My first make of 2018! Yay! This modified Burda Style cosy Winter skirt was one that I actually cut out before Christmas, so it was first on my list for the new year. When I first started to get enamoured with Burda patterns (see here and here for my other Burda makes) I bought a box of magazines from eBay on a whim and it contained a random selection of magazines dating back to 2010. This skirt is actually in the ‘2015 Spring/Summer Easy Style’ issue and even though it was shown made in a firm Ponte knit or a finer jersey, I could see the potential for other fabrics and a little bit of modification. You know me….I just can’t make a pattern up as it is. I have to put my own spin on it.
THE FABRIC OF WINTERY GOODNESS
So the fabric that jumped out at me as perfect for my warm Winter skirt is a pure wool herringbone weave in an orangey coral shade. I bought the fabric from Barrys Fabrics in Birmingham, in late September 2016, during a sewing meet up with some fab Instagram sewists. It had lain in my stash ever since, yet I love sewing with pure wool, so it was high time that I made it up. Wool just stitches and presses like a dream and this tweed was no exception. My sewing machine loves it too. No skipped stitches or snags…just what I needed for a January make when my energy levels are the low…no hassle.
When I first saw the Burda pattern, I had visions of a lovely chunky exposed brass zip to add some visual interest along the sloped yoke seam that would look great with the hefty nature of the tweed. A search on eBay ensued and I found a perfect zip…the fact that it was a 22” open end one didn’t phase me. Nothing that some whip stitches and some pliers to remove zipper teeth wouldn’t fix!
INSERTING THE ZIP
Shall we just talk about how I inserted the zip though? As you can see from the line drawing of the skirt, there’s an angled yoke seam. I wanted to use that for my zip but I also wanted to show some of the zipper tape and of course the lovely brass teeth. I basted a line of stitching 0.5 cm (a bit less than ¼”) back from the seam line on both pieces. I then basted along these lines onto my zipper tape on both sides of the zip. Next, I machine stitched along the basting lines using a zipper foot. A good press with a cloth and it looks nice and straight and neat. It was plain sailing to just attach the lower piece of the skirt afterwards.
HAND TOPSTITCHING? DON’T MIND IF I DO!
I really wanted to put a little hand sewn hint of couture into my skirt. I was inspired by images on Pinterest as I often am…actually…please tell me I’m not the only one…do you get sucked into Pinterest rabbit holes? I’ve lost whole swathes of time looking through Pinterest. And maybe we need to gloss over the times I get lost for hours looking at funny cat memes! As I was saying, that was where I got some inspiration, but I also saw a skirt with hand stitching detail in a more recent Burda magazine. So, of course, I wanted to try it for myself.
I wanted to tone my hand stitching with the darker zipper tape colour but I didn’t have quite the exact match of thread. Instead, I found two (standard Guttermann) threads of similar tones…one darker, one lighter and I ran them together. I also doubled the threads on my needle, so my stitches are actually several threads thick so that they really show up. To get an even line to follow with my stitches I used a red Frixion pen and ruled a line on my fabric. The actual spacing of my stitches was done by eye. I found the process of sitting and stitching by hand to be very relaxing and I love the finished result. After a bit of discussion on the RTW Fast 2018 FB group about the stitching, I decided against topstitching along the hem as well as it would have looked a bit much. Just a simple blind-stitched hem was enough. I think less is more sometimes…
I fully lined my skirt with a flame-coloured anti-static polyester lining from my stash and finished the waistband with a simple folded over, interfaced length of fabric. I left an asymmetric overlap and added a button.
**Edited to add…As I made up a woven and not a stretch I did the following adjustments: I sized up, curved the seams in a bit at the waist and instead of the suggested waist elastic I added two waist darts at the back plus one on the left front and eased into the waistband.
This week I’ve also got a bonus make for you to see. It’s another Burda cowl neck sweater like the olive one that I linked to at the top of this post. The fabric is a gorgeous terracotta pointelle sweater knit that I bought from Guthrie Ghani and doesn’t it go well with my skirt? It feels very snuggly to wear.
Oh, by the way, I actually fitted my skirt on for size on the 2nd January…full of Christmas bloat, and you know what? It’s a bit too big in the waist now. In these photos, I have it safety pinned at the back. See next photo…. and now I also think I might shave a smidge of the length…perhaps just a half inch. Oh well…hehe Regardless of the little extra fit tweaks that I need to do, this Burda skirt was a lovely project to sew. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and highly recommend working with wool if you’ve never tried it.
Well, it’s been so good to be back on my blog and I hope to get a few of my plans for future makes more organised soon too. I’m actually thinking of going through my fairly modest stash at the weekend to familiarise myself with what I have, so that should help. It’s the right time of year to take stock eh?
Until next time!
PS.. The lovely Hila of Saturday Night Stitch is hosting a year-long challenge for all sewists to do at their own pace and join in as and when they want. It’s called Burda Challenge 2018 and full details are here
I think you can safely say that my post qualifies! And I’m definitely in on this challenge. My goal is to sew between 5 and 10 Burda items in 2018 and to get quicker at tracing them Wish me luck. Thanks, Hila!
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