Those of you who have seen my Ruby Dress post will know of my new found love of ponte roma; this beautiful stretchy jersey fabric is great to work with (once you get used to not pulling it in any way!) and I knew it would be perfect for a pencil skirt for work. So for about £3 worth of fabric and however many pence it cost for enough 3” elastic to go round my waist (about £1?), I decided to make it.
Just like my Playsuit, this too was a free Prima magazine pattern, this time from March 2014, so we’re getting more recent (what I would do if my lovely mum didn’t pass on her patterns every month, I don’t know!). Again, like I did when I told you about the playsuit, I’ve scouted round online for you and there are still copies available for you to buy and to make your own. Mine is the longer skirt option.
The pattern is incredibly simple to follow and the front and back pieces are identical. If you decide to use ponte roma, remember that you may need to go a size smaller than your actual measurements (I know, doesn’t it feel strange going against what we’re taught and actually being conservative with sizing rather than taking heed of the warning not to automatically cut out the size you are in the shops!) I cut mine out according to my actual measurements and it’s a little on the big side, even with French seams. That said, it’s not stupidly big so I’m going to wear it for now and see how I get on.
After sewing the side seams and bottom hem (again, just like I did when I made my Ruby Dress, I was cursing my machine for not having a rolled hem foot…and myself for not having bought one sooner as it would have looked great on this skirt too!) I added the elastic to the waist. This is the first time I’ve not used a casing, instead pinning and sewing the elastic with a wide zigzag stitch to the top edge of the skirt. After folding this down, I sewed a line of stitches vertically in both side seams to keep the waistband in place. I chose to do this from the outside so I could make sure my stitches were invisible. Again, I made the waistband slightly too big as well, as I didn’t want my top to looked rucked up if I tucked it into the elasticated waist of my skirt; with hindsight, I could have made this a little smaller and it still sit just below my waist. I will probably unpick it and make it a bit smaller but I want to wear it first to get a good idea about how much smaller I can go.
For little over an hour’s work, I’m really pleased with the final result…and I’m keeping this pattern very safe so I can make more. And yes…my next job is to order that rolled hem foot!
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