Burda Plus Spring/Summer 2013 – Skirt 407 – FO 13/2013

Thank you all for you lovely comments on my last post.  Apologies for not responding to each one but it’s been a very busy few days.  I know I’m a terrible tease…so I today I managed to get photos of the new skirt to share with you.


Please excuse those front creases…my hands are pushing the fabric! Doh!

I LOVE this skirt.

It’s so comfortable.  I doubled the width of the waistband and it sits so much better on me.  Waistbands are the bane of my life.  I usually find them hideously fidgety and uncomfortable, but this one is a joy!

Also the stretch denim contributes to the comfort and wearability of the skirt. This is from the Cloth House on Berwick Street in London.  I scored it on my last visit and at £12 a metre I really couldn’t leave it behind.  It’s wonderful. It’s quite a heavy weight but has great stretch and recovery, meaning I can bend and stretch without restriction.  As any mum knows this is a critical factor of any garment!

The back has a walking vent which means that even though the skirt is slightly pegged, you can still chase around should you need to!


This is a better representation of the colour.

The pockets were cut on the cross grain.  Mainly because I didn’t have enough fabric left to cut them lengthwise.  But lets call them a design feature, shall we?

skirt1Even with the topstitching this is a really, really quick make.

I know from the comments that some of you have reservations about sewing with denim, but I have to tell you that I find it an absolute joy to work with.  It’s a very well mannered fabric.  It behaves on the machine, presses beautifully, and holds a very crisp topstitch. Even with the stretch this was a pleasure to sew. I heartily recommend it.

My only caveat would be to use a jeans machine needle.

jeans needle

It’s a thicker needle with a sharper point designed specifically to punch cleanly through all the layers of fabric.  It makes life so much easier and they are readily available…not remotely exotic.

I also think it needs to be said that there is no mystery or witchcraft around topstitching.  I lengthen my stitch to at least 4.0 and work out what I’m going to use as my guide for the line of stitching.  Sometimes its the edge of the foot, sometimes I use a specialist foot such as an edge-stitching or 1/4 inch foot.  It all depends on what effect I’m looking for.  I always make a note of what I’m doing because I can never remember which stitch length or guide I’ve used, and the note ensures all seams get the same treatment.

Then I simply take it slowly.  I’m very lucky as my machine has a slider on it which slows down the speed of the machine no matter how heavy footed you are.  But I was doing some topstitching for a friend the other day and her machine doesn’t have this function so I just kept a light touch on the pedal and got a great result.

The moral of this is that if I can do it, so can you.

But back to the skirt.  I have just a couple of reservations…

  1. should I raise the hem a bit?  I don’t want to be flashing my underwears* to the world, nor am I thinking as short as the Washi dress of doom, but I am wondering if it wouldn’t look a bit better a hem width shorter than it is.
  2. Should I peg the side seams a little more?  It’s a very comfy fit around the waist, but I’m suspecting it could stand just a little more tapering to the knee. I’m a classic apple shape, so I’m thicker around the waist with slender legs…perhaps a little more tapering would offset that imbalance somewhat.

I’d be interested to hear what you think…you guys always give the best advice. And, as I’ve ordered a sample of some red stretch denim from Ditto fabrics…

image from dittofabrics.co.uk

image from dittofabrics.co.uk

…I could always whip up another version with the alterations and compare and contrast. 😉 As this only takes a metre of fabric, it’s a pretty inexpensive experiment.

I think with a little tweaking this could become my TNT skirt pattern.  Its quick and easy to make, and economical with fabric. I could easily draft some diagonal pockets for the front.  Or a fly front to give it a more classic jeans skirt styling. And, of course, there are the front welt pockets already on the pattern.  Endless opportunities to experiment…all resulting in a very useful wardrobe staple that will get lots and lots of wear.

* underwears = under garments.  This word was coined by Button and has stuck.  Generally used in the phrase “Mummy, I can see your underwears” when I’m getting dressed in the morning and accompanied by much chortling .  I’m running with the explanation that it’s the fact that I’m only in my underwears that causes the chortling, not how I look in them! 😉  You never know with a 5 year old!

26 Responses to Burda Plus Spring/Summer 2013 – Skirt 407 – FO 13/2013

  1. Jane G says:

    What a lovely skirt, it really helps when they are so comfortable to wear

  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous but you have such fab legs I think it could take those couple of small alterations without any fear of showing us your “underwears”!! Go on, make another one and let’s compare 🙂

  3. Shar says:

    This came out great! You have perfect legs so I say shorten it a bit. Thanks for the denim sewing tips. I have some dark denim that I really should use. Too cute about the underwears!

  4. Susan says:

    I love your skirt! I have denim already prewashed for another Hummingbird skirt. So many denim ones came up during the SAL and it made me realize how much I’m missing that staple in my closet! I’d say yes to the shortening — I think it’d look even better an inch or two shorter. Also – those shoes are *adorable*!!

    • Thank you. I’ve put (quite) a bit of weight on so my other denim skirt doesn’t fit at the moment (although hopefully not for long) and I’ve really missed a denim skirt in my wardrobe. They are such a work horse! And thanks for the feedback. It’s looking like I’m going to be snipping and shortening! 😉

  5. Great skirt! I would say yes to both of your alteration suggestions. I am also apple shaped and pegging skirts at least gives me the illusion of a waist 😉
    I look forward to seeing the comparison (if you decide to make it)

  6. Donna says:

    Looks great! I agree, try the variations with the next version.

  7. I need to know where you got your great sandals 😉 they are great! And yes we want to see your underwears too so you can totally shorten the skirt if you wish. I don’t know about pegging…I am pear shaped! perhaps you could try basting it and taking a couple of pictures before taking it all apart.

    • The sandals are from a UK store called Matalan, which is very cheap and cheerful. I often buy kids stuff there and stumbled across these last summer and couldn’t resist.
      I think if you have hips (which I don’t…well, obviously I do have hips or my legs would fall off…but you know what I mean 😉 ) then pegging would exaggerate the curve, which is great for us apple shaped girls as it deceives the eye.
      I’m talking myself into this as I type…:-D

  8. Anne-Marie says:

    Great skirt! I agree with all other comments – your legs deserve to be shown off; you should shorten the skirt a bit. I also encourage you to make the version with the welt pockets next time; I did and love it! It’s a very good, easy pattern.

    • Thank you. And for the feedback.
      It is a great pattern. I can imagine it in lots of different fabrics for different occasions. It’s a very long time since I last made a welt pocket. Maybe it’s time to have another go!

  9. dokucug says:

    Love this! Especially your beautiful topstitching! I also agree you could go a little shorter next time. The red denim looks so cool – I hope you make that one too!

    • Thank you. I have high hopes for the red denim. If it’s pretty I’ll be ordering some this week. I only have one week left before school holidays kick in…..

  10. Cool skirt! You def. have the pins to shorten this some and the vertical room to avoid flashing your underwears (love that, Button) too. I think a smidge more pegged would be just the ticket too as it would change the style lines enough to make a less informal look.

    Love the peasant top too BTW 🙂

    • I stuck some pins in it the other night to check it out. I’m planning at least an inch off the side seams at the hem tapering out at the hip, possibly a smidge more. And definitely 2″ off the hem. All I need is some time in the sewing loft… 😉
      The top is from Marks and Spencer, this season.

  11. Great skirt, every wardrobe should have one! Lovely on you. Great job with the stitching, I’m always a bit apprehensive about doing it.

  12. Melizza says:

    What a great staple. The attention to detail you gave this garment is amazing. I wish I was patient enough to do the same.