Even though I’ve been trying to keep up with my blog posts, I haven’t really been sewing as much lately as is usual for me. Sitting at the machine requires a lot more effort than I can muster most days, so my output has slowed considerably. This has led to a rethink of my sewing strategy: I can’t buy a lot of fabric with the guarantee that I will burn through it quickly, so I’ve been taking stock of what I already have and working out what to do with it.
A lot has gone on to the op shops, other crafty people I know, or to my friend’s early childhood education centre (those kids have far more creative talent than I do!). Now I’m aiming to sew through the rest before I buy anything new.
This project is essentially a scrap-buster, using leftover ponte from my Mol-nari-oli dress. Spotlight have been producing some fantastic ponte lately – true ponte, viscose/elastane/nylon instead of some horrible poly concoction – so I wanted to use it up instead of tossing it. And what better project to use up ponte scraps than a knit pencil skirt?
Usually I like to rely on the expertise of professionally trained pattern drafters rather than drafting patterns myself, which I neither have the skills nor energy for. But I figured by the time I bought and printed or traced a pattern, I could have drafted and sewn the whole skirt. And honestly, a knit skirt is so simple I figured even I couldn’t cock it up.
I relied mainly on this tutorial from Maria Denmark, adding a separate straight waistband instead of elastic which she encases by folding under the waist of the skirt body. This allowed the skirt to sit on my high waist, instead of hip.
The skirt required a little fitting when on, mainly because I dramatically underestimated the length between my waist and full hip and had to redraw that curve. I also inserted 32mm elastic in the waistband (just what I had hanging around) as the weight of the skirt was not adequately held up by the self-waistband alone.
I initially went to the effort of drafting a faced walking slit for the centre back seam, to be mitred with a hem of equivalent width, but when I tried it on, I found the slit unnecessary and the length perfect as is. So I trimmed the facing, sewed up the CB seam and just wore it unhemmed!
Like I mentioned above, I don’t have a lot of faith in my drafting abilities, so I was pleasantly surprised when this skirt turned out exactly as I’d anticipated. I’m sure relying on a tutorial by an experienced pattern drafter didn’t hurt! The best thing about this method IMO, rather than using a drafted knit pencil skirt pattern, is that you can so easily adjust to your liking – eg, by narrowing for a tighter fit, pegging at the hem, adding a vent, or adding a waistband as I did.
Pattern: Maria Denmark Easy Made to Measure Skirt
Pattern details: Straight knit skirt drafted to measurements.
Fabric: About 1m x 145cm wide scoop buy double knit, black/white stripe, viscose/nylon/elastane, from Spotlight.
Other materials: 32mm elastic.
Mods: Added 38mm wide straight waistband with encased elastic.