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Pattern Review: Simplicity 2564 Pencil Skirt

2012 April 9
by elizabeth_admin

Howdy folks!  I’m back.  I wasn’t gone really, I just didn’t have anything of sewing import to post about. 

Until now…  I took a break from my pleating hell to make this casual summer skirt just in time to wear for Easter.  Here’s my review of this new-to-me, yet out-of-print Simplicity pattern, S2564.

Pattern Description: Misses’ Skirt and Blouse.  I made view E, the pink skirt in the middle.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 6-14.  I sewed up a straight 14 using only 1/4 inch side seams.  Long story short: Yes, I made a muslin because, looking at the finished measurements, I thought this skirt would be about 1.5 inches too small on me.  Either the finished measurements given on the pattern were incorrect or I can’t measure or do math.  I’m betting the math was the culprit.  My muslin was ginormous and after pinching out the side seams, it seemed that a straight size 14 would do the trick for me.  But of course in my imperfect world, I needed just a little extra wiggle room which caused me some consternation in the construction process.  More on that later though.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except that my skirt looks wider in comparison to the models’ skirts .  Granted they are probably size negative 4, but seriously, sewn up as a sz 14, this skirt at the length proscribed for the hem is more of a square shape than a rectangle as seen above.  And I used a skimpy hem of only a 5/8 inch wide.  You will want to cut it out longer if you want it to cover your knees. 


Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, although when I make this again, I will change the order of construction (see below for details). 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? 

LIKES:  I liked the bias contour yoke at the waist and the simplicity of the design.  It’s a very versatile, well-drafted skirt, perfect for wardrobe building.


DISLIKES: There are no instructions for lining the skirt – a common occurrence in the land of sewing pattern companies.  Why, I ask you, why?  As it turns out, I didn’t need a lining for this skirt as it is a casual version using cotton fabric.  I know it’s simple to add a lining, but it would be nice if they provided instructions for the beginning sewers out there. 

Fabric used: I used a cotton madras fabric I purchased recently from neighborhood fabric store, P&S Fabrics.  Loved it.  It pressed like a dream and is really cute made up into a skirt. 

Pattern changes or design changes made: 

  • One change I would make going forward when I make this again would be the order of construction.  Simplicity has you attach the yoke after constructing the skirt.  If you haven’t muslined prior to making it up in your fashion fabric, then you are out of luck if you want to fit as you go.  So I would construct the skirt with the yokes attached first so that you can baste the side seams to check your fit. 
  • I topstitched the hem and I might topstitch the yoke too since the thread is still on my Singer Featherweight.


Any problems encountered while sewing this pattern?

  • Fitting was an issue when taking Simplicity’s order of construction.  I spent significant quality time with my seam ripper taking the yoke and side seam apart to give myself that wiggle room at the sides.
  • The invisible zipper was inserted and re-inserted several times due to user error (like not attaching it to the yoke at all) and then when all was said and done it poked the yoke up like a scalloped edge (WHY?!?!?!).  I have no idea why and am extremely vexed by it, but not enough to deal with the zipper insertion again.  So I left it like that and will wear a cardy to cover it up.  Problem solved!  Sort of.
  • The skirt is a little short, which was fine for a casual skirt but if you want a below knee skirt or a deep hem for a nice drape, you will need to add length.





Which sewing machine(s) did you use for construction?  I used my Singer Featherweight for the majority of the construction and the topstitching, only using the Viking Emerald 183 for the zipper insertion.  Oh and I used my serger for the edge finishing of the seam allowances.

Will you sew it again or recommend it to others?  Yes definitely!!!  This will be my new TNT skirt pattern.  The contoured yoke negates the need for darts in the skirt and I love a waistband on a skirt.  It just feels more secure.  I definitely recommend it to others, even beginners.  Despite it being an OOP pattern, it is still available on the Simplicity website.  My only caveats for others sewing this pattern are:

  • Lengthen the skirt if you want a nice deep hem or longer skirt (it stops right above the knee if you use a skimpy hem)
  • Change the order of construction (attach the yoke pieces to the skirt pieces before constructing the skirt itself) if you want to fit as you go.

Conclusion:  This is a great skirt to add to your wardrobe arsenal.  Very versatile with options to jazz it up with pockets, trim or skinny belts.  Once you have the fit down, you can just churn these out, especially if you don’t line them.


Apologies for providing only a hanger shot of the skirt, but we didn’t have any time to take pictures yesterday with Easter dinner and all.  Just trust me, it’s cute!  I wore it with a navy blue v-neck t-shirt and a white cardy.  Very preppy!

I’ll be going back to pleating hell now.  Hopefully, I will have something to show you at the end of the week.

