Saturday, August 7, 2010

Burda 01-2010-104: The summer of skirts

This skirt pattern has been making its way across the sewing blogosphere with some pretty fantastic results. Amanda, Kristine, Eugenia and Ann have all made some really lovely and downright covet-worthy versions of this skirt. Some even more than one *cough*Eugenia*cough*. ;)

This is actually the pattern that finally convinced me to sign up for a Burda subscription. I own a RTW skirt that is absolutely identical to this pattern (the tan skirt below). I love it, but it's now a touch too big and just try finding something like this in store right now. Yeah, not happening. By owning the pattern, I could just make my own version whenever the spirit moved me. Woot! Of course, that still meant that I had to track down the February issue as my subscription wouldn't include it. Thanks to ebay, I found it for the fairly reasonable price of $15. Yay! [Since then, Burda's site underwent a pretty huge transformation, including a lot of magazine patterns now available for purchase as single downloads. If you missed this issue and want your own version of this skirt, check it out here.]



I traced off this pattern a good month ago and then never had time to actually cut it out and sew it up. As this was my first time sewing a fitted Burda garment and not knowing exactly how their sizing would work for me, I decided to make a wearable muslin before cutting into the really good stuff. I purchased this stretch cotton sateen panel print from Fashion Fabrics Club with the idea that it would make a cute tropical-inspired skirt for our Hawaii vacation this fall.

After seeing the fabric all laid out, I found that the large blue/navy leaves would work best for the skirt and I planned to keep the wave border in my stash to whip up a few O+S lazy days skirts for friends later down the road.

All of the pieces were cut single layer so I could ensure the print was placed exactly where I wanted it to be. The downside of this was I had no idea just how off grain this fabric was until I went to fold up the wave border sections. I should have taken a picture, but no joke, it was off by at least 3/4". UGH. Needless to say, the cute little waves hit the circular file because there was no way they could be salvaged. I went ahead with my skirt though to see if I could make it work. And indeed, I think it turned out quite well.

I pretty much sewed this straight from the pattern. The only small change I made was taking off 1" total from the side seams. After getting most of it sewn up, I realized that this skirt actually looked like something I could wear to the office as it was more Tommy Bahama than Hilo Hattie. I was glad that I had cut the longer length (version A) initially, as this gave me more wiggle room to give it an office-appropriate hem. I also took pains with this version to finish all of the raw edges with bias tape.

Even though the print is off-grain, I was still pretty thrilled with the final skirt. I wore it to the office this week and got tons of compliments. Even better, it was comfortable and I felt really good wearing it. That's a total win in my book.

All of this meant that the pattern was approved and it was time to cut into the good stuff. And here is where I need to make a confession. I've always loved the madras print skirts that J crew releases most years during the spring and summer, but my child-bearing hips and um, "muscular" thighs means that I never buy them. They're just too short, too tight and generally a hot mess on my body. So, when I saw Ann's madras print mini, I about died. I mean, this was totally my chance to own a madras print skirt that actually fit *me*. So, I did what any good blog-reading seamstress would do. I left a nice comment on her post and promptly ran off to her fabric site and scooped up my own bit of madras fabric with full intentions to completely copy her skirt. :D And I did just that. Sure the colorway may be different, but basically here is my homage to Ann and her madras skirt.

She was not lying when she said that this fabric washes up beautifully. It's super soft and light and absolutely perfect for summer. I didn't want to lose the drape of this fabric, so I just pinked the side and back seams (would have used a serger to finish them off, but um, don't have one!) and used bias tape to finish the pockets and inner waistband. Paired with my J crew flip flops and a coordinating tank, I feel super preppy and summery.

After sewing with the Big 4 patterns, it's really nice to be able to use a size chart to determine what size to sew and have it turn out well without any major adjustments. So far, Burda, even with their sparse instructions and lack of diagrams, is quickly moving to the top of my favorites list. I really can't wait to make more garments from the magazine. It's also nice to have another TNT skirt pattern in my arsenal (aside from McCalls 3830). Like Eugenia, I don't know that I'm ready to quit this pattern quite yet. There may very well be another version (or two) that I make before we say goodbye to summer.

16 comments:

Shannon said...

All those skirts are perfect for summer (but, I have to admit that the madras one is a favourite)!

Gail said...

This is such a great pattern. High on my summer sewing list (whhich in the land of OZ is soon to begin).

Karin van D. said...

Very cute skirt. I love the fabric and it looks so great on you. Nice!

KID, MD said...

Adorable!!! Next summer I'll be making a wardrobe full of these too, I think. Such a fun pattern. And welcome to the world of Burda!! You'll never look back...

alethia said...

Lovely skirts. I love the summer months without the excessive heat, because I get to wear my favorite garments: SKIRTSSSSSSS

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Great summer skirts! And you look great in them!

Eugenia said...

Hi Amber - I'm so glad that my fixation on this pattern played a part in inspiring you to make your versions because they are GORGEOUS. I don't know which one I prefer, at first I decided it was that fabulous tropical print then I decided that the madras was the coolest. Now it's a tie - I want them both.
I have to say that the three (yes, cough, I admit it, it was three!) skirts that I made have played a major part in my summer dressing. I am even considering making a winter version (or two) but don't tell anyone that :).
It's great that you have plunged into the Burda pool - it took me a while but I'm glad I did. Looking forward to seeing more of your Burda creations.

The Lazy Housewife said...

I love madras! That skirt looks so summer! :)

Amanda S. said...

Great looking skirts! They're very fun and summery. I LOVE Burda too although I think my favorite will always be Vogue.

tam pham said...

omg. how great are these?!? summer staples. good for you!

Winnie said...

You're so talented, Amber!

Kristine said...

Nice work, I love them both! I think that pattern is especially great for big prints, but the shape is so perfect, why not use it all the time?! Very, very cute...

Insomniac said...

I LOVE the blue skirt. This might be the catalyst that gets me a sewing machine.

Feminist Gold Digger said...

I love love the tropical-inspired print. Love it.

wan said...

i love those skirts so much. very flattering!

Tasia said...

Cute summer skirts! Love both versions, the madras plaid one is so preppy and of course I love the big print one.
I have the same problem, store-bought miniskirts don't work so well over my hips and thighs.. and if they do, the waist is way too big. So much better to make them yourself! Nice work :)