Pattern Review: BSDL-D-01 A-Plus-A-Line

This is another project made for my sister.  She found the fabric while we were at skating regionals, and decided she wanted some sort of skirt “with pleats.”  After looking through my virtual pattern catalog, she decided on the A-Plus A Line which is free as a downloadable pattern from Burda Style.

Line drawing of the skirt.

As has been noted on Pattern Review and other blogs, this pattern takes a LOT of paper (51 pages!) to print because it is not drafted for cutting on the fold.  This also presents problems because the actual pattern is not exactly symmetric.  And there were even issues matching up the printed sheets to put the pattern together.  Luckily I forced my sister to put this together for me had help putting this together and tracing the pattern, which did save me a few hours.  Hmmmm.  I think I prefer paying $2 and getting a tissue sheet rather than getting a free download, but I guess you get what you pay for?

In any case here is my version of the skirt:

The front.
Very good invisible zipper.  Very bad plaid matching.
The back!

I did not use the instructions much in putting this together (I found them difficult to read), but I thought it was pretty simple.  I was also pleased with my invisible zipper insertion, and my tidy hems.  The only thing I didn’t like was that I was so focused on matching the plaid vertically at the center front and back that I totally forgot about matching it at the side seams.  Duh!  By that point I had installed the invisible zipper twice though, so I wasn’t in the mood to re-cut fabric, although I still had some left over.  Oh well.  My sister seemed very happy with her skirt because of the fit, so I guess I won’t let it bug me too much.  In any case, here is my official pattern review:

Pattern Description: Lined skirt with side zipper and pleating.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 36-44.

Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  Yes, mostly.  I made the skirt a bit shorter than the one in the photo to make the length more flattering for my sister who is more of a petite height.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  No!  Or, well, they weren’t easy to read.  My PDF instructions have some weird symbols and text that makes it difficult to read.  After getting the general idea of what needed to be done I disregarded the instructions completely because it was easier and faster without them.  I would not recommend this pattern to a fist time sewer simply because the instructions are not really useable although the skirt itself is easy to construct.  (Also, as a side note, I actually read and use the Burda Style magazine instructions with only minor complaint.  So if I am whining about these instructions you know they are bad.)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  Well, I did like the result.  The skirt is flattering in shape and style for my sister, and she liked the finished skirt.  I did not like the instructions (see above).  I also did not like printing out 51 pages to piece the pattern together.  There were some issues in getting the printed pages to line up as well.  This caused the pattern to be not symmetric, and so I chose to use only half and cut on the fold so that it would be symmetric.  Of course, I was so focused on this that I only worried about matching plaids at the center front and back, and not at the side seams.  Of course, I can’t blame the pattern for this, but it is my only real complaint with the end result of my skirt.

Fabric used: Plaid acrylic from Hancock.  It was chosen by my sister because she liked the colors.  This fabric did press well, but seemed to dull my machine needle quite quickly.  I used a lightweight polyester fabric for the lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  I changed the pattern to be on the fold for all pieces.  I also made the skirt a bit shorter for a more flattering length.  I also made some sizing changes for fit.

Would you sew it again?  Would you recommend it to others?  I would probably make this again if my sister wanted another one, since I already have the pattern adjusted.  It is very fast to sew up even without use of the instructions, so it does make a fun instant gratification type project.  I would consider making one for me, but I do not often wear skirts so it is not a high priority.  I would recommend it to others if they are willing to print the pattern and put it together.  I would also only recommend it to someone who had some sewing experience, as the instructions are quite difficult to read.

Conclusion:  The results of this pattern can be quite good, but I think that this pattern could be a lot better.  Drafting pattern pieces on the fold would save a lot of paper and ink.  The instructions are not really helpful.  The pattern itself did not seem to piece together quite right.  Somehow though, at the end, I ended up with a skirt that my sister really likes.  My only dislike with the end result was my own foolishness in not thinking enough about plaid matching, but this has little to do with the pattern itself.  I think this pattern is good for someone with enough experience to overcome the flaws of the pattern, but it would not be a good first-time experience for a brand new sewer.

So yeah.  One more project down.  Now I just have to finish that coat and then things should be good to go… all the way to Europe.

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