Tag Archives: circle skirt

Completed: Fancy Silk Georgette + Brocade

2 Feb

Here’s something a little different than my normal meat-and-potatoes (mmm… meat and potatoes) sort of dressing – FANCY GARB. YAY!!

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Also: SNOW! Like, holy shit it snowed soooo much last weekend! I had a nice snow-in for a few days (it’s true that Tennessee all but shuts down when the snow comes in – but, before you make fun: we don’t have snow tires, we don’t know how to drive in it, and the roads are not properly salted or cleared so they’re actually pretty dangerous. Also, come and deal with our 100* heat in August ffs. Ok, soapbox off haha), which was even better considering that I basically was in a Winter Wonderland. We ended up with a little over 6″ – y’all, I can’t even remember the last time I saw that much snow. Shit was crazy. Also, it all melted within like 3 days, and then the temps went back up to 65*. Yay I love Tennessee and it’s fickle weather haha.

Anyway, I wasn’t planning on taking snow pictures – it was obviously very very cold outside, and so bright that I could barely keep my eyes open (sorry in advance for all the squinty haha). But the indoor lighting was just terrible, so I took one for the team and tromped outside. You are welcome.

Ok, back to the real subject of this post!

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

I made these two pieces about a month apart, so I didn’t actually wear them together for NYE – although I definitely wanted to. Considering I didn’t start sewing for the party until a few days before the end of the year, I knew that shirt would not turn out nice if it was rushed. So I focused on the fancy skirt, and wore it with a fuzzy black sweater knit Renfrew (you can see a photo of the outfit on Instagram). It was the perfect New Year’s Eve outfit for my plans – reasonably warm, yet stylish, and had these big pockets so I could carry my phone, wallet and flask without worrying about a purse. Which, by the way, my phone ended up leaving my pocket at some point that night (I think it was more that it didn’t *make* it to the pocket, rather than leapt out on it’s own accord). Here’s the New Year’s Miracle, though – someone found it – in a pile of trash on Lower Broadway, apparently – and then returned it to me the next day. How awesome is that?! 2016, you’re off to a promising start! ♥

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

The metallic stretch brocade that I used for this skirt has been in my stash for a long time – over a year, at least (if not longer). I never knew what to do with it – it’s kind of thick, it has a really heavy stretch, and it’s pretty freaking fancy. I figured a pencil skirt or bodycon dress would be suitable, but I rarely wear stuff like that. When I was planning my NYE outfit, I decided to find a use for this stuff. I’ve been on a circle skirt kick lately, so that’s what I went with. I used my self-drafted circle skirt pattern (I used Casey’s circle skirt tutorial aaages ago, which I can’t seem to get a valid link to now😦 There’s also the By Hand London circle skirt app, which does the maths for you!), pieced to include side seams and a center back seam. This was mainly due to fabric restrictions – I had only a yard of this fabric. It’s super wide, though, so I was just barely able to squeeze it out. I also knew I wanted an exposed zipper and side seam pockets, which mean seams were necessary. The waistband was cut so the greatest amount of stretch ran along the length; I stabilized it with a piece of stretch interfacing to retain that comfy-ass stretch. Yeah man, it’s comfy.

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Sewing was easy, and relatively straightforward. My only complaints are that this fabric frays like a MOTHER, and it’s basically all polyester so it’s a nightmare to get a good press. For the fraying, I serged each seam separately to minimize the fuzz potential. For the pressing, I just used my super awesome, super hot gravity feed iron and then just held the seams in place with my clapper until they cooled. One thing I will note is that my iron has a shoe (basically a cover that acts as a press cloth), which keeps things from melting. If your iron does not have a shoe, you’ll want to use a press cloth on poly fabrics + high heat. Otherwise, melting will happen!

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

I thought an exposed metal zipper would look cool next to the fancy brocade, so I pulled a metal zip from my stash and used Megan Nielsen’s method to insert it (these are the same instructions that are included with the Brumby pattern, fyi). The pockets are silk crepe, also pulled from my stash. Nothing like using silk pockets to stow your whiskey amirite🙂

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

This past month, I finally gathered up all my cojones and made the intended matching shirt. Remember when I made Butterick 5526 in silk Georgette? I want to hate that shirt so bad – it’s pretty poorly constructed, I mean, that fabric was EVIL – but every time I put it on, I can’t deny that I like the way it looks. I want more floaty button-ups in my closet. I figured enough time had passed to forget the trauma, and I tried again, this time with much more success.

