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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

Posted in sewing

Pattern Review: Burda Magazine 02-2009-118 Knit Top

Burdastyle Magazine. Your directions SUCK. You may have changed your name to BS, but BWTF!!

Burda Magazine 02-2009-118

I totally forgot what a PITA the sleeves on this were. I first made this up as a dress last year. It’s now with my mom due to my total discomfort in wearing a form fitting knit dress. This top has been cut out since at least December. But, I didn’t have stretch / ball point needles. You would think Joann Fabric wasn’t 15 minutes away from me the way I put off buying supplies!

The polka dot fabric is from Spandex House during my last trip to New York (of which I’ve now sewn with two out of the six fabrics). I actually planned to make bra and panties from these. But, it’s too pretty to be hidden! It’s chocolate brown with irregular pink polka dots. Love. Hmmm, must rethink wearing these with black pants.

The pain I speak of, is the sleeve construction. I used Kay Y’s tutorial and Dawn’s photos to get me through. I also did my typical swayback adjustment. I took out over an inch. But, I could take a deeper one.

As before, I lined the upper bodice with brown tricot for a neat finish at the neckline. I hemmed the bottom with a twin needle stitch. I love this as a top. Just not for me as a dress.

The Poet Blouse really is next. But, I finished this on Monday and it’s warm enough to wear to work today!!

Parting shot: My doorbell hasn’t worked in six of the seven years I’ve owned my house. I decided to finally replace it and get the transformer fixed (which was blown). The electrician was 1.5 hours late on *both* nights he was here. And didn’t leave until 11:00 p.m. the first night and 12:45 a.m. last night. It took two nights and holes in plaster and paneling coming down in the basement because the wiring was so disintegrated in my 70+ year old house that it was shorting out. After rewiring it, I now have a working doorbell! I love the buzzer. It sounds like I’m in school and classes are changing! But, I do not love that it was a quarter of my mortgage payment to fix. I should have become a plumber or an electrician.

Posted in sewing

Early Mother’s Day Post

My dad flew back to Panama last week and took a little package home with him for my mom


Yeah. That’s my mom looking all foxy coming home from church in the BWOF 2-2009-119  dress that I did not love on me. She’s managed to work it into several conversations and has shamelessly hinted around for more.

Soooo, yeah. She looks awesome. I now have no excuse not to make her something every so often.

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I never make dresses that look like they might be clingy or straight. I am a pear shape with my widest part being my thighs, not my hips. Yet, I was intrigued by BWOF 2-2009-119.  I knew Trena made this one up and I checked with her. She said the line drawing was deceiving and it was flowier than it appeared.


It seems what she meant is that my thighs are bigger than hers. ‘Cuz,  I cut it out while grading up three sizes through the thigh and all I can say is ‘giddyup’.


Holy saddlebags Batman.

Nothing like fabric bulging at your thighs and unceremoniously dipping back in. Since I can’t wear this to work, I went ahead and hemmed it above the knee.  Now, before you say ‘It’s not that bad’. These are the most flattering photos I could take. I’m honest, but Vanity is still my middle name 🙂 This still may get cut into a top. Overall it’s a nice pattern. Although, the sleeve construction seems to be more fussy than it should be. I called Trena about three times to understand them. What does Burda have against the word ‘understitch‘ ??

Alright. Instead of making a knit bias strip, I underlined the upper yoke. I think the dress would be better if I had underlined the entire thing in a knit. It would make this print sturdier and give a little more support. dscf7929

From the back. I made a swayback adjustment. The line is pulling some. Probably from the squirrels fighting back there.


And here I have found my Costco brand spanx. Hence the big smile. I’ll see if I can wear this over the summer for going out. But, if I find I don’t wear it. It’ll be cut into a top. I’m going to give this pattern another go. I’ve already altered to add two more inches to the thigh area. Hopefully, that will do it.