Sewing workwear and my BHL Pencil Skirt

I recently recorded a vlog about my favourite patterns for workwear and I thought I would share a bit more information about a couple of garments that I made this week – the By Hand London Charlotte pencil skirt and the True Bias Ogden cami top.

I had enough cotton suiting fabric left over from my Pauline Alice Sorell trousers to squeeze in a pencil skirt and I decided on the BHL Charlotte pattern as I really like their sizing as it seems to suit my shape.

You do need to be aware that there is no ease built into this pattern so make sure you take this into account if using a fabric without any stretch. I ended up letting the side seams out by half an inch on both sides just to give myself a bit more room to move. I also cut the waistband slightly longer so that I could give myself the option of making it slightly bigger if necessary.

The long darts give the skirt a lovely shape. There were a lot to sew as I decided to line mine but they work really well.

The pattern doesn’t state that you should interface the waistband, but I always find that interfacing helps waistbands keep their shape so I used it in mine.

I used a black snap fastener for the waistband and I used my Prym vario pliers to install it.

While I love Elisalex’s midi length version on the BHL website, I finished my skirt just below the knee as I thought it would be more practical. I also created a 5 inch slit at the bottom of the skirt to allow me to get up and down stairs and in and out of cars more easily!

I finished the hem of the lining with machine stitching as it won’t be visible from the outside and then I used my blind hem foot for the main fabric. Make sure you check out the BHL Charlotte sewalong for lots of useful tips on how to make the skirt.

I have only recently bought the Ogden cami pattern but having made one recently for a night out, I have to say I absolutely love it. It’s really versatile and makes a lovely flattering top.

I found a few pieces of this striped peachskin fabric at the fabric and pattern swap at the Sewing Weekender and snapped it up as I thought there would be enough to make a top.

I took care to match the stripes when cutting out and sewing and it has turned out beautifully! I even had enough fabric to make the facings too so it worked out really well – especially since the fabric was free!

I think some people may worry that the Ogden cami could show a little too much skin for work, but I have teamed it with a fitted red cardigan and it works perfectly.

The Charlotte skirt and Ogden cami are a great match but would work equally well mixed with other patterns. I just love versatile separates!



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