The Bee is back! The first round challenge for Pattern Review’s annual Sewing Bee is due at midnight tonight. I finished my entry this afternoon and took photos in the waning daylight. True to form, I procrastinated on this make (the challenge was posted on September 1st), but I did get my entry in before the deadline. Whew!
For the first round, we were tasked with creating a pencil skirt inspired by music or a musician. I’ve been listening to Lemonade on repeat for months now, so this was a no-brainer. Queen Bey was going to be my inspiration.
As I was mulling over what sort of pencil skirt to create, I remembered a photo of Beyonce in a wrap-style skirt posted to her IG account a while ago. I liked the skirt so much, I’d saved a copy of the image on my phone. I decided to create my own version of her skirt.
Copying Beyonce’s skirt might not be the best way to stay in the competition. The creation of a straight-up copy would be the kiss of death on Project Runway. I can hear Tim Gunn saying, “It’s too literal a translation of the challenge.” I decided to go with it anyway and proceeded with my shameless copy. I figure I win no matter the outcomes of the competition. I have a skirt I adore regardless what happens with the judging!
To create this skirt, I added two fabric panels to a traditional pencil skirt at the side seams. The panels are not even. One is substantially wider than the other and is sewn almost all the way down the side of the skirt. The wider panel is cut on a curve at the bottom to create the gather across the front without adding too much volume to the bow.
The other panel is thinner and doesn’t wrap as far across the front of the skirt before tying in a bow. The asymmetrical bow gives the skirt a fun and casual feel.
The pencil skirt is based on a skirt sloper I created as part of the Craftsy course, Patternmaking Basics: The Skirt Sloper with Suzy Furrer. I haven’t finished working through the entire course yet, but so far, it’s great. The pencil skirt I created from my sloper fits worlds better than any other pencil skirt I’ve attempted to make. I have a khaki pencil skirt already in the cue based on this same self-drafted pattern.
Below is the review I submitted on Pattern Review for the competition.
Pattern Description: Beyonce-inspired Skirt
I’m a huge fan of Beyonce. She’s smart, strong, and sexy. Her last album is based largely on the work of a poet which, as a former literature major and lifelong literacy nut, I think is AMAZING.
A while back, she shared images of herself in a hot pink skirt on IG and her website. It was playful and fun. I shamelessly copied it for this challenge. #sorrynotsorry
This is a self-drafted pencil skirt. I used the Craftsy Course, Patternmaking Basics: The Skirt Sloper with Suzy Furrer, to create the sloper on which this pencil skirt is based.
Pattern Sizing: This pattern was created based on my personalized skirt sloper.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It does look a lot like Queen Bey’s skirt.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Suzy’s instructions in the course are great and I followed them in order to create this pencil skirt.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The bow is pretty heavy and pulls the front of the skirt down a bit. This may be annoying if I’m wearing it for long periods of time.
Fabric Used: I used a cotton sateen from Joann Fabrics. This yardage was purchased 4, maybe 5, years ago. It sewed up well and has the body the bow required to stand up on its own.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a traditional pencil skirt and added fabric panels to the side seams to create ties for the bow in the front of the skirt. I played around with pleating various parts of the fabric panels to ensure the panels would tie up and across my front without pulling weirdly.
I left out the back slit on this skirt. I am able to walk comfortably without it and felt adding one was just too much stuff for one skirt.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I think one pencil skirt with a huge bow is enough for my closet! I will definitely make the pencil skirt without the bow again.
Conclusion: While posing for blog photos in this skirt, I asked my husband, “Do I look like Beyonce?”
His response: “Is this a trick question?”
Well, at least I feel some Beyonce-awesomeness while wearing it.