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High-waisted jersey pencil skirt

13 June 2012, 16:48

This skirt was featured in the May 2012 edition of BurdaStyle magazine, but it’s one of the few that’s also available for purchase as a downloadable pdf if you missed this issue (a really great one, IMHO!).

This is quite an interesting pattern because of its simplicity – it’s only one pattern piece (the same for the front and the back), with a bunch of radiating pleats on one hip, and just two side seams to sew. There are three hem lengths suggested on the pattern, and I went with the shortest, Hem length A, which ends up right at my knees.

And that’s it – no zippers, no elastic, no nothing. So it’s a really quick and easy skirt to sew up in one evening!

(Worn with: a mustard yellow ASOS vest, 1950s vintage cropped jacket from This Shop Rocks, and Wolford Captivate tights, ooh 50% off right now!)

The waistband facing is integrated into the pattern piece, so you just fold it inside and stitch in the ditch at the side seams, but without any interfacing (which you can’t have because you need the stretch) or elastic (which I couldn’t work out how to do nicely), the facing really likes to flop out on its own, so I hand-tacked mine carefully inside along the front and back, too.

The skirt as drafted was not tight enough for me, or for the fabric I chose – a basic cotton/viscose jersey I received from Veronica when I was in Paris in March. Thanks Veronica!!

Because it’s just one pattern piece, the back view is a mirror-image of the front!

I’m not the only one to be drawn to this pattern, either! Dawn sewed this before my issue even arrived, and Helene emailed me last week to ask if I thought adding an invisible zipper was a good idea. Personally, I’d hesitate to put a zipper in, just because a) I loathe installing invisible zippers in knits and b) I think in order to really work, this skirt should be tight, and it’d pull on the zipper.

The pleats didn’t really line up for me on the hip, but I’m okay with that.

What I would recommend, though, is making absolutely sure that your fabric has a lot of lycra and good recovery, because the waist portion of mine really sagged throughout the day (which you can see in these photos, taken after sitting at my desk all day), and the closer you can get the fit, the better. The starburst pleats are really nice though, and I like the design a lot!

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  1. Too funny! I just sewed this skirt Monday afternoon to wear to a business fair on Tuesday morning. I picked it because it was easy and I had black ponte on hand. I was a really easy sew! My blog has lousy pics of it though because we broke the camera at the Jubilee flotilla. Your pictures are much better and really show the rushing details. I like the purple colour with the mustard. It looks rich.

    Karin    Jun 13, 05:42 PM    #
  2. Nice skirt. Someone else said they had problems matching the pleats

    Jane    Jun 13, 05:44 PM    #
  3. great skirt. The fact that the pattern is one piece really makes it interesting!

    maddie    Jun 13, 06:01 PM    #
  4. Looks gorgeous, love the colour! I’ve just discovered a newsagency locally thats stocks Burda, Its a bit sad how excited I was! They haven’t got this issue in yet but I can’t wait!

    Suzy    Jun 14, 12:57 AM    #
  5. Super cute, and I LOVE it with the blue jacket!

    karen    Jun 14, 01:10 AM    #
  6. Nice to see that someone has actually succeeded in making a nice and wearable version of this skirt! :-) I couldn’t get mine right!

    Anna Aa.    Jun 14, 01:23 AM    #
  7. that’s a lovely result. It’s great to know it is so easy! Some time ago I bought some stretch iron-on interfacing that you can use with knits. If you don’t find it I could send you a strip.

    Sewing Princess    Jun 14, 08:50 AM    #
  8. The colour combination is perfect. The ruching on the hips is a great curves tamer!

    Gail    Jun 14, 10:44 AM    #
  9. Love it, was one of my picks from the initial photo preview. Do you think your elastic waistband technique would work here? I’m worried having only to rely on the knit to “hold” the waist. I might make one out of the remnant from my coral S2369 dress.

    lakaribane    Jun 14, 06:21 PM    #
  10. Love your color combo! I’m going to have to get around to this. I’m needing a navy blue ponte skirt…

    The Slapdash Sewist    Jun 14, 06:54 PM    #
  11. What a cool looking skirt! I can just picture the Burda tip (you know, the occasionally odd ball suggestions about underthings to the side of the pic) “Be sure to wear undergarments that are the exact color of the skirt, in case the top rolls down. Or consider a body suit for full torso coverage.”

    Linda, Bathtub Fabric Queen    Jun 15, 07:52 PM    #
  12. I love the colour combination you have there Melissa. I love this skirt pattern and hope to try it one day ( if I find the right fabric)

    Lisa P    Jun 15, 10:23 PM    #

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