Knit Pencil Skirt

lucy3Think of all the things you can do in 20 minutes….You can drive your kids to school, fold laundry, watch an episode of Last Man on Earth (are you watching that?  SO funny),


You could sew a really awesome pencil skirt!
And all your friends will think it came from their favorite store, because it’s gonna be all professional and amazing looking.

This might be my favorite MADE Everyday video to-date!….because the project is so easy, with big payoff.
HUGE return on your investment.

• We’re going to make the skirt fit your body perfectly
•  We’ll sew on a standard machine—my BabyLock works wonderfully, and I’ll show you a few stretchy stitches I like to use on my machine.
• We’ll make a really polished-looking waistband that’s easier than you think—no stringing the elastic through a waistband!

And when you’re done, you’ll spend the next 20 minutes (20 hours?) in stripey style.

Okay, I’ll stop talking and let you watch.
Hit the play button below and enjoy! (Or you can WATCH IT HERE.)

MADE EVERYDAY with Dana is a fresh new sewing show, where we create everyday items you will love and use.
To watch other episodes, subscribe to my YouTube channel so you’re updated as soon as the episode goes live.

For these skirts, you can use jersey knit or interlock knits (read more about sewing with knits HERE.)  The fabrics I used are from Hobby Lobby and from the LA Fabric District.

  1. 1) Terri Miller

    Another fun video! Thanks Dana! Love this one, and will definitely give it a try.

    • 2) ilove to sew

      Hi, love the video. the edges of my knit fabric keep rolling, any tips???

  2. 3) tricia

    CUTE! Whee did you get those sandals??

    • 4) Dana

      Thanks Tricia!
      The yellow sandals are from H&M (a few years ago) and the coral sandals are from Old Navy (last summer)
      Sorry that doesn’t really help you!

      • 5) tricia

        Bummer! maybe they will have some in similar again this year! I have been looking for the coral sandal style with no luck! 🙂 thanks for responding so quickly!

  3. 6) Revathy

    very cute one DANA. love ur video tutorials a lot. and this one s my most fav♥ because i was waiting to try this one. ur sandals are so cute along with this pencil skirt. best of luck!

  4. 7) Rachelle

    Great video Dana! It’s inspiring how you love to “eyeball it” because I believe that is what keeps you rolling… not getting bogged down in unnecessary precision when it’s going to come out awesome in the end anyway!
    I will be making a skirt like this, however I want to use my serger, and I’m wondering how to attach the elastic? My regular sewing machine does not have an overcast stitch.
    Thanks so much!!

    • 8) Dana

      Thanks Rachelle!
      Just attach the elastic the same way I did with my sewing machine, only on your serger. You can see this better in the Leggings video, when Miranda uses the serger:

  5. 10) Grace

    It’s always a good day when there’s a new Dana video! One question – do you pull the elastic when you are sewing around the waistband the second time, or only the first? Thanks! Off to find some fabric!

    • 11) Dana

      Thanks Grace!
      Yes—sorry for the late response here :)—you can pull the elastic so very slightly when you go around the second time too. I do the same thing when I sew leggings also:

  6. I’m so excited to see this tutorial because I found a cute 1 yd. cut knit fabric that I just couldn’t resist. Now I have the perfect skirt pattern to use with it. Thank you!

  7. 13) Diana

    Please tell me that you will NEVER EVER EVER EVER stop making these videos. I just polished off a huge batch of lined zippered pouches to donate to a fundraiser for a friend. My zippers have never looked so good! I guess I’ll be running to the fabric store tomorrow to grab some knit for my new pencil skirt!

    • 14) Dana

      Haha. I’ll try not to!….at least that’s the plan 🙂

  8. 15) DLG in Mich

    I wear tons of skirts because I have a hard time finding pants long enough. I’ll be making a bunch for work! Thanks for a great video tutorial!

  9. 16) Kristie

    Thanks for this. My kids babysitter needs a new skirt. And she wants a pencil skirt. This will be perfect!

