Monday, November 25, 2013

Burda 9-2008-124 - Pleated ivory floral skirt in Chinese silk charmeuse

I've long been jealous of those bloggers who come home from exotic vacations with souvenirs of fabulous fabrics. Our vacations usually consist of hiking or beaches or visiting family members in small towns without fabric stores, so I never even go looking. I have asked a certain family member (who travels a great deal) to bring me home some fabric from her globe trotting but so far it hasn't happened. So, when my good friend Kelly went to China earlier this year, I asked her if she might bring me back some actual Chinese silk. When she got back from the trip, she called me up to tell me she had something for me. She said it was hard picking one she could see me in, and wasn't sure I'd like it, but I think it's just perfect!


Since the purple of the fabric matched my eggplant military jacket so well, I decided to make some sort of skirt. Picking the right pattern was hard. Silk charmeuse is relatively thin, so I knew I didn't want anything too fitted that might strain the seams. On the other hand, because of the linear layout of the "flowers", I couldn't do anything too draped or with a lot of seams. Most pleated skirt pattern require more fabric because the pleats run around the entire skirt, but I only had 2 meters of 44" fabric to work with. I finally settled on a design from the September 2008 issue of Burda because the pleats are only centered in the front and the back, and I could get each panel out of a crosscut of the fabric. I still have enough fabric left over to make a sleeveless top, which I just may do in the summer for a dress version.


What you can't see in these still shots is that when I move around, the pleats unfold and the print is really on display. I usually hate indoor shots in my house because of lighting issues, but it is stinking cold outside and raining. We tried to find the lightest spot to take these. For some reason they were uploading on blogger very muted, so I went back and saturated the photos with more color. The colors are kelly green and eggplant in real life, sorry if they appear bright and fluorescent on your monitor.


I made a straight size 38 and only had to play around a bit with the waistband, which is a usual occurrence for me and my square shape. I also added a full lining with some off-white ambiance I had in my stash. The lining took some thinking about because I wanted it to hang free from the skirt at the side seams but be sewn with the pleats of the outer fabric to cut down on bulk. To do this I first sewed both fabrics together when making the pleats, then separated them for the side seams and hems.


It is gray and dreary here at the moment, and all of my usual dress form pictures were blurry and dark. Only the lining shot above turned out.

We are off school this week for Thanksgiving, and will be out of town with family for most of that time. Happy Thanksgiving to all my USA readers, and I'll be back again soon with a sweet little dress for Miss Rachel.

52 comments:

  1. What a brilliant gift! such beautiful fabric and I love what you've done with it.

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  2. That pretty fabric deserved a beautiful pattern like the one you chose. Lovely, perfect skirt!

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  3. Beautiful fabric, beautiful skirt!

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  4. What a lovely fabric. Looks like your friend was spot on when choosing!

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  5. I love this new skirt! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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  6. Gorgeous colours, and such beautiful fabric. The skirt looks soooo pretty!!

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad the colors look good okay. My camera likes to play funny tricks on me sometimes.

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  7. Lovely use of the fabric, really like how you did the lining too. It's great that you have enough for a top once summer comes, with that lovely mix of colours you could always colourblock a top to make the fabric go a bit further.

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    1. Oh, great idea!!! Now you've got me thinking of variations with colorblocking. Thank you!

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  8. Gorgeous fabric, it hangs so nicely over those pleats.

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  9. Beautiful skirt. The fabric is so pretty and your sewing is perfect.

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  10. The fabric is gorgeous and despite not being able to see in the pics, it feels as if there's a lot of movement to it. I love the pattern you used and the lining. Well done!

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  11. Lovely fabric, a very nice gift. Your skirt is perfect choice for this fabric. Enjoy Thanksgiving!

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  12. Wow, what a great gift! Your friend chose well-- it really matches your jacket perfectly! I bet you will get a lot of wear out of this.

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  13. Happy Thanksgiving! You made a beautiful skirt, and it really does go well with that jacket! I wish we could see how the skirt moves, it sounds just gorgeous.

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  14. Wow! Beautiful fabric, it made such a nice skirt!

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  15. Lovely fabric and awesome job on the skirt!

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  16. Lovely skirt Amanda! I like it paired with your jacket. Your sewing always looks perfectly executed as well.

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  17. So nice!! And what a thoughtful, amazing friend!

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  18. Gorgeous! My daughter too went to China a couple years ago. I ased for tea and silk and got both! My silk is emerald green brocade. I haven't worked up the courage to cut into it yet, but someday it will be a purse.

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    1. This fabric would totally have been tucked away in the stash and fondled affectionately for years except she asked me several times when I was going to stitch it up. And since I've less scared of sewing with silks these days, I plunged right in. I totally understand your hesitation!

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  19. Just beautiful Those pleats fall so gracefully.

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  20. Very nice skirt. You can dress it up or go more casual. I love it.

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  21. Oh how wonderful. Your skirt is beautiful, fits you perfectly ad is a terrific reminder of a friend's caring....total winner.

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  22. What a beautiful skirt. Your garments are always so well constructed.

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  23. What a wonderful gift from your traveling friend! I love the skirt and it is perfect with the military blazer.

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    1. Thanks Trena! It was actually all your vacation fabric finds that got me wanting some of my own, so thanks for that too!

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  24. How great it is to have friends like that! I adore the pleating in the skirt, I always have trouble with getting them so evenly divided over the waistband.

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