Thursday, August 8, 2013

Polka Dot Pencil Skirt

Like sew many sewistas I love Gertie's blog and had to have her book on sewing retro fashions. I love it and plan to make everything in it even, though I shudder at the thought of me in a wiggle dress. Anyway, I just finished my first creation from the book, the pencil skirt.

Can I just say, I love. this.skirt! Not only is the pattern great, I love it in this navy/white polka dot cotton sateen. This may be the first clothing item in my new post-kids plus size that I truly love. I even think it is, dare I say it, flattering. 

I got the fabric at G-Street Fabrics in Rockville, MD. It was normally $19.99/yd but was on sale for $12.98. I scooped up three yards and used two for this skirt. I have no idea what I am going to do with 1 yard of stretch cotton sateen but I'm pretty sure it will be for my three year-old. 

I also lined this skirt. This is the first time I have done a lining. It wasn't too hard and certainly did make the skirt seam more luxurious. I used a navy rayon lining from Joann $4.19/yard.


I modified the waist band to be straight across the front. It just seems more comfortable that way. I may make another version with the high band complete with boning.

I converted the back slit to a back vent using the tutorial on the "A Fashionable Stitch" blog. It was an easy change that I think really takes the skirt up a notch. 


I inserted the lapped zipper using the method taught in the free Craftsy class "Mastering Zipper Techniques" taught by the same Sunni that gave me the back vent tutorial. She was very useful in the making of this skirt. Anyway, the technique worked perfectly. The class is free. Check it out.

I hand basted all the seams before sewing them. I have been having lots of trouble with my fabric getting out of alignment and this helped a lot. It didn't really take too long. 

I know that you don't technically have to finish seams in a lined garment but I felt the need to do something, so I pinked the seam allowances and ran a line of straight stitches down each piece. It was less than the overcasting I would have done on an unlined item but still made it seam more finished. 

I added a some red bias tape to the hem allowance on the vent. Just a little something flashy on the inside as a surprise. I uses my blind hemmer foot to do the hem. It's the first time I have used it on an actual garment and I think it turned out well.

Errors and conundrums

My waistband ended up not having enough length to overlap and put in a button. I guess I shouldn't have done 5/8 seams down the ends? Next time I'll do 1/4 there. I ended up putting a flat hook closure there. 

Speaking of the ends of the waistband, one of the corners keeps turning back inward no matter how many times I push it out. I 'll have to do some research to find out what is causing it. 

I'm not really sure how I was supposed to finish the back vent. I just kind of winged it and overcasted the edges. I don't have a serger.  

I'm still working on proper fitting. This one is pretty good but it could get quite a bit better. The waist definitely needs to be tightened up a bit. 

But overall I think it turned out pretty well. 

Did I say I love this skirt? Cause I do! I plan to make this pattern several more times. The total cost of this one was only $36!


  1. I love polka dots, that came out so nice! Great job :)

  2. That is so cool looking I love retro fashions and just happen to be zoftig as well. I found you on intro on bloggy moms. I'm lorraine at I'm following via email.