  10. 17) Megan

    This could not have come at a better time! I’m pregnant and really wanted a knit skirt for summer, but couldn’t bear to part with $50+ for one. I know what I’ll be working on next week!

  11. super cute!! gotta love a knit pencil skirt too; they look great but still let you walk like a normal person. 😉

    • 19) Dana

      haha. YES. walking like a normal person is important.
      Thanks Kristin 🙂

  12. 20) Dana

    Absolutely love this!!!!

  13. Thanks Dana, I have a reversable knit that I can fold over to make a contrasting waistband.

  14. Hi Dana, I love love love everything about your site 🙂 this tutorial is awesome! I’ve been sewing for years and consider myself pretty confident with woven fabric…. I would love to buy a baby lock or serger to be able to do more knit projects. What do you recommend from your own experience??


  15. 23) newbiesewer

    Hi Dana,

    Loved the video. I am an ok-ok self taught newbie sewer. I know my way around cottons and home decor fabrics. I recently tried knits, but every time I have attempted to sew, the fabric gets sucked into the machine. I had to put a piece of paper underneath the cloth to finish the project I started. But as you can tell, I’m pretty frustrated. Any tips for me?

    • Newbiesewer, did you use a stretch needle? Stretch needles have rounded tips, and slide between the fibres of stretch fabric. The regular needles catch the threads and get stuck, which can push the fabric down inside the machine. This might be causing your problem.

  16. 25) Mari-Carmen

    hello dana
    super video
    which model of sewing machines of babylock you have?
    thank you and love greetings from switzerland

  17. 26) Juanita in OH


  18. 27) Meredith

    Great video!!
    It looks like you are sewing the hem from the inside of the skirt, so the bobbin thread is what shows on the outside. Is this correct? It looks easier to make sure you catch the fold for the hem, but in my experience (not sewing knits) the underside doesn’t look as nice.

    I recently bought two of your patterns and am so happy with them. Thanks!

  19. 28) Bea.

    Hello from Spain!
    yesterday I tried it and I did it! It fixes me perfectly!!! thanks a lot for all your great tutorials. I follow you every week!!

    Thanks again.

  20. 29) Jaime

    Ahhhhh! This tutorial is an answer to prayer!… my only question is…. what kind of adjustments should I make to make it maternity-friendly? I’m currently 7 months and have been shopping around for cute pencil skirts but can’t bear the prices! Please let me know if you might have tips! Most importantly, THANK YOU for all the hard work you put into making these excellent tutorials!

  21. 30) Dijana

    Hello from Croatia!
    You are awesome Dana, thank you for your videos, looking forward for many more!

  22. Can’t believe everything was done so fast. Great tips. I am a follower to your blog now. I will try this when I have the time, but probably takes me at least an hour. : (

  23. 32) Lynn Brandt

    I just finished making a skirt in a black and white print. It turned out great. Thanks for the easy to follow tutorial!!

  24. 33) Amaris Newbill

    I dont have the overlock stitch on my machine. Can you sew this skirt with a serger and zigzag stitch? Thanks

    • 34) Dana

      You can sew with a zigzag stitch! Almost ever machine comes standard with that stitch.

  25. 35) Erin

    I’ve been meaning to make one of these and this is just the tutorial I needed! What weight of fabric do you recommend? Heavy? Medium?

    • 36) Dana

      I would use light to medium weight. You want either a jersey knit (what t-shirts are made of) or interlock knit. Girl Charlee has an awesome selection of knits:

  26. 37) Machelle

    I just have to say, this skirt video was awesome. I have made several skirts for myself and for my daughter for her birthday. i have been sewing for 40 years but never with knits. This has been fun to do. I took advantage of a double knit sale for $3.95 per yard, and it was 60″ width. It was on Denver Fabrics. Thank you for sharing.

    • 38) Dana

      Awesome! I love learning a new trick when I’ve been doing something for so long. Enjoy your new skirt…and knits!

  27. 39) Pattie

    Great tutorial. Perhaps I’m too picky but your skirts would be really really awesome if the stripes matched on the side seams. It would have taken longer than 20 minutes to make – maybe 30 instead – but it would have made a big difference IMHO. Really enjoying your videos.

