How to Peg a Skirt

Leona Lewis flaunts her figure in a blue pencil skirt at the 2011 Essence

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Pencil skirts aren't just for secretaries. They're a bombshell basic, wardrobe staple and fashion classic which effortlessly transfers from work to play. Simplicity is the new sexy when the hottest thing going is below the knees. If you don't have money to blow, browse through your closet and pull out those skirts you bought on clearance that never got worn. It's time to get what you paid for -- with a few easy alterations, past seasons' silhouettes can be transformed.


Turn your skirt inside out, press and lay on a table or work area. Determine your hipline. Using the measuring tape, measure from your waist to your knee and divide the total by four. Take that number and, beginning at the waist of the skirt, measure down the left side seam and mark (front and back) with the marking pencil. Beginning at the hipline on the front, use the tape measure to measure and mark 1/4 inch in from the side seam all the way down to the hemline (with a dashed line). Remove the tape measure. Repeat on the back. Repeat entire step down the right side seam.


Using the hip curve ruler as a guide in the front, create a contour line that curves slightly inward towards the knee (curving towards the center front), by laying the ruler along the side seam beginning at the waist and slightly tilting the ruler to blend the side seam into the new pencil line. Blend the new side seam with the hip curve ruler. Repeat in the back.


Pin the new blended line together, front to back, and hand baste. Flip it right side out and try it on. If it fits, you can jump on the sewing machine and finalize the alteration by sewing along the hand-stitched line using a straight stitch. If it's still not inverted enough, repeat the process, but decrease the measurement in Step 1 to 1/8 of an inch.


If the fabric of your skirt is a knit with a drawstring waist, you can just take the whole side seam in 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch from waist to hem. Maintaining the balance of the skirt is the tricky part. Pegging should only invert the silhouette, the center front and center back remain the same if properly executed.

Things You'll Need


1.A-line or straight skirt that falls below the knee

3.Tape measure


7.White or yellow marking pencil

2.Sewing machine


6.Hip curve ruler


Tips & Tricks


This alteration only works on an A-line or straight skirt that falls below the knee.

If making a permanent alteration, trim side seam to 1/8 inch and press open after Step 3.

Consider using a skirt with a high Lycra content, for better fit.


Related Videos




"Patternmaking In Fashion Design, 4th Edition"; Helen Joseph Armstrong; 2006

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