I’m trying to use sewing to create wardrobe basics that will be versatile and classy, and last a long time. Being able to tailor clothes that I already have to fit me better helps me do this with less expense and less waste. I was gifted this skirt, so I thought it would be a great basic addition to my wardrobe, and an opportunity to show you how to tailor a pencil skirt!
First, try it on.
Put the skirt on and pinch the sides at the waist to figure out how much the skirt needs to be taken in. I like to do this on both sides. Use pins to hold the alterations in place.
Mark the alterations.
Use some kind of fabric marker (as you can see, a white crayon works fine for dark fabrics) to mark where you’ll take in the skirt.
- On the inside, mark the spot where the pinched fabric meets.
- Upin the skirt.
- Take apart the lining and waistband.
- Measure how much you’ve taken in the skirt, and then mark that alteration all the way down all the side seams. +Pay attention to how your skirt is sewn together, you will try to match it as best you can when sewing it back up.
- Unpick the hem about four inches on each side of the side seam.
Sew the skirt:
Sew all the side seams. Sew down the line that you’ve marked on all the side seams.
Sew the waistband back together. The way that you do this exactly will depend on how your skirt was put together. Pay attention to how it used to be sewn, and copy it as best you can.
- First, I sewed the waistband to the main piece of the skirt.
- Then I finished the edges of the main skirt.
- I left re-attaching the facing for my next step.
This is where it gets a little fuzzy. Bear with me! Remember that your skirt may look different than mine. Replace any topstitching. My skirt didn’t have real topstitching, but it stitched the waistband facing to the adjoining seam allowances.
- I pinned the seam allowances to the facing as shown below.
- I topstitched where the stitching had been before.
- I then tacked the waistband facing down by stitching in the ditch.
+ Stitch in the Ditch is topstitching in the middle of an existing seam to hide your stitches.
The sewing on this skirt was really beautiful quality! Taking apart a skirt like this is kind of like learning about biology through dissecting something. It is so fascinating and inspiring to me! Of course, then the sewing I use needs to be closer to that standard, which helps me stretch myself. I can’t sew as well as those pros yet, but practicing is what will get me there.
Hem the skirt again. The lining of my skirt just had a simple rolled hem, so I could just sew that up on the machine. However, the outer shell of the skirt used a tailor’s hem. I chose to do the same to keep the skirt looking professional.
- Sew a rolled hem in the lining.
- Hand stitch a tailored hem for the outer fabric.
+ Tip: When it comes down to tailoring a skirt so that it still looks professional, the best way is to copy the original sewing as much as possible. I hope these steps have helped you figure out your own skirt project!
Congratulations on your newly tailored pencil skirt! You’re sewing your way to a beautifully fitted wardrobe.
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