I really love pencil skirts.  They are extremely versatile and can be worn in every season.  AND they are very easy to sew! Don't worry if you've never worked with knits before, as you are reading this I am working on a post about sewing knits on your regular sewing machine! I'm also going to include a post about sewing and fitting this skirt to suit you perfectly. 

But for now I am going to show you how easy it is to draft a basic knit pencil skirt to your own measurements.  Having this pattern in your portfolio is going to be incredibly useful. It's the perfect stepping stone for many other patterns and designs.

Supplies and Tools
  • Measuring tape 
  • Large Sheet of Sturdy Tissue Paper, Newspaper also works well
  • Straight Ruler 
  • Pencil
  • Curved Ruler  

Step 1. 

Using the guide below, gather the four necessary measurements. 

(1) Waist (divide your waist circumference by 4. This will be the measurement that is used for this draft) 

(2) Hips (divide your hip circumference by 4. This will be the measurement that is used for this draft) 

(3) Waist to Hip
(4) Waist to Knee

Step 2.  Drafting the Skirt 

Draw a rectangle using  the following measurements 

1/4 of your hip circumference measurement  (2) wide

and your waist to knee measurement (4) long

Step 3. 

From the top of your rectangle measure down the same distance as your waist to hip measurement (3). From this point draw a line straight across your rectangle making sure to keep it squared.

From the top left hand corner of your rectangle, measure across the same distance as a 1/4 of your waist circumference measurement (1). Mark with a notch. 

Step 4.

Connect your waist notch with your hip line using a gentle curve as shown in the picture. 
Step 5. Optional 

If you want a more fitted silhouette for your skirt than taper the right hand bottom line in 1-2 inches depending on how fitted you would like it. If you're looking of a more traditional pencil skirt than just leave the bottom squared and skip this step. For this draft though I've tapered the side in. 

Step 6. 

You can now trace your skirt pattern as shown below. You will have to trace it twice so that you will have one front and one back piece. Label them accordingly. 
Step 7.  Adding your Seam Allowance 

When adding seam allowance you are basically expanding your draft 1/2"  ( or whatever your preferred seam allowance is) on all the sides of the skirt that you will be sewing on. 

For this draft you will add 1/2" Seam allowance to every edge with the exception of the center of the front skirt since this piece will be cut on a fold and won't be sewn as all. 

Add your grain lines to each piece as pictured. This will help you determine how you will cut out your skirt from your fabric.
Step 8.

Drafting the Waistband

Draw two rectangles 3" high by 1/4 of your waist measurement (1) long. Label one Front and the other Back. 
Add 1/2" Seam Allowance around both pieces with the exception of the center of your front waistband piece. Add your fabric grain lines to each piece. 
Your Basic Knit Pencil Skirt draft is now complete! 

Thank you so much for reading my first tutorial. I was super excited and nervous about posting this.  I hope that my instructions are clear and if you're not sure about something or if  you have any questions about this draft please comment below and I will do my best to help. 

Like I said before I am working on a post that will be about sewing this knit skirt and what fabrics to use. I will be showing you how to sew knits using a regular sewing machine and what stitches are best when sewing stretch fabrics. Also I'll be covering step by step instructions on how to sew and fit this skirt.  

Cheers and happy drafting! 



10/19/2014 6:09pm

Well done Melanie. Your tutorial is very clear. I am lookiing forward to your next one.

02/27/2017 9:01am

Thank you! This is really great and easy to follow. I browsed your blog and found out a lot of very good post. You are very creative and you always provide a very easy step on doing things. I feel like I am unlucky for not knowing your blog until now. Please continue sharing your knowledge with us!

07/21/2016 5:56pm

If you do a pencil skirt with the bodice, will it need to have a zipper, or will it still work to put it on over my head? It doesn't mention this, just says that they all coordinate. Thanks!

07/26/2016 8:32pm

Hi Lindsay,
I usually put my on by pulling it over my head. It works since the fabric you're using should ideally be stretchy enough to be comfortable!


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