How to sew Pencil skirt with stretch fabric (with pictures)


So the past two months have been beyond crazy. So much work on my plate (sewing work).

*Checking my pulse right now*

Ok, enough of my gibbering and onto today’s business.

As some of you know, I sew. I decided to start sharing some of my sewing here. So henceforth, once I got any free time, I will show you my works in progress. Hopefully it will inspire you to make some of yours.

Today, I want to share how to make a pencil skirt with stretch fabric. The fabric I used is medium weight stretch cotton. It also stretches on both sides (which I highly recommend for this tutorial)

Amount of Fabric needed: 

There are two things to consider here

The width of fabric to cut and the length.

Length is pretty straightforward and is how long you want your skirt to be. So if you want a short skirt, that might be 15inches. If you want a knee-length skirt, that might be 25inches. If you want a midi skirt, that might be 38inches. So the lenght of your pencil skirt depends on how long you want the skirt to be


The width depends on your hip measurement. So if your hip circumference is 42 inches, then you will be cutting material that is 42inches wide.

What you need to get started:

You will need-

  1. Fabric
  2. Scissors
  3. Measuring tape
  4. pins
  5. elastic band (elastic band quantity should be 3inches smaller than your waist circumference)
  6. Sewing machine
  7. Matching threads

Let’s get started!


Step 1: I got my fabric. to know how much fabric to cut, I used my hip measurement. So let’s work with 42inches as hip measurement for this tutorial. So the width if fabric I needed was 42 inches. The length of the fabric needed is determined by how long you want your skirt to be. So I wanted my skirt to be knee length. The distance from my waist to my knee is 24inches. Add 1 inch to that for seam allowance and then the lenght of fabric I will cut will be 25inches

Step 2: Fold your fabric into four parts.

pencil skirt 1



Step 3: Cut out the lenght. I hadn’t done this yet, so I did it now

pencil skirt 2

pencil skirt 3pencil skirt 4


Step 4: mark out 2 and half inches for the waist band. I will be using an elastic band on this skirt. The lenght of the elastic band is 1inch. I need my waistband to go over the elastic band and still have some fabric left for seam allowance hence the 2 and half inches (2.5inches)

pencil skirt 5


Step 5: Place measuring tape under the 2.5inches for the waistband. This is now our waist point. then start making your vertical measurements. the only vertical measurement we need is your waist to hip measurement.

pencil skirt 6


Then twist the tape so that its now parallel to the waistband area, while the tip of the tape is still at the waist point. We now want to make our horizontal measurements. Divide your waist by 4, from the result make a mark on the fabric.

pencil skirt 7


Move down to the waist to hip mark you made in step 4. using that as reference to know where to make your hip mark. Divide your hip by 4. this is your draft hip measurement. Then make a mark.

pencil skirt 8

Move down to your hem. If you want a pencil skirt, make the hem your waist measurement. If you want a straight-cut skirt, subtract 1 or 2 inches from your draft hip measurement and make a mark

pencil skirt 9

Step 6: Join the hem mark to the hip mark using a long ruler. Then join the hip mark to the waist mark in a slight smooth curve. If you are not good at making hip curves, use a french curve (cheap alternative) or a hip curve (a bit pricey alternative)

pencil skirt 10

pencil skirt 11

For the waistband, make the top of the waistband to be your waist measurement. then draw a straight line to your horizontal waist measurement.

pencil skirt 12

Step 7: Cut along the lines you drew

pencil skirt 13


Step 8: Sew the side seams with a zig zag stitch or an over-locker.

pencil skirt 14


Step 9: Fold in and sew the waistband area.

pencil skirt 15

pencil skirt 15b


Step 10: Insert your elastic band. I used a safety pin to guide my elastic band through the waistband tunnel. (lol @tunnel)

pencil skirt 16


Step 11: hem the skirt and you are done.

Want to view the video?

I will be posting more video tutorials of how to make lovely outfits without any patterns! And in record time too.

So if you are tired of patterns, wasting paper printing patterns, then needing to adjust the patterns to fit your unique shape, then you will love the tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to the blog so that you will not miss a single tutorial.

If you have any questions about today’s tutorial, ask in the comments. I really want to help you sew many lovely outfits and will gladly answer any questions to help you along the way 🙂


14 thoughts on “How to sew Pencil skirt with stretch fabric (with pictures)

    1. I am so sorry love. I have been up to my eyes in work. I will work on prepping the DIY this weekend dear. Thanks so much for your kind comment and your patience with me. 🙂


    1. Hi Patty.
      For the side seams of this skirt, you don’t add any room for ease. This is because the fabric is stretchy and will stretch evenly to fit your curves. So yes, you use your exact waist and hip measurements(circumferences), otherwise the skirt will look a bit loose when worn (depending on the amount of ease added)

      However, when sewing a pencil skirt with non-stretch fabric, then it will be absolutely mandatory to add ease and allowance for the side seams and for darts. I will be doing a video tutorial soon on how to sew a pencil skirt with non-stretch fabric too.

      But using stretch fabric is so much easier to sew, that’s why I started with it. Hope I answered your question dear. If you have any other questions, you can always ask 😉


    1. You can use any fabric for a pencil skirt dear. For this method of sewing a pencil skirt, please use stretch fabric. Medium weight cotton with a good amount of stretch would be perfect.

      For this method, please do NOT use any fabric with stiffness like brocades, linen. You just won’t be able to wear the skirt after sewing because it won’t be able to stretch and pass through your hips.

      Since this skirt has no zipper, the stretch is really important, so you can wear the skirt. To get fancy, you can sew this skirt with stretchy lace and it will look really nice.


    1. Hi Fay.
      Thanks for your kind words. Sewing is a craft that demands a lot of practice, patience and continuous learning. But it sure is gratifying. I love designing and sewing outfits but its not always roses and sunshine when working on a project (especially an outfit I just designed and have never sewn anything like it)

      I will definitely be uploading more tutorials. thanks for visiting my blog dear.


    1. No dear. I subtracted 3 inches from my waist dimension and used that instead. So if my waist dimension is 32 inches, I subtracted 3 inches and got 29inches. That’s what I used.

      Why did I do this? So that the waistband is always smug on my waist. Also some elastic bands tend to have a little permanent expansion after constant wear. To prevent your waistband ever slacking due to this, subtract 3 inches from your waist measurement and use that instead.

      Hope this helps 🙂


    1. I do intend to do a tutorial like this in future: How to sew a simple pencil skirt using freehand cutting.

      To ensure you do not miss it, subscribe to this blog and keep visiting. thanks


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