Monday 27 March 2017

How To: Minimal Asymmetrical Pinstripe Pencil Skirt

photo DIYAsymmertricalPencilSkirt4_zps9d0z3nof.jpg
I've recently found myself in the midst of a outfit crisis more often than is acceptable, the common string being: I have a customer meeting that day. W has to witness me scrambling around the bedroom, trying to create a corporate-appropriate combo from my not-very-corporate wardrobe. So last week I needed to bite the bullet - behold the classic pinstripe skirt, with the update of a triangular slit. Also goes with sneakers 

Tutorials take a lot of time & effort to create, and I choose to make mine available for free. If you enjoy this guide, you can support me with a donation that feels right for you, here.

photo 0 Tools_zpstvcs6d6b.jpg
Cotton fabric (mine was 100% English cotton, semi-thick), 1m (1.5m width)  |  Invisible zipper, 15-20cm long  |  Scissors  |  Pins  |  Thread, needle, sewing machine  |  Optional: bias tape to go around your waist, hook & loop fastener

I. My cut pieces (I'm EU36/US4 but these measurements would fit a EU 38 also, I took in the width later on). The shape looks a bit boxy because I have an oddly shaped hip area.. Note there's two identical pieces (on the left) and one pieces that's about 70% of the width of the front and back pieces.
photo 1 Cut pieces_zpszp1jzl29.jpg
II. First I took the front and back pieces, placed them right sides facing, and pinned and sewed one of the side seams.
photo 2 Pinned side_zpsjxvtkjmy.jpg
.. Pressed the side seam open and added two darts to the back for shape:
photo 3 Dart_zpsxb8hvchs.jpg
Here are the darts from the right side:
photo 4 Darts_zpsr0tytizv.jpg
III. Then I placed the skirt flat on the table, took the narrow piece and placed it on top, right sides up. Folded the sides as shown below to model how the slit would look like.
photo 5 Try_zpswfek7thf.jpg
IV. Based on that I cut off the excess, zig-zagged the edges and pressed a fold which I hand-sewed in place. Note that for the narrow top-piece, I also folded the vertical edge which will be visible at the front of the skirt.
photo 6 Pieces folded_zpsdo3dh7fz.jpg
V. Next I pinned the narrow piece back in its place:
photo 7 Pinned_zpsucy4ey8x.jpg
.. And sewed a straight stitch along the edge of the vertical edge. To make working with the skirt easier, I also sewed the two layers together along the edge that's to the left on the image above. At this point I wrapped the skirt around myself and due to my weirdly shaped waistline, I needed to add another single dart on the right side in between the seam attaching the top layer to the skirt, and the open side seam (if you look hard, you can just see it in the cover photo).
photo 8 Sewed_zpsonehzake.jpg
VI. To finish the waistline, I pinned by bias tape along it, the upper fold opened and the start and end folded over itself as shown below:
photo 9 Bias tape_zpsugzwnx0o.jpg
Then sewed along the fold line:
photo 10 Sewed_zpsirpv7s6o.jpg
.. And flipped the bias tape to the reverse side, pinning in place and hand-sewing to secure.
photo 11 Folded_zpsaguz9m7t.jpg
VII. Next for the zipper. After pressing it with low heat to open up the curve next to the teeth of the zipper, I pinned it on the side of the two attached front pieces. Before doing this I wrapped the skirt around myself to check for size, and determined I needed about 6 cm taken in from the side. So I placed the zipper about 3 cm in from the edge, and sewed in place. Here's a great video showing in detail how to install an invisible zipper using a regular zipper foot.
photo 12 Zipper_zpsrygq9xaf.jpg
Then I attached the other side of the zipper to the back piece of the skirt, also about 3 cm in from the edge to get my desired skirt size, and completed the side seam downwards from where the zipper ended. As you can see I had a bit of extra on the side due to the size adjustment, so I trimmed that away and re-finished the seam allowances with a zig-zag.
photo 13 Side seam_zpsdhoeeakx.jpg
Now I had my zipper installed and side seam ready.
photo 14 Zipper done_zpsaublq0ye.jpg
VIII. That left me with the step of finishing the hem with a double-fold and blind stitch (you could do a regular straight stitch, I didn't want a stitch to be visible on the right side).
photo 15 Hemmed_zpsjzsceoie.jpg
IX. Finally, I finished the ends of the zipper by tucking them under the seam allowances and hand-sewing in place. I also decided to add a hook on top of where the zipper ended for extra security.

photo 16 Hook_zpslwvblj2u.jpg
Press & go!
photo DIYAsymmertricalPencilSkirt5_zpsfvfyu4fg.jpg photo DIYAsymmertricalPencilSkirt7_zpsjn4umqpp.jpg photo DIYAsymmertricalPencilSkirt6_zpsmaxujvkn.jpg



  1. I have just found you blog and am loving it! Looking through your projects is really inspiring me to pull out my sewing machine and start sewing myself some new clothes. P.S. I love that top!

    1. What a lovely compliment Katherine!! Thats what I love to hear!! Best of luck with your projects, I think you'll see yourself develop faster than you expect:)

    2. Also, the top here is Elizabeth & James but I've made a copy and the tutorial is here:


I would love to hear what you think and learn about your DIY adventures! If you use one of my tutorials, tag me on social @contour_affair, I'd love to see!


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