The At Last Skirt

I have finally found a pencil skirt pattern that works for me.

I HAVE FINALLY FOUND A PENCIL SKIRT PATTERN THAT WORKS FOR ME. This is a big flipping deal, people. Pencil skirts are hard, guys, they hard just plain hard! But I really wanted a good pattern, for the LONGEST time, and I tried all sorts of things out until I found my new favorite favorite pattern, this vintage 1950’s treasure:


Simplicity 4529. It’s actually a rather amazing pattern, 10 darts, 1 yard of fabric, fun all around. I actually tried this pattern once before with a stretch fabric, and that, as I discovered, was some bad news bears. That skirt turned out way too big on me, and it just never really clung the way a good pencil skirt should. I wanted so much from it, and it gave me nothing, it was very sad, I cried many a salt tear over that failure.

But for whatever reason, my instinct was, try this pattern again, and this time, do it in a non-stretch fabric. And lo and behold, look what I came out with?


And it looks, if I do say so myself, baller! I love this skirt, I really do. I shortened the pattern by about 5 inches (this is LONG, and I am short), but otherwise made zero changes.


I’m pretty into the fit of this. Oh, and I made that shirt, too. The sage of that nonsense can be read here.


I wore this on Valentine’s Day, a day in which I went to class, went to kickboxing, and made dinner for my roommate and we drank wine and watched Nashville. So, it was pretty perfect in all ways.


Obviously, given the nature of this skirt, it’s important that you see the back view. Much as I might blush to put this on the interwebs, I will sacrifice in the name of sewing.

TAL 7I hand picked the zipper, and chose a tortoiseshell button, which I thought was fun.

Also, there is only one seam in this ten dart skirt, and I finished that with bias tap. I adore the back vent, I really do. It’s hard to photograph, though:

TAL 5That is just the weirdest pose. Here, try it this way:


And I hand stitched the hem, of course. As one does.

I just, I adore this pattern. I love the fit, I think it really works for me, and I am so thrilled that I made this unbearably practical plain black skirt, and I can’t wait to make this pattern in other fabrics. I have a red wool I got a year ago that I think might be just perfect, don’t you? A red pencil skirt, doesn’t that just delight your mind?

Is there a pattern you have been trying for a while to find a perfect version of? Any luck? I feel so thrilled to have finally figured out a pattern that works for me, I can’t even deal with it. Very Joan Holloway, no?

Oh, and this is me with my Valentine:

TAL 6Crazy cat lady status achieved.



Filed under Simplicity Patterns, Vintage

23 responses to “The At Last Skirt

  1. That fits perfectly! I share your pain with pencil skirts and dream that one day, I too can conquer that Everest and find one that works for me. Here’s hope eh lol x

  2. Wow, those are some EXCELLENT darts! You look hot! I’m also in search of that perfect pencil skirt pattern…

  3. Judi

    Yes it does fit perfectly…looks very nice and so does the blouse! Red wool…definitely.

  4. Impressive! I am intrigued by the thought of 10 darts. How… why… WHAT? I am yet to make the perfect pencil skirt despite attempting to draft my own about 73 times.

    • WHAT? 73? That’s insane, I would just shoot somebody. Yes, more darts is clearly the way, because this thing fits me well, and my other attempts….did not.

      • Hmmm… that might have been a slight exaggeration… three is more like the real number. But I don’t want even three pencil skirts that don’t fit!

        I am going to look into this dart thing, and I can’t wait to see the red version!

  5. Congratulations. You did a marvellous job. Looks great on you. I recently made a black pencil skirt, thinking it was a bit boring but it is the most worn and I have to say favourite item in my wardrobe. They go with anything and everything. Dress them up or down! I am intrigued by just the one back seam on yours are the extra two darts at what would be the side seams then? Genius!

    • The extra two darts are very much the side seam darts, and they are the largest ones, which I find interesting. Thank you so much! I must say, your own pencil skirts have very much inspired me…

  6. love this skirt.. i should make pencil skirt too.. in some ridiculous color, of course

  7. Wow, what a great skirt, and it looks gorgeous on you! I’m short, too, and have bigger hips, and I always thought that for that reason pencil skirts would not be flattering on me. Now that I see your version, I think I’ll have to rethink about pencil skirts and maybe only find the right pattern!
    Oh, and I also think that your Valentine is one of the nicest a woman can have!

    • Oh, thank you! He IS a nice Valentine. As a short person with substantial hips, I actually think I well fitting pencil skirt is dynamite, it’s very 50’s vixen, which I love!

  8. This looks absolutely fab on and such a well finished kick pleat! Radness!

  9. Well, HEEEYYYYYYY, girl… you nailed it! This looks great!

  10. Michelle Porter

    Loved reading your blog — you’re a hoot! Can’t wait to try your projects.

  11. Pingback: The My Kind of Staple Skirt | Struggle Sews a Straight Seam

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