Happy Saturday readers! Earlier this week, one of the popular, and one of my favorite, PDF designers, Patterns for Pirates, released a new pattern, the Pirate Pencil Skirt! We all know how I love pencil skirts, and it just so happened that I was doing Career Day at C’s school yesterday and did need a new one, so I thought I’d give it a try. There’s also a special discount code for the pattern if you are a member of the patterns for Pirates facebook group, but even at full price, it’s a nice little pattern!
So on to my review!
Pattern: The Pirate Pencil Skirt
Designer: Patterns For Pirates
Size Range: XXS-Plus 3X
Price: $5 USD
Skills Needed: Working with knits
Size Made: L, mid rise, below knee length
Fabric Used: Scuba knit form the Nicole Miller Collection at Jo-Ann Fabrics
Pattern Pieces/Layout: There are several length options included- above the knee, below the knee, and midi length. You can also choose from high rise or mid rise, and there’s an optional vent for the longer lengths. The pattern also has a layers option, which is nice if you only need one size or just want to print a couple sizes to mash. I only printed the L and XL, and those went together perfectly, no trouble lining up or anything. They are also no trim pages, and as I think I’ve mentioned before, I put my patterns together with a glue stick vs tape like a lot of people do.
Instructions: I honestly only skimmed these. I don’t read instructions much anyways unless it’s an entirely new technique or something, lol. A pencil skirt is pretty straightforward, and with the amount of them that I’ve made, instructions aren’t really necessary anymore🙂
Construction: Very simple. I won’t spend a lot of time here because there’s not much to elaborate on. This is a really great style for a beginner because of the minimal seams, essentially just 5, and all are a basic stretch stitch. I did use Wonder Tape to do my hem like I do with all my knits, and that’s an extra step, but it makes hemming SO MUCH easier!
As I said above, I made the L. I actually measured into the XL, but I knew that the scuba I had was super stretchy, and that I’d sized down when using it for another project, so I did cut and baste the XL just because, and of course, it was too big. So, I traced the L onto it, recut and there you go.
Things I liked/Things I changed:
I liked that it has a separate back piece and front piece, when a lot pencil skirts are just the same back and front. I also liked the shaping on this one as well, because again, it’s super easy to just do straight lines and call it a day. I have, in fact, done that before when throwing a self-drafted one together in a hurry. It works, but it’s much more flattering with contouring/shaping.
I didn’t like the way the vent extension is done, which isn’t a huge deal really. It’s probably easier on newer seamstresses or those newer to knits to maybe do it that way, and since it doesn’t have a back seam, this was probably the solution they came up with to get around that. Personally, I will split the back piece in half and add the vent the proper way when I do one.
I also wish there was a low rise option, but again, that’s an easy fix that I can do on my own, and probably some personal preference there too, as I like to have a taller band vs taller skirt piece.
I used my own measurements to do my waistband and I also contoured it. I cannot stand all these straight rectangle bands that people seem to be so fond of. Unless you have little to no curve or variation from waist to hip, a straight band will just not work out on everyone. This isn’t a P4P thing exclusively, its just something I’ve noticed in general lately that bugs me. On the high rise option, the straight band does probably work because it is supposed to sit at your waist, so it should be the same, but the mid rise where the top of the band sits higher than the base, it doesn’t work out so well.
That said, I see people whine a lot about the lack of band pieces or dimensions and who don’t want to do their own band, so there’s that too. No real win in that fight I guess, lol.
Overall Thoughts: I think this is a nice pattern in general. Its a quick sew, its well put together, and it seems well drafted. If you are looking for a fast pattern or a beginner apparel pattern, this is a good one to try. Especially since its drafted for more stable knits like ponte, scuba, heavyweight, CL, etc and those are much easier to work with.
And now, some pics!