masha’s extra-sharp pencil skirt, at last

Today I’m sharing a skirt that has been years in the making.

I purchased this fabric nearly six years ago. It’s a cotton/Lycra bottom-weight twill in a small-scale giraffe print. At that time, I was definitely accumulating fabric at a rate many times faster than I could sew it. When I purchased this fabric, I also bought another one, planning to make pencil skirts out of both of them. I sewed the other cut immediately and then put this one on the shelf for later. (Note: I am still guilty of buying more fabric than I can sew, but I think the pace has slowed somewhat).

When the Extra-Sharp Pencil Skirt pattern was released in 2018, I made a mental note to use my giraffe print for that pattern. Four years later, I finally did it.

This fabric is the perfect fabric for this sort of skirt: structured enough to hold its shape, pleasingly hefty and a bit stretchy for comfort.

I sewed the longer length of the skirt but only ended up hemming it 1 1/2″ instead of the 2″ prescribed in the pattern (I’m 5’8″).

My measurements are W: 32″ H: 33″. I sewed the size 14 according to my measurements, but ended up taking it in to somewhere between the 10 and 12. That may have been due to the stretch of my fabric.

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to make up this pattern. Even with time spent fitting, it only took me about five hours to sew the skirt. The side panels in this pattern make it dead simple to get a customized fit without pattern alterations or redrafting.

I ended up taking in the side/back seams from the waist for about 10″ to get a good fit around the rump. I also gave the skirt a more pegged shape by taking in the side/front seams about 7/8″ from the hem, tapering to nothing at about 9″ below the waist.

Changes I made:

  • I did not interface the back facing. This is because I generally find one layer of interfacing to be sufficient around the waist. I don’t like my waistline to be too firm.
  • I used a 7″ invisible zipper instead of 9″ because that was what I had on hand. I am still able to get the skirt on, but a 9″ zipper definitely would have made that easier.

I stabilized the waistband with twill tape as called for in the pattern; this is the first skirt pattern I’ve ever sewn that includes this detail! When I tried on the skirt after finishing it, I immediately regretted stabilizing the waist. As I’ve mentioned, I don’t like a very firm waistband. My waistline changes throughout the day and I prefer my waistband to be able to adapt. I made a mental note to rip out the twill in the future.

However, after wearing the skirt to church, I’ve changed my mind. Disappointingly, the fabric stretched out quite a bit. But because the waistband didn’t move, it still sat where it was supposed to.

I have a few more pencil-skirt cuts in my stash, and I have an idea for adding a pocket to the side panels of this skirt. If I get around to that project, I’ll be sure to report back here.




  1. You look very snappy Masha.
    I have used a twill waist stay in a bias ball gown and it did such a good job there too. I felt felt proper fancy sewing that step.
    Liesl’s patterns continue to be a sewing lesson in a pattern.

    1. Yes, they really are a sewing lesson in an envelope! And thanks!

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