A proper pencil skirt

pencil skirt

I do believe I have sewn a garment in the same month as the current Burdastyle! Not sure that has happened before. But I was very excited about April’s edition and I knew I would make this skirt.


I love classic, timeless styles. And the pencil skirt is no exception. Worn anywear, anytime, dressed up or down, it makes getting dressed for work or an evening out, a mindless operation! I also love that it can be modern or vintage, whatever you team it with.

Satin was the suggestion for this particular version but there was another one with a gabardine recommendation. Satin is a bit too posh for work and everyday so I set off to get some gabardine. I bought some but wasn’t filled with the usual glee once I’d parted with my cash. Praps it will soften a bit in the wash, I thought! But just as I was on my way out of the shop my eyes continued searching – as they always do – and I spotted some black stretch denim. That’s the stuff, I thought. And I was right. Comfy, casual but smart and sturdy enough to hold me in, in all the right places!

pencil skirt

This is possibly the shapeliest pencil skirt pattern I have come across. Largely due to the panels and princess seams I would assume. It is really high waisted and a lack of waistband allows for a shapely top at the waist, or near under-bust!

The instructions didn’t relay details of a lining and I have learned hard lessons from not including one so I dug out some deep red poly lining, cut the same pieces as the skirt, minus the facing and allowed a pleat in the front.

lining pleat

I felt quite pleased with myself for remembering this trick but alas it wasn’t enough ease to have just the one in the front. I should have really allowed for another two, one at the top of each back panel. It really is a very snug fit!

The invisible zip went in without any probs. It lines up and everything!

invisible zip

I will definitely return to this pattern at some point and would love to make a posh version and include the couture techniques suggested on the Burda Style website, namely adding boning, underlining etc.

But I seriously must not veer off the project list any more than I already have! I have much more interesting projects to fry, not least of all my jacket! I can report that it is, at last, taking shape, all be it in the initial stages, but it has a body, nonetheless, and some welt pockets with flaps and a collar ready and waiting its turn….. honest! 😉

29 Replies to “A proper pencil skirt”

  1. OMG looks fabulous! Kudos to you for making something from the current burdastyle mag!! I haven’t ever done that!!! I love the black stretch denim- so versatile!!

  2. I have been wantIng to try a pencil skirt with an invisible zip! You make this sound easy (except I have no idea how to put in a lining!) The denim you choose looks just perfect!

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment. There are some really useful tips for putting in an invisible zip on You Tube and on the Burda Style site. Though it was never easy for me first time round, I have to say! I have put in quite a few now but every now and then I get complacent with it and still screw up! Just take it nice and slow and with practice it will become second nature! Lining this skirt was as easy as making the skirt itself except you dont put a zip in. Once its attached to the inner facing you hand sew the opening of the lining (where the zip would go on the skirt) to the zipper tape. Always worth a look on YouTube. There are loads of video tutorials on there and I don’t know about you but I certainly learn more from visuals rather than words!

  3. Looks super chic. Interested to see that you mention how high waists feel so much higher than they actually look to the non wearer, or even in photos. Im making an 80s high waist skirt and it’s stalling, partly due to me thinking the waist is more of a corset!
    Yours however is perfect…..nice style, vintage feel…

    1. Thanks so much Scruffy Badger. It does take a bit of getting used to for sure. But I was determined to give it a go after Mrs C pointed out that my button wrap skirt was being worn lower than in the pattern illustration. So I’ve decided to raise the waistline where possible as it changes the whole look of the style and I think it is generally much more flattering. With regs your 80s skirt I think you should go full steam ahead. I bet it will look fabulous. I might comment differently about 80s high waisted peg jeans on the otherhand! 🙂

  4. Looks beautiful. Re the lining, on our Edinburgh trip Scruffy Badger and I found some stretch lining that I think is just perfect for this type of make. You need some give! Let me know if you want me to pop a swatch in the post.

      1. That’s so sweet of you. Thanks Debi. I’m off to hunt for some on Saturday but if I don’t come up trumps I might take you up on that offer. I wouldn’t ordinarily go to the bother of replacing a lining but I really do think that a stretchy one would be just the ticket. 🙂

    1. Ooo that sounds perfect. I didn’t know stretch lining existed. Genius! I have noticed the seams on the lining were looking a little ‘stressed’! I’m off to Goldhawk Rd to find some pj fabric on the weekend so I will enquire about stretch lining at the same time. Thanks so much Karen x

  5. Beautiful skirt! Wow! Sewing a garment in the same month as the magazine! You’re fantastic! (I do always think I am going to do that but . . . ) The pencil skirt truly is a classic and your’s is perfect!

  6. Your skirt looks fabulous ! Great minds and all that, I stitched up a pencil skirt in stretch indigo denim last weekend, it was such a wonderful fabric to work with, and flattering too ! I must admit though, my skirt is not on any sort of par as yours though, especially when it comes to the inside.
    I love looking at the inside of peoples makes and lady you did not disappoint – super pretty ! I especially like the gingham top with it and you have made me want one of those to go with mine. Really excellent work ! 🙂 x

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Kirsty. I’ve seen your ‘mint-chocolate skirt’ and the finish inside is impeccable so you are fooling no one! As for my inside lining. The suggestion by Karen to use a stretch lining is highly recommended as although mine looks neat and I have allowed ease, there is still stress on the seams.

  7. I found a sewing maschine ina skip a while ago now all I need is for someone to show me how to thread it and I will be off … but I doubt iw ill be anywhere as good as you …brilliant skirt

  8. I freaking love this skirt! The lining is gorgeous too!! I actually ordered this issue off eBay cause I couldn’t find it anywhere here… but it hasn’t arrived yet 🙁 *sob*

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