Both boxy tops and pencil skirts can be difficult to style individually, but together they create a balanced silhouette. Amanda Walker has designed each piece to make the most of the fabric, using the chambray’s reverse to make a contrast hem, then doubling up the knit for a thicker skirt with no bottom hem. You can make it from a single layer too, just add a hem allowance to the length. Better still, there are no fussy pattern pieces, simply draw directly onto the wrong side of your material!
- Chambray 1m, (150cm)
- Jersey, 2m
- Elastic, 3cm wide
- Tracing paper (optional)
- Top: fits sizes 10-14
- Skirt: custom-sized
- TOP: cut from chambray
- Front/back: see cutting diagram, cut two on the fold
- Neck binding: cut one 4cm x 72cm strip on the bias
- SKIRT: cut from jersey
- Front/back: cut two on the fold (one quarter of your hip measurement + 1.5cm) x (desired length + 3cm)*
- *If doubling fabric, lay the pattern piece or draw straight onto fabric that has been folded widthways, then lengthways.
- 1.5cm seam allowance used throughout.
1 Use the diagram to create a pattern or draw directly onto the fabric. Cut out according to the cutting guide. Pin the front and back right sides together, then stitch one shoulder seam and press it open. Fold the binding strip by 1cm on each long edge over to the right side and press. Unfold one side and pin it around the neckline, then stitch along the crease.
2 Fold the bias strip to the inside of the neckline and pin the remaining folded edge along the stitching line. Edgestitch in place, sandwiching the raw edge of the neckline inside the bias binding. Trim any excess binding at the end. Secure the ends of the binding between the front and back pieces at the second shoulder and stitch the seam, then press it open.
3 Lay the front and back pieces right sides together, then match, pin and stitch the side seams, beginning 12cm from the base edge to create the side splits later. Clip along the curved underarm seam.
4 Fold and press in 1cm, then a further 5cm, onto the wrong side around the sleeve cuffs. Pin and edgestitch in place. Fold and press 1cm along the base edge of the top to the right side, revealing the lighter ‘wrong’ side of the fabric. Turn a further 8cm onto the wrong side and stitch along the side splits to neaten the edges. Turn this 8cm back to the right side and edge stitch in place to create the contrast band.
1 Measure and cut your skirt pieces from jersey – if creating a double-layer skirt, fold the fabric for the front and back pieces in half widthways. For both options, match the front and back pieces, right sides together, then fold in half lengthways.
2 For the waist marking, divide your waist measurement by four, then measure this amount, plus 1.5cm, away from the fold along the top edge and mark. Draw a straight line down for 6cm. Measure 27cm from the top raw edge and draw across. Draw a slightly curved line from the outer of the horizontal line (not on the fold) to the bottom of the 6cm line.
3 Cut along the drawn lines through all layers of fabric. Unfold, pin the front and back right sides together, then stitch down each side seam. If your fabric is doubled, turn one end of the skirt up and over the other end, leaving no raw edge at the hem. Match the waistlines and tack together.
4 Trim a piece of elastic that is your waist measurement, plus 2cm (for overlap). Join the two ends and stitch securely together. Position on the ‘wrong’ side around the waist, inside the skirt, and pin. Stitch in place, then turn it under onto the wrong side and make a few stitches in the side seams to secure the fold.