Hello there! I’m quite excited to share with you the new FREE pattern from Sew House 7, the Elemental Pencil Skirt. This pattern is a free download when you sign up for the Sew House 7 free email newsletter.
I have a pattern review to share with you today along with a review of the fabric* that I used for this project. I used a lovely dark grey bamboo french terry fabric. This was my first time working with a bamboo french terry knit and I’m looking forward to sharing about it!
Look for a Discount Code from Nature’s Fabric at this end of this post that you can enjoy as well.
*The fabric was supplied for this project but the opinions are my own.
Pattern Description: “The Elemental Pencil Skirt is such a quick and easy make. It’s as comfortable as pajamas with a hidden elastic waistband but can look polished and dressed up with the right accessories. It has a sleek pencil shape that skims the body and tapers quite a bit at the hem. While it’s a slim skirt, it is not designed to be a tight skirt. However, you may size down for a more body conforming fit. Whether you wear it with high heels, sneakers or sandals, this skirt is a great, basic staple piece. This skirt features a hidden elastic waistband and comes in two lengths.
Version #1 hem lands below the knee. Version #2 hem is slightly long/midi-length.”
Pattern Sizing: Size 00 – 34, Hip: 34” – 65” (86cm – 165cm)
The pattern size chart:
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you finished sewing? Yes, I love it!! I’ve made the Alberta Street pencil skirt twice in denim fabrics (from SH7). I was quite excited about this version for knit fabrics!!
Were the instructions complete and easy to follow? Yes. Admittedly, I was in the test group for the pattern so if I had questions or feedback, I shared in that forum. This is a quick sew and a fun project to make with a smaller amount of fabric. The finishing details are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside (a trademark for SH7 patterns).
Fabric used (did you use the suggested fabrics in the pattern)? Yes, per the pattern notes:
“The Elemental Pencil Skirt pattern has been designed for knits with at least 50% horizontal stretch going around the body. See the stretch guide included in the pattern to determine whether your fabric has enough stretch. Due to the narrow hem, be sure to use a knit fabric with good stretch recovery for ease of walking without stretching out the bottom skirt.”
I made three versions of this skirt. For my two muslins, I used a medium pointe knit and a thinner Athletic knit. Although the muslins were handy to test fit, my favorite version of the skirt is the final in a bamboo French terry knit from Nature’s Fabric. The fabric has a lovely drape to it and is super soft. The bamboo French terry is in between a light/medium weight and it presses really well through the hip curves. I liked the Darkest Gray tone as a neutral and darker base to be complementary for a skirt.
A tailor’s ham is handy to use when pressing the side seams through the hip curves. A pressing cloth isn’t pictured in the photo below but I found it handy to use when pressing the fabric (to prevent flashing from the steam in the iron). Make sure you test your iron settings on scrap fabrics before pressing your final garment.
Did you alter the pattern in any way? I graded across two sizes for this project. The skirt is intended to be worn as a high waist. I cut the waistband facing pattern piece as a size 8. I graded the skirt from an 8 at the top to a 10 at the hip down. I used a French Curve ruler to draw the grade lines on the skirt. The facing lays inside the skirt so if you’re going to grade across sizes as well, it’s handy to match the waist facing side edge with the skirt grade lines.
Was there anything you disliked or would change? No. I love that the pattern includes two lengths. You can shorten or lengthen the pattern at the shorten/lengthen line for more length options.
In my first muslin (an early test version), I had less material then the pattern calls for. I shortened the skirt length to match the amount of material that had. This version was right at my knees. The fabric pictured below is a medium weight ponte roma knit.
Would you sew it again? Yes! This is a lovely pattern and very comfortable to wear. The pattern looks simple (and it is simple to make) but the design elements and details included in the pattern are intricate and very thoughtfully planned.
Would you recommend it to others? I would! I feel the style is quite flattering to a variety of body types and the broad size range is quite a lovely offering.
I love the built-in waist facing detail included in the pattern. You can use any elastic on the inside of the skirt and it is hidden with the facing. The pattern recommends 1 1/2″ wide elastic. If you don’t have elastic on hand and need to purchase some, I recommend following the pattern’s recommendations. I decided to use elastic that I had in my stash for my skirt. For my final skirt I used a 1 3/4” wide elastic (what I had in my stash). This elastic has a gold finish (intending to be used as a decorative, exposed elastic) but I didn’t want to keep the elastic hidden as the pattern intends.
Do you consider the pattern beginner/intermediate/advanced? Beginner. If you haven’t sewn with knits, this is a great project to jump in! I used a serger for most of this project (but you could use a standard sewing machine for this entire project).
When sewing with knits on a standard sewing machine, I prefer to use a walking foot. Some machines coming with a walking foot (or a dual feed foot). If your machine doesn’t come with one, you can purchase one separately. A walking foot helps move knit fabric through the sewing machine without stretching it out.
Does the pattern include layers for easy printing? Yes
Seam allowances used in the pattern: 3/8” (10 cm) included in the pattern
Is the pattern cut or no cut pages? Cut pages
If you’d like to purchase some of the lovely Bamboo French terry to enjoy as well, I have a 15% off discount code* to share with you from Nature’s Fabric: rbarnessewing21
*The discount does not apply to any fabric that is over $30 a yard. It doesn’t apply to wool interlock, wholesale, custom printing and or special orders.
I highly recommend you grab a copy of this free pattern to enjoy as well! Nature’s Fabric has an amazing variety of colors in their bamboo french terry fabrics. Check out their selection and enjoy the discount code! If you’ve never worked with a bamboo french terry, it’s absolutely worth picking some up to enjoy!