Friday, May 20, 2011

A little bit of Lagerfeld

Filling another (so-called) must-have void in my wardrobe; the little black skirt.  I do have a charcoal skirt already, that is a much worn little thing, but the classic black was missing; well, no more.  I really made this about a month ago, and am only now getting around to wearing it and photographing it.  With Me-Made June floating around soon I thought I'd better get onto keeping up with documenting my actual sewing in these posts, I still have a few newies that haven't appeared here yet...
So now I have my classic black skirt I should be set for winter, although as Donna rightly pointed out yesterday I rarely wear the "classic white shirt" much either.  Maybe I'm not classic enough?  Paradoxically I often find my more out-there and distinctive garments such as my bright orange skirt, a lot easier to work into my daily ensembles.  Hmmm, ridiculously still don't really know what my "style" is; this requires more thought...
Whastevs, I always intended to have a go at this allegedly Karl Lagerfeld designed skirt from the 10/2010 issue of Burdastyle magazine, the reason I bought this magazine, actually.
I used up another piece of leftovers from my stash, this a piece of black gabardine leftover from a long gone skirt I made back in 2007.  Yah, 'bout time it got used up, huh...?
I feel hugely and disproportionately chuffed when I do reduce the stash, especially when it's a piece of fabric I've had this long.  And, confession time, the stash is still getting added to, all too frequently...  it's like a one step forward, two steps back kind of thing.  I wonder if I will ever be at a point when I have no fabric, and need to go fabric shopping?  Hard to imagine... (insert literal lol here)
Back to the skirt...
I did incorporate a few modifications, as usual.  The blindingly obvious is that I lengthened it by about 12cm, or as much as my piece of fabric would allow me.  Would you look at the skirt length on that model?? (at right)  Granted, she could be over six foot tall, but still.  Almost more like a belt, really.  My husband has a term to describe skirts like that, but I won't reproduce it here... family viewing and all that...
Another obvious modification I made is to the back of the skirt; if you look at Burda's line drawing you can see the original design has a gathered elasticised waistband at the back.  Gathered elasticised waistbands are an anathema to me.  Like, no way...  So I made a slightly curved back waistband fitted to my waist, and dealt with the fullness of the skirt by incorporating two big inverted box pleats, sewed to about 7cm long, in the usual dart position.  Pretty pleased with how this looks too.  I like my version, a lot.  I think the pleats are far more pleasing to the eye that a gather would be, and the look of them fits in a lot better with the look of the front of the skirt, which has some pleating too.
The other modification; a minor one, is to increase the size of those laughably small inseam side pockets.  No kidding, those pockets as they were were designed for children.
So there you have it.  My new skirt, a little bit of Lagerfeld in my wardrobe!

Skirt; Burdastyle magazine 10-2010-136 with some modifications, black gabardine
Shirt; Brown Sugar
Cardigan; Allude, from Ricarda
Tights; Kolotex
Shoes; Misano, from Labels
Above and below; the buttons are decorative, closure is by hidden snaps sewn inside the front waistband
The back view, with box pleats sewn in the skirt back instead of the gathered elasticised waistband

Below is my pattern review...

Pattern Description:
Trouser styled mini skirt with front creases, front fly zip and extra-wide hem-cuff/turn-up.
Pattern Sizing:
34-42, I made a size 38
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
yes, except that mine is about 12cm longer.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Pretty easy.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I particularly like the "trouser" styling of the skirt. It's a really tailored kind of looking skirt, and yet still manages to look cute and funky.   The front pleats are sharp; in the cool and stylin' sense of the word...  I also love the interest of the little flaps over the front pleats.  The turn-up at the hem is yet another interesting feature in a little skirt packed with interesting features.
I didn't like how the back was to be gathered into an elasticised waistband, but that is just my personal taste; I loathe elasticised waistbands with a passion.  So I modified mine to be NOT elasticised.
Fabric Used:
Gabardine, the sort men's business suits are made of
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I lengthened the skirt pieces at around hip level,  by about 12cm.  The original is SHORT!
To replace the elasticised waistband; I made a slightly curved back waistband fitted to my waist, and folded and sewed box pleats (7cm long) on each of the skirt backs in the usual dart position, to take in the extra fullness of the skirt pieces into my waist measurement.  I really like how my skirt back turned out, much much better than an elasticised waist... sorry, Mr Lagerfeld.
The inseam side pockets as they are, are tiny, so I made mine a bit bigger.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I'm sure when this distinctive little skirt is worn out, I will sew a replacement!
I bought this issue of the Burdastyle magazine, just because of the Lagerfeld patterns, and this skirt didn't let me down.  I adore the styling of it!  It is tailored, classic and smart, and yet has interesting and distinctive features.  With that bit of added length I think it would make quite a witty office skirt too.

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