It’s been a fair while since I last posted, & things have changed a bit around here since. But more on that later. For now: look! I made a skirt!
It’s from an old pattern from my mother’s collection: Style 1961. (It’s worth noting that googling “Style 1961 pencil skirt” will get to absolutely nowhere, if you’re looking for the pattern…) There was a long and short option, with or without a waistband. I went for the long one (goes without saying when you’re 5’9″!), no waistband. I put together a toile from an old sheet, made a few adjustments aaand… didn’t touch it again for 2 months. Maybe even longer. In spite of having a lovely sewing space in the new house, I really lost my sewing mojo in the move.
So I did what many modern sewists would do in a time of sewing-related difficulty: I turned to the sewing community of Reddit for advice. There are some truly supportive people on that forum & they gave me the kick up the ass I needed to get started again. So I made some more adjustments to the toile, cut out the fabric (a gorgeous magenta-red wool tweed) and got stuck in. On the advice of a Redditor I left generous seam allowances while cutting out, which both eased my nerves and allowed me to make the few adjustments I’d need to make later.
As for the adjustments themselves, there were many. The pattern was entirely the wrong shape for me. Part of that is my height, so my hip is longer than average, and I’ve also taken up running which has made my thighs and backside bigger. I had to take in the waist a lot, lower the hip, widen the hip, widen the part over my thighs, lengthen the darts and also take in the darts at the back. There was a lot of trying on, pinning, using my French curve, resewing the seam, trying on again, pinning again… It felt like it took forever! I also had to draft a lining, which wasn’t included in the pattern. It was tricky to work around the vent, but thanks to the tutorial on A Fashionable Stitch & this youtube video I was able to figure it out without too much head-scratching.
The important thing is: it paid off. I now finally have a pencil skirt that really fits me, & it’s pretty comfortable too. I also now have a pencil skirt sloper from the toile I made. Moral of the story? Take the time & make a toile. It’ll lengthen the process, but what’s the point in sewing for yourself if the result doesn’t fit you?
Here’s how it looks from the side & back:
Also, here’s the pattern. (If anyone’s interested, I can post the back of the envelope too.)