Tuesday, May 11, 2010

BurdaStyle Alexis Skirt, #7945

BurdaStyle Alexis Thumbnail

Here is another solid-colored pencil skirt for Spring, BurdaStyle Alexis. This is one of the skirt fabrics I got from Kashi when I went to NYC in March. I was *so* happy to find them as they were exactly what I was looking for--cotton twill with lycra, but unfortunately they wrinkled horribly after washing and hanging dry (I never put anything with lycra in the dryer). So I don't know how well they will actually wear. We've been having a weird cold snap and I haven't had the chance to try this skirt out yet.

As Drafted I really like the idea of the Alexis skirt as drafted, with those asymmetric pleats in the center front panel. It is also designed with a kanagaroo pocket on the center front panel, but based on most of the photos I've seen of finished versions, the pocket seemed to make the front pop open. The last thing I want to do is add more volume to my belly! On PatternReview, elily00 left off the pocket and it appeared that this mitigated the problem with the pleats popping open. So I made it with the pleats, sewing the center front/side front seam instead of inserting a pocket. Well, yuck. The photo is really not conveying how bad the popped open pleats look, but they were awful. It looked like a had a growth on my thigh, and the pleats expanded and expanded like an accordion as I walked.

TopstitchingSince there was no chance I would ever wear the skirt as made, I decided to take out the pleats. I went back and looked at the center front panel pattern piece, and the volume for the pleats were formed by drawing a diagonal line out from the hem to the top, completely symmetrical (this may be part of the problem). I unstitched the center front panel from the side front along the pleat side and just cut out that diagonal wedge and put it back together. The center front of the CF panel is marked, so in the future I'll just put that on the fold.

It was a straight skirt in that iteration; I pegged the side seams two inches (one inch each from front and back) to give it a pencil line. It is now a very basic skirt, but actually wearable. So I'll take basic! It has nice lines with the front princess seams and the wide contoured waistband. To emphasize those lines, I topstitched the lower waistband seam and the front princess seams in a slightly darker thread color. The effect is extremely subtle, but I think adds a nice little touch.

Lining Hem Finish This was the last piece of my Spring Mini Wardrobe, and I actually had the skirt done the day before the end of the contest, but my lining had not yet arrived. I ordered this stretch polyester from Fashion Fabrics Club. In the same order, I had six yards of "stretch" lining that actually had no stretch; I sent it back to FFC over two weeks ago (after corresponding with them to let them know I was dissatisfied and sending it back), with tracking and I know they got it within a few days, and have heard NOTHING from them, despite sending several emails. Has anyone ever had to get a refund from them? Any ideas?

Without Belt Anyway, I like this lining. It's a fun print, very slippery, and very stretchy. I had cut off some hem length during the process of sewing this skirt, but then realized I cut off too much. Oops. I wasn't able to do a double-turned hem, so I made a hem band out of the lining fabric (along the crossgrain to have stretch) and used that to make a machine blind hem. I actually started out by doing a hand hem, but even when I took up only a thread or two of the fashion fabric my hand hem showed on the outside.

After the trials and tribulations of putting this together, I am very happy with the final result. The fabric has a bit of a pique texture, and I LOVE the color. As I said, I'm not sure how well it will hold up to wearing as it got SO wrinkled after washing, but if it is wearable I have a feeling it will be a favorite skirt for this season!

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

33 comments:

Rachelle said...

Okay, I'm a fan of ALL your garments, but this skirt absolutely thrills me! I can't say exactly why; I think it's a combination of the color and the structure. Holy cow, I feel Spring coming on!

melissa said...

ohyay! I'm so glad you made this! I sewed this up like 2 years ago and it's still one of my most-worn skirts ever yet nobody seems to remember it. I begged Nora of BurdaStyle to restyle it when she was over in London, so we'll see...

Mine has the pouch pocket and the pleats as instructed and I don't have any problems with either popping out weirdly. I'd think that perhaps your fabric isn't drapey enough? I used a super soft wool suiting and some poly lining and it's worked really well. I adore the fresh Spring colour you've got here!

redhotpepper said...

I used this same fabric for my mini wardrobe dress and I love it! The color is just so fresh and springy. I would agree that the hand was the issue with the pleats.

Annie

Little Hunting Creek said...

I love that color - what a cute skirt!

cidell said...

