The pencil skirt is every where you look, and contrary to popular belief, it will suit all figure shapes as long as it’s the right style and worn with the correct shape top

The pencil skirt is a great all-round feminine streamline skirt that can be dressed up for the evening or worn plain to the office. It’s a must-have for this season’s wardrobe, and can be made knee-skimming or mid-calf in length with lots of stylish options. Make it a variety of fabrics from lace to leather and stretch-knits to cotton.

The most popular fabric for this style of skirt is stretch knit fabrics, here’s a few tips for working with them:

  • Avoid wavy seams by stabilising the fabric with tissue paper before sewing.
  • Use a new ballpoint needle – size 11/80 for lightweight stretch fabrics and 14/100 for medium-weight fabrics.
  • Try to avoid stretching the fabric a further by slowing on a slower speed than normal. This will help to avoid pluckering.
  • Check the pressure of your sewing machines’ feed dogs as lighter weight fabrics require more pressure than heavier fabrics. Test on a piece of scrap fabric first to see which setting sews the best.


Simplicity 1541 (sizes 8-24)
There’s no skimping with this pattern. Simplicity has done the fitting for us on this one and has customised pattern pieces designed to fit your shape with individual pieces for slim, average and curvy figures types. There’s a choice of three-length, colour-block and trim options with a 1 inch seam allowance in key places that allows fine tuning of the fit. There’s also lots of professional fit techniques to help you along the way.

Burda 7069 (sizes 8-20)
This intermediate pattern is very sophisticated with its high-waistline and curved princess seams. This is a lovely design for plain or patterned fabrics. Pattern also features an A line version, also with the high-waist and princess seams.

Vogue 8711
This fitted and draped skirt for stretch knit fabrics comes in two lengths – above mid-knee or mid-calf length – and has a lovely mock-wrap skirt with gathered front, yoke and elastic waistband. Make with a contrast yoke to emphasis and pull in your waist and optional button trim. It’s very stylish yet simple to sew. Available from Sew Direct and comes in sizes 6-20.

By Hand London
By Hand London is all about championing individual style and celebrating strong femininity. The launch design which still remains a firm favourite is the Charlotte Skirt, which is contemporary take on classic silhouettes. This high-waisted skirt with peplum and hem options has a generous amount of ease of the hips. Patterns are available in a generous range of sizes 2/6 – 16/20 and come in beautiful packaging or as a download from By Hand London.