Thursday, April 29, 2010

Burda 01-2008-127 Princess Seam Skirt

Burda 01-2008-127 Thumbnail

As previously mentioned, I am--for the moment--making tailored-style separates for Spring/Summer. Tailored might be a bit too strong of a word, which is why I say "tailored-style." High on the agenda is fitted and pencil skirt. I went through all my back issues of Burda and identified the skirts that interested me. I liked the princess lines, higher waistline, and overall shape of Burda 01-2008-127 and decided to start there.

I paid $11.25/yard for this fabulous silk cotton at Paron in NYC last June. For me, that is a high price so this was a "special" fabric. We all know there's a fine line between "special" and "too good to use." It took a little faith to make that first cut! I have a bit over a yard left so I'm on the lookout for a fabric economical but classy bolero or cropped jacket. Not that I'm promising ever to get around to making such a thing, but ya know. Doesn't hurt to look.

Inner WorkingsKnowing the fabric would likely wrinkle like crazy, which would make me afraid to wear it, I decided to try underlining with silk organza, as this is often recommended to reduce wrinkling. Handily, I picked up some silk organza at Paron (again!) last month. They didn't have any truly neutral colors, so I bought some very light blue (as the neutralest/lightest shade) and some turquoise (because it's my favorite color). I was going to use the light blue on this but then I was like, "Why not put together my two favorite colors, even if I'm the only one who knows?" LOVE the way they look together. I used the underlining/Hong Kong Finish technique demo-ed on my vintage shirtdress. Actually, I did this project first and from this one I learned that I prefer to add only 3/8 of an inch to the underlining width rather than 5/8".

Cut away lace While I was in Texas for Christmas I found this lace at my mom's huge Joann that actually had some decent knit prints (but I didn't buy any because the prices at Joann are ridiculous even with the perpetual sale or coupon). It is one of my favorite colors so I had to buy it, and when I got it home I found that it matched this fabric perfectly! I don't know that this skirt really "goes" with a lace trim, but honestly I could not resist. I knew I didn't want to use the lace as is, which is wide and gathered. It seemed a shame to just waste it though, so I experimented and found out I could just cut off the lowest motif, which gave me trim wide enough for the skirt but made it so I can use the rest of the lace on a later project and nobody will be the wiser that it used to be slightly wider. I did the hem and the lace trim by hand.

I feel like I am having a "growth spurt" of the you're-not-in-your-twenties-anymore variety lately, ugh, so I went up a size and cut a 38 at the waist and a 40 at the hip. Pretty much from the time I started sewing until about 5 years ago I used to always, always, always make my clothes a little too big, arising mainly out of body dysmorphic disorder of the sub-clinical, garden variety, common to pretty much every Western woman degree of seeing myself as larger than I was and a related belief that I was going to gain large amounts of weight at any moment. It frustrated me that the clothes were too large, but I was just incapable of cutting the proper size because how could something that size possibly fit? At some point during/after a couple years of therapy for general depression (dysthymia, technically) I started making clothes that actually fit. I assume they were somewhat related.

FrontAt any rate, at a size 38/40 this skirt is about a size too big, which brought back all these memories. It's not great for a tucked shirt because the waist sits a little lower than it's meant to, and I'm sure it will spin around and around my waist like a whirling dervish when I'm walking. *sigh* Unfortunately, the fabric is very delicate and shreddy, and I just don't think it will stand up to the seam ripper. If I decide I hate it at this size after a while, I will risk the fabric to make it smaller.

So I still need to figure out exactly what size to cut, because a 36/38 is sometimes legitimately a teeny bit too small to be flattering. This time around, I don't think I'm seeing things! On my 40s style faux shirtdress, if you look at this photo of the front you can see how the front skirt pleats are opening up a little too much and there are diagonal wrinkles from the pleat radiating down to my hip. And my tartan pencil skirt with front drape is a skootch snug at the waist; not unwearably so, but not entirely comfortable.

Based on my experience with this skirt, I probably don't need to go up a full size, but could use just a little bit more room...somewhere. It's a lot easier just to go up a size, for sure. I think the alternative is the Full Belly Adjustment. Not looking forward to going there.

This skirt is part of my Spring mini-wardrobe. I had it almost done in time for the PR contest, but the lining for the second skirt didn't arrive until the day after it ended. When I finish reviewing the pieces I'll do a collage just for fun.

I've been afraid to wear this skirt until I photographed it because seriously, this fabric is going to get SO WRINKLED. But the skirt is useless if I don't actually wear it. If it is ever again warm enough to legitimately qualify as Spring, I'll take it out and give it a whirl...or more likely it will give me a whirl as it spins around and around and around as I walk!

