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Popular knee-length skirt shape, close fitting from hip to hem, sometimes slit at the side, front or back, often worn with tailored suit jackets.

How to Make a Pencil Skirt

Step1: Take accurate measurements of your waist, hips (around your bottom) and thighs. You may want to ask for help with this task to ensure that you are working with the right numbers. Make pattern pieces on tissue paper or muslin fabric. You will need a waistband approximately 3.5 inches by 30 inches (your waist plus 1.25 inches), a rectangle for the back measuring approximately 14 inches by 32 inches, and a rectangle for the front measuring 14 inches by 32 inches.

Step2: Purchase sufficient fabric for the pencil skirt. Depending on your size, you will probably need between 2 and 2 and a half yards of 44-inch fabric. Linen, denim and lightweight wool are great for this project. You will also need a 7-inch zipper, needle and thread.

Step3: Cut your fabric, using the pattern pieces you made. Cut one waistband, two skirt backs and two skirt fronts. (If you fold your fabric so you have a double thickness, you will need to cut front and back only once.) Make darts (tucks that start at the waist and taper to a point) in the center of both fronts (1 inch by 6 inches long) and the center of both backs (2 inches by 6 inches long).

Step4: Put the right sides of the fabric facing each other and stitch the back pieces together in a half inch seam. Do the same to stitch the two pieces of the skirtí»s front. With the right sides of the fabric facing each other, pin the front to the back on the sides, leaving enough room for you to step into the skirt. You are going to need to do some custom fitting at this point. Pin the skirt so that it fits snugly but comfortably around your hips, leaving enough fabric for a half inch seam allowance on each side. Step out of the skirt gently, trim the fabric, and stitch the side seams, leaving open the top 9 inches on the left side.

Step5: Sew the zipper into the open side seam, following the instructions on the zipper package. Step6: Fold the waistband in half lengthwise, with right sides of the fabric facing each other. Stitch each end closed. Trim the seams, turn the waistband right side out, and press. Stitch one edge of the waistband to the skirt, right sides facing each other. Turn the raw edge of the waistband to the inside half inch. Press. Topstitch the waistband to the skirt. Sew hooks and eyes on the waistband opening at the side.

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