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A pencil skirt with a flounce at the back so you can actually walk in it!
As lovely as pencil skirts are, they aren't much use for running up and down the stairs, or carrying boxes of stationery about, so I've added a flounce to back to make it more practical. This tutorial will show you how to draft and sew the flounce using an existing pencil skirt pattern.

Posted by Ozzy Blackbeard Published See Ozzy Blackbeard's 7 projects »
  • How to make a pencil skirt. Flounce Skirt - Step 1
    Step 1

    First of all, you'll need a skirt pattern (obviously!). For my first flounce skirt, I used the By Hand London Charlotte skirt pattern, which is a pencil skirt, but any pencil skirt pattern would do (this one is from my skirt block). If the hem is narrower than the hips, then extend the hem out at the side seam so it is the same width as the hips.

    Take the back skirt pattern piece, and trace it. I appreciate that this is a pain in the bum, but it will be hacked to pieces, so is worth it.

    Draw in the seam allowances, and mark a curve as in the photo below. This will be the seam line between the back of the skirt and the flounce. The highest point on my curve (at the centre back seam) is 8 1/2" up from the bottom (this includes the 1/2" hem allowance), and the lowest point is 4" up from the bottom (also including hem allowance). I drew the curve in using a french curve.

  • How to make a pencil skirt. Flounce Skirt - Step 2
    Step 2

    Now cut along the curved line, and also cut away the centre back seam allowance. The flounce is cut on a fold, so the seam allowance isn't needed any more. Re-trace the upper part of the skirt back, remembering to add a seam allowance at the bottom of the curve.

  • How to make a pencil skirt. Flounce Skirt - Step 3
    Step 3

    On the lower back skirt piece, mark vertical lines up from the bottom to the top. I did mine 1" apart, starting at the centre back. The last bit beside the side seam allowance is smaller than an inch, but that's ok. Cut off the side seam allowance - this makes the next step a bit easier.

  • How to make a pencil skirt. Flounce Skirt - Step 4
    Step 4

    Cut along the ruled lines. Initially I left a little "hinge" at the top, but ended up cutting through them completely, because they kept ripping.

    The most important part of the next bit is that the longest and shortest pieces are at a 45 degree angle. This is where a grided mat comes in handy. Arrange all the pieces so the top edges are touching each other, as in the photo below. This took a bit of faffing about, and I had to stick each piece down with masking tape because my paper was off a roll, and the pieces kept curling up. You can see how the two rulers are at a right angle, and the longest and shortest pieces butt up to them.

  • How to make a pencil skirt. Flounce Skirt - Step 5
    Step 5

    Trace over the outside edges, and fill in the gaps at the bottom to make a curve.

  • How to make a pencil skirt. Flounce Skirt - Step 6
    Step 6

    Add a seam allowance to the top of the piece (the shorter curve), and also to the side seam (the shorter straight line). Mark the longer straight line as "Centre Back Fold", and cut this piece out on the fold, the same as the skirt front. When cutting, notch the top of the centre back fold, this helps to line it up to the centre back seam below the zip. When everything is cut out, stay stitch the curve on the top of the flounce, and also the curves on the bottom of the two skirt back pieces.

  • How to make a pencil skirt. Flounce Skirt - Step 7
    Step 7

    Here's how I put the skirt back together. I underlined my skirt, so the white thread is my basting thread which is holding the underlining on.

    I used a lapped zip, so on the two skirt back pieces, I sewed the centre back seam up to the bottom of where the zip finished, and then inserted the zip. For an invisible zip, put the zip in first, then sew the rest of the centre back seam.

  • How to make a pencil skirt. Flounce Skirt - Step 8
    Step 8

    With the wrong sides together, line up the shorter curve of the flounce with the curve at the bottom of the skirt back.

  • How to make a pencil skirt. Flounce Skirt - Step 9
    Step 9

    Line up the notch on the flounce at the centre back with the centre back seam on the skirt back, and pin along the curves to the edges.

  • How to make a pencil skirt. Flounce Skirt - Step 10
    Step 10

    Sew this together, it pays to take your time with this bit, and it should look like in the photo. After this, I attached the skirt front at the side seams, attached the waistband, then hemmed it.

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Carol S.
Carol S.
I don't own many pencil skirts however I think that this wonderful tutorial can inspire me to convert a couple of my existing ones by creating a flounce with either contrasting material or even some lined lace. I exist somewhere between a fashion frump and a fashionista, however the main quality of my wardrobe has to be that the cut or design has to allow me natural movement otherwise I just can't function.

Also, not to be critical, but I believe that the degree of angle you were loking for at step #6 is 90 degrees, not 45. If one side is horizontal and one is vertical, they are at a 95 degrees from each otherà.

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