Button & Snap
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The skirt with diamond buttons

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Pencil Skirt Front 1I have not sewed in a while, but a thrift shop got my sewing mojo running again. I picked up this pencil skirt for 5 euros and was inspired to turn it into a midi button-down skirt.

Pencil Skirt BeforeAs you can see from the before picture, it was a bit large, and most importantly, the slit and zipper opening are at the back. Since my experiment turning a skirt upside-down last year worked so well, I wanted refurbish the skirt by turning it backwards.
So what was once the plain front of the skirt is now the plain back of the skirt…

Pencil Skirt Back 2

And what was once a zipper at the back is now embellished by beautiful buttons! I wanted something modern that would stand out and make anotherwise classic tweedy skirt look unique.

Pencil Skirt Close Up Front 1I found these buttons at Berger Stoffe in Stuttgart. At 10.80 euros for six they were more than twice the price of the skirt! This is a fair price for buttons in Germany, but I’ll still be cutting these suckers off and saving them when the skirt wears out.

I’ll let you in on a secret with this skirt …it doesn’t actually button up. You see,  since it is tight, I knew it would probably gap between the buttons when I sit down. And I don’t want to show strangers my undies!

Pencil Skirt Side 2

So instead I sewed a center seam down the front to where the slit at the bottom starts.

Then I folded one side over by about two inches to hide the seam and inserted a zipper at the top as if I were inserting a fly zipper in pants.

Pencil Skirt Close Up FlyAs you can see in the picture, the top three buttons are actually function. The top button holds the waistband in place, and the next two can be buttoned after I do up the zip to hide it. The center front seam continues straight down from the zipper to 8 inches above the hem. The bottom three buttons aren’t functional – they are sewed through all layers and hold the fold in place that appears to be where the skirt is open.

Pencil Skirt Side 1 I’ve pegged the skirt slightly to give it a more sleek line. If you look at the side seam, you can see this thanks to the stripes. The side seam doesn’t fall straight to the hem from the widest part of my hip, but rather tapers back in. Here’s a second picture that shows this as well.

Pencil Skirt Close Up Back 1

Tapering the skirt reminded me of the hilarious Oonaballoona, who blogged about making a wiggle dress so tapered she had to hop up stairs. However, I have a vent at the front so my skirt is much more practical.

Pencil Skirt Front 2

Also, I left the skirt unlined because the fabric has a little give, and I thought the would make it easier to move in. Since nearly everything in stores nowadays has stretch thanks to added spandex in woven fabrics, we are used to styles being tighter and more comfortable than they would have been in past decades. By leaving out the lining, I’m leaving the skirt fabric less protected and it might stretch out of shape. Hopefully it won’t.

Pencil Skirt Close Up Hem

I wanted the skirt as long as possible, so turned sewed a strip of cotton a quarter of an inch from the edge turned this up, and sewed it in place by hand. Hem lace or hem tape would have been a nicer finish, but it’s not available in shops here 🙁

Pencil Skirt Back 1And I guess that’s the end. I feel spiffy in this skirt 🙂

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