Google Thewallinna and other creatures: Burda Style pattern knock-off

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Burda Style pattern knock-off







It all started two weeks ago, when I went to Paris and met up with a bunch of creative and giggly ladies: Jo, Kirsty, Lisa and Ninie. It would not be surprising if I told you that we spent an entire day fabric shopping and taking about sewing. We visited a number of fabric shops, and in one of them I saw a roll of the softest denim with the most amazing drape and a bit sheen, which, I thought, would be great for a skirt #109 from the February Burda Style issue. This issue features a mini collection called White/Blue, showcasing denim and white shirts. Since the denim trend continues to grow, a denim skirt may be both fashionable and practical garment in a girl’s wardrobe.


Since I could not get this skirt out of my mind during the entire week in Paris, the first thing I did when I got back home was to make a muslin of this pattern... and  found many flaws in it!

According to the description, “The classic denim skirt gets an update in this stylish knee-length style, with its centered box pleat, large patch pockets and versatile wraparound waistband.”

It turned out that the pattern has not one, but two box pleats: one on the front and one on the back. If you have large hips like I do, you will know that the back pleat plus the side patch pockets makes the bottom appear  triple the size. So, I decided to get rid of the back pleat, creating a slightly flared silhouette. Another detail which I dislike in this pattern is the wraparound waistband. For a moment, I tried to imagine how I would look in a coat wearing a protruding waistband knot.


The final thing which went wrong with the muslin was the back pattern part which did not entirely correspond to my body shape, especially with the flared shaped back. In order for it to fit me, I would need to drop the waistline, to add some fullness to the hip area and add a few centimetres of length. Without thinking too much, I decided to re-draft the pattern from scratch, using my basic sloper and, therefore, pursuing my skirt collection challenge!



In fact, modifying my basic skirt sloper took me way less time than all the modifications I would have added to it based on the muslin (I think). If you have your basic sloper handy, draft along with me! Here are the changes which I added to my basic sloper.

The front piece

  • Add 20 centimetre pleat to the front centre.


The back piece

Don’t forget that I decided to create a flared silhouette to my basic straight skirt sloper.

  • Draw a vertical line starting at the centre of the back dart to the hem.
  • Slash the pattern piece along the line, close the dart and spread the pattern open at the bottom.
  • Tape the waist and re-draft the pattern.



Once both pieces are ready you need to re-check the length because it may change as a result of the pattern manipulation. For this, place the front pattern piece on top of the bottom pattern piece, making sure the side seams coincide with each other, and re-draw the hemline.

How easy is that?

To summarize, making this skirt confirmed how lazy I am about drafingt anything and that I buy too many patterns! I may think that drafting takes a lot of time, but sometimes making a modification to a patterns turns out to be more troublesome. I don’t want to take any official pledges but I mentally made a pact with myself to give drafting a chance.




As for the skirt, it has quickly became my favourite: so comfortable to wear and easy to match with any top, really. The only annoyance is that the fabric wrinkles very easily. But then, I like ironing.

Do you also think that drafting may be a faster and easier solution than modifying an existing pattern? Do you have recent examples?

31 comments:

  1. Great skirt! I love the denim you used (it's so hard to find good denim here, so I'm planning to stock up in Tokyo!) - the perfect shade of blue! I'm so impressed that you drafted this! It fits you perfectly and you may have convinced me to actually give drafting a skirt sloper a go (I have a top one that I use). Lovely photos too btw - that background is perfect!

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  2. Love your new skirt! I like the length you chose. I'm also too lazy to draft, even though I've taken classes. Maybe I should reconsider.

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  3. Your skirt is so great and heaps better than the burda - especially without the wrap waistband. I still laugh to myself about how we thought they'd sewed it so badly but it was just the wrap around! Oh I am lazy and never draft. You might have convinced me a little bit!

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  4. Ok this is why I finally need to get myself a skirt sloper! Yours is much nicer than the Burda! Especially with the lower wide waistband, like Kirsty said the wraparound sounds interesting but that picture of it just looked weirdly sewn. And you were totally right about that beautiful denim too!

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  5. This is fierce, Inna! I much prefer this without the wrap waistband :D

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  6. I have huge hips (let's be honest, it's not the hips, it's the round part a bit lower that's oh, so round!... *^w^*), and I still want to make the original version of that skirt... I didn't think about tying a big knot, rather just sliping one end of the sash around the other, we'll see how it goes.
    I should definitely learn how to draft the patterns, but I'm so lazy when it comes to sewing... I want quick results so I just take the Burda's pattern and modify it as I go.

