Burda of the Month: 2/2018 #119 high waisted pencil skirt

Thursday, 1 March 2018
pencil skirt in Outback Wife Gertrude Made fabric

I managed to finish February's Burda project in February, so yay for me! I skipped January for the time being because it has been far too hot around here to think about long sleeved dresses, but I will get onto it soon.

The February issue had quite a few nice patterns, but I decided to make the high waisted pencil skirt 2/2018 #119 to see me through the last few weeks of our summer. The jacket that goes with this skirt (in the photo below) is on my to do list for winter, possibly with a matching skirt in a nice tweed or boucle.

image via Burda Style

For this version though I've used a cotton barkcloth in a vibrant emerald green floral. You may recognise this fabric because it's very distinct - this is Elaine Orange from the Outback Wife range by Gertrude Made. I bought this last July from Selvage, and have been umming and aahing ever since trying to figure what to make with it because it was too lovely to use on any old project. This fabric has a rough textured look to it, but it's actually soft and wears really well - I took these photos after a long day in the office and the skirt isn't too rumpled.

The skirt is a pretty simple shape. It doesn't have a waistband, but has a band that wraps from the front dart around the side to the back dart and the raw ends of the band are enclosed in the dart. Whilst this is a nice design line, it made it fiddly to fit because to take in that side seam I had to take that band off to re-sew the side seam. And funnily enough in this print you can hardly see that panel at the waistband anyway!

Burda calls this skirt high waisted but I find it sits just slightly above my natural waist line, which does feel strange since I'm so used to wearing everything low slung. It does have the benefit of keeping your blouse tucked in though! Burda also describes this as narrowly cut, but I think the skirt could use a little more pegging to get the classic pencil skirt shape.

I do like the side and rear views of this skirt, I managed to get quite a neat fit and although I didn't attempt to pattern match due to a lack of fabric you can't notice it on the side and the back pattern somehow matches really well.

Fitting wise I made a size 40 at the waist grading out to a size 42 but found it slightly too big and ended up shaving a bit off. According to Burda's measurement chart these are the sizes for my measurements, but I do like a tighter fit in my clothes so perhaps that explains it. I also reduced the length by about 8cm which is standard actually since I'm normal sized and not a Burda model glamazon.

I happened to have an emerald green standard zipper in my stash at the correct length, so I sewed a hand picked zip instead of using an invisible zip. It turned out barely visible except for a few prick stitches in the yellow part, so I'm glad I went the frugal path and used what I had because it turned out just fine.

handpicked zipper

Overall I give this pattern the big thumbs up. The pattern is well drafted with all the seams lining up how they should and the instructions aren't too bad but since it's a simple skirt you don't really need them anyway. I can see this in a solid version that would make that side band at the waist more obvious, and a bit more pegging of the skirt it will be perfect.

In case you're wondering, the top is Burda 8/2015 #120 that I made back in March 2016, posted here.

And finally thank you to all those who have been commenting on my posts - for some reason my replies aren't showing up but I am definitely reading them. I may need to reinstall Disqus or look into some other commenting platform because I very much appreciate all those that take the time to read and comment.


  1. Thanks for posting; what a beautiful skirt!

  2. Love this skirt. I always enjoy your blog!