The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

Doubleknit Starburst Heaven

You know when you sew something that you've been thinking about for a long time and you really hope it lives up to your expectations? And sometimes it doesn't? This dream turned out to be everything I hoped for and more. If you see me on a regular basis please be advised that you'll be seeing this skirt A LOT.

Here's the photo that hooked me in:

Pencil skirt? CHECK
High waist? CHECK
Sexy detail? CHECK
Killer shoes? DOUBLE CHECK

My only disappointment was that the shoes didn't come with the pattern. What? I know. That should be an option.

So I've had my eye on this pattern for a while. But it's BurdaStyle, so even thought it's only one pattern piece I still had to tape together 24 pieces of paper, and I rarely have the patience for that. And it's BurdaStyle, so there could be some glaring problem with the instructions. But it's also BurdaStyle, one of the few pattern lines that does sexy. And it's an easy-peasy, knock-it-out-in-two-hours skirt. Too bad it only took me about a year after buying the pattern and six months after buying the perfect fabric to make it up.

I did have a few hiccups making this up which I'll fix for the next time - and there will most certainly be a next time - but I love the results.

Let's talk about construction, because I made some changes. First, I added a zipper. BurdaStyle's idea is that you would pull this skirt on, with it high, fitted waist, over your hips (although I supposed you could wiggle in head first). I wasn't sure I would be able to pull it on, and I figured if I did, the waist would sooner or later get all distorted. So I inserted a zipper in the side seam without pleats. I think next time I'll add a center back seam and put it there, partly because I don't love side seam zippers, and partly because I really think this skirt needs a back vent if you want to easily get in and out of cars with it. Especially if you're gonna wear some killer heels, which I most certainly will, and you don't want to look like a landed sea mammal while you attempt to enter a car door.

Also, this skirt is supposed to have pleating in the back. I wasn't sure this was a great idea, but I planned to go along with it. But that pleating was just too damn thick - I could barely sew through one side of pleats much less two. I did use a doubleknit instead of a ponte knit, but it don't think that would make a huge difference. Check out how thick the seam is with an unpleated back:

You can see the skipped stitches and wonky overlock that occurred as my machines fought their way through this manwich of layers.

Also, I think the directions have you pleat in the wrong direction. As a result, my pleats lay with the pleats down, but then when I walk they flip up. Next time I'll try reversing this.

To get an un-pleated back, I simply used my skirt front as a pattern once I had nailed sewn the pleats in place. 

My final change was to take it in about 1" in the waist, as I wanted a good amount of negative ease to hug the waist to my body. I catch stitched the waist facing down in a few areas and I catch stitched the hem after adding a bit of teal hem lace (ooo-la!).

Some may think my pairing this with a plum top is odd. I kinda like the oddness, and this blouse is one my husband bought me last year for Christmas and I haven't found a way to wear it yet (I don't usually look good in blouse-y blouses, but the high waist really helps). My plan is to pair this with a teal top, similar in color to the hem lace. Color theory tells us that red and green are a good pairing, and I've wondered how to pull this off without looking like a crazy Christmas person.

Over the holidays, I went on a junky Crime tv bender and watched the entire first season of Reckless. It's not great, but it's what I wanted at the time. And one week, Anna Wood showed up in a teal top and red pencil skirt and it worked! Red and green (ish) looking fab and un-Christmas-y together. 

Hard to see it in this photo, but it's the best I could locate. I really want to replicate this in some way (I'm thinking cowl neck jersey top) and I think I have the perfect fabric:

What do you think? Would you wear this color combo?


9 comments on "Doubleknit Starburst Heaven"
  1. Absolutely. I am all for unexpected colour combos and teal/raspberry totally go together in my book. I also think the plum blouse/raspberry skirt/grey boots is a very sophisticated colour grouping.

    1. Thanks, Trumbelina! I like it when colors work by almost not working.

  2. I like the plum and red combo. And yes, that skirt is sexy. You look fab!

  3. I have been looking at that pattern great job!

    1. You should try it - I've very happy with the results!

  4. Wow! I love the color combo but I want the top to be less blouse-y ... you know?

    1. Yes! I have the hardest time with this shirt. I've tried it with belts, tucked in, and hanging free. I just don't think it's me and it should go to a better home. I just cut out a top that I think will be much more me.

  5. I've had that skirt pinned for so long - I love your version, I might have to give it a shot. I do have the magazine, so I wouldn't have to do all that cutting and taping. I think the thick fabric is part of what makes it look luxe, that and the lovely deep color. Love it!