Sewing Mojo Lost and Found

Thank you everyone for commenting on my last post about budgeting, I have been in mourning about how much I have to cut back and it was great to read everybody’s excuse method for working sewing into their budgets.  Very enlightening.

After writing about how excited I was about 2010 and all the cool stuff I want to learn and sew, my mojo promptly went on vacation.  I hope it went somewhere nice and warm.  Fortunately, I had a sewing lesson this week which forced said mojo to show up to work.  Yeah!!! 

Burda 11-2009-120

I am currently working on Burda 11-2009-120, the super cute, tweedy, inverted double front pleat skirt.  Of course, I looked up some of the reviews of this skirt on Pattern Review and there were some really helpful hints.  One person mentioned it ran large.  Another said that if you sew the pockets up for the belt, the opening for your hand is too small, etc.  I made the muslin with my teacher on Wednesday night.  

Here’s where my Nike ad comes into play, “Just Do It”.  That day, before my lesson, I just didn’t feel like sewing (remember, my mojo was vacationing in the South of France or somewhere equally nice).  I wanted to relax and completely veg in front of the tv and go to bed early.  I was really tired.  But I didn’t want to cancel on Thea and got myself psyched up.  Boy am I glad I did.  Can I tell you how much I love pleats?   And the crisper the pleat the better.  Yum!  I had read that one of the reviewers did some serious clipping of those pleats at the yoke of the skirt to reduce bulk at the tummy, so Thea taught me how to do that.  So cool!  I would never have thought to do that and the Burda instructions make no mention of doing that at all. 

Clipped pleats

So this is what you do, per Thea: 

  1. Cut horizontally right above where the end of your pleat stitching line ends, about 3/4 inch or an inch
  2. Then cut vertically up from there to the top of the pleat. 
  3. Grade the vertical cut so that the two layers of the cut pleat are different widths
  4. Do this for all the pleats (four in total on this skirt) so that you have four grades or levels of the cut pleat (is that the right way to term that?)
  5. Then stitch horizontally to the end of your pleat stitching line to hold the shape of the pleat.
  6. Later, you can tack the top of the pleat to the back of your pocket to make it even more stable.  This will help the pleats to stay in place and hold their shape.
  7. Do a dance because you have nice sharp pleats that will please you every time you look at them.  (You may even take the skirt out of the closet just to look at the pleats occasionally.  Really!)

So, I finished the muslin (up to attaching the waistband and sewing up the side seams) to check the fit.  I cut out the size 38.  Well, I guess that was wishful thinking, because there was no way I could have zipped it closed even had I inserted a zipper.  Whoo boy, was this sucker small.  I knew I put on a couple of pounds lately, but really!  Is it really necessary for these patterns to mock me??? 

I will not show you a picture of the muslin on me due to fear of internet humiliation modesty concerns.  Here is a picture of my beautiful muslin pleats from the right side however, for your viewing pleasure. 


As for the pockets, I did not bother sewing them on my muslin.  If they do end up too small to put my hands into after stitching the belt loops in, Thea suggested that I draw the scoop of the pocket pattern deeper (lower) to widen the opening.  I think that will be the perfect solution to that problem.  I will be tracing out the size 40 pattern tonight and pretreating my brown tweed so that I can start sewing my beloved pleats this weekend.    Can’t wait!  Thank goodness for the return of my sewing mojo.  Yeah!!!

Happy pleating everyone!


8 responses to “Sewing Mojo Lost and Found

  1. New to your blog and really enjoying it. And I’ll be following your skirt progress, since I’m making the same skirt. The hips were snug on me too, but the waist is proportionally a little big in comparison. I think it’s supposed to be a little “square” at the waist and hang low. I took the seam in a 1/4 inch on each side at the very top of the side seams, tapering to the regular seam at the end of the band and it fits better. But it will make it harder to wear a belt with since there is no belt loop in the back, and the shaping makes the belt want to ride up in the back, if that makes sense.

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see your skirt!


  2. Thanks for this post. I also fancy making this skirt and your photograph of the pleats is really helpful. I am beginning to feel a little more confident about starting it. I’d be interested to see any posts you have regarding lining this skirt! 🙂

  3. I love this Burda skirt but I can’t pull off anything knee length because my legs are so short. This will look great when you finish – I’ve never done anything with pleats (on my to do list) and this has inspired me. Keep plugging away with class – you’ll always feel better after you’ve gone and done it.

  4. Your muslin looks great and I’m happy to hear your sewing mojo has come back. Really looking forward to seeing the skirt finished.

  5. Well I guess we know what you will be doing this weekend!

  6. Wow, you’ve got a good teacher! Good luck with the project.

  7. I love this skirt!

  8. I totally LOVE this pattern and it is definitely on my to do list when the weather turns a bit cooler here.. thanks for the tips about clipping – I’ll bookmark this post for when I get round to making it.. I have never found Burda to run big on anything.. I wonder if the person who said this pattern ran big used a very loosely woven wool which stretched a lot on sewing???

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing the real deal!

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