A Silk and Cotton Graphic Floral Pencil Skirt

Sew Well - A Graphic Pink Floral Pencil Skirt made with Vogue V1093 and #MoodFabrics

It’s been a crazy month for me, so I wanted a bit of a pick-me-up sewing project.  This pencil skirt was perfect.  I saw this silk and cotton graphic print at Mood Fabrics online (no longer available, but I think these silk twills from Mood might be similar) and just had to have it.  At first I was envisioning a mini skirt, something like Vogue V1247 (previously made here).  But, even though I’d swatched the fabric, I was still surprised by how big the print was when it arrived. It would have been nearly impossible to get a full flower burst into the skirt I had in mind.

Sew Well - A Graphic Pink Floral Pencil Skirt made with Vogue V1093 and #MoodFabrics

Draping the fabric on my dress form convinced me that I should keep thinking narrow skirt, but in a longer length – a pencil skirt instead of a mini skirt. My go-to pencil skirt has always been BurdaStyle’s Jenny basic skirt (previously made here and here), but this time I wanted to try something new. I started digging through my pattern stash and came up with Vogue V1093 from the Donna Karan Collection.  I liked how the slanted side seams hid little pockets in what I imagined was a much more natural position for my hands than the typical straight-up-and-down side seam pockets.

Sew Well - A Graphic Pink Floral Pencil Skirt made with Vogue V1093 and #MoodFabrics

See how the side seam starts farther forward at the top and then angles backward as it moves down?  The look was even more dramatic before I chopped off quite a few inches from the length after deciding I wanted the skirt hem to fall right below the knee, not mid-calf as per the pattern.

Sew Well - A Graphic Pink Floral Pencil Skirt made with Vogue V1093 and #MoodFabrics

The fabric sewed and pressed nicely.  Well, everywhere except for the seam allowances right around the pocket.  They did not want to stay pressed open.  I was about ready to cut out the pockets in the hopes that that would help when I realized the problem could be solved by just pressing all of the side seam allowances towards the back and top stitching them down.  I used my edge stitch foot in order to get an even line of stitching, and voilà!  I became the proud owner of two smooth side seams.  The pattern actually called for lots of top stitching, but I omitted it everywhere else since the little bit at the side seam is hardly even noticeable amidst all of that crazy print.

Sew Well - A Graphic Pink Floral Pencil Skirt made with Vogue V1093 and #MoodFabrics

The back closes with a perfectly-inserted-the-first-time-around invisible zipper.  I’ll admit that I usually get a weird little bubble at the bottom of my zipper after inserting it by machine, which I then go in and fix by hand.  This time I took my time and followed the instructions to a T, and I may have done a tiny little happy dance when I realized how well it came out.  It’s the small things, right?!

Sew Well - A Graphic Pink Floral Pencil Skirt made with Vogue V1093 and #MoodFabrics

There’s also a back vent.  And, even though it added a bit of hand work, I opted to line the skirt.  Since the skirt wasn’t intended to be lined, it didn’t come with any extra pattern pieces.  So, I just cut identical front and back pattern pieces out of my lining fabric (the same silk crepe de chine I used to make this top, which, by the way, I finally got unwrinkled by accidentally drying it in the clothes dryer), converted the darts to pleats and sewed the side seams at 3/8″ for a little extra wiggle room, and then hand sewed the center back seam to the main fashion fabric to keep the zipper and vent functional and the lining in place.

Sew Well - A Graphic Pink Floral Pencil Skirt made with Vogue V1093 and #MoodFabrics

I may have had a slight slip of the scissors when trimming the lining, which you can see on the right side of the left photo above, losing about a half an inch.  It’ll still do its job though, so I didn’t lose any sleep over it!

I sewed a bit of hem lace to the bottom of the skirt, turned it up, and catch stitched it into place.  Oh!  That reminds me.  When you catch stitch a hem, do you grab tiny bites of fabric from the wrong side of the hem and the wrong side of the skirt, both below the top of the hem, so the hand stitching doesn’t show from either side?  Or, do you grab tiny bites of fabric from the right side of the hem and the wrong side of the skirt, reaching up above the hem with the latter, so the hand stitching shows from the inside?  Do my descriptions even make sense?!  I do the former, but this month during the #bpsewvember Instagram challenge (which, sadly, I knew I just couldn’t keep up right now), I saw many pictures of the latter, so I figured I’d ask.  I can’t remember where I learned the method I use, so perhaps I’ve gotten it wrong?!

Sew Well - A Graphic Pink Floral Pencil Skirt made with Vogue V1093 and #MoodFabrics

I stabilized the waistband with a bit of horsehair canvas from Joann Fabrics.  Finally, to close the top of the skirt, I went for a hidden button.  I picked up the button at a fabric, patterns, and notions giveaway here in Seattle the very day I was hoping to finish up the skirt.  I wanted to put something from the giveaway to use right away, and this button seemed just the thing.  When the waistband is closed, you can’t see the button since I sewed it so it faces inside.  It’s a little secret that will always remind me of the generosity of this community.

Sew Well - A Graphic Pink Floral Pencil Skirt made with Vogue V1093 and #MoodFabrics

Here’s to many more successful pick-me-up projects!  And, happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US!



  • Denise
    November 28, 2014

    I love it! It looks great on you 🙂

    • Sew Well
      November 28, 2014

      Thank you so much!

  • Sallieoh
    November 29, 2014

    Gorgeous skirt Amy! That print is so happy! Definitely a pick me up project!

  • Ginger
    November 29, 2014

    This is really striking, and it fits you so well! A pencil skirt is the perfect choice for this fabric!
    Re: hems, if I have a folded-over hem, I hide the stitches between the layers, but if I’m using hem tape, the catch stitches are visible on the inside of the skirt, if that makes sense (since I want to seal up the raw edge between the skirt and the hem tape).

  • Fiona
    November 30, 2014

    I love the large scale of that print and how it explodes across the skirt! I’m also really taken with those slanted side seams. You did a great job with this one and it’s really nice to hear about all the construction details, lovely!

  • Lori
    December 1, 2014

    This is a stunning skirt, the fabric is stellar! Love your booties, too.

  • Jenni
    December 13, 2014

    Great skirt! And, wait, where do you find giveaways here in Seattle?

    • Amy
      December 15, 2014

      A friend I know was hosting a giveaway for a friend of hers that can no longer sew. I shared the invitation to those in the area that I’ve been in touch with via email. I must not have your email! Get in touch with me via my personal blog or send me an email at amy.ahearta at gmail dot com. Hope to see you at the next one!