January 28, 2012

DIY Chevron Pencil Skirt

You read that right - DIY Chevron Pencil Skirt - and I mean "DIY Chevron" in that you have to make your own zig zag fabric.  Yup.  It was fun.  You should do it.  But remind me not to make it again for a while - it takes a bit of time...

So for a Valentine's Post, I wanted to do something that would work for Valentine's, but also work for everyday, hence the idea for this skirt was born....but chevron, or zig zag, fabric is a little hard to come by.  I thought it'd fun to attempt to make some.  I'm sure there are lots of tutorials on this and I probably should have looked one up...but oh well.

First you need striped fabric.  I got this from PoppySeedFabrics and it's actually Dr. Seuss Christmas fabric, but I loved how it had wonky lines (although that made it a little harder to match up in the long run).  I had 2 yards, but I'm pretty small, so you might need more than that.
Then you fold your fabric because you need to cut a diagonal line (it's called cutting on the bias).
Then to make it easier to cut I folded it back on itself and cut the fold into strips.  Mine were 3 inches wide.
Then you need to cut strips from the other side - that way some of your strips have lines slanting up and some have lines slanting down.  Then alternate the strips - laid out on the floor it looks like this:
Then comes the sewing - it's not hard, just a little tedious.  Sew all the strips together.  Make sure your lines match up, like so.  Then get a helper to hold up the newly reconstructed piece of fabric:

At this point I wrapped it around myself - very un-technical way to measure.  It's a little big - time to add pleats to the waist.
Since there are lots of seams, this isn't hard.  Just pick a few (I made 4 pleats) and sew a bigger seam allowance at the top and then taper down.  You can see it in the picture.  I actually ended up making it a lot longer in length after I took the picture, to smooth it into the seam better.

Next I thought it needed stability at the top, so I cut a strip of fabric that would reach across the entire top.  I ironed on fusible interfacing to make it a little stiffer.  Then I sewed it to the top of the skirt, right sides together:
Then flip it open and press the seam really well:
Then flip it to the inside of the skirt and press that seam again - see how that makes the band on the inside:
Next up, don't be scared, add in a zipper on the side.  If you can sew a straight line, you can sew in a zipper.  Just lay it on top of one of the sides, with the zipper upside down, and sew it down (see the seam in the picture).
See, then when you flip the zipper right-side up, it turns the edge in and looks pretty.  Sew down the other side of the zipper in the same way.  Then sew that seam the rest of the way down, right sides together.  Then turn it right-side out and voila, done!
Mine needed a hook and eye at the top of the zipper.  The zipper in action ( I didn't plan well and the two sizes of the big piece of chevron were both slanting down - so they don't "zig" at the zipper seam - oh well)

I've been trying to mix up the poses a little lately.  Kate said to "do something fun" but it looks a little awkward, so enjoy that along with another "stare off to the ground" look - I should probably stick to the regular poses....

Now I'm all ready to be decked out for Valentine's (and any) day - -

also, here are some other ways I have worn the red chevron skirt:

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About Author:

Mandy is a craft blogger who loves to blog and enjoys all things crafty, sewing, and DIY - she feels that if she can do something, you can too, and provides tutorials to help you along the way. She loves being a mom to 4 awesome kiddos and blogs from the Kansas City Area. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or Google +

25 Fabulous Comments:

Aw how cute! I am def on board with the chevron craze lately! But I have to agree that it's sort of a pain to make... I painted my nightstand chevron & oh my gosh. Thank goodness it's small because it was not fun make the lines and trying to make them straight.. haha! You are so crafty!! :)

Have a great weekend!


Super cute skirt!! I love the red and white, it's adorable, you did a fabulous job on it! Thanks for the awesome tutorial! I'm featuring it along with the 14 days of love today at The Latest Find!! Thanks again, and Happy Valentines Day!! =)

So cute, and Love the shoes too! Just a note though, DO NOT attempt to make chevron with an uneven stripe unless you are trying to torture yourself! (speaking from experience :)

Oh this is just adorable Mandy! If I hadn't read the tutorial I would have NEVER known you made that awesome chevron fabric, you totally kicked those wonky lines in the butt, lol!!

Thank you so much for being a part of the 14 Days of Love! You are such an inspiration to me and I am honored to have you be a part of it!

Oh no you didn't! You are like a sewing superhero! I want to be like you!

That is amazing and you model it so well :) Perfect for a fun Valentine Date!

Your skirt looks fabulous!!! You did it the hard way but it turned out extremely well!
Hugs, Cindy

I am with Ashley, I would have had no idea you made the fabric, it's such a fantastic skirt!!!


What a cute skirt!!! And I love your idea for 14 Days of Love - can't wait to see what else you come up with for that!

Have a beautiful day!

Super cute Mandy!!! I love that skirt!

Very cute skirt. I love it. :)

That is wayy cute! I loove it :)

Fun skirt. (And I love the "happy" pose.) Nice work.

Impressive Mandy!!! I'm excited to be participating in this fun Valentine's series with you!!

XO, Aimee

I'm in love with that skirt!!! I love everything about it....chevron, the color, the length....everything~!
I think the do something fun photo is cute. It does look fun :o)

You don't love the color red? well it looks fabulous on you!! Great project! I wish I could sew. I'm still getting the hang of using glue :) Glad to be linking with you for 14 Days!!

Sooo cute!!! I am your newest follower! I hope you will link up with me here:

I'm loving the whole outfit! Red is a great color on you! :)

This is FANTASTIC, Mandy!!! AND...you are just so cute!!! ACK! I LOVE YOU! lol

Um... Wowsa!! That's amazing. :))

LOVE the skirt! And you are gorgeous.

I love this pencil skirt! So fun with the bright red, too.

You rocked my link party again! Featuring you at midnight!! xoxo

AMAZING JOB! You look great in the skirt :)

I love this! May I have your permission to feature it (and maybe some of your other tutorials) on www.sewcanshe.com? Please drop me a line at caroline@sewcanshe.com to let me know.



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