From BLAH to MEOW !! How to make a sexy high waist pencil skirt without a pattern !

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Find a great fitting vintage pencil skirt at a thrift store, but it's just BLAH ?? Use it to make a sexy and stylish, new wardrobe ! This instructable will show you how to copy your favorite pencil skirt without a paper pattern, using your already owned skirt...this instructable could really be used to copy any similar styled skirt !!   
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Step 1: Know your fronts and backs

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Turn your skirt inside out.  This skirt has 4 panels (two front and two back).  

Step 2: Prepare your fabric

Take your fabric and fold, right sides together (you will want to cut double thickness).  For this instructable, I am using vintage wool with no stretch.  You can use cotton (if it's not too see through), a stretch twill (97% cotton / 2% lycra) or whatever fabric you like.  Be sure to wash and dry, per manufacture instructions prior to cutting...you don't want to make your skirt and go wash it, only to have it shrink !

Step 3: Cut front panel

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Take your "front" of the skirt and fold in half.  Lay it down on your fabric, smooth down.  Start pinning ! Do not forget you will need to add your seam allowance.  I would suggest to use 5/8 inches.  So be sure when you lay your skirt onto the fabric, you have extra fabric hanging over on all sides (seam allowance).

Step 4: Cut back panel

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Same as the front....fold the back panel in half, pin and don't forget seam allowances !

Step 5: Cut waistband

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You can eyeball the waistband.  It is just a strip of fabric.  Lay your skirt down and measure the length of the waist and double that measurement ( 14 inches flat X2 = 28 inches ) and add 3 inches (31 inches).  Cut a (31) inch long strip and make it 4 inches wide.

Step 6: Congrats ! You are finished cutting !

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You should now have cut the front panel, back panel and the waistband (a total of 5 pieces...remember the front and back panel are both double thickness).
Pinupgrl76 (author) 3 years ago
Oooohhh....what a sweet surprise for your wife !!!!

Yes, I made this without taking apart the original (mostly because I still wear the original..lol). But you could totally deconstruct your pattern piece and use it to make a more accurate pattern !! Just don't forget to add your seam allowances (regardless of which way you make the pattern). If your sewing skills aren't great, I might suggest you get someone to help you with the zipper insert ( probably the most difficult part of the skirt ). Good luck and great thinking !!
Thanks. Funny you should mention getting help with the zipper...I've had some bad experiences in the past and had already planned for help. Good to know that it wasn't hard just for me.
Great instructable. Is that thrift store skirt linen? If it still seems blah to you, what about some colorful modern doodle embroidery on part of it? (see a google image search if you're not sure what I mean by doodle embroidery)

I'll bet that would look adorable.
timm.tanner3 years ago
I have always loved the look of pencil skirts. I see that your method allows the original garment to remain whole and useable, but could you get a more accurate pattern by taking the skirt apart at each seam? I'm thinking of doing this as a surprise for my wife with a skirt she loves that got stained. I'm not great with sewing, but passable, so more accuracy in the pattern would be a big benefit to me.
Oh, it turned out so adorable! Love the bow.

I've been planning to do this with some of my favorite clothes that have gotten worn out.