Burda 04/2020 – skirt nr. 114
The midi skirt in the Burda Magazine April/2020 caught my eye immediately. The design is rather simple, but Burda never disappoints with clever construction of their patterns. The skirt sits at the waist (always a plus for curvy women). It has beautiful pleats that make sure the skirt falls beautifully. The front closure is buttoned halfway down.
Burda Pattern (english)
Burda Pattern (Deutsch)
I decided to go with a size 40. The skirt sits at the waist, so I measured my waist and chose the size closest to my waist measurment. The good thing is: the skirt is gathered, so you can adjust the waist to your own body. My tip: Don’t rely on the measurements that Burda gives for your waistband, cut it a bit bigger so that you can make it fit your own body perfectly. That’s the beauty about sewing your own clothes – you can make them fit your own body and don’t have to rely on “standard” body types.
The skirt needs about 2.3m (2.5yards) of fabric. Since I hardly ever store fabric longer than 2m, Chibi gifted me some of her fabric for this skirt! I know, she’s the best 😍😍😍 That’s pure friendship, when you can give each other fabrics! ❤️ She bought this beautiful dark-pink viscose fabric in Tunisia on her vacation. The fabric flows a little like silk and is wonderfully soft to the touch.
I did not go with Burda’s instructions on this one. Here’s how I sewed up my skirt – including bias-bound waistbands and french seam pockets:
I prefer to transfer patterns to paper, taking care to label each piece correctly with the name, the size and the burda magazine edition. When cutting out patterns, I like to add seam allowances on the go, i.e., while I’m cutting. That way I can consider with which method I’m going to make that seam and give seam allowances accordingly. For this pattern, I knew I wanted to enclose the side seams including the pockets, so I added 1.5cm (.6in) to those seams. I did not add any seam allowance at the hem, bc I’m a bit shorter than the average Burda model 😂.
I cut the waistband to my specifications: a bit broader + longer.
The front and back pleats I marked with a marker. I’ve added interfacing to the front facings (where the row of buttons will be).
2. Prepare the waistband
I folded the waistband down so that 1 edge is slightly lower than the other (about 1 cm or .4in). I bound the edge that is lower with bias binding. This binding will be visible on the inside of the skirt.
I’ve added some elastic to my waistband. It’s an ongoing experiment I’m running to see how I can make waistbands fit better and be more comfortable. It turned out pretty ok, but not perfect yet, so I’m skipping this part here until I’ve perfected it. I’ll show you how to make your waistbands more comfortable then.
3. Prepare the front facings
The front facing is folded in at the “front facing”-line. Press it carefully. The inner edge of the facing I cleaned up with bias binding as well.
4. Prepare pleats
Next I folded the pleats, pressed them and then sewed them in place with a straight stich across the pleats. I like to sew them in place to make sure they don’t move around when I later work with the fabric.
5. Sewing in-seam pockets with French seams
I like to sew up pockets and side seams of skirts with French seams. For french seams you’ll sew each edge twice: first, you’ll put two pieces together, left sides touching each other and sew them together using a straight stitch close to the edge. Then you trim the seam allowance and fold the two pieces over so that the right sides face each other. Now you sew them together as you usually would (with normal seam allowance). The first run will ensure that the seams on the inside are fully enclosed, giving your garments a beautiful finish.
- Take 1 front piece and place 1 pocket piece on the side seam. Pin it.
- Sew the two pieces together, close to the edge.
- Turn the pieces so that their right sides are facing each other. Then sew up the pocket opening.
- Repeat steps 1-3 for the other side as well as for the two pockets on the back of the skirt.
- Next, you’ll finish the side seam above the pockets: Place the front and back pieces (with the pockets) together, left sides facing each other and sew them up, as close to the edge as possible.
- Turn the front and back piece right sides together and sew them up. Make sure that the pocket openings are not crumpled up but are nice and crisp (see image below).
- Now you need to sew up the pockets and close the rest of the side seams. Place the pockets left sides facing each other. Use the burrito-roll technique here to make sure you can place the two pocket pieces left sides together. Sew them together, close to the edge.
- Now pull out the skirt out of the pocket, turn it over so that the pocket pieces as well as the front/back pieces face each other with right sides together. Sew the pockets and the side seams.
5. Gather the skirt
Now that the front and back pieces are sewn together, you can gather the skirt at the waist. Note that you’ll gather across the already made pleats. It’s what gives the skirt the beautiful flowing feeling. I gather by sewing 2 straight lines (1 close to the edge, 1 normal) with a very long straight stitch. Then pull at the top threads to gather the fabric. Now make sure that you gather the waistband until it fits your waist. Don’t rely on the Burda standard measurements here – there’s no need. Just place the skirt around your waist, making sure the two front pieces overlap by 2.5cm (1in). Then measure the width of your skirt and that’s how long your waistband should be. Perfectly fitted to your body.
6. Breite des Bundes anpassen
Now that you know how broad your skirt will be you can finish the waistband. Take the width of your skirt, add the 2.5cm (1in) for the overlap at the front row of buttons. Sew a vertical line (right sides of the waistband facing each other). Don’t sew all the way down to the bias bound edge – i’ll make it easier to attach the waistband next (see picture below).
7. Attach waistband to skirt
Place the waistband on top of the skirt, right sides facing each other. Sew them together, then clean up the seam (zig-zag it or with an overlock seam) and trim it a bit. Press the seam allowances into the waistband.Next you’ll sew an “invisible” seam to fix the waistband in place: press everything nicely, making sure that the loose back of the waistband lays cleanly on top of the outer waistband. Then stitch in the ditch of where the waistband was joined with the skirt. Sew on the outside, making sure to catch the loose waistband on the inside. This seam is visible only on the inside if you pull the seam apart a bit and stitch exactly in the ditch. On the inside of the skirt, the seam will be visible as it’s located slightly above the bias-bound waistband.
8. Sew button holes and attach buttons
Almost done. Go and get some matching buttons. Place them on top of your skirt. You can choose the spacing that Burda proposes or go with your own spread. My buttons are 3in apart.
If you sew your own clothes you can break any style rules you’d like. It’s what I do when it comes to buttons, waistbands and comfort: I chose to close my skirt from the left (more comfortable for me) plus I like to place the top button a little to the side. I do this because when I sit the waistband won’t press into my stomach so much.
I also decided to have 2 buttons for the waistband and only 5 for the skirt. That way the skirt has a bit more of a sexy vibe with a slightly larger opening.
9. Hem the skirt
Time to hem the skirt. Put the skirt on and decide how long it should be. I chose a midi-version where the hem is a few cm above the ankles. The softly flowing fabric makes the skirt appear very lofty and flowy. To hem, serge the hem (or zig-zag it), then fold it over and press it evenly. Then sew the hem from the right side. Alternatively, sew the hem using an invisible hand stitch. You can also use glue interfacing to hem: it can be used to press two fabric pieces together by ironing them. I often use it to stabilize a tricky fabric before hemming.
If you want to do it even more properly, hang your skirt over night and let the fabric rest. That way, when you hem it, the hemline won’t fall in time.
Have fun wearing your new skirt! I’m going to test it thoroughly – and if I like the feel of it, I think I’ll make myself another one.