I'm getting so inspired by you! This is super pretty and the color is just beautiful!

gwen said...

Gretchen the household deity?

Susannah said...

Great skirt! Glad you overcame the design difficulties.

I have also had communication difficulties with FFC. That is to say, they didn't bother to answer my email asking why my card had been charged twice for an order. I later discovered that their international shipping charges worked out to considerably more than the cost of the fabric, but they didn't bother notifying me about this before charging me for the extra. You may have better luck phoning.

Amanda S. said...

Oh, I love the fit and color of this "basic" little skirt. Sorry you had so many problems with it but great job overcoming those and not letting it turn into a UFO. I've had to send fabric back to Denverfabrics.com - aren't they owned by the same company? - and have never had a problem. They do take FOREVER to do things, though. I agree with the previous poster, calling them might be your next step.

Uta said...

So pretty! I love the icy blue/aqua color. Maybe the wrinkles came from the spinning cycle? I find that sometimes happens and doesn't have much correlation with wrinkling while wearing it.

Nancy (nanflan) said...

Adorable. I love this skirt so much. I'm pretty sure there's a Burda envelope skirt that's similar to this in my pattarn stash. Like I need another project right now!

Debbie Cook said...

This skirt is great on you. The whole outfit is. The color, the fit, the shape - perfect. You need to make this again, no matter what the final verdict on the current rendition's fabric.

Lori said...

Great skirt, the changes you made are perfect. I agree with Debbie, I like your entire outfit.

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

As a previous poster suggested, I wonder if the pleats + pocket would have worked if the fabric were more drapey. The first version was rather wretched, but you did a great salvage!

selfishseamstress said...

Ooh, nice one. I'm in the market for a pencil skirt pattern myself (if I don't just end up going the cheater route and drafting one) so thanks for doing all this research :) I think this cut looks great on you.

By the by, what have you been doing differently with your hair lately? I see it's shorter, but it's also ... curlier? I envied it before, but now I'm super super jealous!

Angela said...

What a cute skirt! I love the color!

Lisette M said...

Too bad the pleats didn't work, but what a pretty skirt anyways! The color is really beautiful.

Adelaide B said...

The fit on this skirt is very nice. It's very flattering. I also love the color.

Heather said...

Very cute!

Eugenia said...

I love how this skirt turned out. You did a genius job in rescuing it - because it is, now, such a flattering, nicely shaped skirt. The colour is very lovely - the cool freshness of that shade is just right for now and it looks particularly beautiful paired with that top.

Marie said...

Fabulous, like always!

Vicki said...

Really cute. And very pretty colour. And congrats on the vintage sewing contest at PR result!

Carol said...

This is a great colour on you. Very pretty.

AllisonC said...

This is a really flattering skirt on you! I like the look of the original design in the tech drawing so it's a shame it doesn't work so well in real life, but the changes you make make it work.

Faye Lewis said...

Very cute and springy.

KID, MD said...

Love the color!! It looks great on you.

Fran said...

Thanks for the review. It's good to know about the pleat! The lines are very nice and the fabric, both lining and outer fabric are beautiful!

amber said...

Super cute! Love the cool lining fabric and the way you've styled it with the blouse. Great summer work outfit you've got there. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a lovely skirt! Please, can you show us a picture of you in it with the Simplicity 2938 pleat neck princess seam tank top in the swirly blue fabric?

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous outfit! I agree with several others, I think the lycra in the fabric made it too "bouncy" for the pleats to lie well.

I had trouble with FFC charging me for back ordered fabric that never materialized, twice. They did not respond to any communication and I finally resorted to my credit card company to get the the second charge reversed - it was too late for me to contest the first charge by the time I did this. So watch the calendar carefully and document all your efforts at communicating with them. I no longer purchase from them.

Lois K

Sigrid said...

What a beautiful outfit, very bright and cheerful

Kathi said...

Very pretty skirt -- you really made a lot of changes!
I know what you mean about finding somebody good to cut your hair. I still drive an hour at times to get mine cut. I haven't found anybody where I live now who seems to be able to do a good job with my hair.

senaSews said...

Cute skirt. Love the color, it looks so fresh!

Karin (the Mrs.) said...

Lovely skirt. I see a lot of turquoise/blue these days on all the blogs. Very cute, I think the colour is perfect for spring!