Karen’s Heidi and a few related questions

by Erin on March 18, 2010


Karen's Heidi

This is Karen's Heidi — isn't it fabulous? I really, really love that fabric. You can read her review, here, on PatternReview. (You may need to log in, but a basic PatternReview membership is free, and if you haven't signed up already you really should — it's fantastic for research!)

I ran across Karen's version while I was doing a quick check to see what kinds of variations on the BurdaStyle Heidi have been showing up. There's Burda's own Prom Variation, of course, but I haven't seen very many other ones. Possibly because the Heidi is VERY CLOSE to perfect as is, but I've been thinking that I'd like to make it in more lightweight fabrics, as summer comes on (here in the Northern Hemisphere, at least).

The Heidi I linked to before is made in Liberty Tana lawn … but I'm wondering how the fairly narrow Heidi skirt works in a lightweight fabric. I'm worried it would ride up. So I was thinking I might double the width of the center front skirt panel and add a couple inches to the middle of the back of the skirt, which could then be gathered to make a slightly more summery and playful skirt.

I suppose the right answer is "line it, you dummy," but I haven't had much luck with lined skirts. Your thoughts?

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky O. March 18, 2010 at 7:36 am

Please tell me more about your lack of luck with lined skirts.Is the construction, bulk or feel you dont like?I get sick of wearing slips and lining may take time, but it adds just a bit of weight to the dress without changing the lightness of my fabric. Do tell!

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Anonymous March 18, 2010 at 8:12 am

I would make the skirt on this dress slightly A-line if I was going to make it in a lightweight fabric. I would also probably cut a mirror of that as an attached slip.In the alternative, I would underline a light weight dress fabric (treating both the lining and the outer fashion fabric as one). But, if a person did that, why not just use a heavier fabric, which would negate the reason for using a summer-weight fabric at all.

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beangirl March 18, 2010 at 9:11 am

You could do either, although I have to agree with Anonymous that I sometimes wonder at the wisdom of lining a lawn… or at least, when its for the purpose of suiting it to a structured garment. I think youd be better off in this case making the fuller skirt (and maybe adding the second layer of underskirt if you think its going to be too sheer). Does that make it a Heidi dress, though? Not sure. It would be pretty.

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Digs March 18, 2010 at 9:41 am

I just finished a self-drafted dress in a very lightweight fabric. I used a pegged pencil skirt for the lower part. I added enough width to each panel to create four 1 pleats near the centre front and back, but made the lining 3 shorter than the skirt and narrow, using the original pencil skirt pattern (just wide enough to skim my hips). This way, the skirt doesnt cling to anything, is very smooth over the hips sides, and still has lots of freedom to flow look as light and airy as it is. It wears well, too. :)

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Joni March 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

Id just wear a slip, but Im lazy. (And around here you can get vintage slips for next to nothing at Goodwill.)

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Karen March 18, 2010 at 10:55 am

Wow, you could have knocked me over when I checked in to see what youve been up to and found MY dress here! I feel so special. I like your idea of adding some extra fabric to the center panel, but if I was going to make a Heidi out of Liberty (and I probably am – theres a fabric on the shelf begging to be a lightweight Heidi), Id probably just underline it in white batiste. Ive done that before with Liberty and it really doesnt add much to the weight of the fabric, just makes it a little less sheer. Then again, I have enough lining fabrics on hand to line everything I make, whether or not it requires it, so it would really depend on the fabric. I might just line it again since it was simple enough. Id rather line than wear slips, they just dont work for me.I want to see more of your Heidis.

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Jen March 18, 2010 at 11:39 am

Im voting for underlining the skirt in a cotton–lawn, batiste or broadcloth. You shouldnt need to change the cut of the style. (overlock around the edges first, then you can press the seams open nicely after you sew)The method of underlining light weight fabrics in the skirt seems fairly common in my 50s dress collection, so you would be in good company.As for the skirt riding up: ditch the tights, thats probably the real problem.

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Josie Thames March 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm

This dress is so beautiful. It really, really makes me miss sewing. *pops stupid remodeling in the head* Ill be glad when my sewing corner is back in order.

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evalyn March 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Cotton lining would be a real issue if wearing tights; riding up would be an worry. With tights you would need a slick lining, or a slip. I like underlining, esecially with a light weight fabric that might stretch or stess at the seams of a straight skirt. Underlining gives more strength and body to the garment. But a little gathering, or an A-line wouldnt need that .

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laurageorgina March 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm

That is one covetable Heidi. I wasnt that hot on the pattern when it came out, but seeing such great versions might drive me to buy, print, and get down to business with Heidi.As for the lining–eek! I wouldnt line it, but thats because I hate the feel of lined skirts (and having a small waist and big hips, the lining always rides up). You could probably do quite nicely with a pretty slip, if necessary…

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laurageorgina March 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm

That is one covetable Heidi. I wasnt that hot on the pattern when it came out, but seeing such great versions might drive me to buy, print, and get down to business with Heidi.As for the lining–eek! I wouldnt line it, but thats because I hate the feel of lined skirts (and having a small waist and big hips, the lining always rides up). You could probably do quite nicely with a pretty slip, if necessary…

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MrsPost March 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I think that adding the extra fabric should make it work just fine. Youll get a little more swirl in the skirt and it will have the weight to hang correctly.

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WeirdRockStar March 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

Lining is the good stuff that Universe has given us. Always use lighter consistency ( in regards to the actual garment fabric ) and as long as the dress fits, lining wont ride up. The riding up happens only when layers of fabric stick to a bodypart. Hips dont lie. Also, a lining prevents from see- throughness in a lightweight fabric. And it adds structure to a well fitting garment. Sor summery dresses a microfibre and viscose ( rayon ) are comfortable options. Just remember to soak them in lukewarm waterm with fabric softener added to the water before use. Youll *really* need to preshrink them.

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wundermary March 21, 2010 at 12:54 am

So, what is going on with your linings? I think batiste makes a great lining for summery things. That would be my pick, too.

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Anonymous March 21, 2010 at 5:40 am

so… as a complete beginner (I have a sewing machine but have only ever hemmed a couple of laplaps (sarongs) on it), does this mean I dont HAVE to line the Heidi if Im using plain old craft-weight (I think) cotton? I thought it looked like a good pattern for a complete amateur to try, but REALLY REALLY dont want to attempt lining just yet!

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Erin March 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm

I made one Liberty version unlined yesterday (pics to come), and bought ten yards of cotton batiste off eBay … Ill keep you all posted!

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