This September I’m sewing along with Casey at Elegant Musings. A bunch of talented seamsters and I are all making circle skirts, and this post marks the completion of my skirt.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the newest addition to my closet: the circle skirt.
It’s not just a simple circle, either. This skirt has quite a few surprises. Self-drafted pockets. An invisible zip. A flower pinned to the waistband closure.
The fabric is an indigo-dyed batiste from Fine Fabrics. I wanted a lighter weight neutral, and while this one likes to hold on to its wrinkles, it’s a delightful almost-denim blue. I can imagine pairing it with almost anything I’d pair with jeans. Which is everything, basically.
At the last minute I added horsehair braid to the hem – the half-inch horsehair braid that you can get from your local craft store. I loved the way the fabric fell without it (see here and here to get an idea), but I also wanted to see just what the horsehair braid would do. The skirt now falls in a few large billows of fabric instead of many small ones. It also has body and character. Maybe more of a 50s sock hop kind of character, but character all the same.
Do you pull the skirt out, then mark, or let it all hang naturally? There is so much volume, so it must take ages.
My husband and I pinned and pinned until we settled on a hem that was more or less parallel to the ground. To do so, I put on the skirt, and then he used a skirt marker I bought on Etsy to pin at evenly spaced intervals around the skirt. We did our best to let the skirt hang naturally while pinning. And, it was pretty obvious when a pin was out of place. It took forever to pin and just about as long to sew – even though I used my machine for all of it. I originally wanted to hand sew the entire thing, but there just wasn’t time. Work has been all consuming lately, and it took all of my free time as is.
I finished the skirt last night and celebrated with a little twirl. This skirt can dance!
Overall, I’m very happy with this skirt. I learned a lot about drafting and drape and grain. I now know the exact circumference of my waist and just how many inches above the ground a below-the-knee length skirt should be for me. That said, I did hit a few snags. As Kristin found, my waistband came out without the one inch overlap. Next time I’ll have to double check my math. To save it this time around, I made the seam allowances smaller to give it a bit of a lap and then used a pin my parents gave me for my birthday to hide the flaw. I also didn’t get the pockets quite right – twice. This type of pocket is nearly invisible in my Crescent skirt and Lonsdale dress, but here mine gaps a bit. I thought I’d understood roughly how Tasia had drafted hers, but I obviously don’t have it quite right. Even when I went back to the drawing board and cut the pockets out a second time, they still weren’t quite right. Something to add back to my to-do list.
I can’t thank Casey enough for hosting this Sew-Along. It’s been a wonderful learning experience for me, and I’m extremely pleased with the outcome. When I can find the time, I now have the confidence to draft a simple dress that takes advantage of a circle skirt. But, first, I have to finish my bombshell dress and make quite a few gifts for others. Until then, happy sewing!