45 minutes + less than a yard of fabric = awesome skirt for fall!
This is one of the quickest, easiest skirts to make. I am so excited that I finally figured out the right combination of technique to make it extremely comfortable and wearable. I’ve made a similar skirt before but I had a lot of trouble witht the stitches of the hem popping. A skirt like this gets so much stretch when you wear it that even the typical double needle finish for knits wasn’t enough stretch. Ideally, the hem on a skirt like this would be finished with an overstitch machine. A coverstitch machine is typically used with comerical clothing production to finish the hem on t-shirts. Like most people, we don’t have access to one of those, so I followed this Youtube video which walked me through the steps to set up the serger and sew it. I liked that it didn’t require any extra parts or attachments.
And look at that, it did the trick! Tons of stretch, no popped stitches! Check out the tutorial below to make your own.
Don’t have your own serger? No problem! Stop in the shop and you can hang out in the classroom and use ours. We’ll help you get it all set up.
Easy Knit Pencil Skirt Tutorial
You will need about 1/2 – 3/4 of a yard of knit fabric. (This measurement will depend on how long you want the skirt to be and what type of waist band you choose).
Note: I used the serger to sew the entire skirt, not just the hem. If you don’t have one, make sure to put a knit needle in your machine and use a long zig zag stitch. Find more info on sewing with knits here. I also used a rotary cutter and mat. If you don’t have one of those either, just use your scissors to cut. This is a very forgiving skirt that doesn’t have to be perfect.
* Take your fabric and fold it in half the long way (right sides together) and then fold it in half again being careful to smooth out the fabric so it is laying flat. If you have a linear pattern that you’d like to line up, now is the time to do that. Once you have folded it twice you will be looking at 1/4 of the skirt. I like to do it this way because you will only have to do the work of getting everything straight and smooth once. And we will only make three cuts.
* Lay your folded fabric out on a large cutting mat and line up the folded edge with one of the lines on your mat.
* Square up (straighten) the top so it is perfectly perpendicular with the fold.
*Square up the bottom of the length of your skirt plus 1″ for the hem and 1/2″ seam allowance to attache the waistband.
*Measure your hips. To figure out how wide to make your skirt, measure your hips at the widest spot. Once you have that number, divide it by 4. I don’t add seam allowance because we are using stretchy fabric and to get it to fit nice you want a little reverse ease.
* Cut the side of the skirt. Take the number you have and measure from the fold. Then cut at the mark. My hips are 40″ so I cut 10″ from the fold.
* Optional: Give it a little shape. Here’s what I’ve found works for most people. Measure in 2″ from the cut side and down 11″ from the waist. Draw a gradual curve being careful not to get a point at the hip. Pin. Before you move your skirt, pin the top two layers together. Then pin the bottom two layers together.
* Sew the side seams.
* Waist band. There are lots of ways to finish the waist. You can make a casing and put elastic in (here’s a good tutorial). Use your leftover fabric to make a yoga style waist band (here’s a good tutorial). Or, because it’s a knit fabric and won’t fray, you can just leave it unfinished.
* Hem it. Use the link above to do a blind hem with either your home machine or a serger. Or you can just do a zig zag stitch.
**Ease – The allowance added to a body measurement to make a garment wearable. Reverse ease means that it actually measures a bit smaller than your body and fits snug.