I don’t often wear skirts and dresses, but it’s still something I need in my wardrobe. I used to have a lot of different skirt silhouettes, but it made it hard to create outfits with my wardrobe all over the place. In the last couple of years I started paring down my dressy silhouettes to make getting dressed easier. My dressy wardrobe is basically dresses and pencil skirts. I’ve used a couple of different pencil skirt patterns, but the one I’ve used the most is the Pleated Pencil Skirt.

Pleated Pencil Skirt in Four Fabrics // heatherhandmade.com

It’s a great pattern, and today I’m going compare the Pleated Pencil Skirt in four different fabrics. Each fabric makes the pattern look a little different. I used the same pattern for each of these skirts. The hems differ for each skirt depending on the look I was going for.

Pleated Pencil Skirt in Four Fabrics // heatherhandmade.com

I made this red plaid Pleated Pencil skirt about a month ago, and I love it. I’m not a red person, but there’s something about this plaid that I’m really drawn to. I thrifted this fabric a couple of years ago, and I imagined it as a Christmas skirt which I finally was able to make. Whenever I thrift fabric I do a fabric burn test to help me figure it out.

It’s the perfect Christmas fabric, and I recently realized it would be perfect for Valentine’s day too! I made the hem longer than the other skirts because I wanted a really classic look. Here are my tips for sewing and saving money.

This fabric feels like a polyester or poly-blend fabric. It has some texture and slubs throughout. It also had a little bit of give so it was easy to sew and work with. I really like this skirt even though it’s polyester and red; the two things I usually stay away from!

Pleated Pencil Skirt in Four Fabrics // heatherhandmade.com

This gorgeous peach colored Pleated Pencil skirt is the perfect basic. It goes with almost everything in my closet because of its solid color. This is a dupioni silk that I got as a remnant from a manufacturer.

I had one yard so this was the perfect project for it. The silk has a stiff hand and no drape so it wouldn’t have worked for anything else. It’s a peach color with a really nice sheen to it.

I made the hem touch the top of my knees. This fabric had no give so I struggled when sewing it. The hem didn’t turn out perfectly because it needed a tiny bit of stretch to make the hem lie flat and smooth.

It also came out way tighter than any of the other skirts I made. It wrinkles up everytime I move and probably has no ease. As you can see with the other skirts, I didn’t have that problem so it’s not a problem of the pattern.

It’s the fabric I chose. I need to go in and let the side seams out slightly to get a less snug fit. Then I think it’ll be pretty perfect.

Pleated Pencil Skirt in Four Fabrics // heatherhandmade.com

I actually made this Pleated Pencil skirt a couple of years ago. I used a coral and cream jacquard fabric that my sister had leftover from a trip to Mood Fabric in New York. I’ve worn it often since making it, and it has held up really well even though the zipper is sewn right on top.

I started with an invisible zipper which broke, and it was hard to unpick the fabric. So I just sewed an exposed zipper right on top of the seam. This fabric had a tiny bit of give so it was easy to sew and comfortable to wear. I love the dark coral and cream colors and it works with lots of things in my wardrobe. I think it’s the perfect statement skirt.

Pleated Pencil Skirt in Four Fabrics // heatherhandmade.com

This last skirt was actually the first Pleated Pencil skirt I ever made about three years ago. I had won some NanI Iro canvas from Miss Matatabi and used it to make a pencil skirt. This fabric is thicker than all the other fabrics, but it had a little bit of give so it was easy to use.

I love all the happy colors and fun triangles. It’s actually a little hard to wear because there’s so many colors, many of which I don’t wear like I used to. This is probably the only shirt I can wear with it.

It does feel like a wardrobe “orphan” so I need to make some more basic tops that will work with this skirt. It always makes me happy whenever I wear it.

Pleated Pencil Skirt in Four Fabrics // heatherhandmade.com

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Author: Heather Handmade

I'm a seamstress and mother. I sew, blog, thrift, upcycle, design fabric, and teach sewing classes. I'm also a self-proclaimed fabric fondler.

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