No Jeans Allowed. Burda 2/2011 #120 Inverted Pleat Skirt (Again)

Baltimore is currently hosting the US Conference of Mayors. That means we have 100s of mayors from around the country in our city this weekend. I’m working several events. I had a series of cute dresses picked out (a new H & M opened downtown and I cleaned up on their opening day specials. I’m talking $10 and $15 lined dresses). But, learned that we had to wear sponsored t-shirts when working. Pooh. And, in the same email was told, ‘No dolling up your shirts‘. Apparently, the word had gotten out on me. Lest you think I’m paranoid, the author of the e-mail came to me and said, ‘That means you.’

Right. We’re also not allowed to wear jeans and khakis were suggested. So… I don’t own khakis. I own two solid colored skirts and they are knits. My black pants are wool and dressy. My summer pants are linen and blue— I don’t want to look like a smurf. So, I quickly (and QUICKLY) sewed up my second version of the inverted pleat skirt after work this week. Luckily, I had it cut out from the week before. The first version is here.

Now, it *is* denim. But, they said no jeans. I think that makes it safe, don’t you? This time, I added the welt pockets to the front and back in a fun seersucker.

I still piped the inside waistband facing and used pocketing for the front pockets. Because the deim is stretch, I also used interfacing along the zipper opening and twill tape along the waistband.

Oh, and of course, I added two inches in length. Still too short for the office (not that I’d wear denim there) but long enough to wear in public. BTW, I gave the first skirt to a girl at the office who is a good three to five inches shorter than me. There was quite a bit of ‘What were you thinking’ from the peanut gallery when I pulled the skirt out.

Now that I’m in version two, I actually don’t like this style for me. It’s too A-line. I think I’m not a fan of sharp A-lines.  I straightened out the side seam quite a bit and deepened the front pleat to accommodate for my full thighs. But, still — visually it widens me. Part of it is the stiffer fabric, much of it is personal preference. I’ve also figured out why I don’t love making skirts. The difference between my waist and thighs is so big (over 10 inches) , that I always have to take in and let out.

Meaning, my waist is small compared to my lower body (like a size 36 in Burda), but to grade to my lower thigh (size 42 in Burda), I have to increase the hip. Then, I find myself with way too much hip curve. So, I’m straightening that out and taking in the waist all the while hoping I made the thighs big enough so it won’t pull across the front. Not the hardest thing in the world to do, but a little more time consuming than just ‘whipping up a skirt’.

Hmm, and this could still be a smidge smaller in the waist. I can see that it’s dropping a touch in the back because it’s a little loose. I also overaccomodated a bit too much for my full seat and there’s some extra fabric back there. But, it’ll do for tonight and tomorrow. And, will be great for the summer!

** The top is Burda 2-2009-118


  1. You know, I think that skirt is adorable on you. It emphasizes your wee little waist and your legs look fab. Give it a chance!

    • Totally agree!

      You CAN shorten that shirt if you want to, I’m sure. I get into trouble for modifying my work-attributed apparel, too. They buy shirts for boy shapes and expect us girl shapes to look good? Puh-leeeze. I’ve done it so often, I think the Uppity Ups just stopped trying.

      I got “Does not follow directions” on my grade school report cards, too. Why break the cycle now? 🙂

      • It’s funny. The length of the shirt is what I don’t like. It’s way past my hips. That, I will definitely try to hem up 🙂

  2. I normally don’t comment, but now feel compelled. In pictures at least, that skirt looks fantastic on you. Seriously, in that pic where you’re looking down, your legs look pretty terrific.

    • I think it’s funny how you worked around the rules. No jeans, but nothing was said about no denim! This is something I would have done back in girls school high school days on our non-uniform days! I got sent home once because I was wearing gauchos. Gauchos! I was an out-law.

      • Heh. Yes. You’ll also note I didn’t bother asking if a denim skirt would be ok. It’s actually a fairly dark rinse and I’m doing the evening events. So, hopefully no one will notice or say anything 😀 And, I was sent home once in high school for a too short skirt. And multiple times for dark (unnatural looking) nail polish.

  3. Like everyone before me, I think this skirt looks GREAT on you. I’m not seeing “wide hips” (as if) but tiny waist and good proportions.

  4. I think you are looking at some different pics from us – you look fab in your skirt!!
    I wish I could find nice denim fabric like that – always seems to be to thick/stiff the stuff I come across to make a nice skirt in LOL!

  5. You are too harsh a judge on yourself! Perhaps it is just that you are not used to seeing yourself in this type of skirt. You look trim and professional, and entirely appropriate to the task. Also, to echo other comments, you have a TINY WAIST!!!!!! People used to strap on baskets under their skirts to achieve the illusion of a tiny waist, for gosh sakes. “Panniers” of the late 1700s were actually baskets, accessible through slots in the skirt side seams. Giant shoulder pads of the 1980s attempted the same illusion. Go forth and conquer, and next time try a length that doesn’t stop at the widest part of your thigh — try something closer to your knees.

  6. I was actually thinking how flattering this looked on you. All I see is a super tiny waist and pretty long legs. The stiffness of the fabric looks purposeful and disguises any fullness through your bottom/thighs.

    How much do I hate a t-shirt?! They are so unattractive and I wonder how it came to be that they are the article of clothing everyone has printed for events. Must be the cheapness factor. Are you allowed to roll the sleeves? Knot the waist? Your boss seems very strict not to let you make any changes. I’m so glad you went with a denim skirt! It’s so very ornery and cheeky – sounds just like something I’d do!

