Thursday, 8 September 2016

Perfecting my pencil skirt: Burda 12/2013 #118

Burda 12/2013 #118 houndstooth pencil skirt www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Making a new skirt is such a satisfying project because it's so quick to make and usually turns out pretty good (unlike my ongoing failure to make a decent fitting pair of pants!). However, there is always room for improvement so I keep on making further refinements in the quest for a perfect pencil skirt.

For this version, I've used Burda 12/2013 #118 which I made in a floral cotton fabric 2 years ago and is a good simple silhouette to start with:

Burda 12/2013 #118 houndstooth pencil skirt www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com


I found the pattern to be more a straight shape and not as pegged as the pattern drawing suggests, so for this version I took it in quite a bit at the side seams to get a more fitted shape. I managed to get excellent pattern matching horizontally, but you can see the curved side seam vertically:

Burda 12/2013 #118 houndstooth pencil skirt www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I also made the waistband slightly more curved than my previous version - the pattern has a straight waistband which doesn't work for my shape at all. The curve of the waistband is really noticeable on the front due to the houndstooth pattern of the fabric. It wasn't until I looked at these photos that I realise I should have cut the waistband the other way around, but I can live with this because that sort of detail is noticed by no one else!

Burda 12/2013 #118 houndstooth pencil skirt www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

The back view is ok, pattern matching along the zipper is not so great, and the darts interrupt the pattern as well but it fits well and that's what matters most. The changes I made to the original pattern were to put in a mitred vent at the skirt opening instead of just a split, and to finish the zipper below the waistband so that I could instead use a hook and bar on the waistband - I feel that is more sturdy that extending the invisible zip all the way to the top.

Burda 12/2013 #118 houndstooth pencil skirt www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

I've fully lined the skirt in a bemberg lining, although since this fabric is a very substantial woven cotton it probably would have been ok without it. I bought this fabric from The Fabric Store during one of their regular 40% off sales last year (or the year before? Time flies when you buy fabric for no particular project!) and the fabric is just lovely. One of those fabrics that I wish I bought more.


A pencil skirt isn't hugely exciting or ground breaking but it is a real staple of my work wardrobe - I've been wearing it with the white wool blazer I made last year during the cold weather in the last few weeks. That white blazer is one of the best things I've ever made, it's so versatile and gets worn so frequently.

Burda 12/2013 #118 houndstooth pencil skirt www.loweryourpresserfoot.blogspot.com

Hooray for quick but effective projects I say!

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