Pencil Skirt Tutorial with Gathered Sides

Learn how to make a pencil skirt with this easy tutorial. Add gathers to the sides for a fun twist!

Learn how to make a Pencil Skirt with our awesome tutorial by Blissful and Domestic!
Pencil Skirts are easy to make and look great! Add some gathers for a fun twist.
Check out the Pencil Skirt Tutorial!

Hi Lovelies! I am Danielle, from Blissful and Domestic, and I am super excited to be here today on The Ribbon Retreat. I am a crafter, sewer, organizer, mamma, and wife. I wear many hats.

I am beyond thrilled to be sharing a fun new tutorial with you today. I lovingly call this skirt The Gathered Pencil Skirt. It is very similar to a Simple Pencil Skirt I made a few months ago. Ready to get sewing? Well let’s get to it.

Pencil Skirt Tutorial with Gathered Sides

Let’s get those fancy pants supplies ready…

You Will Need

One 14″ White Zipper
White Thread
3 yards Fabric
(I used Black from Zebra for Free Spirit Fabrics. The line has such fun colors!)

Zebra fabrics

Before we get started I do have a bit of a sidenote.

I am a curvy, plus size gal. This means I had to use a bit more fabric than normal to cover these hips. If you are thinner, measure around your biggest part (waist or hips), whatever that measures add a few inches for a seam allowance and then you will know how much fabric you will need to make your own super cute pencil skirt.

Now that we have that settled let’s make our skirt Lovelies.


Using another skirt as a pattern, trace and cut using seams.

After I gathered my supplies, I found a simple pencil skirt, which I knew fit me very well. I love the fit of this skirt and wanted my new skirt to fit the same. I placed my pink skirt down on my fabric and used it as my pattern. My 3 yards of fabric were folded in half like a hamburger. I gave myself about 2 inches for the seam. We will be gathering in the sides, so you want a bigger than normal seam allowance. Also give yourself a few inches on the bottom, since the gathering on the side will make the hem shorter.

Pin the sides of the fabric together.

Next pin the right sides of the fabric together.
The right side of the fabric is the pretty side you want to see.

Pretty side of fabric.

Sew your sides. Then do a running stitch for gathering along the sides.

Sew up your pinned sides of your skirt. Now comes the fun part. You are going to go over your side seams again with a gathering stitch or running stitch.

Gather the sides by pulling the thread.

Once you have completed your running stitch, you will begin pulling the top thread, so your fabric begins to bunch together, creating a gathering effect. When you right side out your fabric you will see it. I have an arrow pointing to the gathering effect in the picture below.

Gathering effect.

Do this step on both sides of your skirt. I measured from my natural waist to below my knee. This is where I like my skirts to fall. Pick your length and gather your sides up to that point.

Do a straight stitch over your gathered stitch to hold it in place.

Now do another straight stitch over your running stitch on each side of your skirt.
This will lock the gathering into place.

Now that your sides are secured, it is time to move onto the waist. Since I didn’t use a stretchy fabric, I needed to add a zipper. Adding a zipper is not as difficult as it may seem. My sewing machine manual actually has a step by step tutorial for me. Most zippers come with instructions as well. They make it very user friendly, which I am all about.

Make waistband and add zipper.

I folded over my waistband first. Tucking in the raw edge and sewing. I then pinned my zipper to the back of my skirt. Use some measuring tape for this one. Nobody likes a crooked zipper, trust me. Sew up each side of the zipper, removing the pins as you go. Once your zipper is sewn into place, you can gentle take a seam ripper and run it down the center of the zipper. This cuts the fabric, making room for the zipper to open. I have a tutorial for it here.

Hem the bottom of the skirt.

All that is left is the hem. Definitely try on your skirt first and look in a mirror or put it on a dress form, if you have one. Because of the gathering on the sides, your skirt will naturally want to pull out at the bottom. I corrected this when doing my hem. Your hem will be even in the front, but will rise a bit on the sides. (See picture above). Once your hem is in place, you can enjoy your skirt.

All finished with our pencil skirt!

Excuse the right side of my skirt.
The wind was not my friend during picture time.

This skirt is pretty straight forward and has so many possibilities when it comes to fabric. You could stick to different cotton blends or even go for a stretch knit fabric. It is super comfy and looks perfect with a fancy necklace, heels, and my Frilly Shirt.

Pencil Skirt Tutorial with Frilly Shirt from Blissful and Domestic.

Make your own cute Pencil Skirt with our tutorial!

Thanks so much for having me today.

I am having a homemade year over on Blissful and Domestic. Stop by to see what else my family and I are doing to have a homemade year. While you’re there, say hi. I’d love to meet ya.

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Thank you so much Danielle!

I NEED to add this pencil skirt to my wardrobe, soon! And I love the fabric that she chose. All of the colors in that line are perfect for a skirt like this.

Danielle has an awesome blog full of sewing tutorials and so much more at Blissful and Domestic! Make sure to stop by and see all the other fun stuff she has!

We love having our blog contributors, and if you have a great craft blog or shop, we would love to have you! Share your upcoming projects with us and submit a project.

Have a wonderful day! ~ Shirley

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One Comment

  1. Posted June 22, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much for having me!

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