Blast from the past?

So here’s Burda 135-08-2010 finished. It comes from the ‘Take one, make four’ feature in August’s Burda. The four patterns are all short skirts, supposedly in the style of the four main characters from Sex and the City. This one is supposed to represent Carrie. Burda made their version up in bright pink duchesse stain and styled it with a stripy T-shirt and a sequinned waistcoat. I have to admit, mine reminds me of school uniform rather more than Sex and the City. But kind of in a good way.

The pleats at the front are a separate panel that’s overlaid onto the front skirt panel. Underneath it’s a very plain straight skirt, so no need to worry about high winds. There’s a zip in the left side seam so no centre back seam. Hmm, I probably should have pressed that hem a bit more. The instructions say not to press the hem or the pleats but I think they look better with a sharp edge.

The pattern is amazingly quick to make up. There’s no hemming because all the skirt panels are cut out on folded fabric with the fold where the hem would be. The extra fabric is folded inside to become the lining. There’s also no need to finish any seams because they are all completely enclosed. There’s a little bit of hand-sewing needed to finish the zip and that’s it. I made it in an afternoon.


There are a few things that Burda’s instructions missed out. The pleated panel is really heavy and the weight distorted the front yoke seam. I found that sewing stay tape along the seam sorted that out. I didn’t use interfacing because the instructions didn’t mention it but another time I would definitely interface the yoke. And I couldn’t follow Burda’s instructions for finishing the zip at all, so I did the method I always do for finishing zips which is pretty much the one in this great tutorial.

I’m pleased with the end result, and it was really nice to be able to make a garment up so fast. That’s it for instant gratification for a while though, because my next project is a dress made out of some very beautiful red wool I got in Scotland. There will definitely have to be a muslin and some careful fitting before I cut into that!

8 thoughts on “Blast from the past?

  1. I’m interested in clothes making, found you via a certain engineering school server. I have only sewn a few stuffed animals, so my tailoring knowledge is zilch, or approximately zilch, anyway.

    This skirt with pleats looks better than the skirts you recently made. If you look at the photo or the previous skirt, I see a large wrinkle traversing the front. The pleated skirt doesn’t have this. I assume it’s because the pleat line adapts to your body better than the flat front due to some topological issue.

    I have a similar but inverted dilemma – my waist isn’t terribly fat, but my hips are well-padded. For this reason, I cannot wear pleated-pants. However, flat front pants work very well (mostly). My wife opposes my use of close fitting pants because of the visibility of certain peculiarities of male anatomy, but all the same, I don’t like looking like MC Hammer in chinos.

    Are you aware of any resource(s) that discuss fitting pants for various anatomical quirks (hips, stomach, thighs, bottom)? I suppose the easy fix is to drop 30 pounds.
    On a related topic, I have little luck with suit backs as well. It seems like only the most random alignment of the stars will let me find jackets that fit well, yet don’t have shoulder/collar issues. I find one every two or three years, but I have never found a tailor who can fix a suit I like.

    So my question is basically: Can you do a blog entry about fitting patterns to body shapes without resorting to stereo-lithography?

  2. Wow! The skirt looks awesome. Thanks so much for this write-up. I don’t follow your blog but came across it because I’m about to make this skirt for a course I’m taking, and I was searching for reviews on

    I’ve been getting the Burda magazines for a couple of years but I actually don’t sew that much. I have no training and I only make the really easy stuff.

    So, I need to buy fabric for this skirt, and I really don’t know anything about choosing fabric. I know it needs to hold a crease – but my instructor said if I was going to choose wool I should choose something with at least a bit of synthetic in it. Do you know why that is? And also, I saw some really neat printed corduroy (100% cotton) which I would love to use. Do you think corduroy would work for this pattern?

    Thanks for any pointers you may have on the fabric choices!

    1. Hi

      No idea about wool with synthetic I’m afraid- I used 100% wool which was fine, but maybe adding some synthetic makes it hold its shape more? Pure wool is fantastic stuff to work with – you can really shape it with the iron.

      I think corduroy would be a bit heavy for this particular skirt pattern. My wool was a suiting weight and I found it got pretty hard to sew where the yoke meets the pleats because of the sheer number of layers of fabric. Maybe you could line it in a lighter fabric instead of using the fashion fabric as a lining though. One thing I’ve found is that the wool self lining’s a bit itchy so I’m going to try that if I make it again.

      Best of luck with your project!

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