PENCIL skirts are a key wardrobe staple, whether you dress them up or down, you’ll always find a way to make one work. They’re also one of the easiest essentials to make yourself. Here's how to make a pencil skirt from a men’s t-shirt and some elastic for just over £6.00.
Elastic is available at most haberdasheries. This can be bought off a roll or in a one metre pack, like the one we used from John Lewis. To really keep the costs down, a charity shop is the best place to grab a jersey t-shirt at a fraction of the cost. Matching thread is the last thing needed - polyester is the best thing to use for a project using stretch material.
Tools and Materials you need before you start:
1m of elastic - John Lewis, £2.79
1 Men’s t-shirt - British Heart Foundation Albany Rd, £1.99
1 spool of thread - John Lewis, £1.35
Trace around a similar skirt for the basic shape. We used a black pencil skirt in the same type of jersey material. Make sure there’s a seam allowance around the edges - 1.5cm will do the trick. Keep the hem and one won’t need to be sewn later.
Pin the two sides of the skirt and make sure the hem at the bottom lines up.
Use a zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine to sew the two pieces together. A zig-zag stitch is always best for sewing stretch fabric like t-shirt material as it doesn’t constrict the fabric as much as a straight stitch.
Measure around your waist and cut the elastic to the right size, again a seam allowance of 1.5cm will be needed.
Sew the end of the elastic together, using the zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine.
Pin the elastic to the skirt, right sides together, and sew along the top. Once the elastic is flipped to the inside of the skirt, it will hide the raw edge at the top of the garment.
There you have it! A hand-made pencil skirt made at the fraction of the cost. After trying the basic version, it could be made in all different colours.
We used a bright turquoise colour in-keeping with the colour blocking we’ve been seeing this season. Pair it with a ruffled top to create a contrast in textures. Add a statement vintage belt to cinch in the waist. Patterns have been all over the catwalk at London Fashion Week and this could be emulated by using fabric paints or tye-dyeing your t-shirt before making it into a skirt.
Prefer a skirt with a waistband? Just cover the elastic in matching fabric and sew to the top of the skirt. Choose a contrast coloured fabric for a different look.
Made a pencil skirt of your own? Send us your pictures to email@example.com.