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Pattern Review: Burda 9-2009-121 — The Dream Skirt and another Grainline Archer

2014 May 11
by elizabeth_admin

The dream skirt is a reality peeps!  It took me a while and a new machine, but I have my dream skirt in real life now.  Thanks to Cidell for the pattern suggestion.  All my pleated  skirt patterns had curved hems and wouldn’t work well with a border print fabric.  Cidell let me know about a Burda pattern she had made a couple of times and I knew it would be perfect for my beautiful silk linen from Paron’s in NYC.  But on to the pattern review…

Burda 9-2009-121 (image from Cidell’s blog)


Pattern Description: “Pleated skirts aren’t always prim and proper! Lots of narrow knife pleats in front and inverted box pleats at the back give the skirt its shape.”

Pattern Sizing:  Sizes 38-46.  I made a size 42.  After I cut it out and started sewing up the pleats, I thought the skirt would be too small.  So I unpicked them and made the pleats shallower.  Of course, I ended up not needing to at all.  Sigh.  Had to take in the side seams then.  Good thing I just basted those in to begin with.  

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?   Yes, except for the fact that my fabric is stiffer than the fabric used in the magazine and therefore not as drapey.  I like it though for this pattern.  The stiffer fabric give the skirt a lot more body and swish factor.

Were the instructions easy to follow?   No clue.  Didn’t look at them.  Burda instructions are notoriously obtuse.  And it was a simple skirt with only two (three if you count the waistband I added) pattern pieces.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?


  • Nice straight hem, perfect for border print fabrics
  • Interesting pleat details, different in front and back
  • Simple pattern, easy to sew.


  • No waistband.  The heavy pleating in front really makes the skirt droop in front.  A waistband provides the dual function of a waist stay and nice easy finishing for the waist.

Fabric used:   A gorgeous silk linen border print that I bought during PR Weekend NYC in 2012 at Paron’s

Pattern changes or design changes made:  I added a straight waistband with a finished width of about an inch and a quarter, heavily interfaced. At first I thought I would make an overlapping band, but it didn’t look good.  I cut off the overlap and just added hooks and eyes as a closure.



Any problems encountered while sewing this pattern?  Not really.  Once I got my new to me serger and was able to finish the seam allowances, I was set.  


Serged with my new to me Baby Lock Imagine and a hand stitched hem


How long did it take you to make it really?   Gosh, I really have no clue.  With stopping during mid-make and questions about seam finishes and waistband finishes, I am a little fuzzy on exactly how long it took.  Maybe 3 or 4 days all in?

Which sewing machine(s) did you use for construction?  My Singer Featherweight and my brand new to me serger, the Baby Lock Imagine.  I love them both dearly.

Will you sew it again or recommend it to others?   Definitely.  If I find another great border print, or even just a great fabric, I would make this again in a heartbeat.  I definitely recommend it to others, even beginners with enough patience for all those pleats.



Conclusion:  A great skirt with awesome swish factor.  The pleats in front and back are awesome, but time consuming.  I would definitely add a waistband to keep the front droop factor to a minimum.  I’m so happy my dream skirt is now a reality.







And did you notice the new blouse I’m wearing with it?  Is it another sleeveless Grainline Archer shirt?  Why yes, yes it is, thank you for asking.  I had to have a nice white shirt to wear with my crisp pleated skirt.  Since I didn’t have  one in my closet, I needed to make one.  And since I didn’t have any white fabric in the stash, I needed to buy some.  Luckily, Farmhouse Fabrics had the perfect fabric, a very fine, tone-on-tone white striped cotton.  It is so pretty.  It was a little bearish to work with being so lightweight — my mandarin collar is a little out of shape, but it’s all good.



French seamed side seam

French seamed side seam


Self fabric bias bound armhole

Self fabric bias bound armhole





I am loving the sleeveless Archers.  They are so quick to make and yet still impressive.  Leaving off the sleeves makes them super quick and they look so summery, especially in lightweight fabrics.  I have a ladybug rayon that is screaming to be made up as a sleeveless Archer.  Maybe I’ll make that next.

This outfit is what I’m wearing out to brunch tomorrow.  I can’t wait.

21 Responses leave one →
  1. May 11, 2014

    Love it. Both the skirt and the Archer. Great summer outfit.

  2. May 11, 2014

    So glad you’ve got your mojo back – and look what you’ve made! The skirt is is classic but that fabric just makes it special.

  3. May 11, 2014

    Well, that must help justify that new to you overlocker! Both look fantastic.

  4. May 11, 2014

    I love this skirt! It turned out really great. It reminds me of a Burda fashion shoot where there combined a similar skirt with a graphic tee – just if you want to mix it up a bit.

  5. May 11, 2014

    beautiful skirt! i love the border print. the shirt is great also. i’ve made several archers, but i started working on my first sleeveless version just yesterday, can’t wait to have it finished!

  6. May 11, 2014

    Great outfit! I really love that wide yellow border on the skirt. The whole ensemble is crisp and elegant and looks terrific on you!

  7. May 11, 2014

    The skirt is fabulous, love the navy/yellow/white color combo of the fabric and all the pleats, the border print is so pretty! Perfect outfit.

  8. Judi permalink
    May 11, 2014

    To have a serger that works is priceless! Your skirt is very pretty and I love the blouse that I thought was a spendy RTW!! 🙂

  9. May 11, 2014

    Oh I love the skirt! It is so flattering. Where did you find the border print? Happy mom’s day to you!

  10. May 11, 2014

    perfect pattern choice for that fabric, great outfit. Jealous of your new serger!

  11. May 11, 2014

    Love the entire outfit — the skirt is just so adorable! Enjoy your mother’s day!

  12. May 11, 2014

    Adorable! The skirt is truly a dream!
    PS. I like the blouse too!

  13. Elle permalink
    May 12, 2014

    Looks great!

  14. May 12, 2014

    Awesome outfit! I lovc the skirt in that print. I just realized that I have made that pattern twice.

  15. May 12, 2014

    Your outfit looks great! Especially love that skirt!

  16. TinaLou permalink
    May 12, 2014

    Great outfit; glad you’ve persisted! Thanks very much for sharing your source for the blouse fabric; it’s a challenge to find white shirting that appears so fine yet has some opacity as well. Hope you had a lovely mother’s day!

  17. May 12, 2014

    Great outfit!
    I’m glad to hear your new serger is working well and making your sewing life easier.
    And you’ve just reminded me that I really need a white(isn) blouse for summer myself…

  18. AllisonC permalink
    May 12, 2014

    I love border prints so it is always good to get pattern recommendations for them. Great skirt in a great fabric, I can see that with a number of different tops.

  19. heather permalink
    May 13, 2014

    Very cute skirt! Is that pattern available somewhere online? I’ve been looking for something similar!

  20. May 13, 2014

    What a gorgeous outfit, love the skirt and the fabric. Also, great sleeveless Archer.

  21. May 17, 2014

    Great looking outfit ! Cidell’s pattern suggestion was perfect for that fun border print.

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