How to sew a KNIT pencil skirt…or at least how I do it…

Today is all about how to sew a knit pencil skirt in just a few easy steps!
Pencil Skirt Knit Stripes
This week we’ve been having a pencil skirt making sew along.  On Monday we gave you all the instructions for how to create a pencil skirt sloper using your own measurements and then yesterday we gave you instructions for how to cut your fabric and sew up your pencil skirt.

But yesterdays instructions were for fabrics like cotton, denim, and wool.  So what if you are like me and want to make yourself a pencil skirt from a knit fabric?

Then today is your day!  Knit pencil skirts are seriously a breeze to make…they are actually one of my favorite projects right now because they come together so quickly and you have something so fun when you are finished.

Let’s get started.

The only supplies you will need are the sloper you created for yourself using Monday’s “Drafting A Skirt Sloper” instructions , your fabric, scissors, pins, and a serger.

Once you have gathered those five things we are going to decide where we want our waistband.  For mine I measured down the curved side of my sloper about 3.5 inches and then drew a curved line that mimics the curve of the waistline.  After I drew my line I then cut along that same line to remove the top section of my sloper that will now become my waistband.

Repeat this on both your front and back sloper pieces.Knit Pencil Skirt Tutorial Step 1

Next cut out your main skirt front and back piece.  Do this by cutting 1 front and 1 back piece on the fold.

Now it’s time to cut our waist band pieces.

Place your front waistband piece on the fold.Knit Pencil Skirt Tutorial Step 2

Trace the bottom and side of your piece.

Then flip that pattern over like a page of a book.Knit Pencil Skirt Tutorial Step 3

And trace again.

When you are finished your waistband piece should look like this:

Knit Pencil Skirt Tutorial Step 4

If it does, cut it out.  If it doesn’t send me an email and let’s figure out what’s going on….

(Make sure you repeat this process for both your front and your back waist band pieces.)

Now it’s time to get sewing…if we’ve done everything right we have a main front piece of fabric, a main back piece of fabric, a front waistband piece, and a back waistband piece.

Place your front and your back waistband pieces right sides together and serge the two end sections together.Knit Pencil Skirt Tutorial Step 5

(It should look like this when you are finished.)

Next place your main front fabric and your main back fabric right sides together and serge.Knit Pencil Skirt Tutorial Step 6

Perfect!  Now fold your waistband in half lengthwise with the right sides out.Knit Pencil Skirt Tutorial Step 7

And now your waistband is ready to be attached to your skirt!

Do this by placing your waistband inside the skirt (so right sides are together and the raw edged side of your waistband is aligned with the raw top edge of your skirt).Knit Pencil Skirt Tutorial Step 8

Then pin the side seams of the skirt to the side seams of the waistband.  And then start pinning the skirt to the waistband around the entire circumference.

Once you are pinned you are ready to surge!

Surge together your main fabric to your waistband.Knit Pencil Skirt Tutorial Step 9

When you are finished the inside of your skirt will look like this.

And now all you have left to do is to hem your skirt in with whatever method you like to use best.

Then get all fancy and kick up your heels because…Pencil Skirt Tutorial Knit Green

You’re done!!!

But before I sign off for the day I want to give you a few tips for sewing pencil skirts with knit:

Knit stretches…seriously….so when I am cutting out my fabric I don’t add any ease or seam allowances to my sloper…I just use it “as is” for a pattern.  And sometimes I even cut my skirt a quarter inch smaller than my sloper if I have really stretchy fabric.

The heavier the knit the happier I am with my skirt…both the fit and the appearance of the skirt.

Pencil Skirt Knit Tutorial Blue

And as for where to get knit….well…..each of the skirts shown in this post were made from knit purchased at a thrift store…thick, smelly, heavy, vintage knit…that I am absolutely IN LOVE WITH…it’s my favorite (and because I bought it all at a thrift store it made the cost of ALL three skirts and the poster board for my sloper less than $10!).  But I realize that moth ball scented fabric isn’t for everyone so if you are looking for great apparel fabric I’d check Michael Levine’s online store…they always have something cool.

Alright!  So that is it for me today.

Have a great Thursday everyone!


PS—Yes, my legs really are that white in real life….it’s been a long, long, long winter…..

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  1. says

    Wow you make that look so easy! I’m desperate to have a go at making one up! Had to laugh at your legs comment – mine are just the same – fake tan needed I think! X

  2. says

    Great skirt, Liz!
    And I love that Michael Levine’s has a separate section just on ikat. Bravo! Bravo!

    It HAS been a deeply unpleasant winter, hasn’t it? Thank goodness it’s almost over. I mean, it has to be over. Like, now.

    • liZ says

      Winter does have to be over. Now. Really or I am going to go crazy.

      And I know!!!! A whole ikat section!!!

  3. Sarah Helene says

    I read through your tutorial for sewing a Pencil Skirt– it’s so thorough with sharp photos. I’m retired and so I don’t need this style of skirt, but I’m certain you have may fans/bloggers who can use the tutorial, this one for a knit fabric with a few tips for using a knit that stretches. Thanks for sharing. Sarah Helene in Minneapolis

    • Pam says

      I have found that using a double needle in my regular sewing machine does a great job sewing knit material… I typically use it to hem/alter and love the results

  4. rita says

    Your directions are perfect and very clear. Got to try this knit version. Hope I look as great as you do in it when it’s finished. 😉

  5. says

    I’m so late to the party on this tutorial, but ohmygosh! I’ve got to make a bunch for work! It looks so sleek and professional, yet so comfy! How much fabric did you use for each skirt? I think we are about the same size. I haven’t made my sloper yet, but want to go ahead and order some fabric. A yard and 1/2? Or 2?

  6. Joy Ashton says

    When making your close fitting stretch skirt from your basic sloper using just a 2 inch wide elastic turned over, rather than the deep waistband shown on the tutorial, what do you do about the darts please? Any suggestions?

    • Nichole says

      I think that since the skirt is serged, and the knit block contains no ease (or seam allowances), the darts become moot.

  7. Sarah says

    I need some help with knit pencil skirt hems! How do you keep the stitches from getting too tight and popping out as you walk or a more stretchable hem in other words? Do I need a walking foot besides a stretch needle?


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