Aside from my own neurosis-induced fit issue, this is a really great basic pattern. If I make it again I'll make it a little smaller all around, but also slightly peg that side back seam as I feel the back falls too straight/kind of sticks out a little. I've made another fitted skirt since this one, with a little bit of a frippery detail. Although it's more fun to sew patterns with a frippery detail, it turns out the look I want right now is plain, simple, sleek, and chic. So I may be making this one again soon.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

40 comments:

AuntieAllyn said...

Oooh, it's just a lovely skirt (with your gorgeous finishing techniques, I think I like the way it looks inside better than the outside). Sorry about your fitting issues . . . it can be such a dilemma, especially with skirts like these! You must find the right blouse/top, though, and wear this lovely garment!

arnysews said...

Maybe you are between sizes? Because of the seaming in this skirt, it would be easy to cut one size smaller on the CB and CF panels only, therefore giving you 1/2 a size smaller. You would have to cut the waistband 1/2 way between the 2 sizes for it to fit. I think the skirt looks quite pegged already and wouldn't change that until you try on the smaller size. I love your hair shorter - very chic.

Rachel said...

I love that skirt and the entire outfit!!!

gwensews said...

I really like the lace on the hem of that skirt! That looks awesome!

Little Hunting Creek said...

Cute skirt - I especially love the lace.

Vicki said...

This is great pattern. I have made it twice and will be making it again. I like what you have done with it. Very pretty.

Karen K said...

Another great post! Now, where did you get those cute shoes?

KID, MD said...

Love the lace, love the color, love the underlining! So awesome!! Since it is underlined, you could totally just take slightly deeper seam allowances and make it fit. You'd have to unpick the waistband though. Worth it?

Fran said...

I love those two colors together! And, the lace is a great touch.

beangirl said...

excellent color choices and I like the very small lace detail. As for fit, I totally have that same BDD issue and despite being proven otherwise when I made a skirt that did fit, I still am unconvinced generally. Mainstream media has much to answer for.

This is a cute skirt (even if it will spin like a top), so I'd definitely go for the another one (because a girl really can't have too many pencil skirts, now can she?)

Karen said...

Love your hair, love the skirt, especially love the underlining. And you do not need a full belly adjustment, okay? That's crazy talk. What you need to do (in my irrelevant opinion) is go down half a size, maybe a full size back to whatever your were making before this alleged growth spurt :) No way no how did that shirtdress look snug; it looked fitted.

AllisonC said...

I've made this skirt before too, it's a winner. Despite also having body issues (especially here in HK where I am lucky if I can get into an XL in RTW!) I have realised that clothes look better on me fitted. You have not had a growth spurt in any direction! Can you face unpicking the waistband and taking the skirt in a bit, it's lovely fabric and the inside finishing is gorgeous.

Sonya said...

Hi, I have some thoughts on your fit issue - would you send me an email? Thanks.

Marybeth said...

I love the color of the underlining and the lace on the hem. Very pretty :))) I am a newbie when it comes to sewing, so I'm not sure if this will be useful advice or not, but I have a lot of fit issues and I always measure the pattern pieces to make sure I'm cutting the right size. Do you ever try that? Hope it helps!!!

Becky said...

Different fabrics behave and fit differently. That may make one feel more fitted than the next, but going up a size is probably not needed until "all" your clothes feel waaaay to snug.

Seriously, all I would do is maybe extra wide (1 inch) side seam allowances and pin fit the fabric to your comfort before you sew. Some fabrics will take smaller seam allowances, some bigger.

I love the skirt, the fabric is beautiful.

Whitney said...

I love this skirt! The color is very flattering on you. And I like the lace detail and underlining a lot. I agree that it may be a skootch to big, but in my opinion, that's better than something that it too small that you wont wear!

I still think your 40s style shirt dress looks perfect...I can't see the wrinkles you are talking about but if they are there, maybe its because of how you are standing in the photo? That dress is my favorite of all the things I've seen you sew in the last 2 years or so.
Your hair looks really good too, btw:)

McVal said...

Cute! The lace gives it a really nice finish. I just sewed one a week or so ago and blogged about it. No pattern. Found an article in Threads magazine on how to measure and do one. Mine was flared tho. Good job!

Trudy Callan said...

Love your skirt.

Eugenia said...

That's a beautiful classic skirt pattern and it looks great on you made up in that lovely fabric. The organza underlining and lace are really nice touches.

Angela said...

Cute skirt! I love the colors and the lace on the hem!

Brenna said...

I too LOVE the lace. It makes the skirt unique and awesome. I have the same problem with making skirts and pants too big. One way I have dealt with it in the past is to add a decorative tab and a button to the outside of the waistband. It may not work well with a fitted skirt where you don't want a tuck...but hey...
You could also use a wide sash-y kind of belt if you don't want the skirt to twist around you.

ELMO said...

I love the idea of having that secret delight of your favorite color lining the skirt. If you still have project stamina left to make those adjustments do it! I have a skirt with the same issue and I love the fabric, but it needs to be tweaked inward a bit (and it does the twisting you mentioned). I think I'll work on mine now. It's a great skirt.

meli88a said...

