DIY Pencil Skirt

DIY One Hour Pencil Skirt

Beloved Emcee and costume goddess Cora Vette, owner of Denver’s one stop burlesque shop VaVa Vette, gives us the lowdown on how to create your own custom fashions.

This D.I.Y. will show you how to make a pencil skirt in under one hour and all you need are very basic sewing skills. If you can sew a zig-zag stitch, you can make this pencil skirt!

First, you will need stretch fabric. There is no zipper for this simple pull on skirt. I used a stretch velvet but any fabric with a two-way stretch works great. Note: If you use a stretch velvet, cut it out and sew it with the nap of the fabric going up. Basically, that means if you would run your hands from your hips to your waist it will feel the smoothest going up. This will make it look richer.

I took a pencil skirt that I had in my closet and used it as a guide. But, you can do it without a guide. All you need to do is take your hip measurement, divide it in half, and leave a little space on each side for your seam allowance. I use the standard 5/8th inch seam on the sides.  I allowed a little more room at the hips and took it in a little at the waist for my figure. But, even a plain old rectangle works great with the stretchy fabric. Just make it wide enough for your hips and as long as you want.

Step 1) Fold your fabric in half.

Remember to leave a 5/8th inch seam allowance at both sides and about an inch and a half at the top and bottom for the hem and the waistband and cut your fabric.

Step 2) Pin the skirt with the right sides together at both sides.

Step 3) Stitch each side closed. For this skirt, I used my serger, but a plain old zig zag stitch on a regular sewing machine works just as well.

Note: You will be using a zig zag stitch for this entire garment.

Step 4) Cut your elastic for the waistband. Take your waist measurement and subtract one inch then overlap the ends and stitch the elastic together making a circular waistband elastic.

Step 5) Pin the elastic to the WRONG side of the top of your skirt. The easiest way to do this is to place the seam of your elastic circle to the seam one side of the skirt and then half the elastic circle and put a pin in the elastic and place that at the other side seam of the skirt. Stretch the skirt and pin the elastic every few inches.

Step 6) With a small zig-zag stitch, sew the elastic to the skirt close to the lower edge of  the elastic stretching the fabric as you sew.

Step 7) Turn the elastic over once again. The previous stitching will hold the elastic in place. This time, sew the waistband close to the edge of the material (again, stretching as you sew). This will encase the elastic and make a nice finish on the inside of the waistband.

Step 8) Make a simple hem by turning up the bottom edge a half an inch, and then another generous half inch turn, making a nice double fold.

Stitch (in a zig zag) close to the top edge and you are DONE!

The first skirt I made took me about an hour. But, after one, I made another one in 20 minutes! It makes me want to make tons of them to travel to festivals! They don’t wrinkle and they dress up or down, and they are so comfortable!!

Until next time…xoxo Cora Vette

Want more from Cora? See: DIY Shrug, DIY Shimmy Belt, DIY G-String, Buying Vintage Patterns

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