There were a few sewing goals I had while getting my minor in Costume Design. One of the biggest goals, was learning how to create and sew my own patterns. One of the items of clothing I was most obsessed with learning to create was the timeless pencil skirt.
Once I learned the skills of creating my own pencil skirt, I was then obsessed with designing and creating a professional product. This meant, adding lining and a back kick pleat to a pencil skirt. Unfortunately, for me, our lessons did not cover these two aspects being incorporated with a pencil skirt. With a full length dress, yes; we learned to include lining. With a tailor coat, of course, they taught us how to insert a back vent. But, never did we cover the trifecta I was looking to accomplish. So unfortunately, when I graduated, I kind of gave up on trying. I really kind of gave up on sewing. Even though I had been doing since I was a kid. I would sew a few things here and there. Fix a few holes; alter some pieces. But sadly I gave up on my passion and ceased learning.
Recently, I have gotten the confidence needed to jump back into the game. But a lot of my knowledge and skills had faded. I wanted to start creating pieces and building my knowledge again but I did not know where to start. I wondered if I should to go back to school but was not financially prepare for that. Then I remembered, the internet! Understand (this might give my age away a bit) I grew up just before the ‘Internet’. I remember doing reports on a typewriter. When I wanted to know what a sloth was, I would pull out one of the encyclopedias I begged my mother for. So I am still adjusting to having the world at my fingers tips. But luckily, I was born in a time when I do not have to rely solely on attending school to learn.
To get a refresher, I began searching Youtube and ran into a couple of very helpful tutorials. Miss Libby Rose gives a great review on How to Design A Pencil Skirt. There were a few things left out but that part of my brain kind of woke up and remembered the making pieces. I knew I would need to purchase a French curve ruler to connect the waistline to the hip. It kind of all came back. Then I found the jackpot, the thing I continuously tried to drag out of my instructors; a tutorial on a back kick pleat or vent extension. Professor Pincushion is a very valuable resource. She has several helpful videos, from creating your own patterns to grading a pattern. You can subscribe on her website and get more in depth and valuable tutorials. Her tutorial on How to Sew a Back Slit or Vent Extension; brought it home for me. The gears began to click again and I became very excited.
But there was one thing missing, how would I incorporate lining? I looked every and no one really explained this, so I was kind of back to where I was when I gave up on trying. Again, I started to tell myself I could not do, not if someone did not show me. So for weeks, I just thought about how one might do it but just dismissed all my ideas. Finally I came to my senses and told myself, this is something you want to know to do. So do it. Usually, when I set my mind to something, I usually figure it out. I had to remind myself, do or do not, there is no try! There is only do! So I decided I am going to stop trying to figure it out and I am going to just do it!
I went into my closet and found one of my pencil skirts that had lining with a back kick pleat. Then I scarified it to the seamstress gods and took a seam ripper to it! Paying a attention to the way it was attach before I took it apart. After that I began creating patterns from what I learned and noticed about my pencil skirt.
Now the final product falls a bit short of what I wanted BUT it’s close! It’s a lot closer than just sitting there trying to figure out how I might do it. Now I know what needs to be fixed and the adjustments I would need to make next time. The first adjustment, obviously being the length. It is not really being the length of a pencil skirt, and so the back kick pleat is, let’s say, in an interesting place. But this is an example of what I know to improve on and just knowing that one improvement will make the next one better. I cannot wait to “do” again!