Friday, 17 January 2014

Burda of the month: 12/2013 #118 Floral Pencil Skirt - I blame Pinterest!

I know this is the Burda project of last month, but I only received the December issue a few days before Christmas when I was busy sewing other things, so it had to wait until January to get made. But happily the completion of this skirt means I achieved a 100% completion rate for my Burda challenge of 2013. And I've already traced off the January 2014 pattern and I spent today pre-treating the fabric, so I should be able to get 2014 off to a good start too!

For my December project I chose a simple pencil skirt, because after two children my body has changed somewhat and it was time to do all the fitting changes again and redraft the pattern I usually use so I decided to give 12/2013 #118 a try instead:


And as we all know sometimes it's the simplest patterns that take the most effort to work! I spent all day Saturday making a muslin and tweaking the fit. I think I got it about 90% right - but with a fitted garment like a pencil skirt I prefer to wear it a few times before making any other changes to make sure it's wearable because there's a danger that you can overfit it and have it looking perfect while standing still for photographs but can't actually walk in it!




Indoor photographs today I'm afraid - I spent five minutes outside taking photos before I wilted in the extreme heatwave we're currently having and had to retreat inside. Of course those outdoor photos that I suffered for so much were no good because I had two children getting in the photo, running into me with their scooters and bumping the tripod. Those fashion bloggers with their photographer boyfriends and ample, uninterrupted time to take photos in beautiful locations have no idea of how much real life can get in your way sometime!

The fabric is a beautiful cream textured cotton with a floral print that came from the dark recesses of the stash, so deep in fact that I've completely forgotten where or when I acquired it. All I know is that I have about 5 metres of it, and it's quite narrow which suggests that it's a vintage fabric because not many come in those widths anymore. The texture is a raised narrow chevron pattern which obviously it was cool before it's time given the obsession with chevron prints in recent years.


This somewhat unusual fabric choice for me was inspired by an image I pinned on Pinterest a while back:

original image from mango-watermelon-love.tumblr.com
My floral is obviously a much smaller scale and I didn't have a gingham check shirt in my wardrobe, and all my crisp white shirts have now worn out beyond the rejuvenating ability of bleach/soaking powders (another thing to add to my to sew list) so instead I decided to mix it up and wear it with my polka dotted white silk shell top I made last year. And I happened to have a coral coloured RTW blazer in a ponte knit that goes perfectly with the skirt so I haven't created an orphan (phew!).





There's not much to say about this pattern since it's just a simple straight skirt and it was really easy to sew, but fiddly to fit. For my future self the changes I made to the pattern were:
  • I traced a size 38, and took out 1.5cm from the centre front along the fold line;
  • I didn't add the suggested 4cm hem allowance, took a further 5cm of length off and still have a 5cm hem to get it to sit at knee length. This skirt is extraordinarily long on me.
  • Moved the front darts towards the centre by 4cm as the pattern has them drafted too close to the sides for my shape, and shortened the front dart by 3cm. I still need to work on this because there is a bit of puffiness at the front under those darts, but this could be because I wear my skirts lower on my hips under the waistline;

  • I took out a wedge shape in the centre back seam under the zipper to get a closer fit and made a vented opening instead of a split in the centre back seam - I find the mitred vent to be a more professional and durable finish that just a split. I think I achieved a pretty good fit in the back (I just need to stand up a little straighter!).

  • The pattern uses a long narrow rectangle folded in half for a waistband but instead I drafted one with a slight curve that is in three pieces sewn together at the side seams, and instead of folding it in half I made a facing for it from the same fabric. This type of waistband is better suited to my swayback.
For the next version I need to sort out that puffiness and the front darts, and probably taper in the skirt at the side seams a bit because it's not as tapered as the line drawing from Burda suggests, but that will depend on how easy this version is to walk around in and do all the things one normally needs to in a normal day!

So overall there's not much exciting about this pattern. If you already have a pencil skirt TNT pattern then carry on, but if you don't then this is a good a starting point as any because pretty much any pattern will need fitting changes. 
  
But the other good thing about this project is that I can finally demonstrate to my husband the point of Pinterest - he's always asking me why I bother pinning images!

Thanks for all your comments on the cotton sateen issue - I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that way about it and I hope I've helped alert those of you that haven't used it yet what to expect. Badmomgoodmom made a good point about fabric quality being the key to how it wears, unfortunately you can't tell that until you've already bought and washed the fabric! I don't think I've ever seen Robert Kaufman fabric for sale here in Australia, but I certainly shall keep my eyes open for it now - fabric purchasing purely for the purpose of scientific testing you see!

28 comments:

  1. Your skirt is lovely and how perfect that it wont be an orphan. The darts look much better, not sure how to get rid of the excess in the front and will be interest to hear how it wears. Pinterest is very good for this reason!

