Friday, January 22, 2010

Very Vogue

There is just something very enticing about a pencil skirt, isn't there? No wonder it has endured decades of coming-and-going trends and remained a flattering staple of every woman's wardrobe.

Pencil skirts, plainly, are the essence of femininity. They hug curves. The smooth midsections. They slenderize legs. Basically they're the best kind of optical trick, "drawing the eye downward," as Clinton and Stacy from What Not to Wear would say.
And although I could talk on and on about all of that, instead I want to tell you a quick story about a few other pencil skirts I made about three years ago.

Fairly new to sewing clothing, I purchased a generic pattern, some fabrics, and set to work. The result was...well...not exactly the chic number you're seeing here. Why? There are several reasons:

First, I was not good at sewing. Therefore, the fit was lumpy, the length awkward, and the zipper was exposed. Second, I bought a cheap pattern not knowing that the brand really does make a difference.
Nevertheless--and here is the point of this story--I wore these skirts anyway. I wore them to work, and out to dinner, and on the town. I wore them even though they weren't my greatest garments. I wore them because I was proud that I had made them, and I knew that if I kept practicing I would get better. And I have.
I tell you this because I know that some of you are reading this post and thinking "that's cute, but I could never make something like that." And I want you to know that a) you can, and b) it simply takes some practice and a small dose of confidence. The first few pencil skirts I made were Not this good. But I made them and wore them anyway, because I wasn't afraid of what other people would think (incidentally, most people liked my first, less flattering attempts), and I knew that with some practice I would improve.
In other words, I didn't let my fear of failure stop me from trying. And along the way I learned that I really can sew a great skirt.

So I encourage you to give it a whirl and try a new skill this season! This skirt is from Vogue's pattern line, #V8363, if you want to start there. Or maybe you have something entirely different in mind, like learning how to cook a knockout beef bourguignon, or to run a half-marathon, or to play an instrument. Whatever it is, don't let fear of failure keep you from trying. Because sometimes really good pencil skirts come after a few lumpy ones...


  1. I LOVE IT! I really can't believe how great it turned out! I want that pattern!!!! Let's go to Elfriede's, shall we? I think I've been inspired (for the second time this week, even)!

  2. Thank you, Kerri!

    Elfriedes--for those of you who are curious--is the Best Fabric Store in all of Northern Colorado, and where I purchased my pattern and fabrics for this skirt.

    more info @

  3. Amazing Job! I actually bought that pattern at Jo Anns a couple months back when they were having a huge sale {I got it for $1!}. Yours turned out so well that I might just have to go pick up some fabric for my own pencil skirt this weekend!

  4. You Definitely should! Especially if you already have the pattern. I used "C" but placed the vent in the back instead of on the side. I also added a lining because my fabric really needed one. Happy sewing! Send me (or post) photos of your finished skirt!


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