Friday, March 13, 2015

And a pencil skirt makes a quasi-vintage-ish suit

After the trials of the jacket, the skirt was a quick and pretty easy project.  Just the thing!

There is really not that much to say, except that The Sewing Lawyer is very happy with the fit and general look of this simple pencil skirt.  In fact, a well-fitting pegged pencil skirt has been something of a holy grail around here, and suddenly here it is.

The pattern is a sleeper - it's the skirt part of a 1960s vintage suit pattern republished in the September 2012 BurdaStyle Magazine.  And now available for download too! But it appears that until now, nobody has made it (or at least, they're not talking about it).

I settled on this one of several possible pencil skirt patterns in my collection of Burda pattern magazines for its extreme simplicity, its moderate length, and the fact that it has a waistband - a very narrow one.  I muslined it up and out of the box, so to speak, it fit rather well.  I traced the 38, grading out to 40 at the hip, and reshaped the hip curve.

I improved the fit immensely by taking a narrow wedge (about 1cm) at the CF waist, narrowing to nothing at the hem line. This little adjustment keeps the side seams quite vertical - I've always had problems with side seams swinging forward in narrow skirts.  Something to think about.

On tracing this pattern I discovered that the drafting is really very nice, although the pattern is basic. The back darts are shaped in a subtle S curve, so that the fabric curves in below the waist, and out over the derrière.  I don't recall seeing this feature on any of Burda's more modern patterns.

I fully lined the skirt using the main pattern pieces, cut shorter.  The lining is attached by machine to the zipper tape and basted to the upper edge before the waistband is attached. I cut the waistband along the selvedge, which has a little fringe, and left this edge inside the skirt when I stitched the waistband down (in the ditch) from the right side. It's a good way to reduce bulk. I closed the waistband with two tiny transparent plastic snaps (ancient, from stash).

Lining - pinned & ready
to be stitched down
The back has a simple slit opening for walking ease.  I attached the lining by hand to the facing for this opening.  I also mitre the hem and slit facing corner - this is very easy to do and creates an extremely neat finish.

I'm wearing the skirt and jacket with my Vogue Knitting Leaf Yoke top that I completed in 2012 and wasn't getting worn in regular rotation.  It goes *perfectly* with this fabric.  (I tucked it in only to reveal the neat waistband on my new skirt.)


  1. Fabulous! The blouse is a really perfect complement to your suit.

  2. Just gorgeous! Each piece is perfection and look stunning together.

    Do you mind a question (because I honestly don't know): Will you wear hose with this suit? I'm guessing it's for the office and/or court.

    I don't miss being squished into pantyhose but I miss the way it made my legs look (not to mention the warmth in colder months). To me, this type of suit just begged the question.

  3. What you've done is amazing! I bought this pattern from Lekala as well and now I'm dreading the amount of work it requires to make it work. Thanks for the detailed post on this pattern I will certainly use it for guidance when (or if) I start on my jacket.

  4. The suit is gorgeous and I'm glad the skirt was so easy! It makes for a satisfying end to a very involved sew!

  5. It looks great, Kay! You remind me of Katherine Hepburn in Adam's Rib...another lawyer!

  6. Gorgeous suit. Skirt is perfect.

  7. What a lovely skirt. I hope I have that magazine in my stash!

  8. THAT is fabulous. Your sewing prowess is inspiring.

  9. What a beautiful suit. I love the trick of using the selvedge inside the waistband--so smart!