French fashion designer Christian Dior was a true visionary. Thanks to him, women all over the world discovered a feminine, figure-flattering piece called the pencil skirt, which he unveiled in 1954. This iconic Dior creation has stood that test of time and has been a staple in women's wardrobes ever since. It's so versatile and looks va-va-voom-amazing on many body types. If you want to try your hand at making a Dior-inspired pencil skirt, here's how.
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- Measuring tape
- 1 yard medium or heavyweight stretch knit fabric (25 percent stretch or more)
- Sharp scissors
- Sewing machine with a ball point needle
- 1 yard (1-inch) elastic
- Washable marking pen or tailor's chalk
- Iron and ironing board
- Needle and thread
Beth Huntington Measure the circumference of your waist. If you have narrow hips, you don't need to add anything to this measurement. If you have full hips, add 2 to 4 inches to the measurement. This will be the circumference of your skirt. Divide your measurement in half. Fold your fabric over to a width of this half-measurement.
Beth Huntington Measure the distance from your natural waist to your desired length for the hem of the skirt. Measure this length on the folded side of the fabric and mark it at the bottom.
Beth Huntington Starting from the side opposite of the folded edge, cut down the length of the skirt, and then cut along the line you marked for the length of the skirt.
Beth Huntington You will end up with a wide rectangle of fabric that is the width of your waist and the desired length of your skirt.
Beth Huntington Fold the rectangle the opposite way so the right sides of the fabric are together and the inside of the fabric is visible. Pin along the raw edges.
Beth Huntington Sew a 1/2-inch seam along your pin line. Remove the pins as you sew. This seam will be the center back of your skirt. Flip the skirt right side out and set it aside. When sewing with knits, use a stretch, ball point, or jersey needle. These are designed for sewing with knit fabric, for a stronger, smoother seam. A universal needle tends to skip stitches when used with knit fabric.
Beth Huntington Subtract 1 inch from the circumference of your waist. Cut a piece of elastic to this measurement.
Beth Overlap the ends of the elastic and use a zigzag stitch to attach the ends. This will be the center back of your elastic.
Beth Huntington Measure and mark the center front of your skirt and the center front of the elastic with a washable marking pen or tailor's chalk.
Beth Huntington Match the center front of the skirt with the center front of the elastic, and the center back of the skirt with the center back of the elastic. Pin the elastic in place on the top edge of the skirt.
Beth Huntington Use a zigzag stitch to sew the elastic to the right side of the skirt. Pull the elastic slightly as you sew to ease in the extra width of the skirt.
Beth Huntington Fold the elastic up and over to the inside of the skirt and press it with an iron.
Beth Huntington Use a needle and thread to sew the elastic down on the back seam.
Beth Huntington When using a heavy knit, you can save time and effort by not hemming since knits won't fray. If you prefer a more finished look, you may add a simple hem. Wear your pencil skirt with heels and a jacket for work or with a T-shirt and flats on the weekend. No matter how you decide to style your pencil skirt, you'll look sophisticated and be comfortable at the same time.