  28. 40) Sandra

    I made this skirt this afternoon and I love it! Next time it will go so much faster as I was struggling with the size and hem (oh and I ran out of 2 inch elastic, had to remove it and re-do the whole thing). Can’t wait to make another one, yay!
    Thank you so much for this pattern!!

  29. 41) Erica

    I hardly ever leave comments…but this tutorial definately dewerves a comment!! It is fantastic. I looked through the other comments and was wondering if I can sew the side seams with a serger. Really great skirt tutorial, it is so simple now that you’ve pointed it out. I will be making several of these- I think they are one of the coolest items to wear in the summer! THANK YOU

    • 42) Dana

      Than you so much Erica!
      Yes, you can definitely sew the side seams with a serger! I just like to show people how to do it with a standard sewing machine since many people don’t have sergers. But YES. It will save some time! (on this already fast project :))

  30. 43) Terry

    Straight skirts are my favorite! A little shorter than your well fitted pencil version but same results! Thanx!

  31. 44) Julia

    Hi Dana, thanks for this great pattern. This is actually my first time sewing a) clothing and b) knit fabric.
    The skirt really is super easy even though the knit fabric is a bit troublesome to work with…
    My waistband ended up being too loose bc I didn’t pull tight enough – as everytime I did I also wrinkled the knit fabric… – but my blue polka dot knit is rather forgiving towards a warped and bandy waistline. Maybe I can find a cute slim belt to mask it a little.
    Fortunately I bought two facbrics so I will try again with the plain black one. Anyway, once I get the hang of it will produce a small army of the cutest office skirts.

  32. 45) Dorcas

    Please, how do I get the baby lock machine in Nigeria plus get video updates from your show

  33. 46) Mary

    Do you have an actual pattern for these knit skirts ??

    • 47) Dana

      Sorry I don’t.
      But they’re very easy to make! Just follow the instructions in the video.

  34. 48) Debbie Schoolfield

    I made this skirt and a matching one for my daughter. It is so cute! Thank you for a great website that has made me love sewing????
    I want to post a picture, but I don’t know how. I also made the double layer skirt for Valentine’s Day and it matches her father’s tie that I made from your everyday tie pattern. I love how easy you explain things and how simple to follow your pattern was. I am not always a fan of patterns because the language is foreign or not clear cut but yours was amazing! Thank you so much! If there is a way to post pictures, I will. I am a fan and think everyone should check out your website.

  35. 50) CheLsey

    What seem allowance did you use?

    • 51) Dana

      3/8 inch or 1/2 inch….or even 1/4 inch.
      Doesn’t really matter, just be consistent on both sides of the skirt!

  36. 52) Ehi

    Very wonderful tutorial and direct,saved me alot of stress trting to sew my pencil skirt.

  37. 53) Tracy

    I absolutely loved this tutorial. I am a daily beginning sewer and I made a beautiful pencil skirt. I have a question. Mine doesn’t taper in enough at the knees and I’m finished with it. To fix this, do I let out the seam and cut maybe an additional inch of the sides near the bottom and then sew back down the sides and re-hem? Would I have to redo the entire hem?

    • 54) Dana

      Yep, that’s exactly what you would do. It can be a bit annoying to take out the stitching in knit fabrics, but just work carefully.
      Next time when making these…I always try them on before doing the hem (on the bottom and around the waist) to get the perfect taper. Sometimes I have to sew one side in a bit, etc. And then hem at the very end.
      Sorry! I hope that helps 🙂

  38. 55) JEnnifer

    This is great. Your measurements work for me perfectly! :o)

  39. 56) Annie

    I made this last night for my 7 year old. I have done quite a bit of sewing but never really with knits. This tutorial was very helpful and the skirt turned out adorable! Thank you!

  40. 57) Carol

    I don’t see how to subscribe to your blog.

    I really enjoyed the YouTube video of making your son the red striped t-shirt. I made t-shirts for myself before but lose confidence because I don’t think I will remember how to do it. The video was entertaining and encouraging. Thanks.

