Rethink the classic pencil skirt by adding a trim to the side-front seams. If you construct the skirt with flat-felled seams it’s easy to slip a length of ribbon into each. The result is an updated wardrobe staple with new vitality. When you cut the skirt, make the seam allowances 2cm (3⁄4“) deep; they’ll be easier to handle and make a bigger statement. Check the recommended seam allowance on the pattern first, though – you may need to adjust it.
Petersham ‘Peek’ Seam
Begin the flat-felled seam
1. Sew the skirt pieces together
Place the pieces to be joined wrong sides together. Sew each seam with a 2cm (3⁄4“) allowance.
2. Press and trim the seam
Press the work as sewn to embed the stitches, then press the seam allowances open. Decide which way the flat- felled seam will fold (usually away from the centre panel). Trim the allowance to be covered to 3mm (1⁄8“).
3. Position the top allowance
Press the wide, untrimmed seam allowance over the trimmed seam allowance.
4. Prepare the allowance edge
Fold under the raw edge of the top seam allowance and press; make sure to fold under an even amount so that the remaining allowance is a constant width.
Embellish the seam
5. Cut and insert the ribbon
Cut a length of ribbon equal to the flat-felled seam length. Slide it under the top seam allowance, positioning to extend evenly along the seam. Pin or tack the ribbon in place and topstitch near the folded edge of the allowance through all thicknesses.
Petersham ‘Peek’ on a Wrap Skirt
If you’d like to embellish the loose edge of a wrap skirt (or a fake wrap) to look like the trimmed flat-felled seams on the pencil skirt, it’s very easy. If you’re making a fake wrap skirt, be sure to embellish the edge before joining the overlapped panels at the waist.
Embellish the skirt edge
1. Attach and press the ribbon
Cut a length of ribbon equal to the skirt edge. Place the ribbon and skirt edge right sides together, edges aligned; sew. Press the work as sewn to embed the stitches. Then press the seam allowances towards the body of the skirt so that the ribbon extends away from it.
2. Tack the Layer
Tack the layers of fabric together at the waistline.