17 Responses leave one →
  1. April 9, 2012

    OK, I’m going to try this. I tried again on the Meringue (sans scallops) to get a nice fit and didn’t even bother blogging about it. The darts simply do not sit where I want them. So I like the idea of a dartless skirt.

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      April 9, 2012

      Did you try the meringue without darts? Some of us (ahem, me maybe) might do better without darts or at least skinnier ones. Darts for those of us (ahem, me) who might have a little bit of a tummy, get that poufiness right under the pouch. The contour yoke still has some of that poufiness, but I think if reduced teh angle of the contour, I might get less poufiness under the fluff as it were. 😉

  2. April 9, 2012

    You asked. The zipper poked up because it is attached to bias at the top of the skirt and the bias stetched during the zipper application. Anytime I think the fabric might stretch, I fuse strips of Steam A Seam to the zipper and the fuse the zipper to the fabric. On a fly front zipper I use 1/4″ strips on the zipper and then use 1/2″ between the folded fly. Works for me, YMMV

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      April 9, 2012

      I did interface the zipper area. Any other ideas? Maybe I should have used a more sturdy interfacing. Mine, was a little ltwt. Hmmm… Thanks for the answer.

  3. April 9, 2012

    Organza strips work well as interfacing too…sometimes it’s necessary to play with the fabric and interfacing to get the best results. But like you said it’s a casual little skirt, the cardi will cover this and you’ve learned something for your next project. Everything doesn’t have to be couture finished…well at least not to me. The skirt is cute and I bet it looks great on!

  4. April 9, 2012

    Sweet! And a TNT to boot!

  5. April 9, 2012

    I absolutely love the fabric! That’s a great little skirt.

  6. Lois permalink
    April 9, 2012

    I made this same skirt for Easter, but it was so cool here so I wore pants instead. 🙁 It will be a cute summer skirt. I made it in linen. I lengthened it 3″ to get it to the top of my knees. Since I was short of fabric, I cut the yoke on the straight grain – it worked fine. And I had the same little pouchy-ness in the front under the yoke, so I trimmed about a 1/4″ from the top edge of the skirt at the center front, tapering it to the side edges. Like you, I also changed the construction order so the side seams are one long seam.

    Enjoy that cute skirt.

    Lois K

    • elizabeth_admin permalink*
      April 10, 2012

      Lois, thanks for the tip about how to handle the poofiness! Does that pull the side seams forward at all? Just wondering. I have difficulty thinking three dimensionally. I’m going to try that next time forsure. And your tip about cutting the yoke on the straight grain. Thanks again!

      • Lois permalink
        April 11, 2012

        My adjustment didn’t affect the side seams at all. I trimmed that little bit off the top of the front skirt piece. It makes the length of the skirt about a 1/4″ shorter right at the center front, and right where the yoke and skirt meet thus getting rid of the extra length right where it was causing a poof on me.


  7. Renee permalink
    April 9, 2012

    Cute skirt! I love those madras patchwork fabrics. This is a great way to use it!

  8. April 10, 2012

    Pretty fabric! You won’t notice the zip thing after you’ve worn it a couple of times. Congrats on finding a new TNT pattern.

  9. April 10, 2012

    Very cute! It reminds me of a fabulous madras blazer that J.Crew had eons ago that I regret never purchasing when I had an employee discount. Nice job!

  10. April 10, 2012

    Great review – contour waistband skirts work well for me too (as we have the same body…lol) so I will try this one despite having a few other TNT contour waistband skirts. Also hate that they never seem to include linings on skirt patterns these days (or even a lot of dress patterns!) I found the other commenter’s tip on the zipper helpful too, as I’ve run across that scalloped edge look on skirts I’ve made. Totally agree just to wear a top that covers it at this point. I think 3 times is my limit on zipper installation!

  11. April 10, 2012

    I had the same problem with the invisible zippers! It is combination of stretched bias fabric and zipper inserted too high. Invisible zipper behaves much better when there is some space for a hook and eye above it.

  12. April 11, 2012

    My zippers look best when I remember to put the top zipper stop much lower than I think I should, like an additional 1/4 inch below the seamline.

    Love the preppy casual look of the madras, and the bias yoke is adorable.

  13. Linda permalink
    April 14, 2012

    Hi…I enjoy your blog and stop by to read often! I am a somewhat of a beginning sewer and just made Simplicity 2475 for a sewing course I take. I love the tip of changing the order of construction, because adding the yoke after sewing the side seams and then adding the invisible zipper was all very challenging to fit! I also redid my invisible zipper four times, but I finally got an A on the project. I might pick up this pattern and give it a try! Well, maybe in a week or so. I need a break from zippers! Thanks also for the interfacing tip on the zippers in the comments.

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