Navy Pencil Skirt

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Ah, spring! With all the lovely weather, sunshine, delicious smelling rain showers, and flowers everywhere, this is definitely one of my favorite seasons. Despite the slight pause between blog posts, I have not been neglecting my sewing. Since starting work I have had to rearrange my notions on crafting time, but I still managed to sneak in a few makes. Honestly, the biggest issue has been getting pictures! Today I wanted to talk about something I made a couple of months ago: A basic navy pencil skirt.

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I never thought I could be a pencil skirt wearing lady. I always imagined that the significant difference between my waist and hips would make it pretty much impossible to wear such a snug skirt. It all changed when I took a pattern drafting class last fall. As part of the class, I had to draft a fitted skirt sloper. Not only that, but my wonderful instructor helped me tailor it to my particular body shape.

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After I finished the class, I was a little nervous about using my sloper patterns. I knew there would still be a few adjustments I would have to make. Also, not having a table set up in our little apartment due to lack of space has put a damper on pretty much any pattern drafting. I sometimes use the floor, but it tends to hurt my back and knees if I try to work on any bigger projects.

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Then I had a job interview. I needed something that looked professional and put together. I wanted to make a good impression, and I decided that the time had come to make a pencil skirt. After adding the seam allowance to my skirt sloper, drafting a shaped waistband, and cutting everything out: I was ready to start sewing.

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It ended up being much easier than I had anticipated. I did have to make some changes to the skirt, but they weren't that difficult. After sewing up the skirt as it was, I discovered that it didn't taper towards my knees quite like I wanted it to, and was an unflattering length. I increased the seam allowance for the last six inches or so on both the sides and the center back seam. Once I had it slimmed down the way I wanted it, it was just a matter of evening the hem.

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Before I talk about the hem, I have to tell you the story of my zipper woes. I initially installed an invisible zipper in the center back seam. It looked amazing! I was so happy with it. There were no wonky ripples. No puckers or exposed zipper fabric. It was one of the best invisible zipper I have ever done. I was thrilled! Using some lace from my stash, I carefully hemmed the skirt by hand, and put it on. I have to tell you, it was one of the most satisfying moments of my life when I saw how well it fit. But my excitement was short lived. . .

I had to run some errands, so just before I left, I popped into the bathroom to check and make sure that everything was still hunky dory. Imagine my utter dismay when I realized that that beautiful invisible zipper had split right down the middle! Apparently, when I had bent over to pick something up, the strain had been too much.

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I could have cried with vexation! My wonderful skirt, ruined! I ended up having to take the skirt off over my head because I just couldn't get the zipper to come undone. After shedding a tear or two, I proceeded to rip out the offensive object. I replaced it with a standard zipper, but after all that it had been through, that center back seam has never been the same. It rippled and poked out in the most pitifully awkward places. I tried ripping it out and inserting it a second time, but the results were the same: horrible.

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As a last act of desperation, I tried adding some interfacing over top of the seam along the edge of the zipper. It eliminated the worst problems. I'm not one hundred percent happy with the results, but at least I can still wear the skirt without weird lumps on my derrière.

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I would like to make another two or three versions now that I know how to tweak the fit. I have found this to be a fantastic piece to add to my wardrobe. I wear it quite often, and I fall in love with the style a little more each time. Hopefully next time I will be able to avoid all the zipper drama!

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Before I sign off, I thought I should at least mention the blouse I am wearing. It is Butterick 6217. I wrote all about it here. Thank you so much for reading my post! I know I was rather wordy today!

Have a jolly day!

~Emily