Pattern Review: BWOF-02-2005-128

You guys – I sewed!  A skirt!  That was part of my year-long sewing challenge!  For those of you keeping track my goal was to make one item a month (at least), so right now I am half a month behind (since I have one “item” – actually a top/bottom combo outfit – half done).  But I hopefully will finish that item soon, and can finish a third item this month, to keep me on track.  Maybe I can even (gasp) get ahead!  Ok, ok, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Anyway, back to my skirt.  So, after nationals and sewing exhaustion, I decided I wanted to make an easy project to get back in the swing of things, and decided on this Burda pattern:

BWOF-02-2005-128

I figured this skirt would be easy enough to sew, sort of instant gratification, but still fairly wearable as summer winds down and we head into fall.  And, I was mostly right.  It was easy to sew, though it took a while, just because sewing all of the different bands of fabric together (and hemming!) took a while to sew.  Not a super long time, but it is a bit more effort than just two seams and a zipper.  The fabric was a blue linen from my stash that I had bought for pants, but realized it was 45 inches and not 55 inches when my pants pattern didn’t fit.  The contrast fabric was a Joann’s red tag sale fabric I have had stashed since last summer – there was not enough to make something with it, but it was too pretty to leave at the store.  Stash busting and a Sewing Challenge item?  Win!

Oh – I also finally got to use my new rotary cutter seam allowance guide arm – it rocks!  So much faster than adding seam allowances to the actual patterns.  It seemed I got really accurate cutting from it too.  So, I approve.  (NOTE: Link is NOT exactly like the one I bought – can’t seem to find that on the internet anymore, but the link shows something similar).  Also, I followed the advice of the Slapdash Sewist and added a ribbon waist stay – which seems to work really well.  I haven’t made a lot of skirts, but this is definitely a feature I will include in my future creations.  I didn’t take a picture of the inside, but basically I used my serger to finish off the seam allowances because the linen fabric liked to fray.  I did the lazyman’s hem – I serged around the bottom, flipped it up on the inside and stitched it down.  It looks neat and tidy though, so I am ok with that.  My partial lining on the inside is not exactly perfect – I got a little carried away with the serger, and it ended up a little too small, so I did something of a patch job, but, well, I am the only one who is going to see it so I can live with that.

Ok, enough talk, here is a peak at my skirt:

My skirt!  A mix of blue linen and a blue/silver metallic print linen.
The back is pretty much the same as the front.
My invisible zipper – check out my seam matching!

Here is my official pattern review:

Pattern Description:  Medium length half-circle skirt with contrast bands at the waist and hem, side invisible zip, and partial lining.

Pattern Sizing:  Burda sizes 34-44.  I used a size 42 at the waist grading out to a 44 at the hip, and the sizing seemed pretty accurate.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  I read through them and they seemed to be ok.  I didn’t exactly follow their order of construction – I sewed the top and bottom bands to the main part of the skirt, then sewed the entire right side seam.  I then inserted the invisible zip, finished the left side seam, added the partial lining, and finally hemed the skirt.  Burda has you add the bottom contrast band at the end of construction, but I thought I would get better seam matching if I sewed all the bands together first then did the rest of the construction.  I don’t know that it would much matter the order of construction, but my method worked well for me (I was quite pleased with the matching of the bands at the seams).  The instructions might be a bit confusing where it talks about adding the lining – I sewed the lining to the top of the skirt, then understitched (adding a ribbon waist stay), then flipped the partial lining to the inside and ditch-stitching at the seam to keep the lining in place.  I think that is what Burda wanted, but I was too tired when I got there to figure it out completely and went my own way.

Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  Actually, yes!  It looks very much like the photo – I was quite pleased with the results.

What did you particularly like/dislike about this pattern?  Likes:  I like that it is easy to put together, I like the shape of the skirt, I like the simple detail of the contrast bands, and I like that the sizing is really accurate.  Oh, and only 3 pieces to trace – you can’t beat that!  I like the length of this skirt, and the swooshyness is fun without being too voluminous.  It is very easy and comfortable to wear.  Dislikes:  I think this pattern sits a little lower on my hips than I am used to with the pants I usually wear (I think it is supposed to be there based on the model photo).  This is good in that I don’t need to deal with my swayback, but bad in that if I lose weight the skirt might be too big and slip down.  It isn’t a major problem, just something I need to get used to when wearing the skirt.

Fabric used:  Linen and metallic print linen for the contrast.  I also used a lightweight polyester lining for the partial lining on the inside, lightweight fusible interfacing, a 9″ invisible zipper, and grosgrain ribbon for a waist stay.

Pattern alterations or design changes you made: None!  I actually didn’t even have to make an alteration for fit (unusual for me).  The only change was adding a ribbon waist stay.  Otherwise it is exactly as drafted and instructed by Burda.

Would you sew it again?  Would you recommend it to others?  I don’t know how soon I would sew it again, since it is fairly distinctive (because of the contrast bands), and since I don’t wear skirts often.  However, I do like the style of this skirt, so it is a possibility if the right fabrics come along.  If I did sew it again I might nip in the waist just a tiny bit so it would sit a little higher on my hips, but other than that I wouldn’t make any changes.  I would recommend this skirt to others – it is a quick sew with good results!  I think the finished skirt is very wearable with a lot of different tops as well, and it could be dressy or casual depending on the fabric choices, so I think it would be a good addition to any wardrobe.

Conclusion:  Great pattern!  Easy to sew, and the finished product looks good.  The pattern fit right out of the magazine, and I think it will see a lot of use in my wardrobe.

Huzzah!  I have a skirt and another sewing challenge item.  Woo.

Also – I have definitive proof that my sewing machines control the weather.  How, you ask?  No sooner do I finish a summer-y skirt than the morning weather starts to have that cool crispness that is completely indicative of fall.  *Sigh*  Yes, the day was still humid and miserably hot, but it won’t last much longer.  Which I am ok with because I love fall weather.  But I should really start sewing one season ahead instead of cramming in last-minute projects that end up waiting months to get worn.  Ah, well.  Something to consider for next year.

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