Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Reviewed: Burda 02-2007-113 Skirt with round-top godets

This took me far longer than it should have because my Mystery Illness intervened and it therefore hung about with only the finishing touches left to do. Still, even though it's now (just barely) April it was mostly finished in March and I am therefore chalking it up as my feeble self-directed Burda challenge garment of the month. (All I'm doing really for this Burda challenge is trying to make 12 Burda patterns up this year, one per month.)

As we're sneaking towards spring (I hope, since I am so very over winter already! And we haven't even had it all that bad here in Ireland this year, at least compared to other countries, I'm just ready to be done with it) I decided I would make my first sort of transition item for my wardrobe. It's the sort of skirt that I can totally wear now with tights and shoes but that I hope I can wear right through summer with bare legs and sandals. It's from an older issue of Burda -- 02/2007 -- and it caught my eye originally mainly because the sample happened made up in a very similar fabric to the one I wanted to use, teeny tiny polka dots and all. It's not the most rational reason to choose a pattern, but there you have it.

Burda 02-2007-113 "Skirt with round-topped godets"
Pattern Description: From the magazine:"... inserted godets add swirl to the airy knee length skirt."

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 38-46. Based on my measurements I made a 42 and graded out to about halfway between a 42 and a 44 at the waist. I found the fit true to size.

Left: Skirt on Flossie; Right: My legs are not actually half-invisble or quite that white, I had to lighten the shot because of the sunshine

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, just like it, especially since I used a very similar fabric to the sample in the magazine.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were fine, if terse -- pretty normal for Burda. I've made several similar skirts before and didn't need more, instruction-wise, than the pattern provided.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the twirly fullness of the skirt and the seaming interest provided by the large godets with the arched tops. Apart from the godets themselves, it was a very straightforward pattern to make up. Unfortunately my fabric really wasn't ideal for sewing the curves of the godets. There was a fair amount of unpicking involved in a few places to get the seams to lie flat and without puckering, and this involved a certain amount of patience as well. Better behaved fabrics would probably be less problematic! The actual pattern pieces fit together perfectly, as I have come to expect from Burda, so the problem was entirely down to fabric choice. The lining is a simple bias cut a-line skirt. I worried this would not be full enough with the very twirly main layer, but it's fine.

Not sure why I didn't either (a) straighten out the skirt in the shot on the left or (b) press the lining as I was showing it off on the right. Not that there is anything to show off with a blue polycotton lining..
Fabric Used: Mystery blue synthetic with white pin dots. It looks like a woven and it has absolutely zero stretch, but it's actually a knit. I have loads of it because it came cheap in a big piece, and apart from not wanting to ease around curves the main problem with it is that it does NOT want to take a crease at all, which made the hem and darts annoying. It is 155cm wide and I used 1.5m. The lining is a plain blue 110cm wide polycotton and I used 1.6m.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Other than grading the waist up a half size, my only change was to do a hook and bar fastening at the waist rather than a button because the fabric I used did NOT want to take a buttonhole.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I am unlikely to make another skirt just the same while this one is in my wardrobe, but there's certainly nothing about the pattern that would stop me from making another. I would recommend it to others, but with the caveat that beginners or near-beginners might find those curves at the top of the godets frustrating. They weren't terrible -- in fact they are quite straightforward if you are used to sewing curves because the pattern pieces are so well-drafted and fit together sweetly -- but they definitely need to look right for the skirt to be a success.

Conclusion: I'm very happy with this twirly skirt! 

Additional wibblings

Fabric: The outer fabric was yet another buy from the lady who was liquidating her late mother's stash on eBay in 2012. It's not actually the nicest of fabric because it's awfully synthetic. Luckily, because it's at best semi-opaque and quite thin, it's the sort of thing you'd want to line anyway. I am not overly fussy about linings and went for an inexpensive polycotton on this occasion. Despite being a bit plasticky and not wanting to sew nicely through the curves, the fabric was mostly fine to handle. I did use my walking foot on a lot of the bias curves and that seemed to help. I am not sure I did the best job handling the directionality of the pindots. I like how it turned out, but I sort of feel like I didn't spend enough time thinking about what would happen when I cut the godets in various directions on the bias. It's kind of an optical illusion skirt, however, and if you stare at it for any length of time you just go cross-eyed anyway, which hides many flaws. Unexpected bonus! :D

Cost: I got 6m of the pindot fabric (I fear I will be using it up for YEARS) for £3/m including postage and packing. I used 1.5m, so about £4.50 for the polka dots. The lining fabric was Tissu's basic quality polycotton and cost £2.25/m, for a total of around £3.50. So, plus overheads and a hook and bar fastening, my total costs were approximately £9 for this skirt.

Sewing: The most time consuming parts of this skirt were sewing the godets and the hem. I am really pleased with how the godets came out, and I don't think you can tell at all that I had to unpick and sew again a few times to take out little puckers. The fabric was very forgiving of unpicking and frankly, it was worth the effort to get those seams nice and flat and smooth. There are a couple of places where I didn't get the fabric to ease in absolutely perfectly, but it's the sort of flaw that is really only noticeable if you absolutely stare at the skirt forever, and as previously mentioned, then you'll go cross eyed from the polka dots anyway!

The hem was a whole different trauma. The fabric did NOT want to take a crease at all. I ended up sewing a line of thread right around the hem to get a fold line and then using about 3 million pins, top stitching it and then trying to press it really hard without melting the plasticky fabric. Ugh. I think it turned out OK but it took what felt like hours.

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