A “Charlotte” Skirt to Wash Away the Winter Blues


Woohoo! I just managed to post this at the end of January. You didn’t think I was going to make it, did you? 😉 I also have a Wearing Yesteryear: January 2012 edition to post (I haven’t forgotten!).

Pattern: Charlotte Skirt from By Hand London
Fabric: Black and light grey herringbone wool from Mood; midnight blue Bemberg lining
Notions: 8″ invisible zipper; a snap at the waistband tab
Size: 6, but reduced the curve at the hips
Alterations: Added a vent using Sunni’s tutorials

This is my second pencil skirt using this BHL pattern, and I wish I had a zillion more! It’s a great wardrobe staple, especially made in wool for winter (I can never figure out what to wear in winter that keeps me feeling put together). I found this wool at Mood and really loved the herringbone pattern. It feels kind of festive and is great paired with lots of tops!



I added a vent this time (rather than the slit), which took me a little longer to figure out – especially how to line – but it’s totally worth it in the end. It feels much more professional to me. These photos were taken after I got home from work, and it seems as if the vent flipped outward right before I sat down at my desk resulting in a crease. Whoops! I’ll have to fix that.

As I mentioned up above, I used Sunni’s vent tutorials on her blog, A Fashionable Stitch. These are from her pencil skirt sew-along from about three years ago now I think (wow, time flies – I remember when she was hosting that one!). She did a wonderful job sharing her tips, but I also found it helpful to go to YouTube to find videos of other tutorials. Sometimes seeing things in action just really helps me figure things out.



I machine stitched the lining to the invisible zipper, which is the look I prefer. The hem is catch-stitched. I had the toughest time hemming the lining for some reason. That seemed to hold up the entire project! Actually, it wasn’t the actual stitching (hem is turned up twice and machine-stitched); it was trying to make everything level with the skirt hem. Not sure why I was having such issues. I blame this frigid winter. 🙂

The lining is machine-stitched to the vent. Following Sunni’s tutorial, I now have lining pieces (front; back with vent; back with inverted vent), which the original BHL pattern doesn’t come with.



Oh, and I actually wore this outfit with two layers of sweater tights and boots, if you’re wondering! It’s FREEZING outside, but too warm in my apartment so I switched to one of my favorite pairs of heels. It’s going to be 40 degrees (~5C) this weekend. Heat wave!

I had been working on this pencil skirt on and off for the past month. Some of that was not having the time, but I was really determined to improve on my first version. Here’s to more pencil skirts in the future. 🙂

I’m looking forward to tackling a brand new project. As much as I’d love to make some more pencil skirts (and I do have the wool to make that happen), I’d like to switch gears and make a dress. Perhaps a button-down shirtdress using the buffalo check I bought from AK Fabrics during the 3rd annual MPB Day last summer!


18 thoughts on “A “Charlotte” Skirt to Wash Away the Winter Blues

  1. Herringbone always looks so put together to me! Great skirt. And thanks for the link – I’m going to do another version of my self drafted pencil skirt soon and was thinking about making a vent instead of a slit. Stay warm!!

    • Thanks! I do love the look of the vent, although I’ve already worn the skirt twice and I keep creasing the vent when I sit down on the subway or at the office. Guess I need to be a bit more graceful.

  2. Looks fabulous. Agree, not only are pencil skirts very professional looking they also show off the great physique. Must be all that city walking, subway catching, etc.;-)

    Once again, great job!

  3. Gorgeous! For me there’s just something so classic about a herringbone and solid black together. And I couldn’t agree more about the vent vs split – the former is so much more polished. It’s a fabulous skirt on you!

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