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

There are two major factors that contributed to the success of this version of B5526 in silk Georgette. First of all, I chose the fabric in-person, rather than blindly ordering online. Which means I don’t have a link for the exact fabric I used – I bought it at the Mood Fabrics in NYC when I was there in November. I have since ordered some swatches from the website, and it’s definitely not the same fabric as what I have here. Mine is more like a double Georgette – it’s much thicker, and less see-through (I’m not wearing anything under this top, except a bra. I think it’s a nude bra, but I’ve worn a black one underneath too and no one has noticed, HA!). That alone made a world of difference in handling the fabric. I also prewashed it in the washing machine/dryer (just a cold wash, ma’am!), which helped beef it up a little more. The second factor is that I used a spray stabilizer on my fabric before cutting or sewing. I’ve heard of people using a spray stabilizer – and allegedly, you can also soak your fabric in unflavored gelatin for the same effect, although I haven’t personally tried this yet – but I never cared to try it myself because I wanted to be able to tackle the fabric without any outside help. Also, a can of that shit is like $12, which is way too rich for my blood (says the girl who is currently looking at $45/yard silk faille lolwut). It just seemed silly and unnecessary. I always felt like using outside tools like that almost negated my skills as a seamstress, but you know what? That’s not true. It’s not any different than using a special presser foot to get good edgestitching. Whatever works… it just works. And that’s ok.

I am not going to go into too much talk about using spray stabilizer because this was my first experience with it – and I want to try it a few more times before I give it a big write-up (aka I don’t want to eat my words later haha). But I will say that it REALLY changed how the fabric handled, in a good way. Instead of it slipping around like butterfly wings, it held more like a silk organza. It made cutting things straight much more easy, and the shirt fits better as a result. I think my topstitching looks really good, and all those fiddly pieces weren’t quite as fiddly. Spray stabilizer isn’t going to turn your silk into quilting cotton – you still need some finesse with those fine layers – but it helps tremendously. It won’t work for anything that you can’t wash it out of – such as a coat lining (unless, I guess, you assembled the lining separately and then wash/dry it before putting it in the coat?) – but it’s perfect for this sort of project. These photos are post-washing, so it has the proper drape, fyi. I soaked it in the sink with some lingerie wash, hung it to dry, and then re-pressed. I have since worn the shirt and washed it in the normal wash, and it’s held up fine.

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

All that being said, I don’t think there’s much else to say about the sewing of this shirt. I’ve made it like a dozen times at this point, so there’s nothing new for B5526. The shirt is constructed with French seams and I used a very lightweight interfacing to stabilize while retaining that beautiful drape. I added buttons and button tabs to the sleeves, so I can wear this shit into the warmer weather. Yay!

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

I finally go to use some of my fancy vintage glass buttons for this top – yay! I didn’t have quite enough, so I had to mix them. There are beautiful black/green/gold Art Deco buttons for the front placket and sleeve tabs, and then solid black faceted buttons for the cuffs and collar. The white buttons you see on the inside of the placket prevent gaping at the boobs (I can’t take credit for this tip – I got it from Emmie and Jane). Speaking of which, if I’m getting boob gape… that probably means I need to start doing a FBA to my pattern. Sigh. Or else just keep adding hidden buttons hahaha.

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt

I think I’ve run out of things to talk about with this outfit, so I’ll wrap up. What’s your best tip for sewing the slinky? Have you tried spray stabilizer? Hey, how was your New Year’s Eve, anyway?

Note: Fabrics were purchased with my monthly allowance for the Mood Sewing Network. Also, there are affiliate links in this post FYI. Click at yo’ own risk.

Completed: The Pavlova Wrap Top

25 Mar

Well, you guys. I done goofed. I put this outfit together in hopes of the emerging spring – and oh, it is indeed emerging… so much that Landon had to mow the freakin front yard a couple weekends ago because it was sooo lush and green and, like, springy – but today is heartbreakingly gray, freezing, and the windiest of windys. I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me before I left the house this morning, but a giant circle skirt is NOT appropriate for this kind of wind. I managed to learn this lesson immediately after I flashed everyone on West End Avenue. Hope someone out there was nurturing a stockings fetish! Ahhh!