I really like the details on this skirt. If I had a skirt like this, I'd be sorely tempted to wear it inside out. That aqua organza underlining looks awesome!

~Sherry~ said...

Nice haircut!
I'm going to be honest - I think the skirt looks too big on you and you should take it in!
Because you have done all that beautiful work on the inside, I'd just take it in on the side seams. I wouldn't worry about the fabric - both silk and cotton are remarkably strong - just be careful and because you're taking it in needle holes will be concealed.
Then you'll wear it more often!

Tasia said...

Love what you did with the lace!! Turquoise is my favourite colour, too :) what a cool way to incorporate it into this project.

Carol said...

I love the colour of this skirt. I have a problem fitting myself, too. You just have to learn to trust the measurements. I cut out a skirt at the weekend and the waistband looked so small I didn't think it would fit. But it did.

Sew4Fun said...

Nice skirt! I like how you used the lace. I understand too about being in between sizes. This is where I am at the moment and it's frustrating. Sometimes I need the smaller size and other times I need the larger size. It's such a guessing game. I've mostly been using the smaller size but cutting with wider seams and letting them out where needed.

Faye Lewis said...

That is so cute especially with that touch of lace.

Ripple Dandelion said...

You've been making some lovely things lately and this is another. I think it does look too big for you and, like others, I sympathize. I have more trouble with skirts in this regard than any other garment. I can muslin and try on as I sew and all of that, but when the waistband is on and the zipper is in, then it suddenly seems too big. I have a definite tummy, but it seems like fuller upper thighs are my particular bugaboo.

eword10 said...

I love your skirt and all the details you added to it. I am so glad you shared your body dysmorphia too. I definitely suffered this for many years. Although now I suffer the exact opposite problem: thinking I'm thinner than I am. ;)

But enough about me. Your skirt is beautiful!

Sunny Optimist said...

Love the hair and the beautiful skirt and the finish technique which I must copy. I'm so interested to see the fit adjustments you figure out b/c this does seem a little bit big on you. But truthfully I can't seem to figure out just the right fit on a pencil skirt. They always seem either a bit too tight (with the horizontal lines) or too big (where the skirt shifts around but at least no stinky pulling lines).

kbenco said...

I love the skirt - the colour is perfect.
If you can't take off the waistband for alterations, could you take in the centre seams at the front, continuing through the waistband without taking it off,and sew some gorgeous buttons or bartack/embroider across the waist-taking-in for a disguise? It would be so sad if you never wore this.

Karin (the Mrs.) said...

The colour combination you picked with the fabric and the lining is wonderful! I love little accents like that, even if you're the only one who knows :-)

Marie-Christine said...

Have you thought of putting some sort of sticky something in the inside of your waistband so as to get a better grip on the under layers? I'd think something simple like a bit of clear polyurethane elastic would be enough to stop the creeping.

Also, I think it's Sandra Betzina who in her book Power Sewing explains how to put an elastic into a non-elasticized waistband so as to get a good amount of invisible give. Well worth checking out if you're one of the numerous women whose waistline suffers major vairations with your cycle..
Meanwhile here's a pretty comprehensive article from Threads: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4274/the-great-elastic-waistband

Uta said...

I love the colors, so... rococo! (My impression, not historical fact!) And I really like your hair short, I think I said it before, but I do! Burda sizing (any sizing?) is strange; things always billow around my waist but not bust, although I cut both according to measurements. When I find a size "too good to be true", I trick myself by cutting (and later of course subtracting) ridiculously large seam allowances.

Kathi said...

What a cute skirt!! I just love the lining - the color looks great. It is too bad nobody will see it. I can't believe you did all of that work with the lace - you have lots of patience. (Well, you must have quite a bit of time also!)
Your hair looks really cute!

Sue said...

Lovely skirt but it does look a bit big particularly about the waist. It is a pain to be between sizes!

Katharine in Brussels said...

Lovely coiffure! Your skirt is beautiful, inside and out. Good on you for addressing your issues :) It takes a lot of courage.

amber said...

That lace trim is absolutely fabulous!

Cassie said...

I often find that my finished garments are a little too loose too :( I blame the muslins - it's very difficult to pin a 2.5cm standard seam allowance on your own body! I think because I struggle to get into the muslin I end up going a bit generous on the pattern alterations.

Perhaps you could try cutting 39 (waist and hips) - aiming somewhere between a 38 and 40 and pinch in the darts to your waist just a little deeper?

I read somewhere that if you need to make more room for your body (say around your hips) don't assume you need to add room where you body expands (say your butt, or tummy) because it can be more flattering to add those extra centimeters elsewhere at that circumference.

What I'm saying is... full tummy adjustment? I don't think you need it!