I have been debating whether, in these times of uncertainty, worry and even panic, such a perhaps frivolous post is the right thing to talk about. But I feel that, as we take the measures that our national governments require, as well as any sensible actions that we feel we must, we still need a degree of normality and keep on carrying on. For me personally, and I do consider myself lucky that I have so far been little affected, this means continuing to do what I would normally do. This is sewing, blogging and keeping up the conversations with my online friends and the community. So, a frivolous style post is my way of coping with all the craziness. Apologies if it’s not yours and I hope that you will find this distracting and entertaining and not disrespectful.
Now on with the show…
This is really turning into a proper (almost) monthly blog series, this ‘3 ways to style’ types of posts… Hope you are enjoying reading them as much as I am playing dress-up…
On this particular occasion, I’m bringing you a bonus bit as well, as this will double up as a mini-review for this pattern. It’s a really simple skirt, so I did not think it was really worth a proper full-on review. But I did want to give you a few more details that I would not otherwise include in a style post.
ASYMMETRIC PLEATED GREY SKIRT | BURDA STYLE 03/2015 #104
This pattern is right of the cover of the March 2015 issue of Burda Magazine and I was immediately drawn to it. I do love an interesting skirt and I have been looking for a midi pattern that was a bit different.
The pattern features pleats, inseam pockets and a mid-calf length at its longest point (under knee-length at the highest point).
It’s a typical Burda pattern, well-drafted but with the most sparse instructions. However, it’s a very simple pattern and I could easily do without them anyway. I just traced out the pattern and then did my own thing. Remember to add seam allowance, as the magazine does not include it.
I traced a size 38, but ended up taking it in significantly (see Alterations below).
This is a mystery suiting fabric from my stash. I think it has a good dose of polyester, as it hardly wrinkles. I did not do the burn test to confirm it properly, but I’m sure there must be some other fibre there, maybe a viscose, as it’s quite lightweight and drapey.
As you may have noticed, I am going through a bit of a grey phase at the moment, but I like adding a bit of a colour spot, especially earings, as well as pairing what can be considered a more boring fabric with slightly funkier designs (stay tuned for another make in this fabric coming to the blog very soon).
ALTERATIONS & FIT
For such a simple project, this skirt was hell to make. I think I unpicked the invisible zipper three times and the waistband twice! Because of the pleats, I just did not seem to get the waist measurements right.
Also, weird thing, I finished it in the evening and it fit fine, but then when I wanted to put it on in the morning, the waist was huge! This never happened to me in 10 years of sewing… So I had to unpick and take it in, yet again.
In the end, I gave up the pockets – I know, sad thing – as I could not be bothered to figure out the invisible zipper + in-seam pocket combination. If anyone has a good tutorial for that, please give me the link in comments!
I also added a waistband. The pattern only featured a facing, and there is no way to describe how much I hate facings of any type! So I just made a straight 2 piece narrow-ish waistband (4cm wide), and added it on. I finished it with bias tape and stitch in the ditch from the right side. This is definitely my favourite way of finishing waistbands, as I can never catch the fold if I use the pressed-under option.
For the record, my measurements are:
- Hips: 98 cm (38.5in)
- Waist: 72 cm (28.5in)
- Bust 88cm (34.5in)
- Height: 1.72m (5’7”)
And now let’s have a look at how I styled this skirt for the office, for going out and for comfort.
1| STYLING AN ASYMMETRIC PLEATED GREY SKIRT FOR WORK
I’M WEARING: RTW Shirt (a handmade alternative here); RTW knit poncho; DIY grey skirt; DIY polymer clay earrings; Marks & Spencer shoes.
Being warm and office-ready in the winter is quite a feat! You might have seen this woollen poncho on the blog before, because I really enjoy wearing it in the winter, especially over a crisp white shirt. I think it works quite nicely with this skirt as well. And let’s not forget the block heel lace-ups that are great to polish the look.
LAYERING: This definitely the key element of this look. By definition, the poncho is a piece that is meant to be overlaid over something else. So it’s perfect to both cover but also highlight other items in a look.
TONE ON TONE: There is a lot of grey in this outfit. And of course, it’s on purpose. I continue to maintain that grey is a colour all on its own. The white shirt provides a nice canvas as not to be overwhelmed.
A BIT OF RED: Red lipstick is turning into my absolute go-to make-up tool. I never used to wear a lot of lipstick, but lately, it’s becoming my signature. Especially in an outfit with so much grey, a pop of colour is a must!
2| STYLING AN ASYMMETRIC PLEATED GREY SKIRT FOR GOING OUT
This is a play on one of my favourite outfits ever, based on another firm favourite, the pleated midi skirt, plus a red cami and the same jacket and shoes. Now, this is a colder weather version. I’ve replaced the silky cami with a thermal turtleneck and put on tights to keep me stylish and toasty at the same time. I’ve also added my terracotta earrings for a pop of colour.
COLOUR BLOCKING: I really like how the black turtleneck and the jacket form a mono-block, which contrasts with the grey of the skirt.
LAYERING: I wore this outfit as it is (minus the heels, I had warmer and more sensible footwear) under a winter coat in December for a theatre outing. However, this can also be worn as it is when the weather gets warmer.
PROPORTIONS: I am a big fan of pairing high heels with a midi skirt. Also, as you can see in the pics without the jacket above, a fitted top also goes really well to emphasise the waist. I also love the asymmetry and how the length differences look interesting, yet playful.
SECRET WARMTH: I don’t know if it’s an age thing, but I love a bodysuit in the winter. I just can’t stand to have my back bear. This thermal body is super thin but also keeps me super warm as an underlayer. Plus it has the extra advantage of keeping my tights from slipping down as I snap the crotch over them. I chose to buy this one instead of making it because of the Heatgen (TM) fabric that I could never find to buy. But if you want to make one, I love the Nettie Bodysuit from Closet Case Patterns and the one from Studio Calicot that is actually a turtleneck as well.
3| STYLING AN ASYMMETRIC PLEATED GREY SKIRT FOR COMFORT
I’M WEARING: RTW Metallic boxy jacket (very old); RTW striped long sleeve t-shirt; DIY grey skirt; DIY sneakers; DIY polymer clay earrings.
I did ponder a bit on how to create a comfy look with a skirt that’s quite formal. The answer came as I just finished a new pair of Sneaker Kit trainers that were, you guessed it, grey as well. So, when I just showed you some outfits where the heels feature prominently, here’s one where it’s about the trainers. I haven’t worn this out yet, as I just put it together for this shoot, but I know it will get loads of wear as soon as the weather gets warmer.
PROPORTIONS: I like the way the fitted top works with the boxy jacket that is not too long, over the slightly poufed skirt.
TRAINERS: I am really enjoying the latest trends on wearing trainers with pretty much anything. I think the more formal look of the skirt is totally brought down to earth by the trainers and it makes it look super fun. Not to mention comfortable.
STRIPES: It’s official, a striped top goes with anything. The French were really onto something here. This is one of the oldest items in my wardrobe, and I still love it as much as ever. It can be so easily paired with anything!
SAVE THIS FOR LATER ON PINTEREST
SO HOW ELSE WOULD YOU STYLE A GREY PLEATED MIDI SKIRT? ALSO, WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE OUTFIT? WOULD LOVE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS.
ENJOYED THIS POST?