The circuit breaker: Burda 01/2011 #112 pencil skirt

Thursday 18 December 2014
Isn't it funny how sometimes the simple projects can cause you just as much if not more grief than complicated ones? I've spent more time than I care to think about trying to make a simple unlined cropped jacket in a white stretch denim but it is causing me huge fitting issues and after unpicking it for the third time I had to step out of my sewing room for quite a few days. I was completely over sewing which is unlike me. I even had a sewing day and lunch with some friends from the ASG where I did little more than eat, chat and watch others sew!

As much as I don't want to create any new UFOs, I just had to put it aside and move on with something else, which I did:


Hence why I'm calling this skirt a circuit breaker - I just wanted to make something simple that I could wear straight away to get back some of that instant gratification of sewing and lose some of the frustration. And it worked, because since finishing this last week I've made three more things, including my last Burda of the month project (all yet to be photographed though).

So there's nothing terribly special or different about this skirt, but I've blogged it mainly as a note to my future self about the changes I made to the pattern in case I want to make it again. I used an old Burda, 1/2011 #112 which looks like this:

A few years ago I made a skirt using the alternate pattern (#113) with the little godet at the back hem in a grey glenplaid wool. It is one of the best fitting pencil skirts I've ever made, although I think the waistband yoke is too wide, the skirt was way too long for me and the godet sticks out in a funny way. So for this version I shortened both the lower skirt portion and the yoke, although of course in the floral fabric I've used you can hardly see the seam lines:


I also shortened the yoke at the back so that the seam lines matched at the side but I cut it down the centre back instead of on the fold so I could use a centre back zip instead of a side zip. Since I have curves and bumps at my sides in the hip area I prefer not to use a side zip as they tend to ripple or stick out a bit.  I also made a mitred vent at the hem instead of just a split, it just seems more finished to me but again you can barely make out this detail due to the fabric I used.


The fabric I used is a cotton sateen bought from Spotlight several years ago now. Because I know that sateen tends to bag out after a few hours of wear and wrinkles terribly, I underlined the skirt in a thin lilac cotton that was a long term stash resident, and handstitched the yoke to the lower skirt portion at the seam line. The insides of my garments are all about function - I never have enough patience to make it pretty with French seams and lace around the hem line some other more attentive sewists!


So I don't want to jinx myself, but this altered pattern could well become my TNT and holy grail of pencil skirts! I've already worn it twice in a week and a half and it is really comfortable. With my pear shape, I find that skirts are usually too tight across my hips and thighs so it rides up at the waistband, or I make them looser to skim over my hips but it means that the skirts twist around when I'm walking. This one stays just where it should and even thought it looks very fitted I could sit comfortably in it.


And even though I've worn it all wrong in this photo - I should wear darker colours on the bottom not the top - this skirt goes well with quite a few lighter coloured tops in my wardrobe so I can me wearing it quite frequently this summer. If only I could finish that white cropped jacket to wear with it though!

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