October 28, 2011
circle skirt sew-along party--take 2!
After the technical problems of the last CSSA party post, I’m so glad I’m able to bring you another to share the additional circle skirts—they’re all knock-outs! Once again my head is swimming with ideas for other circle skirts I want to make… You know what inspires me even more than all the different variations on the circle skirt? Seeing so many ladies happy with something they sewed themselves! There was a great mix of experienced and beginner sewers that took part in this sew-along, and I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was that this caught so many people’s fancy! You all are so creative—thank you ever so much for making this sew-along such a roaring success! Anna at Anna in Technicolor – “My circle skirt is made out of tan Pendleton wool. I was really inspired by the simple silhouettes of 1950s skirts for fall and even though it’s so totally basic (in both color and cut) there’s something so elegant and classy about it. Especially when combined with a black cashmere cardigan and patent heels. And red lipstick, of course!” Charlotte at Tuppence Ha’Penny – “I was sad I missed out on the circle skirt sew along, especially as I'd been planning to make a circle skirt for months. So when I saw your note that there would be a second circle skirt party I was happy I could join in after all. I used a pattern though, rather than the drafting instructions. My skirt is made a heavy, almost felt-like woollen, lovely and cosy for winter weather. I really wanted to do a wacky, 50s style appliqué, and played around with various ideas before settling on a telephone. The inspiration was a celluloid brooch I saw on ebay, in the shape of a telephone with the cord forming the word "Hello". I knew the soutache braid I'd ordered to make the cord wouldn't arrive in time for the party, so I got some rid rac to stand in for it, but as it turns out I really like it this way!” Jody – “When browsing for fabric for the circle skirt, I came across a fabric with cute little ladybugs. It was then I decided that ladybugs would be just perfect for the circle skirt embroidery embellishment. I then began my search for a fabric color that would go well with the ladybug fabric. I decided to step outside the box and go for color. (I tend to like pants and skirts in black). I think it turned out well considering it had been close to 30 years since I have done much sewing. I will make this skirt again. I will try the next once with a softer / lighter fabric than the linen I chose for this project. I had forgotten how terribly wrinkled linen gets.” Katjana – “The navy blue color of the fabric inspired me to craft the skirt with sailor look. So I added two white stripes parallel to the hemline and fixed two little bows. Another detail is the white cotton with rosy-roses-print as lining for the waistband. The skirt is not lined, but I sewed a "second" circle skirt out of very light white cotton to wear him as underskirt/petticoat. I'm so happy with the result that I'm looking forward to every day and event, I can wear my ‘Sailor-Roses Circle Skirt’.” Lauren at Lladybird – “Can you believe I've never actually owned a circle skirt, much less made one? I was always put off by the amount of fabric they require. Fortunately, this wool tweed has been hanging out in my stash just waiting for a project like this - and it was only $3 at the flea market! I lined it with slinky pink bemberg rayon (the actual name is "watermelon") and shorted the hem to hit to above knee-length (which, in retrospect, should have happened when i was drafting the pattern - I hate wasting fabric! argh!). There is horsehair braid to give it a nice flare. My favorite new swirly skirt! Now I want to make a hundred more lol.” Lou at Des idées derrière la tête – “I didn't want to buy any more fabric for this skirt (I have a collection of fabrics...). Because of the yardage, I didn't have a lot of choices.I finally chose this light white cotton with bubbles design. I wanted to wear this skirt with black for the contrast. I forgot to add seam allowance at the waist so my final skirt is a bit too large and my finishings aren't perfect especially the narrow hem. But I learned a lot and I'm not afraid anymore by inserting zippers!” Marie at A Sewing Odyssey – “I absolutely loved this sew-along! It's impossible to go wrong with two pattern pieces and two body measurements, right? Me being me however, I managed to make my first attempt too small by forgetting to add my seam allowance. What a shame, considering I picked out a lovely light cotton in a classy novelty print. Everything happens for a reason though, because my second attempt is actually perfect for the winter weather! The weight and drape of the fabric is lovely, it's both comfortable and chic. I've loved wearing it out and about!” Rachel at The Jacobite Rose – “My skirt is made from 100% cotton- which was in my stash :) I originally bought it because it reminded me of the fabrics of the 1940's, and I had earmarked it for a dress. Instead, it sat in the stash, doing nothing, until I remembered it in time for the circle-skirt sew along. I chose to use the rolled hem technique, and I am very pleased with the way it turned out. The fabric is fairly lightweight, and could not have held a horsehair braid hem! Alas, I did not manage to get a petticoat done, but I did find that starching the skirt really helps.” Relynn at Stumbling Through Life – “The inspiration for my skirt came from images of 1950's models in circle skirts, especially for fall wardrobes. I wanted to have a circle skirt that was retro, but not dated and old looking, and I wanted something that would look amazing with my knee high boots. My style is DIY retro glam and the fabric I used was a smooth cotton with a lovely autumn toned floral print that has golden metallic details in the print. It's a little glitzy, which suits me perfectly. I did not cut the skirt in quarters, I cut it in half circle, as one piece with a side seam and 7" zipper closure. The waistband on mine is very thin. As I knew I would always have the waistband covered with either a shirt or a belt I didn't need a detailed, thicker waistband. I did add one hook and eye closure to the waistband above the zipper. I bound my side seam with purchased bias tape and did a narrow hem on the skirt.” Shawn – “It is made from a mid-weight suiting, feels a bit like brushed flannel on the exterior. I really like how well the material drapes on this, but have to admit that I had to do some tweaking after I messed up. I held off cutting out my waist on this because I just kept thinking, that is was way too small, so instead of following your excellent directions I cut out a larger waist and thus completely messed this up. Instead of getting mad, I decided to "make it work" to quote Tim Gunn. I took my two 1/2 circles and cut them into four 1/4 circles, of these I took three and sewed them all together, to then compensate for the excess girth in the waist I made two large darts on the back two pieces on either side of the zipper. These are some pretty big darts, but instead of hating it, I actually love how it drapes in the back, a bit of a waterfall effect. I have cut out another skirt, this time correctly, and hope I can finish it this weekend.” Stitched and Witter – “I really wanted to reuse my wedding dress petticoat again so this was the perfect opportunity... and I'm a sucker for polkadots... and this shade of green. I learned some great new skills with this project too, like how to put in a sweet lapped zipper and how to attach a waistband. I love how happy this skirt makes me. Thanks Casey!”