    • I detest tee shirts. They are so sloppy! These are better because they ordered them in a woman’s cut. But, I’ve heard people complain that they are too tight. Again, because we’re used to oversized shirts. I do like the color a lot though 🙂

      • Some brands of “girly” shirts are intolerably small.

        This causes tons of drama when I order shirts for events, even if I link to the size chart and tell people: THIS RUNS VERY SMALL! there are people who don’t read and order the size they think should fit not the size that will fit.

        • Agreed! I ordered a medium. But, have friends who insist they are a small. Ok. I don’t want to suck in my gut all night.

  7. I’m sorry, but I think this skirt is adorable on you. And I like the length, as Burda likes to say “it makes your legs look endlessly long!” 🙂

    Loved your story about the email, that cracked me up. 😛

    • It was pretty funny when I read it. I knew she had to be talking about me, LOL. I think they just want us to look standard and feel that a corporate sponsor donated the shirts and we shouldn’t mess with them. But, I would have!

  8. That skirt is cute on you! It emphasizes your small waist not your hips.

  9. I am gonna side with everyone else on this. The skirt is ADORABLE on you. Okay, so maybe you don’t like that adjective, but the skirt really does look great on you.

  10. Busted, huh? Too bad; your t-shirt modification made the top a lot better (and more noticeable — hey, better publicity!).

    Your skirt is adorable, but somehow I suspect you might get called on it — you’ve got a fine bit of fine legal reasoning going on there, and somehow I’m guessing that someone may be drafting the next “not jeans” rule with a little more care . . .

    That’s good. They shouldn’t get complacent — and you do look smashing!

  11. How did you deal with not “growing” the waist by inches sewing across the stretch for the waist? I made stretch twill pants and shorts and ended up with about 2 extra inches because the stretch was across. What a fitting mess. Got a walking foot – afterward – which may help in future. Also got “stretch” needles – not ball points but “stretch.” Any help welcome – I love the give in the stretch, but grrrrrr, the construction is a pain.

    • That’s a good question. I would first interface the skirt waist seamline. Then, I would mark the stitch line on both. This would allow me to sew twill tape directly on the seam. I did the interfacing on the zipper opening for just that reason. I now use twill tape in the waist of all my bottoms since they stretch ENORMOUSLY. I look best in a curved waistband and they will stretch just by looking at them if you’re not careful.

  12. You look amazing! Legs up to your armpits. The skirt looks beautiful on you. I agree. the shape and length shows off a small waist without overemphasizing your hip/thigh area. Which I don’t see as problem. If my legs weren’t so badly scarred from a terrible accident, I’d sport this look as well. Fashionable, as always.

  13. I agree, this looks good on you. It draws attention to your waist, making it look tiny and skims over the parts of your body that you don’t love. It’s cute and not too dressy for that t shirt your have to wear. Perfect

  14. That skirt looks great on you! The wideness of the A-line balances out the shoulders (or is that the blouse?) The length? Well just be careful when you bend over…

  15. It does look very good IMO, that kind of skirts are so versatile. But if you’re not confortable with that style, why don’t you just embrace your hourglass figure? You have a tiny waist, work around that.There’s never been a better time for that kind of silhouette.

  16. Wow, I’m having some serious skirt envy. I may have to make this for myself. I’m similarly sized/shaped (more than 10″ waist/thigh difference, Burda 36/42…) and, well, it looks absolutely fantastic on you. 🙂

  17. V. cute. Saw many skirts in similar style when shopping in NYC last night with Annie.

  18. To bad you don’t like it looks very nice on you. Also I think that you may be relying to much on people who don’t sew to know the difference between jeans and denim, lol. You might pass with just a whisper or two because it is a skirt and not pants. Good Luck!

  19. That skirt is totally a keeper! It makes your waist look tiny and it does not at all make you look wide. Sheesh, I wish I looked like that! Love your hair, too.

  20. That skirt is adorable and is very flattering! It doesn’t make you look wide- it makes your waist look very narrow! Wear it, and I love the way you are circumventing the, ahem, “rules”.

  21. You look fabulous!!! I love the skirt, and your new haircut. You go girl!!!

  22. Echoing everybody else here: this skirt really emphasises your amazing ‘pins’!! Ooh ooh ooh – just think: winter time with tights & knee high boots? And a turtle neck? Ooh ooh ooh!!!

  23. Look at that teeny tiny waist and those gorgeous legs! You look great. I love the new haircut, too.

  24. How could they not notice you had cut your hair! First thing I noticed! I really like the skirt but you are the one who has to be comfortable in it. But seriously can I have your legs! 🙂

  25. I think your silhouette here is completely adorable. The first thing I thought at the picture, before reading this post, was “What a lovely figure she has!” Granted, I am prejudiced as I love that sort of skirt. But I am also built similarly, with a small waist and larger thighs.

  26. And… that sounded like I’m complimenting my own figure. I’m not. You’re much more trim and toned than I am.

  27. I think the shape is very flattering on you. Because I’m pear-shaped, I try to avoid accents on my butt or hips. In this case, I like the front pockets. I might have skipped the back one.

    Good job!

  28. I love this skirt and I love YOU in this skirt. Wow, I want one! You did great. And yes, it’s definitely not jeans and it’s not the old yucky denim skirt of yore.

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