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Anyway, I think this skirt fabric is a pretty amazing floral for the weird transitional months – it has those pretty, bright, springy flowers, but they’re smashed up against a black background so it’s still a little srs bsnss. And it looks great with black tights (I always get all weird about what color tights to wear with my spring dresses, ok!). I got it at the flea market last year and I’ve been hoarding it ever since.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I originally cut this skirt out a couple of months ago, during an afternoon sewing date with my boo Lauren W. My fabric was large enough for me to cut a full circle, but hers wasn’t, and I wanted to be a good friend (and also get an idea of wtf I was doing before ripping into her fabric), so we pieced the pattern out so it has 4 skirt pieces, and then added pockets. You can’t see my skirt seams because my fabric is so robust and floofy, but trust me, they’re there.
Anyway, the sewing-date ended with a fully seamed skirt with pockets, and then it sat in my sewing room for… well, until last Friday. Lauren has been making progress on her own skirt at home (aw yay!!) so I decided to finish mine up, so I could wear it with my new wrap top. Don’t they match so well?! Like it was ~meant to be.

You probably guessed that the skirt is not the Pavlova circle skirt – it’s just my standard, self-drafted circle skirt pattern. It’s like a sneaky Pavlova, since it was cut into 4 pieces. Also, it’s not hemmed with anything but a very simple narrow hem. The fabric has a lot of body, so it stands up pretty well on it’s own. Which is great, because I don’t have any horsehair braid right now😛

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Anyway, let’s talk about the top! This is the wrap from the Pavlova pattern. I’m not even going to lie, I was a liiiiiittle apprehensive about sewing this pattern – something about that lapped seam on the neckline, not to mention the shoulder darts, looked intimidating! I really shouldn’t have worried, though – Steph has an incredible way of relaying instructions that makes them sooo easy to understand. The only problems I had with making this top was my topstitching – and I fault that to my fabric and lack of fusible hem tape to keep shit in place. I sewed a size 30 and made no alterations to the pattern.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

My fabric is from NY – I bought it at Fabrics For Less. This was my very short, very solo return to the Garment District on Monday afternoon. Yes, after 2 full days in that madhouse, I WENT BACK. And I bought more fabric. Honestly, I was very upset about the lack of knits in my suitcase, so I got this mint cotton jersey as well as a matching red, and also the french terry for my Avocado hoodie. What? Why are you looking at me like that?

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I don’t know if this jersey was the very *best* choice for this top – you can see everrrrrry single little lump under there (fyi, the line across my chest is actually from the hem of the wrap top, not my bra. Just so we’re clear ;)), as it’s super drapey and tissue thin. I just love the color though, and it goes with a huge chunk of my wardrobe! Word of warning – this is a short top. The front barely clears my waistband (which comes above my navel), and all my pants are too low to wear with it. The back is nice and long, though, which is sweet.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Also, this is one hell of a twirly skirt.

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

I forgot to mention – I added a thin line of mint piping between the waistband and the skirt, using a perfectly matching bias tape I had in my stash. Yes! I love it when these things work out!

Pavlova Top/Circle Skirt

Soooo… what’s next? Do I need plead a special case to the Sun God or what??

Completed: Giant Floral Circle Skirt

11 Jun

I looove giant repeat prints, but I find them difficult to sew – you want something that doesn’t have a lot of seams as to not break up that beautiful print (and thus render it obsolete). Unfortunately, less seams = less form-fitting, and if you’ve learned anything by lurking my closet for even five minutes, you will notice that I don’t do those loose shift-shapes.

I encountered this problem last year, and decided that circle skirts are a foolproof solution. You can’t disagree with me because I’m totally right, btw.

Floral Circle Skirt

This is part 1 of Stuff I Made Using Birthday Gifts – Trice (which I might add – if you haven’t been introduced to her blog you HAVE to check out the mini tailored jacket she recently completed. It is so cute; I died a little) sent me a giftcard to Mood Fabrics & I immediately zeroed in on this Marc Jacobs cotton poplin. Ooh, big repeats! And I need a summer circle skirt… right? Right.

As per my other circle skirts, I followed Casey’s Circle Skirt Sew-along for construction, using the pattern I drafted last year. I kept this one pretty simple/summery – cotton skirt, topstitched waistband & hem, no lining. Easy stuff!

