Simplicity 2343 pencil skirt – remarkably practical!

What’s that? I finished something? Something practical, that isn’t for a special occasion, in a solid, basic color? And it has pockets? (Okay, that last one isn’t very surprising.) But yes, indeed, it is a versatile fall staple that replaces a RTW skirt I ripped way back in the spring – a simple brown twill pencil skirt! I know, I’m pretty shocked too.

It is Simplicity 2343 (sadly now out of print, not sure when that happened), a pencil-skirt-with-pockets pattern that I bought last year sometime because it was absolutely the kind of thing I needed to make. Of course that meant that things I wanted to make kept pushing it down the queue. It moved up when I also ripped my only other neutral basic (RTW) pencil skirt the other week, and was left with no practical brown or tan skirts at all. The skirt went together pretty quickly and easily enough (though it was delayed by my other half’s urgent Halloween costume need), and I was able to add it in to the work-wear rotation yesterday. (Apologies for the terribly lit pictures, they were taken before I left for work at 8:30a, not prime picture light time… as if it weren’t impossible to photograph dark clothes to begin with.) Here’s a closer, if not particularly clearer, view (that shows the pockets!):

The pockets are constructed the same way as the ones on the Lonsdale dress, so that was a familiar technique for me, and I like the resulting pocket on both garmentsI omitted the ruffled pocket trim on the basis of making the skirt a more neutral piece, and also because it didn’t seem to me that they wouldn’t end up sticking out funny and being weird. I cut out view A, which is the longer length, but in the dark color the length was kind of dowdy on me, so I cut off about 2 inches and I suppose I ended up with closer to view C (not quite as short as that, though). Even If I had left it long, I wouldn’t have needed the back vent for mobility because the skirt wasn’t particularly pencily in the back.  I took the center back seam below the zipper in a little before I hemmed to improve the back silhouette, and I probably could have done more. I also made a FWA (“full waist adjustment”), term and technique courtesy of evil genius The Selfish Seamstress (rebranding successful!) . Looking at the curve of the waistband, I realised that in no way would that look good or be comfortable around my no-waist, so I traced and slashed and spread the waistband pieces a little to get a curve more similar to the waistband on my Marie skirt, which fits me well.  Here are the original and altered pieces:

I probably should have used a heftier interfacing on the waistband, since after a full day of wear it had acquired a bit of a crease, but I so dislike interfacing that I always err on the lighter side. But it fits well! Ultimately, I could have gone one size smaller and been okay (I cut a 14, though I usually make a 12 on bottom – the measurements on the size chart freaked me out before I remembered you can basically ignore them), so it’s a smidge big especially in the lightweight stretch twill (from FFC), but I’ll take the extra room to avoid another skirt ripping incident. I like the pattern, and I do think I’ll make it again, though I can’t decide if it would work better in something heavier to give the front pleats more crispness, or in something lighter to make them drape better. Perhaps I will experiment… oh, yeah, right. I’m totally going back to making more exciting, less useful things.

You can find my full pattern review here.

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