Each seam looks like it is wavy? is it just the photo? Wondering so before I make it do I need to do something different so they don't look like that. It screams homemade when that happens and I don't want to do all this work to look home made.That is one reason most people don't sew anymore they don't like homemade. Thanks for much for video I'm a visual person not instructions one most of the time.

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    Replies
    1. Wanda, I think that I might have made my skirt a size too small? The seams don't pucker when the skirt is not on but they do when I put it on, so I assume they might be pulling too tightly. Honestly, the pictures accentuate that and I didn't even notice until you pointed it out. It looks great in person ;).

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    2. Also, it could have to do with my fabric choice which was a little too thin for a skirt to hold it's shape nicely. I used some poplin fabric and although nice to work with, perhaps not the best choice for a fitted skirt. Hope that helps.

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    3. Sorry, last one Wanda. After doing some research it is not the size I made. But it is the fabric choice combined with the wrong needle size and maybe even the wrong thread. So there is your answer. Have the right combination of those three and you will be set.

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  8. This is such a great outfit and you look amazing. What a great idea to add the seams!

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I appreciate your comments so much and read every single one of them. I try my best to respond and will do so with a follow-up comment after yours. So make sure to check back and see if I've responded. I sometimes answer through email as well, but I can only do so if you have your email linked in your profile.

Hope you have a wonderful day!!!

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