Floral Circle Skirt
And I just so happened to have this hot pink belt that matches the background color perfectly… dontcha love it when that happens?😀

Floral Circle Skirt
Circle skirts are magical!

And just so you know I’m forreal here –
It is -literally- a circle with a smaller circle inside🙂

Floral Circle Skirt - Matching zipper :)
I also thought it was pretty magical how well the zipper matches the purply-grey bits. Confession: I pulled it out of my stash, and it’s one of those weird colors that I’ve had forever and never used because it was just so weird (and 7″ long). I can’t even tell you how delighted I was when I realized what a great match it ended up being. The little things!

Floral Circle Skirt - Waistband
My slashed zipper insertion went in pretty perfectly, if I do say so myself.

Floral Circle Skirt - Horsehair braid @ hem
The hem is finished with 2″ horsehair braid – a whopping 4 yards, to be precise. Rather than blind stitch 4+ yards of hem by hand, I sewed 2 rows on by machine. It’s not invisible by any means, but I think it looks pretty good as a design detail! And the horsehair braid adds such a nice flounce to the hem – I personally don’t care for circle skirts without some kind of oomph down there (on me, at least, they hang kind of funny & look limp otherwise). I’ve eyeballed Sunni’s petersham ribbon on a curved hem deal, and I love the subtle effect it gives but I haven’t tried it yet – mostly because every time I get hold of petersham ribbon, I just want to rub it all over my face forever. Is that weird? I guess that is kind of weird.

Floral Circle Skirt

Anyway, yeah circle skirts!😀

Completed: Giant Plaid Circle Skirt

30 Jan

plaid circle skirt

This is a pretty giant plaid, huh? I originally bought this fabric from Denver Fabrics, anticipating a cute little plaid dress (view A of Vogue 8667, to be precise), but once I actually got the fabric in my greedy little hands I realized I was not in the mood to match that enormous repeat. So the fabric went into my stash – for a year (or has it been two?) When I went through my big fabric reorganization effort, I pulled out the plaid yet again and wondered what the heck I could do with it.

Make a circle skirt, duh!

I’ll keep this recap simple: I used my self-drafted circle skirt pattern, courtesy of Casey’s sew-along. My plaid was big enough where I didn’t have to cut any seams – it’s just a circle with a little circle in the middle! I lined it in bright yellow Bemberg rayon – also no seams, yaaaay – and sewed 3″ horsehair braid at the bottom for a nice floof. The waistband is interfaced with horsehair interfacing (lots of horsies went into the making of this skirt, it would seem…), which I opted to top-stitch down to keep it from stretching out (something my previous circle skirt has been slowly doing, sadly, despite stay-stitching and everything). The back is closed with a button. Besides letting the thing hang for 48 hours, this was a really quick project!

plaid circle skirt

plaid circle skirt - lining!
Some yellow lining for your troubles

plaid circle skirt - open
In all it’s circular glory

lol I tried to take a twirl shot… it sort of worked out…

plaid circle skirt

plaid circle skirt - waistband
I guess you want to see it without the belt, huh? I cut the waistband on the bias to avoid doing any plaid-matching.

plaid circle skirt - back
Here’s the back. That bright yellow line is actually the bright yellow zipper – if I’d known it was going to stand out so much, I would have made a better attempt to hide it in the plaid design. O well.

plaid circle skirt - lining!

plaid circle skirt - button

I finished this up on Friday night & wore it to the Flea Market on Saturday… these pictures were taken post-Flea (hence my frazzled hair). I went onward with two things in mind – buttons for the Violet blouse, and yellow lace for this skirt. And look – the gods of the Flea Market were smiling down on me!

plaid circle skirt - lace
No pictures of me wearing it all lacy-like, though. SORRY.

Speaking of the Flea Market, ahem…

flea market haul
Check out my haul trolololol

I’m not going to post every single thing I picked up, but here are my two favorite patterns-
Simplicity 3766

Butterick 7557

flea market haul - notions & trims
All kinds of notions & buttons! I am the most excited about the bound buttonhole maker – I’ve been looking for one of these babies for a few months now! I don’t even know how much I paid for it because it was in a giant bag of stuff for $4. Also excited about those little flower buttons on the bottom – there are several in that container, although they are dirty as hell so they will definitely be getting a good cleaning soon.

