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If the seven views on the Sybil Illusion Skirt aren’t enough for you, Karina from Lifting Pins and Needles is sharing even more ways to use this pattern for some cool new looks. Read on for three tutorials using the pencil skirt and gored skirt views of the Sybil: try an exposed zipper, a front seam surprise, and a princess seam Margot Peplum mashup! (You don’t want to miss her super helpful video demonstration for inserting the zipper.) So, grab your Sybil Skirt Pattern, read this blog, and get inspired to make all the skirts you’ve been dreaming up.

Sybil Skirt Hacks: Exposed Zipper, Front Seam Surprise and Peplum Dress Mashup

Hi, my name is Karina from the YouTube channel Lifting Pins and Needles and today I’m going to show you one of my favorite ways to create clothes for myself.  You might find this is as much fun as I do if you give it a go.

There is an unexplained excitement that happens in my mind as I think of a type of garment I would love to have and instead of scouring for the pattern that is exactly what is in my mind, I create it by using a pattern I already have and/or mashing up patterns. This process is so much FUN.

It really does not need to be so difficult and right here at Love Notions there are many patterns with so many possibilities.  By taking a simple design and adding a few lines here and there, something unique can be created. I LOVE this. Putting my own creativity, spin and style into our art…… and I’m going to share with you, so you too can do this.

I am going to be focusing on the Sybill Illusion skirt collection.  This amazing pattern is featured today for only $5.  The value of this pattern is enormous as there are 7 skirt styles included! (*This link is my affiliate link and if you purchase from it, I receive, at no cost to you, a small commission).  I am a skirt wearing person and also love sewing them. I have to confess I wear more skirts than pants…. So this pattern is right up my alley.

sybil skirt

Sybil Illusion Pencil Skirt

This pattern is designed for knit fabrics, medium weight with at least 40% stretch such as interlock, french terry, liverpool, ponte, and scuba. All the styles feature knee and midi length and as optional features: inseam pockets and a control panel in the waistband.

I will be using the simplest style in this pattern, the pencil skirt, to create two new possibilities that are super easy to sew. Later, I will also be “mashing” the Margot peplum with the gored skirt option to create a dress.

Before we start, let’s make sure to choose the correct size(s) and make the necessary customization required. This process is very well explained in the instructions. In my case, I have chosen the knee length and need 1″ added at the shorten/lengthen line for both the pencil and the gored skirt. For reference, I am 5ft 8″, athletic build and size Large.

sybil pencil skirt exposed zipper

Let’s hop into the creative fun now.  Three ideas coming up!

Exposed Zipper Pencil Skirt 

This is the first simple idea. The pencil skirt’s original design uses the same pattern piece for the front and back, on the fold. Because I want to add a long exposed zipper in the front, I have taken the pattern piece and copied it onto paper to create a separate pattern piece for the front. This new piece will need 1″ seam allowance added to the center front.

I chose to add 1″ to the center to match the 1″ hem allowance. This will make the skirt neat on the inside. For the back, I will use the original pattern and cut it on the fold.

sybil pencil skirt exposed zipper

The waistband will be cut on the fold, but 1” also needs to be added to match what was added to the front of the skirt.  The zipper will be enclosed within the waistband for a comfortable finish.

sybil pencil skirt exposed zipper

We will also need strips of knit interfacing fused to the center front skirt pieces and the waistband.  This is necessary to stabilize where the zipper will be inserted. 2” width x the length of the skirt and the same for the waistband.

Here you can see where the interfacing was fused onto the skirt pieces and waistband.

sybil pencil skirt exposed zipper sybil pencil skirt exposed zipper

The construction of the skirt is simple.  Attach the back and front pieces at the side seams and leave the center front open.  I will press the center seam allowance in at 1”.

sybil pencil skirt exposed zipper

For the following steps: waistband, zipper and hem construction, check out the video I put together for you using red ponte and a black zipper. You can come back to this blog post to re-watch until you can sew zippers in your sleep.

I chose to hem my skirts by hand, but you are welcome to hem as you wish.