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  2. My kids are past the hindrance stage, thank goodness, only to be replaced by the dog, who often photobombs my blog photo sessions in his quest to get as near to me as possible. I decided to use his photos for my most recent post instead of cropping him out, which is what I normally do.
    I think the combination of this skirt with the jacket and shell top looks great - the colours suit you 100%.

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  3. That's a lovely outfit! I've been meaning to make a flowered pencil skirt, I love the combo of classic and cute. And I think your photos are very good; mine are far worse although my children are past the photobombing stage!

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  4. This is the most beautiful pencil skirt I think I have ever seen. I somehow only ever envisage them in dark colours for winter. Such a beautiful fabric and I think it will get a lot of wear. Isn't this heat awful? I've been sitting in air conditioning all afternoon hemming a dress

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  5. This is such a classic and lovely outfit. Its the simple things that are often the best and a beautiful classic pencil skirt is always a winner in my book. Just gorgeous.

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  6. Of course your skirt is fabulous - I LOVE that fabric. But I especially love that top too! It is exactly the style and fit I have been dreaming of making all summer and never have!

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  7. Kristy, I am so impressed at how you've kept up with the Burda challenge! This is a terrific combination, and the skirt fabric is absolutely divine. That texture, ah!

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  8. What a lovely skirt. You sew so beautifully and the fabric is gorgeous.

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  9. This looks so lovely finished and paired with your top and jacket! Yours will be the Pinterest inspiration for another pinner, I'm sure :) great outfit.

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  10. I really like the shaping on this pattern, looks like the perfect amount of pegging. Congrats on the BURDA a month challenge, keep it up for 2014!

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  11. Snap! I have just finished making a floral pencil skirt in orange floral as well which is yet to be photographed due to 33degree day complete with gale force winds. It is not quite 40 degrees but gale force winds make outdoors really unattractive as well. I have an attachment to orange at the moment. I really like the fabric you have chosen and it looks great with the jacket.

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  12. I have similar pins, and i just love your beautiful interpretation. Great skirt.

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  13. Gorgeous skirt.

    Robert Kauffman is a CA company (I think), but they produce many of their textiles in Japan and Korea. I'm surprised you can't get it in Australia--but, it's only sold in better fabric stores in the USA, and those are becoming quite rare.

    One of my friends lives in Melbourne and travels to LA 1-2x/year. I could send some fabric to you via her. She brings me Style Arc patterns when she comes.

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  14. Beautiful fabric and great fit! I think I need another pencil skirt in my wardrobe. *^o^*

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  15. The fit is great and the skirt is very nice, an inspiration by itself !

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  16. Your skirt is beautiful. I love the fabric and am glad you got it finished. Gorgeous with the jacket too.

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  17. Nice to see that you chose to sew the skirt 118 from burda 12/2013. I managed to sew the same skirt, but I decided to do it in blue silk without any print at all. I must admit that I did not make any alteration, and it worked well. Although some people might consider it too long, I love it just the way it is.

    cheers
    Ulrike

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  18. Beautiful fabric the colours, print and texture. So hard to find these treasures these days. Thankfully our heatwave has just passed .oh I think you have achieved a marvellous fit

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  19. What a fantastic outfit! The skirt gorgeous and I really like the dotty top with it.

    We heard about the Melbourne temps yesterday all the way here in the States. Whew! And then today ... almost 40 degrees cooler? Wow! (I know you're not in MB, just tossing in some weather chat.)

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  20. Fabulous fit and fabric and outfit. I like the darts moved into the centre more too. Why does Burda draft them that way?

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  21. Love this skirt, outfit, the whole lot! Thanks for your burda makes, I love reading them.

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  22. Hey, I love this outfit on you! By the way, I don't think the problem is with the darts. The puffiness is because the fabric below it is getting hung up. Note how your side seam is not straight and those two horizontal creases on the front of your skirt. Those are the points where the skirt is a bit tight. A very small amount of ease, probably 1/2' total would do the job. Then the fabric can fall the way it wants to be.

    Whenever I give a suggestion I feel that people think of it as a negative. Please don't take this as a negative comment, just a helpful suggestion. I have been following you since before Anna was born and am always impressed with your output despite having a job and two children, and most of the things you make are the same that I would like to wear if I had the time and motivation.

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    1. I have been looking for advice for this problem I have had with Charlotte skirt. Thanks heaps. Will try and selvage it tonight.

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  23. Kristy, this entire outfit is gorgeous on you! I'm always inspired by your classic and sophisticated style. I'm not sure what I would have done with that print, but you're really styled it beautifully. And oh yes, the print itself is fabulous, especially with those chevrons!

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  24. I love your mixed prints and the bright blazer! Such an adorable outfit. I've given up trying to wear a darted pencil skirt--they just don't work for my body. You, on the other hand, look divine!

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  25. This is a lovely skirt. The print is beautiful and I like how you styled it with the polka dot top.

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