Introduction: Secretary Pintuck Skirt
An a-line skirt with a simple silhouette gets interesting texture added with the use of vertical pintucks that taper at the hipline for an interesting, classic, and flattering piece you can wear with just about everything.
Shown using gray summer suiting, cotton/rayon blend.
More photos of finished shirt at my blog: Running With Scissors
Step 1: Cut Out Skirt
You can use a skirt that fits you well, just add the seam allowances and 2 extra inches at the hem to allow for the pintucks, and taper up to the fitted hip/ waist.
If you are creating a pattern from measurements, measure your waist/ upper hip where you want your skirt to sit, skirt length, and how large you want the final hem width.
For my skirt I folded my fabric twice to cut two identical trapezoids for a front and back.
(my measurements in photo in gray for reference)
1. Waist Measurement: because you’re cutting your front/ back on a fold, your measurement will be 1/4 or divided by 4, then remember to add a 5/8” seam allowance.
2. Skirt Length: from your first line, measure along your fold the skirt length + 1.5” hem
3. Hem Width: Take 1/4 your final skirt circumference to measure out from the fold and add 2” for the fabric that will be gathered by pin tucks.
4. Connect Measurements: to get a side seam, connect the skirt waist and hem measurements in a straight angle and cut out skirt halves
Step 2: Side Seam and Zipper
I chose to connect the front and back halves along the left side seam first, including a 7” zipper.
I insert the zipper with the tape at the raw edge of the skirt to leave a seam allowance for the waistband above the zipper teeth.
Step 3: Map Out Pintucks
To keep the skirt fitted through the hips, I used chalk to draw a top line 6” from the top waist edge.
The pintucks will merge at this line.
Next, chalk a line perpendicular to the hip line in the center of the skirt, remembering one side still has a seam allowance to take into account when you find the center.
Measure along your chalked hip line and divide by 8. Mark that measurement across hip line, working from center out.
These marks will be the top of the pintucks.
Do the same along the hem, dividing it by 8 and measure out.
Connect measurements with straight lines, you’ll notice they’ll slightly flare out as you work away from the center. Repeat on the back of skirt.
Step 4: Sew Pintucks
A pintuck is basically just topstitching near the fold of a garment. In this case, you’ll taper the pintuck at the hip as you would sew a dart.
Start on one end and fold skirt on mapped out chalk line. Begin sewing at skirt hem, topstitching pintuck with 1/8” from fold.
About 5-6” before you get to the chalk hip line where the pintucks end, begin slowly tapering your sewing toward the edge of the fold.
Try to gauge your taper to sew off the fabric right at the hip line.
To finish the seam, the best way would be to pull threads to wrong side of skirt and tie in a knot to secure pintuck tops. I’m lazy and carefully back stitch right where the seam leaves the fabric.
Step 5: Press Finished Pintucks
Keep working around skirt sewing pintucks.
I chose to pintuck the side seams as well, as they were evenly spaced.
Some of the pintucks will look wavy or wonky on the angles as they are sewn slightly on the bias.
Once you press them, both the tops at the hips and the wavy seams should look crisp and smooth.
Step 6: Finish Waistband and Hem
To hem skirt, I serge the raw edge and iron it under 1.5”.
You can use a blind stitch on your machine, but I prefer to hand-sew a blind hem around to try to conceal the stitches.
As for the waist, I first cut down the front 1” from the center, then taper up to the hips.
This makes it more shaped to cut down in the front but stay high in the back to go over your butt.
To attach the waistband, I use a simple method with creating tabs to overlap over the zipper, follow the steps in this tutorial for the “back waistband”.
I just cut the strips 4” wide to make a finished 1.5” tall waistband.
I also included medium weight interfacing in the skirt waistband.