DIY: Skirt #2

My personal sewing goal is to be able to make one kick-ass pencil skirt. For the next little while you may see a few of these “Did It Myself” skirt posts. Β Don’t worry, this won’t turn into a sewing blog. πŸ˜›

I know in my first DIM skirt unveiling, I said I would try something easier, but I went ahead and tried another pencil skirt, but this time with a side slit.

DSC01577_2 DSC01584_2 DSC01585_2

What do you think? The material is 100% cotton, so it doesn’t drape as well as I’d like (it crinkles at my every twist and turn). It took me a few weekends, but only because I didn’t have an invisible zipper to match the fabric. In the end, I think it was a blessing in disguise. I was dying to work on it so I spent a lot of time perfecting the details and the fit waiting for the zipper to come. It turned out pretty well. Check out the cute little grosgrain ribbon in the inside:

The fitting process was…I don’t want to say difficult, but it was very time consuming and took a long time to get just right. What may have helped me was my previous knowledge on fit since for so many years I’ve studied, analyzed and picked apart clothes trying to figure what needed to happen to get them fit my petite body perfectly.

For this skirt, I followed a pattern, and as much as I tried to alter the pattern itself before actually cutting, the fact that I’m petite and the pattern was not, turned the process into a whole new ballgame. With my initial changes, theoretically the skirt should have fit. In reality, it did not. Β Regular-sized sewing patterns (like many ready-to-wear clothes) are definitely made for women with hips, thighs and a butt, all of which I do not have. It was a lot of sewing, adjusting, sewing, adjusting, sewing, and adjusting. The fit turned out a lot better than I expected, however. The biggest mistake I made was shortening it too much when cutting the fabric, not sure how that happened. So instead of a 2″ hem, it was more of a .75″ hem with an added a polka dot grosgrain ribbon for binding to make it pretty. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it. For the next skirt, I will attempt to add a lining. Stay tuned.


  1. Really Petite January 19, 2012

    What a great color! You did an amazing job Cher. I like the side slit in the front : )

  2. TOBeautyReviews January 19, 2012

    That looks amazing Cher! I’m sooooo impressed and envious of your skills!

  3. Cher January 19, 2012

    Thanks Elaine! I’m not sure it has so much to do with my skills as it does my OCD with regard to details. LOL.

  4. Natasha Janzen January 19, 2012

    This fits you absolutely perfectly!  Great job πŸ™‚ I love the slit

    Natasha ~ Required2BeInspired

  5. witheachpassingday January 19, 2012

    You did an amazing job. The skirt turn out beautiful I don’t I have the skill or patience you did. I probably would have gave up.

  6. TOBeautyReviews January 19, 2012

    Whatever the reason it gets the job done πŸ˜›

  7. Ping January 19, 2012

    cher– i love the side slit. you did an amazing job. i’m impressed as always!

  8. Aubrey Dang January 19, 2012

    holy smokes!  amazing job!  SPG will be so proud.

  9. Girlie Blogger January 19, 2012

    Wow. You are so talented. The skirt looks professionally made, and it fits you so well. Good job.

  10. Katherine January 19, 2012

    Great job! This is really good! and I like the ribbon inside for the binding πŸ™‚

  11. SS January 19, 2012

    Great Job on 2nd skirts! I really like the color and a polka dot ribbon!

  12. Cee January 19, 2012

    Another successful DIM! High five! I’ll admit my favorite part is the strip of grosgrain ribbon. Makes my preppy heart flutter, lol. Close behind that is the side slit. I remembered seeing a Zara skirt from last season (?) in red with a side skirt, but unfortunately was too big for me. At the time Aubs commented she hadn’t seen anything like it since the Ally McBeal days. Ahh, the 90s.

  13. Petite LG January 19, 2012

    You did a fantastic job! The skirt turned out great. I really like the color.Sewing takes a lot of time and patience but the end result is well worth it =) 

  14. Callandra January 19, 2012

    Omg Cher!  You are totally rocking that sewing machine…color me soooo impressed!!  I think you did an awesome job and you’ll only get better with practice.  Really great job πŸ˜‰

  15. gen January 19, 2012

    wow, impressed. love the ribbon detail.

  16. Phoebe January 19, 2012

    Your skirt turned out great!  The color is very pretty and the grosgrain ribbon is so cute! 
    Oh what a coincidence!!! I’m originally from Toronto too and I was living in DC until recently!  I definitely miss the DMV area! πŸ™‚

  17. Cher January 19, 2012

    LOL. Actually, I was inspired by the green Zara skirt that I think they still sell online now, but I just didn’t like how on the Zara skirt the side slit had a zipper and the ribbon-tie waist.

    Isn’t the ribbon the best?? I was so excited to sew it in! 

