Gertie’s Pencil Skirt – FINISHED

Yippee! I am happy to be able to show off one of the products of my sewing holiday! For about a week all I had to do was slipstitch the hem but I kept putting it off until I was going to have a night in front of the TV… didn’t happen on my holiday, so last night I managed to JUST finish the hand stitching in my dinner break at work. Of course, I wore the skirt to work the very next day!

front view 1

This skirt was intended to be a muslin using the remaining blue cotton sateen I had leftover from Elisalex I before I chopped up this awesome vintage silk suiting I bought from a vintage fabric sale a few weeks ago:

blue white silk tartan suiting

But I have to say, I am actually really happy with the way the skirt turned out. At first I didn’t think the colour would go with my stuff and the fact the skirt is SO high-waisted I thought I’d need to invest in some short, fitted tops (such as this awesome Burda pattern) so I can wear the skirt without the added bulk around my waist, stomach and butt, but for now I think I can get by! You can see what I mean in these pics – you can see the bulk at my waist and the line where the top I am wearing ends, but oh well!

front view sans cardiganback view closeup

The pattern is from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing and is the first pattern I’ve sewed from it despite having owned the book basically since it was released last September! I was unsure of how I’d go with the sizing so this was very much a test. I am happy to call it a successful muslin! Here’s the pic out of the book:

book pic

And my creation:

side view 1

front view 2

Pattern alterations and design changes

I traced a size 4 at the waist graded to a 6 at hips. That was the only adjustment I made. I probably should’ve shortened it a tad. I think I’m probably a bit on the short side (165cm) for the height this pattern is drafted for.

front view closeup

Now, let me say this skirt is UBER tight. There is NO ease whatsoever on the waist and hips. At first I was worried I might be risking it by wearing such a skin-tight item to work, but after I realised the seams weren’t quite so flimsy it became much more comfortable to wear. It was more like wearing sucker-in undies. So attractive, I know! I think pencil skirts need to be ultra tight on me otherwise they don’t emphasise my small waist and otherwise I’m just blockish with big boobs and a big bum and that’s just not gonna fly! My measures are usually 36-27.5-39, for reference.

back view hanging up

Construction notes

Because the pattern was fitting well, I went to all the effort of underlining it with purple crystal organza and using bias binding on the hem and split. All of this stuff was from my stash – YAY. Including the awesome purple button! I only have that blurry pic of it, but you’ll have to trust me that it looks good.

skirt hanging up

I fully intended to use boning, but I forgot. There is no mention of it in the steps when sewing the garment, and I forgot until I had slipstitched the waistband on the inside and I couldn’t be arsed to unpick it and re-stitch. It isn’t a big deal in winter as the skirt will always be worn with a cardigan so you can’t see the waistband anyway.

inside back hanging

back view 2

Now this picture is the exact NANOSECOND that Digby jumped on me and put bloody dirty paw prints on my skirt. Not happy Jan! Lucky I love that little pest!

the second pigby jumped on me

And here’s my favourite pic… it almost looks like my babies are obedient. HA HA HA.

front view closeup2

So, my thoughts are these:

For my next pencil skirt out of my silk suiting, I think I will stick with the sz4/sz6 pattern I’ve traced and follow all the techniques I used in this wearable muslin. I might hand-pick the zipper and put the boning in the waistband.. and I will consider shortening the skirt just a tad to hit below the knee. It’s a bit closer to mid-calf length, which makes me look pretty darn short without heels. Speaking of which, I just love these red wedges. They go with everything!

front view closeup3

My only hesitation is that I will have somewhere between .2 to .5 of a metre left of that precious silk suiting after I cut this skirt out of it, so I am in two minds about making the pattern again, or holding out for another pattern that will make the most of my yardage. Not sure! Any advice would be appreciated :)

All in all, I am happy with this creation! I can see it in a some busy floral print in a medium-to-heavyweight fabric. Some sort of printed cotton, heck, even sateen again, but maybe something with a bit more weight to it. God knows I don’t need another project on my to-do list but I just can’t help myself. Maybe this one? I have a tonne of it in my stash. I think I scored it from my mumsie. It’d make a sick pencil skirt, IMHO!

floral cotton

Speaking of not being able to help myself, I am desperately in love with the Colette Hawthorn pattern. Desperately. And I have spoken of my shirtdress obsession not that long ago. I just asked Lee Lee if I could buy it (not that I need his consent) and he said “how many patterns do you have now?” *cough cough* Hmm.. maybe next week. Sigh.

Anyhoo, I have friends visiting this weekend so I have to do a LOT of cooking and cleaning and unfortuantely pack up my sewing stuff. However, I intend to make my a delicious lemon pound cake – which is somewhat of a consolation prize!

Have a great weekend!

7 thoughts on “Gertie’s Pencil Skirt – FINISHED

  1. Pingback: FINISHED – The I-wish-I-could-afford-Cue dress (V8723) | beagles, baking and dressmaking

  2. Pingback: the week in pictures | beagles, baking and dressmaking

  3. Have you made the newer one up yet? Keep in mind that if this is tight, the wool won’t stretch like sateen will! It is gorgeous though, I’m looking to make this pattern myself soon, once I get around to tracing off the pattern.

    • You are totally right about the stretch factor! I did make it again in this wool mix and I sized up to the 6. The fit is much more comfortable!
      It’s an excellent pattern. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for yours :-)

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