Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Circle Skirt of Procrastination

It's finally finished!  I had reaaally hoped to finish this sooner.  Yikes, so many delays!  At least it's still cold enough to wear it!  (I SUPPOSE that's a good thing- I do hate the cold though).

It's a wool blend so it's quite warm, and there's loads of fabric to wrap me up :)

Hmm, look like I've got a headache here, lol!  Just adjusting my hair!
I made the skirt from Casey's circle skirt sew along.  I have to say, the instructions were a little hard to understand in places.  I almost drafted a waistband with zero ease since she didn't mention adding ease in her drafting post!  That would have been embarrassing!  I used 1.5" of ease in the waistband.
I was inspired by Casey and Lauren's very cute versions.  But I'm not sure I wear it so well.  It's a lot of fabric, that's for sure!

My husband had some feedback during construction:
Husband:  Your skirt is very... voluminous.
Me:  Yeah, it sure is.
Husband:  It gives you weird proportions.  It makes..
Me: butt look big?
Husband:  Yeah.
I can always trust that one for honest opinions, lol.  Luckily, he liked it once it had been hemmed.  Hemming makes a huge difference!
Speaking of which, hemming took me FOREVER.  There is a lot of hem in this thing- it took me days of work!

First of all, I let it hang for the bias to drop.  And it did, a lot!  It was very uneven.  I hemmed it by hanging it on my dress form and marking evenly around.  I didn't want my poor husband to have to do it for me!  Of course I had to sort out a stand for my dress form first and that is another story altogether...another reason this skirt took forever.

For the hem finish, I decided to try out a bias tape faced hem.  This way seemed easier than the narrow hem- less laborious in terms of measuring, pressing, and stitching.  I stitched the the top of the bias tape down by hand for invisibility.  Yes, it took ages!  But I'm pleased with the results :)  I really like the bias tape hem and would definitely do it again!

Here's me holding it up while wearing it.
I did a machine rolled hem like Casey's sewalong described for the lining.  Geez, what a nightmare.  It's not the best, so no close up pic!  Haha :)  It was rather dodgy.

To show off hem in action:  Mandatory twirling pic!
This skirt is quite dramatic but I think I can get with it.  Styling it is all about getting the proportions right.  Maybe it makes my butt look big, but it does work to make the waist look nice and small!
I think it looks better with the top over it, rather than tucked in. Somehow it's more balanced.  I think it would be nice tucked in if I had a cardigan over the top to break it up though.

Maybe a yoke waistband like New Look 6594 would balance a circle skirt better.  Hmm, worth an experiment sometime....?  Or perhaps go with a half circle skirt next time...?

I learned a few new things-  Since it has no side seams at all, the zipper had to be made with a slash insertion (part of the sew along here).
Guys, don't face wool with wool when it comes to this.  It looks bad.  Just bad. 

my thick and chunky "duck lips" zipper
I picked it out (which was really freaky with a seam allowance of 2mm), and faced it with the lining fabric this time.
A lot less fat!
Muuuch better.  In hindsight, I should have hand picked it for more invisibility!

Shot of the back because why not.

I notice a lot of people with crazy contrast linings on their makes, but not me!  Good ol' grey on grey.

And that's my skirt! :)


  1. I love your circle skirt! Nicely styled with black tights and shoes as well. I've heard that skirts on the bias aren't easy so well done. Looks fab!

  2. I love your skirt, it really does make your waist look tiny. this type of skirts really suits you, job well done!

  3. I really love your skirt, especially the lapped zip. I am a sucker for 'ducked lipped' zips :)

    Contrast lining can be fun but the monochrome look can be just as pretty.

    Happy twirling!

  4. I love this! I don't think it makes your butt look big at all - it's obvious that all that volume is the skirt and not you!

    The catch-stitching on the hem looks beautiful - I'm so glad you flipped your hem up! Beautiful fabric too. Excellent work!

