burdastyle 2/2013 skirt #133 & 3/2013 blouse #137

burdapink01It may look like a dress… but this is actually a top tucked into a skirt! Courtesy of the February and March 2013 issues of BurdaStyle. Also what a very confusing and messy looking post title.

bsoriginalMarch 2013 had this lace blouse (#137)  that I liked. Except that… I don’t have lace. However I did have lots of border print that I didn’t use leftover from the Colette Eclair dress. When I made the Eclair dress the fabric had a border print but it would have clashed with the dress so I avoided it. Which left me with 6 yards of a border that I wasn’t sure what to do with… until I saw this top.

burdapink08It’s the perfect way to use up all that border print, don’t you think?

Back CameraLet’s talk a bit about the pink/salmon colored solid though. I bought it on a recent trip to Cotonou in the Missebo neighborhood. This is the wholesale fabric market area of Cotonou, and although it is tough to see in the photo, the street is lined with fabric shops – either outdoor under umbrellas or inside a small shop.

missebo02The shops often specialize and only stock one type of fabric. Here it is solids/lining fabrics. I have yet to find a place that sells solids & prints together – they are very separate. Even men’s suit fabrics has their own row of shops. I assume it’s because these are all small businesses, and who can afford to have a huge varied stock? Better to focus to one type of fabric and let others focus on the other types.

Back CameraThere’s about enough space in this shop to walk in, turn around, and walk back out. Space is precious here in the crowded city. I forgot how much I paid for this cotton fabric, but it was rather cheap. Three meters for… 2500CFA? 5 dollars? Somewhere around there.

bsskirtoriginalThen from BurdaStyle February 2013 there was this pleated skirt (#133).

burdapink04I really liked this skirt but I ran out of my the pink fabric so I only pleated the front and just left the back gathered with elastic. That’s one thing I enjoy about sewing, there’s never a dead end. Only lots of new possibilities that are mine to decide on and modify.

burdapink02Pockets! I loved loved the Colette Hazel pockets (so roomy!) so I didn’t even bother tracing BurdaStyle’s pocket, I just used my pocket pattern piece from the Hazel pattern.

burdapink03I also shortened the skirt since, again, I didn’t have enough fabric. But also because I’m not a huge fan of super long skirts.

burdapink05After I abandoned the bias tape for the Éclair dress… I just couldn’t completely let go of it and decided to try again with this skirt. I just really like bias tape, what can I say?

burdapink11I had this grand idea. I was going to stitch the tape to the wrong side, then flip it over to the right side but pull it up a bit higher so that it would be a pink band peeking out under the bias tape.

burdapink12Until I realized… seam edges! It looked perfect but I had forgotten that there are seams in this skirt that would show through when flipped to the right side.burdapink13I abandoned my idea of having a bit of pink peeking out and stuck to the regular bias tape edge. When I tried to stitch it with my machine, the fabric was rippling diagonally (not photographed).

burdapink14I hand stitched a hidden catch stitch between the two layers. Aaaand perfect!.

burdapink06The bias tape fabric is stiffer than the skirt fabric, so the bottom edge of this skirt doesn’t form the pleats as nicely – but I don’t mind, I much prefer having the contrast at the hem rather than perfect pleats.

burdapink07Before I wear this dress out… I will make a slip for the skirt. Slightly transparent is a no no for me, I feel very self-conscious when I realize I’m wearing something unintentionally transparent, even if it is barely noticeable. I also need to wash my wall – it’s where I keep my bike so the dirt from the tires rubs off onto the wall.

burdapink08aThe untucked version, which hides the button “belt.”

burdapink10Here they are! I didn’t want to use a zipper for this skirt as I feel like wearing elastic 100% of the time here (too hot to wear anything else) but the widest elastic available here is 1”. So for the skirt I used elastic in the back but left the front elastic free since I didn’t want gathers clashing with the front pleats. As there are no back pleats, a gathered elastic back was perfect. Because of the thinness of the elastic, I also had to make the belt piece thinner as well. It isn’t very even and I didn’t sew the buttons in a good place, but that just means I have lots to improve on. Anyway, I don’t think others will be critiquing my belt when I’m wearing this skirt.

burdapink09Proof that this isn’t a dress – I can wear the top with pants/shorts as well.

burdapink15Here is the front V neck part. However I’m not sure how to sew a perfect V neck. It becomes extremely bunched together when I reach that “V” point and then is very bulky. I’m not quite so sure if I should be trimming/notching the seams beforehand or something. It’s not too noticeable on the front.

burdapink16For the back, however, my V point doesn’t look as good. If anybody is aware of a pattern with good instructions on how to achieve that flat V, please le me know!

Pattern: BurdaStyle 2/2013 pleated button skirt #133 & BurdaStyle 3/2013 vintage lace blouse #137
Fabric: Opulent Java 5394, salmon pink cotton

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