pocket pencilskirt in progress

I have a project in progress! My approach to my very loosely organized and ongoing stashbusting project is to figure out how to get the best use possible from a piece of fabric. What is the largest kind of garment I can make with the fabric available? What is the fabric suitable for?

The fabric-scrap I’m working with now is from a length of dark wool suiting fabric I have. I’ve already made a dress from this fabric (which I haven’t blogged about – yet!), and there really isn’t much left:

See the bodice cutout at the bottom?

I think the piece is 60″ wide, and only perhaps 25″ long at the shortest point. So there are some serious limitations in making this skirt! In the picture I laid out the first draft of the pattern I made, moving the pieces around and allowing for all the “cut 2” and “cut on fold” pieces.

When I decided a skirt was the best use with this fabric, I realized it needed to be in many pieces to have as much flexibility as possible, moving pieces around and making them all fit on my fabric piece. I saw a skirt in a Threads magazine issue that served as inspiration, since it had a yoke waistband, vertical panels, and slanted pockets built into the construction. I drafted a pattern and crossed my fingers it would all fit in my piece of fabric! Next I sewed up a very quick muslin to check the fit.


(click for larger images)

Taking decent fitting pictures is a lot harder than I thought! And the fitting issues I noticed aren’t showing up nearly as well as I was experiencing with the muslin on. I’ll just fill you in (and help myself remember what I decided on!):

  • The waistband will be shortened. It’s 3 1/2 ” wide now I think, and it hits in a very unflattering spot. I’m shaving off half an inch or so, and I think that’ll  do the trick.
  • Something weird is going on where the yoke meets the skirt in the back. My swayback might be part of the problem, but I think the width of the skirt and the yoke is just too big. I’ll be slashing and overlapping the yoke to reduce the width there, and pinch the seams of the skirt the same amount.
  • The hip area feels a little tight in the back, so I’ll add a little ease just across the hips – about 1/8″ at each of the four seams in the back.
  • The pockets are way to low. I’ll bring them up to within a couple of inches of the yoke waistband.

I find the limitations of this stashbusting project both challenging and fun – but it does come with drawbacks. In this particular project,  since there is a very physical limit to how long the patternpieces for this skirt can be, I need to make compromises in the design, and patternmaking, and construction of the skirt. I’ll have to make a really narrow hem instead of folding it up, and also have a slightly shorter skirt than I would choose if I had all the fabric in the world.

I’m planning on adding a lining; I’m pretty sure I have enough lying around somewhere. I’ll just use the same patternpieces but add some ease, and shorten the length so it doesn’t show at the bottom. I might even add some trim at the lining hem like Gertie (link and link) and Tasia have done on some of their garments. I have some ribbon I want to use for this project, and I was thinking at the waistband, or at the lining hem. The ribbon came around a birthday present from a friend, but I thought it could make a nice little touch on the inside of the skirt!

2 responses to “pocket pencilskirt in progress

  1. Figure out how to get the best use possible from a piece of fabric. That is such a great project or perspective on things. I love that attitude. And I think you´re doing a great job with it, I couldn´t of made a better suggestion than this skirt. And it will look stunning when it´s all done, I´m sure!
    Hope you´ve had a great Christmas! :-)

    • Hehe.. yeah, it’s the thrifty part of me! How can I have as little left as possible?! Also, it’s a fun personal challenge. And with planning to move in not terribly long, it’s a great motivation to get through my stash!

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