Thursday, October 7, 2010

DIY: Turning an A-line into a pencil skirt

I've wanted a print pencil skirt for a while now. I also happened to have a printed A-line skirt in my closet that never got much wear. One day these two facts clicked and it came to me: make the A-line into a pencil! Can't be too hard, right?  Well, it wasn't.

This works best with a skirt that zippers up the middle in the back. For the measurements, I cheated and just traced around a pencil skirt I already had. Other than the fact that the skirt is cut on a bias, which makes it harder to work with, it came out great!

Here is what I started with:
Skirt: Nordstrom Rack - 2002 or 2003 - birthday gift from mom

Step 1: Take off any embellishments. Use the plastic brush eraser end of a fabric pencil to buff out the holes.


Step 2: Turn the skirt inside out. Position your favorite pencil skirt on top of the skirt you're altering, making sure to align the waistbands.  Trace around the pencil skirt with a ballpoint pen or fabric pencil (if your skirt is light and your pencil dark, you may want to turn the pencil skirt inside out, too).


Step 3: Pin and baste the layers of the skirt together about a half inch away from the line you just drew. Make sure you're smoothing fabric from the middle out. Sew your new side seams on the line.

Step 4: Cut off the extra fabric, leaving about a half-inch.  Zig-zag stitch just over the edges to close them in and prevent fraying.

Step 5: If you like the length of your A-line skirt, just turn up the bottom hem to form a straight line across from the shortest point of the A-line skirt (usually the side seams).  Bring it up about another inch to allow yourself space to hem. If you want it shorter, you can raise it higher, too.  Many pencil skirts usually have a 1"-2" hem, so you may want to go that route (I only had about enough allowance for a half-inch hem to keep it work appropriate).  Pin and baste.

Step 6: Sew the hem. I opted to do two lines for aesthetics (just looked sort of sad with just one).

Step 7: If you don't have a lot of leftover fabric from the bottom hem, just leave it be (like I did). If you have quite a bit of fabric leftover, trim and edge like you did with the side seams.

Step 8: Wear your new pencil skirt...

... at home, to make sure you didn't screw anything up...

...or to work!

So what do you know, the New Professional can sew! This could change the future of my wish list.


What do you think? Is it convincing? Would you try this simple DIY? If you do, let me know!

54 comments:

  1. Um, that's AMAZING. I would try it, except for the fact that I'm sewing-challenged. Super cute! Did you get bangs again, or is that an older photo?!

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  2. Very talented - I could never attempt anything like this, I can't even sew on a button LOL.

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  3. That looks fabulous! Great job :)

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  4. Wow! Great idea! I was thinking of doing about the same kind of things with pants (making them skinny instead of flare). You have inspired me! :)
    Pocket of Presh

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  5. it came out fabulously!! and you made the tutorial super easy to follow. will def be trying it out!
    -kitty
    kittyclotheshorse.blogspot.com

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  6. Thanks for the DIY. That skirt makes a fabulous pencil skirt.
    www.noguiltfashion.blogspot.com

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  7. Cute, that really works! I love the print too :)

    xoxo Maria

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  8. Thanks, ladies!

    @ashlee - it's an old photo...I think I did this back in August sometime? Time is just flying by so I can't remember!

    @natalie - oo I'd be so scared to try pants, but you're a better seamstress than I...please post if you do it--I've got some pants that need some updating!

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  9. ooh you are so crafty! this is esp great cause it's hard to find a good pencil skirts in a pattern but printed a-line skirts are all over. great job!

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  10. @ neurp - Isn't that the truth! I wonder why that is....

    @ miss. studios - I'm glad you did!

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  11. I think the day you posted this I was wearing an A line skirt I have and thinking "I wish this was a pencil skirt" - but I'm not just catching up on my blog reading, and it seems like you were reading my mind! I'll have to try this soon :D

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  12. Angelina, congrats on making two features this week for this post. Just read that you're a News 10 blogger feature and made it on the IFB's Links Ala Mode. What's next? Vogue? I'll look for you there.
    -Bella Q

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  13. Oh wow, you did an amazing job! Not sure if I'm brave enough to sew my clothes though!

    Leia

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  14. @ bella - haha thanks for the vote of confidence! Congrats on being in Links a la Mode, too! Sactown represent!

    @ leia - Thanks! I took a chance b/c this skirt wasn't getting much wear anyway--maybe try it on something you were planning on tossing anyway or a cheap thrift store find?

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  15. Great tutorial, you made it look so simple. But Im an a-line fan so like to keep my skirts like that. Although I do occasionally turn dresses into skirts so may try this out the next time I have a dress to alter.

    Daisy Dayz Home
    Cross-Jones-Photography Home

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  16. @ daisymay - I like A-lines, too, but this skirt just wasn't fitting even as an a-line! So no loss, really. :)

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  17. This turned out really well and I know I have plenty of A-lines to try it with! Thanks for the awesome DIY :)

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  18. Great demo! I've been looking for this! I will be trying this on a lined A-line skirt of a friend at work! Wish me luck!

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  19. So excited i found this...i got the idea to do this early this year...but haven't been brave enough to try...(beginner sewer). i'm def gonna follow what you did and give it a shot now!!

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  20. @ malorie - It was definitely simpler than I expected. good luck!

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  21. thank you, I will try this and save a lot of money on an alteration !!1

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  22. @ Anonymous - You're welcome!

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  23. you have a body like mine. I like the look of an A line skirt and I want to look good in them, but my body looks much better in a pencil. I was just now looking at one of my A-line skirts wondering if it could be done. I won't attempt it myself, but I have a talented seamstress that I have faith in. I'm also hoping she can skinny up my pants as well.

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  24. @ Melissa - a seamstress would probably have been a much better idea (especially for my ongoing project of trying to skinny up some pants I got for gree). Good luck!

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  25. Oops...that should be free, not gree. :)

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  26. This is a great idea... I keep buying A-line skirts and they just don't look that good on me so I had the idea of making them into pencil skirts and found your blog... I will def try this out.

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  27. Great & easy post. If you want to do the opposite w/a pattern than check out my latest post! :)
    http://www.glamglory.blogspot.com/2012/09/how-to-turn-straight-skirt-into-flared.html

    -Reyna
    http://www.glamglory.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Very cool, Reyna! Thanks for sharing!

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  28. Nice idea
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