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.

pencil skirt

Beth Huntington

Things You'll Need

sewing supplies for a pencil skirt

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.

measure and mark skirt width

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.

measure and mark skirt length

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.

cut width

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You will end up with a wide rectangle of fabric that is the width of your waist and the desired length of your skirt.

cut skirt length

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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.

pin the back seam

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.

Tip

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.

sew center back seam

Beth Huntington

Subtract 1 inch from the circumference of your waist. Cut a piece of elastic to this measurement.

Measure and cut the elastic.

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Overlap the ends of the elastic and use a zigzag stitch to attach the ends. This will be the center back of your elastic.

zig zag the elastic ends

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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.

mark the center front and back

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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.

Pin the elastic to 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.

Zig zag stitch elastic to skirt

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Fold the elastic up and over to the inside of the skirt and press it with an iron.

press the elastic

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Use a needle and thread to sew the elastic down on the back seam.

tack the elastic

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Tips

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.

Finished pencil skirt.

Beth Huntington