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  7. What a great job you did on making the skirt you wanted. This is the main reason that I don't buy patterns! Once you've made adjustments to a pattern to make it fit, you may as well have made the entire pattern from scratch. Just look at anything on my blog. (With a few exceptions), I've made all the patterns myself!

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  8. Thank you so much for the lovely comment! Jo, I want to buy more of this denim and make a pair of jeans, dungarees and a dress! I'll let you know when I go there next time, you should come and stay overnight :) Crazy fabric ladies :)

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  9. I know, same feeling. I did not realize how much faster and easier my life can be with drafting. Definitely give it a go!

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  10. It was funny indeed :) We are so spoiled with all possible and impossible patterns out there but we don't realize how much time and money we can save if we more out butts a little bit more. Seriously!

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  11. To be honest with you, with the ready sloper, drafting took me like 10 minutes! I am just LAZY! When are you heading to Tokyo?

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  12. You must have had such a great day with the gals!!! and you did such a great job drafting this- looks perfect! Sometimes the image you have on your mind does not reflect exactly or at all in any pattern out there and taking an approximative match and modifying it can be too much hassle Besides if you got skills (and you clearly do) use them!

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  13. I am sure you'll do something amazing with this pattern. Have you started working on it?

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  14. Thanks for stopping by, Andrea! You are so right: drafting is a king!

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  15. Your fabric shopping trip in Paris sounds like it was a lot of fun! And that skirt turned out awesome! I love how you combined it with that cute tee of yours!
    Great job on using your sloper and drafting skills to recreate that skirt without having to tackle pesky (Burda) fitting issues! I don't have a recent example and my sloper is kind of old, but I definitely want to draft new/update my old slopers this year and draft more patterns from scratch and use them to alter commercial patterns like you did!

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  16. We'll see about that... *^v^*
    No yet, I've been working today on another skirt from December's Burda. I'm still deciding on the fabric.

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  17. This turned out so great! It must be so gratifying to make something you imagined using your sloper! I'm sure that drafting is often faster than altering a pattern, but I don't have any slopers yet so I'm stuck with a pattern! Sometimes I find it fun to alter patterns that I've already fit rather than starting from scratch with a new pattern, adding yokes or gathers, slashing and spreading to add volume. I've done that a few times (with the Colette Sorbetto and the Scout Tee) and have had a lot of fun with it!

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  18. Maider....Masustak5 February 2015 at 19:27

    It seems you had a great time with these amazing seamstresses!!!! Love your new skirt!

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  19. Oh Paris with the girls sounds so cool! As for drafting I couldn't agree more...I'm trying to start from a sloper or a TNT pattern. Not only does it saves money but also space! My current obsession is Stylearc Kate dress! I made 4 different garments out of it! Sometimes buying patterns saves you drafting time... Especially for more complex garments... So maybe 50/50 is a good deal for me!
    Well done on the skirt...I'm familiar with the back side issues ;)

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  20. Ach! You're not lazy at all! You still made the skirt sloper to begin with! I'm still not sure of dates or if it'll definitely happen, but it looks like it'll be a week in early March that I'll be in Tokyo. I can't wait!

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  21. :) this has happened to me too, that a pattern did not work out all and I ended up crafting it myself :) great job!

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  22. I love it! So practical, I bet it will see so much wear!

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  23. We had spent such an amazing day together! Although, we have never met in person before, it felt like we knew each other for ages!

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  24. I don't think you need to have a sloper per se. You can modify any of your TNT patterns. It does save so much time and nerves!

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  25. If you use any of your TNT patterns, you don't even need a sloper! It really is fun and opens so many possibilities!

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  26. Thanks, dear Maider :)

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  27. It does save time and money :) Where are other versions of your Kate dress? I saw only the black one and the purple top you've just posted!!!
    Silvia, it's about time that we meet somewhere too! I'll try to work out a plan :)

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  28. Oh, you are the queen of drafting! I could never do what you do. But seeing you coming up with cool garments motivates me!

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  29. Thanks, Laura! I do wear it quite a lot :)

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  30. Very cool skirt and pattern manipulation! Congrats!

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