    1. Thanks! I'm happy to hear people think it's flattering! I was really rather worried about it during construction but I'm happy with the final product! :)

  5. I love it! You did a fantastic job!!!

  6. Wow. That looks so complicated! Especially the idea of a machine rolled hem. I am contemplating it for a dress I will one day finish (have gotten as far as a toile for the top, but am not much of a sewer, so procrastinating on rest since early summer - it is now autumn!!). It just seems so finicky!

    Beautiful job on the skirt...

    1. The machine rolled hem is way less difficult than it sounds. It's just measuring, stitching and pressing, just on a very narrow hem.
      I'm looking forward to seeing your sewing!

    2. It may be quite some time! I got a length of beautiful silk cast off from work, and have been planning to make an 'Allsaints' type parachute dress for over a year now, but haven't gotten very far.

      As it is silk, which I have never really sewn before, I am terrified of it!

      I will take courage from your rolled hem comment, though. heh.

    3. Ooh silk! That is lovely! I've never sewn with silk before. Good luck with it! But if you're terrified, definitely make a test garment first, because apparently needles leave holes that don't come out of silk, so no second chances!
      Test garments all the way :)

    4. Gulp. Really? Test garment??? I think you know me a bit better than that already! Hah!! Nice idea, but I just don't have the patience. I thought I was doing really well even stitching up a toile first!

      I will do some test runs on scrap, though.
      I hope.

    5. Ahh, when I say test garment, I mean muslin/toile. I sometimes avoid using those words so as not to sound too esoteric. If you've done a toile then once it's sorted go for it in the silk! Sounds exciting! :)

    6. yay! I am doing the right thing! Now you are making me feel guilty for not touching it for months. ;-D

      I figure I will pick it back up come next summer and I need a light airy dress to wear. I got stuck on the empire waist/skirt divide. I want it to be one of those cool looking drapey things Allsaints does so well, but wasn't trusting my idea of how the fabric should be cut to get the effect. I have since seen some gorgeous books on draping and was (amazingly!) right, so just have to get to making up the toile for that one.

      I worked at a fashion college for a bit, which is the only reason I use the name of the damn thing...I am more apt to think of it as a test or mock up. But the chi chi word is now stuck in my vocabulary! Damn them.

  7. Circle skirts are so fun!! I like your shirt tucked in or tucked out. It would look cute with a wide belt too. Gotta love our hubby's. Mine is too honest for his own good sometimes. lol!

  8. Your hard work paid off, the skirt is adorable!!

  9. Oooh, lovely! I've never made a circle skirt, but I enjoy how fun they look to wear! I like both ways you've styled it, but all I really want to say is: When you tuck your shirt in, that skirt gives you legs for MILES!! So when you want to be a leggy siren, tuck the shirt in! :)

    1. Haha, yes it does elongate the legs tucked in doesn't it! :D It's fun playing with proportions!

  10. This looks so cute! I like it with the skirt tucked in-- it really does make your wait look tiny and leaves the skirt very free and twirly! Great job!

  11. I think this skirt is great! I definitely don't think you should have gone iwth the half skirt - go big or go home! You made mistakes along the way (zipper) but you corrected them and moved on. Now that's the side of a good seamstress!

  12. This turned out great! I love a twirly wool skirt.
    The hem looks PERFECT and even if the zipper doesn't (which I think it does!), no one will see it once it's worn and the zipper is hidden in all of the skirt's volume anyway. :)


  13. Looks like a lovely warm and stylish item so well done for persisting and getting there before the cold weather is a memory! Enjoy wearing it and I think it is not at all unflattering with the improved length. As you said, it shows off your neat waist. Congratulations.

  14. ooh I love it! Your fabric choice is perfect for winter and it looks very chic. I'm with the tucking it in vote - it's so flattering for your waist and legs, and your bum doesn't look big!

  15. Fantastic skirt Jo and I really hope you have been wearing it. Then again it has been windy as all hell so perhaps it has been safety pinned to your legs lol.

    I like it with the top tucked and out - both very different looks but flattering too.

  16. pretty! and versatile. i love wool skirts, well, on other people, i don't actually have any of my own. you did a great job on the hem! i admire your patience. :)


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