Psychedelic Leopard 2: Burdastyle 2012-05-113 draped skirt

It was love at first sight for this pattern, though I didn’t have the leopard print fabric in mind.  In fact, the print might not be the best choice as it obscures the lovely drapes a bit. But when I was planning a wrap top for the fabric, I thought this skirt worn with the wrap top might give me a faux wrap dress look I originally wanted. Never mind that the wrap top never materialized due to fabric shortage. The skirt pattern stuck. Especially after I saw Merche of Aventuras de Costuras showing off her version worn with the very same V1282 top I also made from this fabric.

The Pattern

One piece pattern, très chic result. How brilliant is that? Photo here is actually for the longer view C in a thicker knit. I went for the mid-length view B.

Style Shots & Mug Shots


Fabric & Notions Used

Size Used

For bottoms I’m between size 34 & 36. I chose 34 because I assumed a knit pattern would be more forgiving and I wanted a snug fit. I did check the pattern measurements against my fabric’s stretchability to ensure the negative ease won’t be too much for the fabric to handle.

Changes Made


  • Narrowed hip 3/16″ on both side seams (3/4″ total) to get 0 ease at hip level.
  • Short Waist Adjustment – lowered the raised waist by 1″ (from 3″ to 2″) so the top edge isn’t right at my underbust.
  • Ignored the hem length and measured on the unpleated side seam the length I need for a skirt length that’s just below my knee.
  • Added zipper and hook to the pleated side seam. I wanted a snug fit at the waist and didn’t want my fabric to stretch out of shape with wear. So zipper was the only way to go. Noting the problem Merche of Aventuras de Costuras had with wavy zipper on the unpleated side I went for the pleated side, thinking that the pleats might hide any waviness.

Verdict on the Instruction

It’s typical Burda instruction: terse, unillustrated. So put on your thinking hat, I usually do anyway. In this case, it didn’t help me with step 1: I was totally confused about which direction to press the pleats.

bs201205113-3In the end I pressed it in a way to minimize the bulk noted by several Pattern Reviewers: Bottom 3 pleats downward, top 2 pleats upward, and the remaining pleat half-up-half-down. Even so, the pleat still puffed up like a blow fish. And my fabric isn’t that thick. Even with the underlining I’d say it’s mid-weight at best. Imagine this in a thicker ponte knit! I feel your pain, fellow Pattern Reviewers.

bs201205113-4See how the zipper is buried in the Valley of the Pleats!

Distributed pleats. And tightly trimmed seam allowance. Imagine the thickness of those pleats multiplied by two if I didn’t. It looks rather precarious though, doesn’t it? As insurance against fabric fraying and pleats falling apart I then fused 3/4″ wide So Sheer tricot interfacing to the seam allowance, overlapping stitching and the inner pleats. Sorry I forgot to take photo showing this.

bs201205113-6Zipper catch-stitched to the underlining to further tame the bulk.

The resulting pleated side is bulky, but not uncomfortable. And I think the bulk enhances the draped design. So no complaints from me.

bs201205113-2Heeding the warning of  Melissa of Fehr Trade about potentially saggy waist and facing flipping out, I went down the separate facing route (views A & B) and as extra insurance (a) interfaced the double-layer facing with So Sheer tricot interfacing  which has stretch in one direction; (b) added clear elastic to the skirt-facing seam; and (c) catch-stitched the bottom edge of the facing to the underlining rather than just tacking it down at the two side seams.

Dawn of Two on Two off  wondered on Pattern Review about why views A & B have separate facings and view C has cut-on facing. My theory is that the “Ponte Jersey” recommended for view C is stable enough not to need the double-layer facing or the extra seam for added stability. The “Fine Stretch Jersey” recommended for views A & B would be too flimsy without stabilization. So I’d recommend choosing the appropriate facing option depending on the fabric you choose, regardless of the length you go for.

Other than these two finer points, it’s a fairly easy and quick skirt to sew up. So don’t let my long-winded review put you off!

Would I sew it again / Would I recommend it to others

You betcha! One in a heavier-weight knit like the view C photo. And maybe even a woven! I would have to go up a size or two width-wise of course.

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