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An Ode to the Pencil Skirt

Pencil skirts…love them or hate them, you can’t escape them.  And you should love them – they’re a great addition to any woman’s wardrobe; they suit pretty much any body shape, can be business-like and professional or fun and sexy.

Anyway, for the longest time I was very iffy about wearing pencil skirts and I’m not exactly sure why, especially given their classic place in fashion history.  I mean, who could resist this look?



My aversion may have been due to a body image issue (I’ve been funny about my hips since the time the mother of a boy I went out with in High School told me I had child-bearing hips.  Seriously.  I was 17…), but taking some burlesque classes and learning to sew have taught me to love my body the way it is, or it might have been due to my resistance to look like a business-woman…or it could the ever enduring image of 1980s-esque outfits that have put me off…

I know the 80s have made a come-back, but really??

I know the 80s have made a come-back, but really??

Anyway, since I started sewing I have gradually begun wading into the deep, deep waters of pencil skirtdom, and am now totally and completely in love!  I began with a little flirtation here…

Day 11

Yes, I’m eating.  Yes, it was delicious!

…and another little dalliance there…

The pleats are what makes this skirt awesome

The pleats are what makes this skirt awesome

But my full blown affair began with this little beauty:

Pencilly love

Pencilly love

It’s the pencil skirt pattern from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, and while I was initially rather dubious about the ultra (for me, anyway) high waist, I gave it a shot and I’m glad that I did.  Gertie and I apparently share very similar body measurements so I had to make virtually no alterations to the pattern and while I made this with many starts and stops over a couple of weeks if you had a spare afternoon to sew,  you could whip one (or maybe even two) of these up with time for a gin and tonic afterwards before taking your new skirt out for dinner.

Can you see them?

Can you see them?

The thing that makes me love this skirt more than I probably should?  The print on the fabric.



I decided after wearing this out and about for a day that I should make another one, with perhaps some more “sensible” fabric.  I searched my stash, found just enough leftovers from another project for this:


I changed the waistband to a narrower, straight band for this one, and it completely changes the way the skirt looks.  It looks much more casual and less fitted.  Which is nice for a change, but I still prefer the Moustache Skirt.

Ignore my face...please!

Ignore my face…please!

I tried a bunch of different of techniques while making these skirts,  My first lapped zippers!  And I used ribbon to bind the seam edges – both things I can’t believe I haven’t done all this time and can’t wait to employ again.

Lapped zipper

Lapped zipper

Ribbon bound edges and seams

Ribbon bound edges and seams

And, just to finish the post off on something pretty, my new shoes!

Bue suede shoes!

Bue suede shoes!




2 responses »

  1. Holy crap you bought the mustache print! Gah! That officially makes you the most awesome in the sea of awesome. You look wonderful, of course, in pencil skirts, rock it, lady!

    Also, Gerties book is indeed awesome (Albiet a little frustrating with all the patterns ontop the other)


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