pencil me in | NL 6107

Hey guys! I thought spring would never make it to my neck of the woods. After the epic and record-breaking winter of snow and cold, it looks like we’re finally thawed and back in business! How better to celebrate than by wearing a loud floral print?

So, I really thought pencil skirts were just never going to work for me, and for the longest time, I didn’t care all that much. Even though I love the look of a pencil skirt, it’s just not something I have all that much use for. However, I’ve had pencil skirts and sheath dresses on my mind lately, and I had this fantastic floral cotton sateen so… I decided to give it a shot.


my photos are all a bit squinty-eyed… not gonna complain about the sunshine though!

I went through my patterns and found New Look 6107. I slapped together a muslin and while it wasn’t awful, I knew there was something wrong—I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was, or how to go about fixing it. I was going to scrap the idea, but I threw “pencil skirt fitting” into google and out spat a pencil skirt fitting post from the ever-lovely Gail, of Today’s Agenda. How could I have forgotten that amazing post?!


Reading that was a huge “ah-ha!” moment, so I went back to my pattern and made a few adjustments. For the longest time, I thought that it was my backside giving me fit issues. Turns out that was only a tiny part of the equation. What was really throwing off the fit was my tummy and prominent thigh, leading me to the Full Tummy Adjustment, and the Prominent Thigh Adjustment. Gail describes these perfectly, so if you’re interested in the nitty gritty, just check out her post.


I adjusted my pattern and went ahead and cut my fabric. I basted everything together first to check the fit. Initially I overdid the prominent thigh adjustment, so I took everything apart and backed down on how much I added. While the fit isn’t yet perfect, I at least know what to do about it now!


This sateen is a cotton/lycra blend, so it has a decent amount of stretch. Unfortunately, it bags out fairly quickly, so if I do any amount of sitting it gets saggy looking. Also, the waistband came out a bit too big, so I really should go back in and adjust that. During construction, I sewed each waistband piece to the corresponding skirt piece and sewed the side seams all in one (skirt, waistband, facing) so altering it won’t be difficult.


FYI, there was nothing special about this particular pattern; darted pencil skirt patterns are a dime a dozen. Aside from the aforementioned alterations, I added 1/4″ of width into the back dart, lengthened the skirt by 1″, and pegged it about 3/4″ at each side seam. I did choose my size based on finished measurements, because the pattern stated that there was 3 1/2″ of ease at the hip—hilarious! This thing would have been falling off me, had I gone by the size chart. In the future, I think I would add a little more to the back dart, possibly splitting it into two darts, and lengthen the skirt even further. There were two lengths offered in the pattern, and I went with the shorter. Adding an inch in length is pretty standard for me. I think perhaps another two inches in length would be nice.

So that’s about all I have on that. I’m super happy that I don’t have to avoid slim skirted patterns any more, now that I’ve got a handle on the necessary adjustments. Yay sewing!

lisa g.

38 thoughts on “pencil me in | NL 6107

  1. Katie says:

    Looks great!! I love a good pencil skirt — they’re so versatile! Don’t you just love the names for all these adjustments? No wonder sewing helps people get comfortable with their bodies — the terms are unapologetically blunt!

  2. Masha says:

    Congrats on conquering pencil skirt fitting! I’ve only attempted a knit version so far. Yours looks perfect for saluting the spring. Enjoy the sunshine!

  3. offsquare says:

    You look amazing! Great job and I love your fabric choice. Making adjustments for your own body shape is possibly the best thing about sewing. The fit is so much better. I agree with Katie too. Sewing is wonderful for helping us loving what we have. Well done!

    • lisa g says:

      I agree! It can be so disheartening to try and find RTW that fits correctly… glad I can make my own, especially for certain types of garments that would never fit right out of a store.

  4. gilliancrafts says:

    How smart to sew it that way so you can adjust it later!!! Clever, clever. I’m going to remember that idea! I think your skirt looks great – hope you make more! 🙂

    • lisa g says:

      If I had to take the entire waistband off to adjust it, it would never get done. It’s also nice that you can build in extra SA if ever necessary. I’m sure I’ll be making more, once the fit is down it’s such a quick, easy project. I also want to adapt the pattern for knits, which is far more lifestyle-appropriate for me!

  5. kristin says:

    3 1/2″ of ease in a pencil skirt hip??!?!?!?!?! hilarious! nice job on the alterations, looks like it fits you great! i love a pencil skirt too, especially with heels. gotta have that extra height.

  6. Noelle says:

    Great idea to sew the sides last! I will remember that as every fabric seems to require slightly different fitting. Especially in something like a pencil skirt where fit is really noticeable.

    • lisa g says:

      Yes, once you have the basic fit worked out it’s helpful to fine tune it at the sides. Like you said, different fabrics require different amounts of ease!

  7. Heather says:

    That fabric is so awesome and the fit looks spot on! I’m glad you figured your fit issues out. I am totally digging all the bright floral prints you have been sewing with lately. I can’t wait to see more!

  8. Liza Jane says:

    Um, I am mentally bookmarking the tip of sewing each waistband piece on separately so you can adjust side seams later if needed. That’s awesome! I had to unpick the waistband on my recent purple skirt to take in the side seams. Not fun. I love this fabric!! It has such great color. And you look fab in a pencil skirt!

  9. dokucug says:

    Fantastic skirt! Can’t beat a floral!! You know, I have that same bagging out problem with the pencil skirts I made last spring, so I find myself not wearing them 😦 I’m still struggling to have an understanding of stretch fabrics.

    • lisa g says:

      Oh, you’ve had the bagging out problem too? I thought maybe it was just a problem with cotton sateen. I think I’m coming to the conclusion that stretch for pencil skirts just isn’t necessary for comfort. I’ve made the moss skirt in a non-stretch twill and I don’t find it restrictive at all, and it definitely holds up to wear better than this did.

  10. gingermakes says:

    Fantastic! This looks great on you! I’ve never won a battle with a pencil skirt (every pattern I’ve tried required tons of reworking and I’m just not that good at fit stuff) but it’s probably time to try again!

    • lisa g says:

      Pencil skirts are a tough one to crack, that’s for sure. Maybe you could take the Moss Mini and re-engineer it? Hope you give pencil skirts another try sometime!

  11. Carolyn says:

    So glad you were able to make this work! The print is fantastic (too bad the fabric bags out though), and hopefully you’ll find some good opportunities to wear it. Fitting is such an interesting and never-ending journey. I learn a little more with each new project.

    • lisa g says:

      It is a bummer about the fabric—I tend to wear pieces like this multiple times before washing. Not possible with this though! Oh well, I’ll still have plenty of opportunities to wear it.

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