My attempt to make a pencil skirt from knit fabric in 20 minutes

Jul 9, 2015

My brain has been so busy with preparing and giving talks that after my last one, which I gave earlier this week for the CHA-UK, I realised I hadn’t sewn or made anything in ages. As I am a maker first and foremost, that ain’t good.

I have to be honest and say that NOT making things isn’t always due to my other commitments – family, work etc. Sometimes it is just because I can’t kick my ass in gear to get going.  I guess I am just like every other crafter out there – getting everything out and ready can be the biggest obstacle.

But as this project only had 3 items needed to complete it, I had no excuse!

So with the weather having changed to tropical this week (yay summer!),  I decided to have a go at this tutorial for a 20 minute pencil skirt, made in knit fabric.


I had bought the fabric that I eventually used for this project ages ago from America and was having analysis paralysis with what to do with it – would it be a kimono? A tunic top? A dress? Each time I picked it up I couldn’t make a decision and put it back again.  But the knit pencil skirt pattern caught my eye and the 20 minute claim was a bonus. I have also followed Danamadeit for ages and know she has clear instructions which always fills you with unbridled confidence.

So – did I finish the skirt in 20 minutes? Very close!  More like 30 but I then had to alter the waist as when I tried it on, it was too big.  Altering it probably took another 10.

Why did the waist not fit? The instructions were really clear so I don’t think that was the problem – I am wondering if it is the elastic I used as it didn’t really stretch..



I have sewn with elastic before so that wasn’t the problem – but I think I just didn’t pull it enough when I was putting it on. As you can see from the image of my waistband…it was too gappy.

So I took an inch off each side and it was better…I will wear it around for a day to see if I need to take more off.

I also didn’t finish the bottom as I liked the fact that stretchy fabric can go unfinished (it just tends to roll) and it looks fine. I am trying to achieve the “way too relaxed to worry about the hem” look. I think I might shorten it as it’s that weird “is it too long or is it just me” length.


Final words? If you have been thinking of trying to sew with knit – this is a great starter project. The instructions call for 2 yards of fabric but I didn’t really need that much – more like 1 1/2.

The only downside for me is that I really struggle to find good quality stretch fabric at our local shops (and I tend to be from the school of I like to see it before I buy it). I usually wait until I go back to the States and see what I can find. I have noticed the trend over there is to make stretch versions of the cotton crafting weight cotton so you do really get more to choose from.

So are you inspired to try sewing with knit fabric?  

Or just to have a go at making a skirt with no pattern to work from? 

Tell me if you do as I would love to see what your skirt looks like!


PS – If the idea of making your own skirt with a bit more tutelage is up your street, we have added our A-Line Skirt workshop. It is a great way to make a skirt that has lining, pockets and an invisible zipper! Check out our webpage with all the details!