  18. Cher January 19, 2012

    Aww, thanks, Callandra! I’m pretty happy with it!

  19. Cher January 19, 2012

    Really? That is a coincidence! Where are you now? Did you move back to T.O.?

  20. Cher January 19, 2012

    Thx, Gen! πŸ™‚

  21. Cher January 19, 2012

    Thanks, Sydney! So far everything has turned out pretty well. It’s very cool when the result is better than you expected!

  22. Cher January 19, 2012

    Thx! πŸ˜€

  23. Cher January 19, 2012

    Thx Katherine! I really like the ribbon too.  πŸ™‚

  24. Cher January 19, 2012

    LOL. Thx! I hope she is!

  25. Cher January 19, 2012

    thx Ping!!

  26. Cher January 19, 2012

    thx! It does take a lot of patience. I’m not sure if I would be able to handle projects like blazers and things that require so much time and work! Skirts are just enough for me to handle right now.

  27. Cher January 19, 2012

    Thx Natasha!!

  28. Cher January 19, 2012

    Thanks Annie!!

  29. nkauj thao January 20, 2012

    Really awesome! Skirt looks perfect on you

  30. Canadianpetite January 20, 2012

    Love the polka dot ribbon.

  31. Kerry January 20, 2012

    Your proportions are similar to mine, so you could probably get away with the same pattern alterations that I use:
    1.) Straighten on the hip line. Most womens patterns have a rather accentuated curve from waist to mid thigh – I usually straighten that line out from about 1.5″ below where I want the waist to be. I also do this for dress and pant patterns.

    2.) Shorten the pattern by folding out the excess length from the middle, not from the hemline. Measure the length from the bottom of the waistband on an existing skirt that you own to use as a guide. Then add 2″ to the desired length for the hem.

    3.) Don’t mess around with the waist on patterns – most of them use a 24″ waist for the smallest size in the pattern and that number is fairly consistent. On the pattern I use for a pencil skirt, I actually have to add width at the waist because the original pattern was cut for a 24″ waist, and mine is 25″5. I add about 5/8″ to each side seam at the waist when I cut out the pattern. This makes my skirt look almost like a rectangle, but then that is how I am built compared to average women.

  32. Cher January 20, 2012

    Wow, that sounds pretty much exactly what I ended up doing to the pattern! I think just because of my inexperience, I wasn’t sure how much. There were a lot of seams on the skirt, so I was straightening the seams in so many places. I read I was only supposed to take it from the outside, but then it didn’t look good at all in the back–very lumpy. So I ended up straightening the pieces in the back as well.

    It was weird, I did take out the excess length from the middle, but I think what I thought was going to be a good length (i actually did try to pin the pattern on me first), when I actually put on the skirt for fitting, I actually decided I wanted it longer. oh well!

    Thanks for the tips, Kerry! They’re so helpful!!

  33. Stylepint January 20, 2012

    What an amazing job! You can’t tell that it’s DIM, it looks store-bought and it fits so much better than off-the-rack skirts. =)

  34. Phoebe January 21, 2012

    I ended up moving up to Minneapolis this year but I still head to T.O. from time to time to visit family and friends. πŸ™‚  How did you learn how to sew? that’s on my to do list this year….but I just need to find a place to learn and get a machine πŸ˜›

  35. Cher January 21, 2012

    Heh, honestly? Books and YouTube. πŸ˜› I just started sewing 2.5 months ago, and embarrassingly, I already have reasonably sized sewing library (I love books). I can point you towards a few that are really good for beginners, if you like. And good sewing machines that can grow with you are pretty reasonably priced (~$150). It will totally pay for itself once you start to alter your ready-to-wear clothes that you’ve purchased. 

  36. Phoebe January 21, 2012

    really? you’re so talented! I would appreciate your recommendations very much! πŸ™‚  Thanks so much Cher. you can email me at πŸ™‚

  37. Elle January 29, 2012

    The skirt looks good. I think you did a great job. For the crinkling, try a polyester/cotton blend fabric next time. I find when, I want pieces to not be so wrinkly, blends are a little better. Take care and happy sewing.

  38. Cher January 29, 2012

    Thanks, Elle! I also prefer blends but since it these are my very first sewing projects I’ve just been using the cheapest and easiest materials to work with just to get some practice. I never expected my skirts to turn out this well. But now that I’m beginning to hoard material, I’m trying to find more blends that will drape better than 100% cotton.

  39. Wanetta R.Sullivan February 10, 2012

    Good article and right to the point. I am not sure if this is actually the best place to ask but do you guys have any thoughts on where to hire some professional writers? Thank you πŸ™‚
    SKINS Women’s A400 Long Tights

  40. Jeanine R.Foley February 12, 2012

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    Bogs Women’s Classic Mid Tuscany Rain Boot

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