Hacking a 4 gore skirt pattern into a pencil skirt

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So, many of you know that an amazing group of ladies and I have been working through 3 basic knit patterns these last 3 months – a t-shirt, 4 gore skirt and knit dress. 

We’re working on the fit and then hacking the pattern into new patterns! 

Gah.  It’s so fun…and creative and exciting.  And when the prize drawing time draws near and there is a flurry of garments in the private Facebook group the excitement is palpable. 

And right now, it’s adding so much joy to this life of mine.

I didn’t expect to get so excited about making my own hacked patterns! 

These are core patterns that I drafted to teach with and I’m doing how-to videos to spark ideas on hacking, but somehow I never considered that I would join in the creative fun!

But once I caught wind of the thrill…I couldn’t NOT jump in.  (any of you who know me well, are smiling little knowing smiles right now! ~ A fun adventure….me too, me too!!)

So today, I’m sharing my hacks for the 4 gore skirt.

The 4 gore skirt started out as a free-hip skirt with swing and flow.    Now, I’m not much of a skirt wearer.  I find them to be fiddly and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s fiddly clothing. 

But I wanted a skirt to wear under dresses as a sweet layering piece, adding a little pop of color and a bit more warmth in the winter…or in May, as the case might be. 

To that end, I made sure to make this skirt a few inches longer than my normal dress length. 

This is from a rayon and cotton blend top sheet that I thrifted a few months ago…you know back when one could spend a leisurely bit of time searching for treasures.   

It has great movement as rayon is wont to have.

For my hack, I wanted to create a streamlined, short pencil skirt to wear over yoga pants and I wanted pockets…roomy, lovely patch pockets.

Hey there!

So, many of you know that an amazing group of ladies and I have been working through 3 basic knit patterns these last 3 months – a t-shirt, 4 gore skirt and knit dress. 

We’re working on the fit and then hacking the pattern into new patterns! 

Gah.  It’s so fun…and creative and exciting.  And when the prize drawing time draws near and there is a flurry of garments in the private Facebook group the excitement is palpable. 

And right now, it’s adding so much joy to this life of mine.

I didn’t expect to get so excited about making my own hacked patterns! 

These are core patterns that I drafted to teach with and I’m doing how-to videos to spark ideas on hacking, but somehow I never considered that I would join in the creative fun!

But once I caught wind of the thrill…I couldn’t NOT jump in.  (any of you who know me well, are smiling little knowing smiles right now! ~ A fun adventure….me too, me too!!)

So today, I’m sharing my hacks for the 4 gore skirt.

The 4 gore skirt started out as a free-hip skirt with swing and flow.    Now, I’m not much of a skirt wearer.  I find them to be fiddly and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s fiddly clothing. 

But I wanted a skirt to wear under dresses as a sweet layering piece, adding a little pop of color and a bit more warmth in the winter…or in May, as the case might be. 

To that end, I made sure to make this skirt a few inches longer than my normal dress length. 

This is from a rayon and cotton blend top sheet that I thrifted a few months ago…you know back when one could spend a leisurely bit of time searching for treasures.   

It has great movement as rayon is wont to have.

For my hack, I wanted to create a streamlined, short pencil skirt to wear over yoga pants and I wanted pockets…roomy, lovely patch pockets.

So, I took the original pattern, the one that I’d fit to my body and changed it up.
Here’s how I went about it…

  1. I measured the new length I wanted and marked that on the pattern. 
  2. Then I measured, using a loop of tape measure, around my thighs to get the circumference I needed for my skirt hem.  I marked that on the pattern too.   This pattern has 4 pattern pieces, so I took that circumference, divided it by 4 and added seam allowance for each piece.
  3. To mark it on the pattern, I found, and drew in, the exact middle of the pattern and measured half the circumference on either side of that line.
  4. Then, as the core pattern had about 10 inches of positive ease in the hip area, I measured my hip and took out an inch or two so that the skirt had negative ease in the hip.  I wanted it to be fitted.  Like above, I then took that circumference number, divided it by 4, added in seam allowance and marked it on the pattern.
  5. Now I had my pencil skirt pattern! 
  6. I added patch pockets roomy enough for my treasures.  I simply drew out the shape I wanted and cut out the fabric.  Allowing for a 1/2 inch to be folded under and a 1 inch hem at the pocket opening.
  7. Now, what to do about those pockets. 
    I envisioned pockets that were sort of wide at the top and drapey.  My fabric has some body to it and I knew it wouldn’t work quite as I wanted it to, but it’s the fabric I wanted to use for this project.  So…do I put a box pleat in the pocket tops or give them a try all standing at attention? (see the last photo)

Keeping with the unintentional, thrifted theme, I used a discarded knit XL Henley for the fabric and was just able to squeeze the pattern onto the front, back and one piece on each sleeve!

Crafting your own patterns is such heady stuff. Almost every garment sewist I know sees a pattern and thinks about how to make it more their own!

This is why I love to encourage sewists to have some sweet core patterns and hack them into new and lovely garments…just as you want them.

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