Finished at last!

So here it is at last – my pencil skirt – subject of many hours of blood, sweat, tears and blogging.

The pattern is Burda 109 from November 2011, modified for a simpler waist band and no front pleats.  Previous posts detail the problems I had fitting and I think it worked out well in the end.

The fabric came from Borovick fabrics in Berwick Street and is a lusciously soft cashmere mix herring bone tweed.  I added a lining (nothing special just from John Lewis) and reinforced the front vents. 

If I am being totally honest with myself I am not completely happy with the finish on the inside (no I’m not going to show you!). I got a bit bored with it towards the end and didn’t really finish the seams as well as I could have.

I think this will be a useful skirt for work next winter and now I know how to fit the skirt I may make others using the same pattern


Pencil skirt – fourth post

Remember the pencil skirt I blogged about here, here and here?

Well I had managed to get a reasonable fit around the sides and back of the skirt but had an unsightly pouch of fabric hanging around my tummy.  This seemed to be caused by a couple of pleats which Sheree, kindly, suggested I change into darts.

I tried this and it was reasonably succesful but didn’t entirely fix the problem.  The top of the skirt was much smoother than it was but I was still getting a bit of excess fabric across my belly.

So, I took out the zip, removed the waistband and unpicked the seams (again!) and this time removed the darts/pleats and smoothed the excess fabric into the side centre seams.

 There is still a little bagginess but I am reasonably happy with the result.  It’s not perfect but if I had tried the skirt on in a shop I would probably have bought it.

I now just need to sort out the lining and I’ll be finished.  Does anyone have any tips about how to reinforce the front vents?  I have a feeling I will be opening them up every time I wear the skirt if I’m not careful.

Pencil Skirt (again)

Getting this skirt to fit properly is turing into a bit of an epic, however, I am determined to get it right; the material is a dream to sew with and will be lovely to wear when I finish it.

So just to remind you – this is a Burda pattern (109 11/2011) for which I made a toile which I thought fitted quite well.  When I came to make it up in the wool however it turned out too big by several centimetres.  I have taken about 3 cm out of each side seam and also adjusted the top of the back seams so remove the bit of pooling I had above my bottom.  This is how it looks now:


Much better, I possible need to take a smidgeon off the lower part of the side seams (I made the adjustments to the hip area but not lower down) but on the whole an improvement.  The real problem however is the front:

When I made the toile I pulled up quite a bit of fabric under the waistband but you can see there is still far too much fabric.  If I do this again I am going to end up with a skirt that’s shorter in the front than the back and sides.  I think the real problem is that the pattern has two small pleats on either side of the front panel which give it a bit of additional fullness. 

What I think I need to do is to adjust the front panel, removing the pleats so it lies flat across my tummy.   Do you think this will work?

I’m getting lots of experience of taking invisible zips out of side seams and putting them back in!



Pencil Skirt – Progress Report

So I’ve been working away on the toile for my pencil skirt.  The waistband on the first version proved to be too high for my body and gave all sorts of fitting problems. Once it was removed the rest of the skirt looked much better but had some excess fabric across my tummy.  I cut down the waistband to a straight 4cm all round my body and pulled up the front of the skirt by 1cm and now I am ready to cut the fashion fabric.  Wish me luck!

Pencil Skirt

I could do with a new skirt for work. Some weeks ago I bought a length of gorgeous wool/herringbone cashmere/wool mix tweed (from Borovick fabrics) and have decided to make it into a curvy, pencil skirt.  The pattern is 109 from Burda 11/2011.

This is the first Burda pattern I will have made and I’m hoping it will be precursor to a lot more!

I traced the pieces last night and can see why people find Burda frustrating. At one point I was tracing a piece I could have sworn belonged to my pattern only to find I had just drawn a sleeve!

The waistband has just one piece across the front and the same on the back.  As my fabric has stripes I have decided to cut these pieces up the middle and lay them on the bias so I get a chevron effect across the waist.

I have some very dull black lining fabric but I’m going fabric shopping this weekend (whoop!) so may try to find something prettier.  I’d like to use a different fabric on the inside of the waistband as I’d prefer not to have the wool next to my skin.

Do you think this will work?