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Pencil Skirt Project

Easy pencil skirt project

This pencil skirt project has been designed by Julia Claridge of Bobbins and Buttons in Leicester. Julia runs an online and bricks and mortar fabric shop and offers a range of fun relaxed sewing classes, which always include homemade bakes. She also designs a range of garment patterns for adults and children.

This skirt is made to fit you. The quantity of fabric may vary depending on fabric width, size and required length.

You will need…

Medium weight Ponte de Roma or medium-weight jersey fabric – approx. 70cm (fabric used in this example 150cm wide, skirt size 12, length 58cm).

Our fabric was a Ponte de Roma. Find Ponte Roma fabrics online at Fabric Godmother or Clothspot. 

Lining – the same amount as outer fabric

Interfacing or waistband interfacing – waist length plus 8cm

7” zip

Hook and bar

Before you start

Take your measurements. Measure your natural waistline, hips (the widest part) and the length you would like the skirt to finish.

I recommend making a simple paper pattern for this skirt but you could mark out directly on the fabric.

Pattern measurements:

Add 12cm to your hip or waist measurement – which ever is the wider. (If your waist measurement is larger than your hip measurement this skirt will be a fuller shape). If you are making a skirt smaller than a size 10 you may want to reduce this addition, likewise for a size larger than 16 you may need to increase it.

Add 4cm to the required length.

To Sew

1. Draw a rectangle measuring the length required (4cm added) and quarter of the hip/waist measurement (with the 12cm added).

Marking out measurements for a pencil skirt

2. Measure down 1cm from the upper (waist) edge to the centre front seam. Draw a shallow curve from this point to the outer edge. Mark a point 10cm (for sizes 10-16) in from the centre front along this waist edge. If you are smaller than a 10 you may need to bring this point nearer the centre front and if you are larger than a size 16 you may need to take the point out a little.

This is your front skirt pattern. You can use this as the back skirt pattern but remember to add a 1.5cm seam allowance on the centre back seam.


Simple pattern drawn for a pencil skirt

Cut one front and two backs in fabric and the same in lining fabric. Cut a waistband approximately 8cm longer than your waist measurement.  The waistband needs to be twice the width you would like the waistband to be plus 3cm. You can also use waistband interlining which is super simple.

3. With RST join the centre back seams of both outer and lining leaving an opening of 7” at the upper edge. Neaten the seams. Press the seams open and apply the zip in the fabric opening.

Add a zip into a skirt

4. Top stitch around the opening of the lining. With RST join side seams of fabric. Do the same with the lining fabric. Neaten seams and press. 

Lining for a skirt

5. Place the lining inside the skirt with wrong sides together, match side seams. Pin and machine tack together.

Dressmaking with Bobbins n Buttons

6. From the point you marked on the waist edge of the pattern fold an inverted pleat at all four points. To find the depth of the pleat take your natural waistline measurement from the width of the skirt and divide by 4. Each pleat should reduce the skirt by this amount.

Inverted pleat on a skirt

7. Apply interfacing to the wrong side of the waistband.

Apply waistband interfacing

8. With RST pin the waistband to the skirt, ensure the band extends beyond the zip by 1.5cm on the left hand edge and let the remainder extend beyond the other side.

Pinning a skirt waistband

9. Fold the waistband down RST and stitch across the end close to the zipper on the left edge and approximately 3-4cm away from the zipper on the other side. Trim and turn to right side.

Skirt construction techniques

10.  Fold the raw edge inside the waistband and slip stitch to the skirt. Finish waistband by adding a hook and bar. Neaten the raw edge of the skirt hem and press 3cm up. Hand stitch the hem. Trim 3cm off the lining length. Turn and press a narrow double hem. Machine stitch.

Ponte Roma skirt project

Now your pencil skirt project is complete. Enjoy wearing it. 

Why not try Julia’s shift dress project or pleated wrap skirt project next? 

Made to measure pencil skirt