'The Big Valley' Skirt | Burda 11/2017 #106 Skirt

Channeling Barbara Stanwyck this morning.  ;)
She played a strong female character in the TV show 'The Big Valley' back in the day and the minute I put this skirt on, it reminded me of her.
Something about a skirt like this that makes one stand a little taller, a little straighter and feel 'strong'.  I like that.  :)
After seeing Elpida's beautiful version last year, I couldn't wait to make my own.  So Burda 11/2017 #106 Skirt pattern was traced last season..... and then I ran out of season before the project could be finished and all was put away, fabric and all.  Then a few weeks ago, while working on another completely different project, I remembered this skirt pattern/fabric and realized it'd be the perfect piece to complete that ensemble and within a couple of days this pretty skirt was completed.
Notice my fabric color is quite similar to Elpida's skirt too.  I seriously LOVE all the things she makes!!
I also admired her beautiful hand-stitched top-stitching she used on her skirt, but my fabric is a thick micro-suede, with an almost poly type backing and there was no way any needle could get through this except from a machine.
The most time consuming part of this skirt was deciding the top-stitching method and thread color.  My fabric was so thick my poor machine could not handle top-stitching a double-thickness, so I ironed the front seams open using a warm iron, and top-stitched on both sides of the seam using a goldenrod-yellow serger thread.  That was the only thread I had in the color I needed.  Not able to put the serger spool on my sewing machine, I simply wound an empty bobbin with the serger thread and put that on my thread spool and loaded my machine.  It worked great.  Moved the invisible zipper from center back to left side so the back would be nice and neat.  Still cannot seem to get that invisible zip in without a little pucker.  *sigh*  I can live with it though.  And it is at the side so it's not as noticeable as it might be in the back.  A skill I need to work on.
Be sure to watch out for the grainlines and place your pattern pieces accordingly.  Needed my walking foot as the fabric slid a little during stitching, which surprised me as it's so thick.  That's why it's always a great idea to sample your stitching first.   Hem was double-needled top-stitched with thread that matched the fabric color.  All seams were stitched and raw edges left unfinished.  No need to serge or finish because this fabric does not fray and I wanted seams to lie as smooth as possible.
Fabric came from All About Fabrics, my only-open-once-a-month local textile outlet center and 2 yards cost @$15 or less.   Am finding I'm purchasing more and more of my fabric there, as I (clearly!) like the choices available, the fabric quality is nice and a big plus is that I feel I am supporting a local business.
The fit actually surprised me as it is f-i-t-t-e-d!  I thought it'd have more ease from the hips down, but as you can see below, it's pretty slim and snug in the fit.  I made my usual size 36 waist graded to size 38 hips..... and after looking more carefully at Burda's model as I write this post, it looks like it fits her this way too.  I do like it.  It is just a different fit than I thought it would be.
Not a skirt to wear out for a big meal though!!  Gosh side views look almost identical don't they.
And I love the back view!!  All nice and neat without the zipper back there.  It does not feel too tight in the back at all either.
My sweet pup decided to join me for a bit this mid 80 degree temp morning.  Not a day for suede and boots but wanted to write this post.
Even though the plans I thought I had for this skirt were switched up a little at the last minute, it was a pleasant surprise to find it went perfectly with this Burda top.  Love it when those things happen like that!
Be back in a few days to show you the completed project all put together I've been working on!

8.17.2018 EDITED TO ADD:  The original plans for this skirt have been completed and written about at my 'Ode to Frida Kahlo | The Story in Dress' post.  So excited about this learning journey!
Happy Sewing All!  :)
EDITED TO ADD:  This is an August item for the Burda Challenge 2018.


  1. This is such a beautiful skirt! I had nearly forgotten about The Big Valley show. A few months ago we were relaxing in our hotel while on vacation and came across it while flipping through the tv channels. We stopped on it and reminisced about watching it years and years ago. Nice outfit!

    1. It was such a great, wholesome show wasn't it!! Thank you so very much Shirley!! What a super nice thing to say. :)

  2. It looks lovely Lisa and fits you like it was tailor made. Oh wait, it was!! It's nice to have something new in the closet waiting for the change of season.

  3. Great skirt and throwback look!

    1. Thank you so much!!! Loved these sorts of skirts back in the '70s. :)

  4. I can believe it reminds you the actress in the show although I don‘t know it. The skirt fits you like a glove and the top stitching is a lovely detail!

    1. Thank you so very much SaSa!! I am really enjoying making things that fit better this year. :)

  5. I think the fit is absolutely perfect for this skirt. It sort of goes with all the lovely panelling. You have done a really lovely job on this...and opening the seams out to topstitch was a clever idea. Sometimes we have to work around a machine's limitations.

  6. Your skirt is the perfect shape for you. I love the topstitching on each seam, it gives it a couture finish.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa