Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pimp-My-Pencil-Skirt Sew-Along: the Schedule

What acronym would you use for the Sew-along, readers? I tried shortening the name but PMPSSA sounds scary - just try to pronounce it. And saying Pencil Skirt Sew-Along just doesn't reflect the beauty of our inspiration garment, or? On the other hand, I wish it was the only problem in my life :) Back to business!


What's a sew-along without a badge? Recognize this one? I used it in my Gadgetmania posts and for me, beeswax stands for the old-school craftsmanship, 'slow' sewing, quality and transfer of knowledge.

To post the badge on your blog grab the html code below:


And, we will be using is a Flickr Group, so we can post work-in-progress images and support each other.


So, here is the schedule. I broke it into sections, so you have a tangible result after accomplishing each section. Depending on the amount of work, in a week we may cover a section or, sometimes, even more. One post per bullet is the plan, so the drafting is manageable and easy to follow. The first official Draft & Sew Along post will be up this Friday, November 16th.

I will show you the tools and supplies I use for drafting, but also explain alternatives. We will also cover measurements and plug our measurement in a personalized measurement chart. Finally, since we all seem share the love for flounces, we will start putting together an inspiration files, with clippings from magazines or internet. 
  • Drafting explained, and available pattern choices;
  • Tools and Supplies; 
  • Measurements;
  • Inspirations clippings.

When drafted this sloper can be an invaluable fitting and pattern adjustment tool for a whole range of skirt designs - eliminating tedious project-by-project alterations. 
  • Drafting the basic Straight Skirt Sloper (Back and Front), 
  • Trial garment and Fit

These post will walk you through creating a custom pattern: changing the shape of the skirt, adding princess lines, and adding the vent. I will also share couple of couture techniques to make the skirt hang better. 
  • Making adjustments for the Pencil Skirt shape; 
  • Drafting the vent; 
  • Adding princess lines;

A flounce can be drafted in different ways, it can have more or less flare, its length can vary or be uniform, folds can be added to the flounce. The choice can affect the design and make it look dramatic or boring. We will draft the flounce and make the final trial garment, finishing this step with the final fitting.
  • Not all types of flounces are equal: the amount of flare, length variations
  • Calculating the flounce base length and adding flounce lines on the sloper;
  • Drafting the flounce;
  • Making the final trial garment;
  • Final adjustments (if needed). 

This one is a quickie - it is really only cleaning up and preparing everything for a trouble-free sewing. If you are one of the participants who can't wait to sew up the skirt, after this step you should have the pattern all ready. 
  • Cleaning up and truing the pattern pieces
  • Finalizing the pattern pieces for cutting
  • Calculating fabric

Once the pattern is drafted we will plan the sewing. I believe we should be done drafting beginning of December. Please ask questions if anything is unclear - I am putting together a Q&A post and answer your questions there. I hope you will all enjoy the process and end up with at least a great pencil skirt pattern!


  1. I have the PERFECT black and white silk tweed for this project. I'm totally in.

  2. This sounds fabulous, thanks for all your efforts. I'm in too :)

  3. Love the badge and the plan...I even bought my beeswax at Moods when I visited...can't wait to use it. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for fabric choice...will the flounce be interfaced?

  4. I'm in. Sounds like I can learn a lot from this sew along. Now to think about the fabric....

  5. OOh! I didn't realize you'd be drafting the skirt, too! Count me in!

  6. I am already dreaming about a Christmas skirt

  7. Hi,

    I am looking for appropriate fabric now, would a lightweight wool gab with some Lycra work? Roughly how much would be needed for a skirt fitting 37 inch hips? Do you think a silk tweed is better because of more fabric interest?

  8. I'm going to toss my hat in, too!!

  9. i'm not sure if i'm going to follow along straight away, but i am so excited to see all the steps! i imagine there'll be some beautiful work!

  10. Do I need a blog site?? Darby :))

    1. Hi Darby,

      no, you don't need a blog. It would help, though, to have a Flickr account - most of the interaction will be happening on the Flickr discussion board, as well as in the image galleries, where we will share work-in-progress.

  11. Marina,
    I'm not sure I can get any Tweed in Australia at this time of the year. Do you have any other suggestions for fabric that I could hunt down?

  12. I'm in like Flynn! (Whoever Flynn is...) I might lag at times, but I will catch up! Apart from Tweed, any other fabric recommendations?

  13. Hi I am new to your blog and I am glad I found it. I can't wait to start. I am so excited to start. Thanks for this awesome sew along

  14. I'd love to join in this sew along if I'm not too late?

  15. Can't wait to join you in a sew a long. Your work is beautiful. Now to search my stash.

  16. Looks like fun. I was going to be a mere onlooker because the skirt wouldn't be the most flattering on me and I have no dress form or fitting assistant, but I might try mocking up something for a willing victim.

  17. Hmm I wasn't going to join in because while I love the flouncy version that inspired you, it wouldn't suit me... HOWEVER, now reading more into it I would be interested in drafting a sloper... very much so, in fact! Is it OK for me to do a more simple pencil skirt so I can join in for the drafting? :)

  18. Hmm.... I'm seriously pondering this...

  19. i am in. i havw a tweed in the same color

  20. I'm seriously pondering as well. Add me to the list please just in case.

  21. So excited for my first sewalong- looking forward to learning from you!

  22. I would really love to join in with you. This would be my first sew-along too. Drafting the skirt and then moving on to actually make it is so exciting.

  23. I think I'm in. A little apprehensive, what with the holidays and all... Don't know if I can keep up! But *so* wanting to learn about the pattern drafting and the skirt sloper. Thanks for doing this!



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