Well I think I just ran out of things to say so I’m just going to end this here.

plaid circle skirt


New Projects!

26 Jan

Since my coat will not be ready for it’s unveiling this week, I embroidered a little L tag to make me feel better:
Coat tag
I just love putting these tags in my garments (and making them, too!). I think they really pull the piece together and give it a nice little personalized touch – you know, since sewing/hand-tailoring/fitting the damn thing wasn’t personalized enough. (this is where I roll my eyes)

Also, I love embroidery! I don’t get to do it enough, but I just find it so relaxing & free-flowing. This particular monogram is from Hoop Love Vintage Transfers – I use transfer paper to draw the design directly onto muslin, and then fill it with pretty embroidery stitches🙂 This piece has satin stitch, back stitch around the satin stitch, and split stitch swirlies. Yay! I DO feel better, thanks for asking!

During coat downtime, I’ve been cooking up some sewing schemes to keep my occupied ’till then.
next sewing project
A croquis for your viewing pleasure. Also, shoe fail.

sheer white dotted swiss
I will be making the Colette Violet out of some nice sheer white dotted swiss – I barely had enough to cut my pattern out (the under collar is actually pieced – whoops), but I managed🙂 This fabric is SUPER sheer, though, so the body is underlined with cotton batiste, and I replaced the interfacing with a sturdy muslin (collar, facings). Debating on whether or not to underline the sleeves – what do you think? The fabric is still pretty sheer even with the underlining. Mostly I don’t feel like hand-basting anymore but I’ll totally take one for the team if need be. Opinions, please!

next project
The skirt fabric – some poly blend plaid that I picked up at Denver Fabrics a year or so ago. I love how bright it is, but yeesh that plaid repeat is GIANT! I think it translates nicely into a circle skirt. I let myself buy a couple yards of bright yellow rayon lining… and a piece of matching petersham ribbon to stabilize the waistband. That creepy black blob in the corner is 3″ horsehair braid for the hem. Oh yuck, I just noticed that you can see part of a broken button in that picture too. Ew quit haunting my dreams.

These are all cut out and ready to be sewn up – the skirt has been hanging for about 2 days now, and I just finished basting all the underlining for the shirt. First non-coat of 2012, yo!

What have y’all been working on?

completed: tweed circle skirt

11 Oct

and i’m back to sewing! betcha thought i was gone for reals, huh? too bad!

who participated in the circle skirt sew-along? i had a little issue with time – aka, life got in the way – so i wasn’t able to finish in time for the first ’round of circle skirt party 2011. i was able to finish last night, though! and i’m wearing my new circle skirt today! and lucky me – i spilled coffee all over it this morning so it even smells good! /sarcasm.

circle skirt
this was a really easy pattern to draft & put together. i was able to smoosh mine out of one piece of fabric & eliminate any side seams (well, on the shell fabric – the lining was only 45″ wide, so there are seams in there!). although i was a tiny bit ambitious with my original length, and ended up cutting about 5″ off the finished piece. yikes! longer skirts & i just don’t mix, i’m afraid.

my shell fabric is a lovely wool tweed i bought at the flea market for $3. it actually has a herringbone pattern, which you can see on the swatch. it is lined with silky bemberg rayon – my favorite! i went with a pretty pink because, well, pink lining! the zipper is a faced slash zipper, hand-picked. i ran out of my original tweed fabric (or, rather, i had already done away with the scraps because that is how i roll), so it is faced with brown cotton… which i’m thinking was probably for the best, as the tweed is a slightly loose weave & tends to unravel. dropping in the lining was easy: i slashed a zipper opening & slipstitched it to the zipper. the top was basted to the top of the skirt shell, which is covered by the waistband. the lining is hemmed with a rolled hem and the shell has 2″ horsehair braid all around the edges – i used a little over 4 yards of braid! and i hand-stitched it all because i clearly have nothing better to do with my time.

circle! skirt!

circle skirt back

obligatory twirl photo
lol ~twirl

pink lining!

circle skirt
i really love the shape the horsehair braid gives the hem. it has a very nice subtle flair. i actually have a petticoat i made using sugardale’s tutorial (which is AMAZING, by the way. this is a good ‘un, people!), but i prefer the way the skirt looks with the braid. also, i made my petticoat with horsehair crinoline, so it has great body but EW ITCHY.

so there you have it! my first circle skirt!

~lol omg~