In more recent history, the pencil skirt has become a staple item of clothing for the office worker. However, when first introduced by Christian Dior in his 1954 Autumn/Winter collection, the pencil skirt was considered an item of clothing only for sexually confident and sophisticated women. With it's cinched-in waist and figure clinging design it allowed women to show off their feminine cuvres. Soon the pencil skirt became a staple of many of the sexiest celebrities of the time including Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe, not a line up to be sniffed at. With teenagers being warned against wearing the skirt in case they be turned into uncontrollable sex sirens. There's a reason the more sexually promiscious character of Rizzo from the film Grease is often shown wearing tight fitting pencil skirts in contrast to her school mates in their Poodle skirts. The pencil skirt remained the clothing of choice for sex sirens until the adoption of the mini skirt in the late 1960's. However, the pencil skirt was never completely abandoned and can often be seen on some of todays sexiest celebrities, from Kim Kardashian to Cate Blanchett.
I for one am glad as no other item of clothing can make me feel more sexy, sophisticated and professional in one fell swoop than a good fitting pencil skirt.
The Ultimate pencil skirt pattern comprises of a high-waisted skirt with four waist darts, a concealed zip and back kick pleat.
Above you can see my atempt at the ultimate pencil skirt which I have worn about a million times. I do love this pattern and would certainly reccommend it. The skill level is aimed at advanced beginners which seems about right, the hardest parts being the concealed zip and perhaps the back kick pleat. However, the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
The recommended fabrics are medium to heavy weight woven fabrics. However, something with a small amount of stretch (~3%) would make wearing the pencil skirt extra comfy.
An excellent choice for the ultimate pencil skirt is the 4-way stretch triple crepe fabric 'Sydney' from Lady McElroy, which I used for mine. This fabric has an excellent weight to it, perfect for the pencil skirt, and also has a slight 4-way stretch making it comfy for a long day at the office. Colours currently available are Silver, Magenta, Kingfisher or Blush.
If you're looking for something with a bit more glam then the Glimmer Solids in either graphite black or gold by Cloud9 Fabrics could be what you're looking for. A yarn-dyed broadcloth with metallic threads running through which add a fabulous sparkle.
Well I hope you enjoyed our brief history lesson on the pencil skirt and quick look at the ultimate pencil skirt by Sew Over It. I do love a pencil skirt so I hope in the near future to have a go at making Leisl + Co's Extra sharp pencil skirt. I'll let you know how that goes when I do