Great Pattern Review Sewing Bee Round 1

So, I finally got off of my buns and sewed something…a skirt for Pattern Review’s take on The Great British Sewing Bee!

Burda 02/2014 #106

After my short stint in the Fabric Mart Fashion Challenge 2, I figured I was ready for another bout of intriguing competition.  It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve had a lot of fun with Pattern Review contests in the past (especially this one.)

The idea behind this contest is that everyone will sew the same thing every week; there will be four rounds with a winner declared and a group of participants sent “home” each week.

Burda 02/2014 #106

Here’s this round’s challenge per Pattern Review:

Sew an A-Line Skirt with Lining. An A-line skirt is a skirt that is fitted at the hips and gradually widens towards the hem, giving the impression of the shape of a capital letter A. source:

Your finished skirt should have all of these components
1. Zipper
2. Lining
3. Button/hook or any other closure
4. Waistband
5. Hem

My first thought?  Easy!  I can do that.

My second?  How do I make this skirt stand out?

I decided I would make Burda 02/2014 #105 again…except that I would actually make #106, which has a pleated yoke.

Burda 02/2014 #106

Then came fabric selection.  I knew I needed something solid or nearly solid to really show off the pleats.  And then I saw it:  the lovely, royal blue silk with body (it’s almost between a broadcloth and a taffeta) that my coworker very kindly brought back for me from Thailand the first time he went to visit his now-wife’s family.  I’ve had this fabric in my stash for about four years (I think), and have been asked many a time by said coworker if I had used the fabric yet (understandably).

Burda 02/2014 #106

The thing about getting special fabric from Thailand is that it’s special fabric from Thailand.  It can be hard to find a project you feel is worthy.  I think we’ve all been there with special fabric of any origin.

Burda 02/2014 #106Color is truest in these indoor pics.

The silk was quite easy to work with, but because of its pretty sheen shows all of the lumps and bumps and blips, like where the invisible zipper ends.  It’s sort of satin lite in that regard.

I chose a gray rayon bemberg lining fabric to finish it off.

Burda 02/2014 #106
Burda 02/2014 #106

I didn’t start working on the skirt until Tuesday, and finished tracing my pattern and cutting my fabric out on Wednesday.  I decided to start fresh with a size 40 instead of the modified 38 (AKA enlarged) I used the last time.  The fit is pretty good, but I might consider taking the hips in a bit.  I also shortened it 4″ like I did the last time.

Burda 02/2014 #106Not sure what’s up with the funky wrinkles in this photo.

Thursday I spent about 2.5 hours sewing, and estimated I was more than half done.  The pleats alone took me more than an hour; I am so slow with those things!

Burda 02/2014 #106

The deadline was yesterday (Friday) at 11:59 EST.  I’m in the central time zone, so that means 10:59.

I got working on my skirt again about 7:30.  I got everything machine stitched on that I could and then spent about two hours hand stitching.  I hurriedly took photos on my dress form, impatiently uploaded them to Flickr and went about adding photos to my official contest review.

I officially entered the contest at 11:59 PM EST; the last possible minute.

I was totally hot and sweaty and slightly manic after cutting it that close.

NEVER AGAIN.  (says the procrastinator)

Seriously, though, I never thought it would take me another four hours to finish the dang thing…making it 6.5 hours of just sewing, not including cutting.  Of course, I rarely keep track of how long garments actually take me to sew.

Burda 02/2014 #106

135 or so sewists completed the first challenge, and they all really rock!  Make sure to check them out if you have a chance:

The Great Pattern Review Sewing Bee - Round #1

We find out who won the first round and who will go on to the second round later today…we’ll see how it goes.  Good luck to all, but especially to the couple of awesome bloggers I know are participating (I’m looking at you, Carrie and Meigan!).



25 thoughts on “Great Pattern Review Sewing Bee Round 1”

      1. Just wanted to follow up and say I’m sad and surprised you didn’t make it to the next round ;( The criteria for the judging and garments weren’t very clear. My only guess is that you included pleats? I followed the forum and it was never completely clear to me what their thoughts were on the matter.
        Either way, you have a beautiful skirt – the color and finishes are wonderful.

      2. Thanks, Carrie. I appreciate it. I’m not really sure why and I will probably never know. Pleats were listed as something that was OK in the second post (that they reserve for additional info), but there was obviously something they thought wasn’t right with it. I was pretty deflated yesterday, but I’m finally getting over it today.

      1. I think it’s worth it if you like at 2-3 designs in the issue you’re buying, and also because I hate printing out PDF patterns.

        I always end up checking out what’s in each issue on Pattern Review in the Pattern section of the forum – someone shares the blog post that a great Russian blogger puts up every month.

        If I really like what I see, I typically buy a 3 month subscription (and gamble I’ll like them all) from GLP News, which is BurdaStyle’s US distributor, for $25. You can also call them to order an individual issue for $10 before they mail them out for the month or back issues are $13.

        There is also a US version BurdaStyle, but it doesn’t include all of the patterns, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

  1. This skirt is REALLY nice! I love the lines. The fabric is fantastic and the fit is great. You HAVE to make it to the next round with this. I on the other hand was just way to lazy to sew up a skirt in time.

    1. Thank you, Kathy! :)

      Too lazy? I think not with your cape and that awesome coat for your lil’ guy. You just had other things going!

      I was not selected to move on to the next round; I am disappointed and confused. I didn’t think my entry was the best, but I thought it was definitely in the top 56 (in my very biased opinion). I really have no idea what the judges were looking for or if they thought my skirt did not fit the basic criteria.

      I submitted my entry with photos of the skirt on my dressform since I was running so late, and I think that may have hurt me the most. The rules said the skirt didn’t need to be on a live person, but then contest committee members were citing fit as judging criteria.

  2. I love your skirt, it’s really creative IMO! In terms of the judging, I don’t know how they do it. I’ve moved on to the next round. I’m happy that I’m not one, the pool of skirts where amazing and I would have a hard time picking a winner. If it’s worth anything, I think it was a super amazing piece and you have great sewing skills.

  3. I think your skirt is absolutely beautiful. You inspire me to take out some Indian silk I got from a friend and co-worker several years ago (definitely more than 4 ;) ) and use it. I am sorry you didn’t make it to the next round, but luckily you have a wonderful new skirt and a happy coworker!

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