Burda 02-2011-103, Godet Pencil Skirt

Burda 02-2011-103 Thumbnail

It's Pattern Review's Mini Wardrobe contest so I figured I'd get in on the action and sew some separates (I am in no way guaranteeing I will finish this month!).  I needed a plain black woven skirt--the one I wear all the time is a thick knit that is getting a little worse for the wear with pilling.  When Fabric.com did its crazy Vera Wang closeout at $1.95/yard for really good quality fabrics a couple years ago, one of the things I picked up was 3 yards of a black stretch wool so I would have enough on hand to make several skirts as needed.  This was my first time to sew with it and it is fabulous!  It was advertised as suiting but I find it too thin for a jacket.  But for a fluid skirt, really lovely.

I was intrigued by the lines of Burda 02-2011-103.  I haven't seen it too many times in the blogosphere or on PR, but those who've made it liked it so I gave it a shot.  I thought it might be the perfect hybrid:  a pencil skirt that is bikeable because of the back godet.

I traced my usual sizes, 36 at the waist, 39ish (between 38 and 40) at the hip.  The instructions say this must be made with stretch fabric and they are not kidding.  This fits me, and it's not bursting at the (smaller-than-intended seam allowance) seams, but I'd be more comfortable with a little more room.  So if I make this again I go up to full size 40 at the hip, maybe size 41ish.  There are wrinkles at the hip/saddlebag that aren't solved by moving the skirt up or down at the waist, which would indicate the curve was in the wrong place for my body--I think it's just plain not quite enough width.

I narrowed the front dart to accommodate my rounded belly, adding in this extra to the center front waistband piece.  I am very happy with the fit in the front, which does not strain or create arrows that point to the belly.

Shortened Pattern

I knew this was going to be way too long as drafted on me.  It's meant to be a longer, below-knee skirt, but on me it was going to be mid-calf.  So I shortened it two inches.  The front I folded out in one piece below the hips, but because of the shaping dart in the back I did the shortening in two places.  The final length finds the right balance between flattering and the style, I think.

Back Closeup

The back intersection of the CB seam, back darts, and godet is not so much tricky as just requires a commitment to precision.  I pinned carefully and it miraculously came out pretty close to right on the first try.  I had to do a little "sculpting" with hand-stitches to get the intersection perfect.  I'm quite pleased with it.

Godet Rolled Hem

For the hem, you're dealing with two very different shapes.  The body of the skirt is just a regular, relatively straight-of-grain hem.  The godet's hem is a circular, bias-y affair.  Rather than try to hem both pieces in the same manner, as recommended in the instructions, I used the type of hem most suited to each piece.

I started by doing a machine rolled hem on the godet.

Insert Hemmed Godet

Then I inserted the godet.  Note that the skirt's hem allowance extends beyond the finished hem of the godet.  I pressed the seam allowances outward from the godet toward the skirt.

Finished Hem

To hem the skirt, I folded the allowance up over the godet and used a machine blind hem all the way around.  I had to secure the hem allowance to the godet/skirt seam allowance by hand, because the blind stitch foot can't deal with that situation.  I had considered doing the whole hem by hand, but honestly the machine does a much nicer job than I do.


I lined this with a stretch lining purchased at Mood.  I really wish I knew how to find a quality stretch lining.  I was grateful to find any stretch lining, which is impossible!, but this is very thin and the edges roll up like crazy on the cut pieces.  I hand-stitched the lining, which does not have the godet (as per the instructions) to the skirt/godet seam allowance to keep it in place.  I may undo it, though, and just stitch it at the top of the godet insertion.  The placement was really hard to get correct and I think I have created some puckering at the seam that wasn't there before.

This was one of those projects that thwart you at every turn, trying its very best to become a wadder or at least a UFO.  I don't think I managed to sew a single seam only once.  My "best" mistake was sewing the center back seams to the side front seams, then applying the waistband, then serging everything.  Fun.  If you plan to make this, bring the tech drawing/instructions with you into the sewing room.  And the back dart is NOT sewn into the side seam.

Then in the lining I somehow managed to sew one side of the center back to the side front, as I had for the fashion fabric.  At least I'm consistent.  I sewed the other one upside down.  Seriously.  I just cut a whole new lining rather than unpick that mess.

FrontBurda 02-2011-103
But the joke is on the skirt. After more time spent seam-ripping than seam-sewing, I finally had a skirt!  One with a sort of bubbly zipper ending and too-small hip wrinkles.  But still.  I think those are more minor quibbles than fatal flaws.  It is indeed figure-flattering, or at least figure-revealing (which the boyfriend seems to think are the same thing, so who am I to judge).  I like the high waist, which looks nicer for tucking than a lower waist.

Others had dubbed this the "shark fin skirt" because the godet sticks out a bit, but in my fluid fabric that is not really an issue.  So add that to your list of requirements the fabric must have, in addition to a whole lot of lycra.  I think I will get a lot of wear out of this as we transition to Fall.

(For those who are curious, the top is Simplicity 2594.  I really like it, but it has to be worn tucked in because I really botched the front hem on this bias-cut poly chiffon.)

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.


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