Voila! An exposed long front zipper on a pencil skirt.  A timeless classic.

sybil pencil skirt exposed zipper sybil pencil skirt exposed zipper sybil pencil skirt exposed zipper sybil pencil skirt exposed zipper

Center Front Seam With a Surprise

Here we transfer the pattern piece to a bigger paper, and this will become the front.  Add 3/8” seam allowance to the center.

sybil pencil skirt

Next, measure 8” from the center seam and then also 8” upwards to form a square.

sybil pencil skirt sybil pencil skirt

From the top of the skirt, at the center front, we measure 8” down and make a mark.

sybil pencil skirt

We then free hand draw a curve uniting these marks.  It looks like the crotch curve of a pair of pants!

sybil pencil skirt

The front pattern piece is complete.These are the pattern pieces: 2 front (Mirrored), one back on the fold, the waistband.

Placing the two front pattern pieces, right sides touching, sew the curve with 3/8” seam allowance (finish the seam as you wish). I promise we are not making pants!

Open the front and there will be a center seam.  Place the front right sides touching with the back skirt, sew the side seams at 3/8” seam allowance.  Attach the waistband as per the pattern instructions.

The front will look strange! Like pants, but trust me. Open the seam and the line parallel to the side seam will be part of the hem.

sybil pencil skirt

Here we can see the center front seam open and the view of the front skirt.  The rectangle shown will be part of the hem.

sybil pencil skirt

The corners will look best if they are mitered. Let’s see how to do this easily.  From the corner, measure 2” up to one side and 2” to the other and make a mark (I show this in red in the photo).  Draw a diagonal line uniting both marks like this:

sybil pencil skirt mitered

And do this on both corners of the front rectangle. You can see the red dots I mention previously.

sybil pencil skirt mitered

Now fold the corner on to itself, right sides together matching the red dots.  You will have a triangle shape. The other red dot is on the other side.

sybil pencil skirt mitered

After pinning this little line, trim the excess and leave ¼” seam allowance.

sybil pencil skirt mitered

Now sew the marked line.

sybil pencil skirt mitered

Turn right side out and we have pretty mitered corners!

sybil pencil skirt mitered

Now we hem the skirt with 1” hem allowance and the skirt is done.

sybil pencil skirt mitered

sybil skirt hack

Gored Skirt with Peplum Bodice Dress

Here is some final inspiration that shows the multiple possibilities the Sybil skirt collection can offer you.  I recently made the Margot peplum top with the princess seam bodice and always had in mind that the gored skirt option would be a match to the bodice.  The Margot peplum has princess seams front and back and a center piece front and back. This makes 3 pattern pieces for the front and back…..the same as the gored skirt.  A match made in heaven. I set about to make my stripey dress of dreams come true and it was very, very easy.

The center piece of Margot peplum matches the center panel of the skirt EXACTLY for both front and back as shown here.  Obviously, the bodice center pieces are meant to be cut on the fold, hence we see only half here. The center panel of the skirt is one full pattern piece.  I have marked a line in the center to show they match.

For the lateral panels of the gored skirt, some small adjustments needed to be made in order to match the bodice front and back lateral pieces.  I decided to modify the skirt pieces rather than make the bodice pieces wider. Here we can see a mark for where the front and back lateral pieces of the bodice are in relation to the lateral panel of the gored skirt.

While constructing the dress, I tapered the lateral panels to match the bodice pieces and that was all it took.  I played with the direction of the stripes and enjoyed stripe matching as much as possible, especially at the princess seams.  I made the center panels have horizontal stripes and the lateral panels have vertical stripes. I am very happy with this dress!

margot mash sybil skirt 

There we have it friends! Some ideas for you and I hope you give them a go. Please lookout because I will be sharing another dress in the facebook group very soon! This time I will use the bodice of the Tessa sheath dress with the dropped yoke skirt that is also part of this collection. Did you know the bodice of the Tessa sheath has been designed to match ALL the skirts from the Sybil collection?! So many more options and they have me SEW excited.  Until next time, happy sewing XX.

P.S here is a little look-book featuring all the skirts 🙂

skirt hack

zipper pencil skirt

mash sybil skirt margot peplum


Author Tessa

More posts by Tessa

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Lilianely LY says:

    Really. Very very great job. Congratulations and tanks

  • Tiffany Treanor says:

    Love the look of the exposed zipper and your dress is just stunning! Can’t wait to give this pattern a try and see what all I can do with it. Thank you!

  • WhitneyD says:

    Howdy! Doing research since I’ll be trying this pattern at an upcoming sewing retreat. Looking forward to reading this post.
    FYI – the HTML/CSS formatting code is displaying on the page so it’s a bit difficult to read.

    • Keira Wood says:

      Thanks so much for bringing that to our attention! We’ve recently done some site upgrades and it seems like some little things got messy here and there. We’ll get this post sorted asap! ~K

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