Mrs. Peacock, in the Library, with the Candlestick?: The Ultimate Pencil Skirt


Comfortable work wear is something that I always struggle with. I want to look polished and put together, but still be able to shelve books, sit down, and not want to change half way through a shift.

A few months ago I tried on a ponte pencil skirt from a ready-to-wear shop and thought — this is it! Ponte pencil skirts look just as polished as other pencil skirts but have the added benefit of being stretchy. I set out to make my own ASAP.

I knew that I would need a fairly structured ponte, so when I saw this gorgeous peacock colored heavyweight ponte I snapped it up right away! It has the perfect amount of stretch and structure, without being see-through.

For this skirt, I used my TNT self-drafted pencil skirt pattern with a few modifications for knitwear.

  1. I eliminated the zipper. Knowing how stretchy this fabric was, I removed the zipper and sewed the back seam with the normal seam allowance.
  2. Added a waistband. My usual method is to finish the top with a piece of bias binding or ribbon sewed on then turned under. To retain the stretch of the skirt, I improvised a waistband out of a piece of fabric folded in half and then serged on to the top of the skirt.
  3. I removed 3 + inches from the side seams. This is one that I didn’t plan for but became necessary when I tried the skirt on during construction. Because the ponte is SO stretchy, it needed to be much closer fitting so that the whole skirt didn’t fall down! I ended up removing around 1.5 inches from each side seam and may go back and remove another inch from the center back as well.


There you have it – the perfect work wear basic! This skirt is just the thing to transition my wardrobe into fall. I can’t wait to make one in navy and blush – in fact, I’ve just finished prewashing the navy fabric!


What are your work wardrobe basics?



Alexandra holds a Master’s in Library and Information Science from UNC Chapel Hill and is currently completing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Johns Hopkins University (expected graduation 2023). She is passionate about the science of learning and ensuring equity in education.

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2 thoughts on “Mrs. Peacock, in the Library, with the Candlestick?: The Ultimate Pencil Skirt”

  1. Structured knits are great. An analogous method of finishing the top to your standard options of ‘bias binding or ribbon sewed on then turned under’ would be to use wide elastic instead, which gives a really nice waist finish to knits, and helps keep them up while maintaining the stretch.

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