  41. 58) Nora

    Hi there! I found your pencil skirt tutorial on YouTube. The next day I went to buy stretch knit fabric and made a skirt! It is so cute and fits me perfectly! Today I bought more fabric to make another one. Thank-you!

    • 59) Dana

      Awesome! yay! I love making these skirts 🙂
      Have fun sewing!

  42. 60) Joanna

    Hey girl! love your tutorials, your studio and always love your hair too! This question is about the skirt though! =) I really want to do the skirt without the elastic (i.e. my LLR Cassie skirts have no elastic =love)
    is this a possibility or have you addressed this elsewhere?=) TIA!

    • 61) Dana

      Hi, That’s a great idea. I haven’t addressed that before.
      But yes you could try it….similar to making a yoga skirt or pants.
      Just leave the elastic out and hem the top, like you did the bottom.
      I wonder if it will “hold you in” enough….at least, I like that feeling which is why I have the elastic in there 🙂
      But it could be totally fine!
      Let us know it goes!

      • 62) Joanna

        Will do and thank you so much for the tip and speedy reply!! =)

  43. 63) Victoria

    I’m enjoying your knit pencil skirt video very much! I’ve made four so far, but realized with the last one that the amount of stretch in knit fabrics can vary a lot. Do you have a rule of thumb for how many inches to subtract from the hip measurement for different levels of fabric stretchiness? My last skirt came out too tight though I used the same measurements as on previous ones. Thank you so much for any thoughts on this subject.

    • 64) Dana

      Yes, the stretch definitely can vary a whole lot! I don’t have any exact rule of thumb because of the wide range of variation, but if you feel that the knit is more “stable” / less stretchy, you can try just wrapping it around yourself before you cut, to see if it will be too tight at the normal size you use. Hope that helps!

  44. 65) Abby Sheets

    Thank you so much for putting this tutorial out here! I just made a skirt and it was seriously the easiest clothing project I have ever made!

  45. 66) Bev

    Do you have a maternity pencil skirt pattern or video?

    • 67) Dana

      Sorry I don’t specifically have a maternity video…but you can use the same info/concept to make one. I would not taper it at the top. And maybe don’t use elastic in the top, so the fabric can stretch a bit more around the growing tummy area.

  46. 68) Joanna

    I had great experience with no elastic and your suggestion…I’m headed to Jamaica on a Sew Very Loved mission trip and we’re thinking of adding this to the list of Maker projects. Would you need more than a yard above a certain measurement…like to what measurement or size could 1 yard go up to? =)

    • 69) Dana

      Since most knit fabrics are typically 60 inches wide, I think a yard of fabric would work for most sizes.
      Sounds like a fun project!

  47. 70) Sara

    Hi Dana –
    I love this tutorial and would love to try it!I’ve made my daughter sooooo many circle skirts – now its my turn! I went to my fabric store (Jo-ann’s) but all the knit/jersey material seemed so thin and see-through. I could even see my hand through the dark solid colors. Any suggestions for finding the right material? Is there a different name I should be asking for? Please help – I’m still new at buying fabrics and feel a bit lost when shopping. Thank so much! Sara

  48. 71) Penny

    Will a yard be enough for curvy women. I very new to sewing. My sister is curvy will I need to go up in yardage? My first time trying this. thank you

  49. 72) Karen Poole

    What a great video, and a very easy project! I teach a youth Sewing Guild and would love to teach this to the girls!! (We have half girls and half boys). I can do a girls only workshop, I know the girls would love this project!!

  50. 73) Joan johnson

    Thank you I am going to make several. So quick and easy. Was nice to know your stitches as well .

  51. 74) Heather Westphal

    By watching your video, it looks like you’re leaving a half inch seam allowance but I didn’t hear any instruction on it. Is that right?
    I’m having to Frankenstein mine, I cut the first panel .75 inches thinner than it needed to be so I added it to the back panel! I think it will create a nice booty-framing look 😉
    LoveloveLOVE your videos! You’re such a blessing.

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