What a brilliant response I’ve received so far – thanks to everyone who has read the blog so far, liked my post or clicked follow! I’m still not sure how often I’ll be posting, as my double life as a med student is pretty demanding, but I’ll try to put something up at least as often as I finish a project.
In my first post I mentioned I’ve been sewing pretty furiously over the last few months, and now I’ll show off the fruits of my labours! Unfortunately there aren’t many construction photos of these garments, mostly because at the time it never occurred to me to take them, but I’ll provide details for those who are interested, and try to keep it in mind in future.
This is my first make of last summer: a simple circle skirt made from quilting cotton, with a matching crop top and headband! I’d been wanting a co-ord forever, now that they’re everywhere, but they tend to be prohibitively expensive – tops sell for $50-$60 alone. But now I have a beautiful, perfectly fitting set, complete with head band, for less than $30…and what’s even better? I’m the only one who has it! I’d also been craving a circle skirt, with my new-found love of everything 50s fashion, and here was my chance to have exactly that. And here it is!
To make the skirt, I used By Hand London‘s circle skirt app: all you need is to enter your waist measurement and desired length and off you go! The length of skirt I wanted mean’t I couldn’t do it in two pieces, as suggested by the app, even with my 150cm width fabric – but this was no matter, I simply added a centre back seam. I actually prefer it with this modification, as I like having the zip at centre back. I’d never inserted a zip before, so my grandmother helped me with this one; it came from her stash. I love the contrast of the bright orange, and how it picks up the colour in the pattern! She also finished the raw edges for me on her overlocker, because I don’t have one. Thanks Nanny! You can also see a little strip of decorative stitching above the zip – it’s also functional, holding together the two layers of waistband so they don’t pull away when the snaps are closed.
The top was made from a self-drafted pattern, following instructions I found on Instructables. I had to make two muslins in a cheap blue cotton from my stash before the fit was even approximate; even now I think the final version could do with some tweaking. It’s a two piece patten with darts for shaping, and it closes on the right side seam with six snaps.I have since refined the pattern and now have the fit just about perfect (and it will feature in another post very shortly!)
Finally, the head band I made using this tutorial. Very straightforward, and I’ve since made half a dozen of them! They require very little fabric (depending on desired length and width), so they’re great to use up scraps. These retail for $15 +, but once you’ve bought the wire they’re basically free to make! And they’re excellent to give as gifts 🙂
Some people don’t like to use quilting cotton in garments, and it’s certainly true there are projects for which it simply won’t do: anything supposed to be clingy or drapey, for one. But I think for a full, unfitted skirt like this one, the fabric actually provides some really nice structure and drape. Plus, it comes in a huge variety of pretty colours and patterns, and if you get it on sale, like I did, it’s really cheap.
- Fabric: quilting cotton from Spotlight – $18
- Zip: grandmother’s stash – priceless 😉
- Snaps: from stash, but originally purchased at Lincraft I believe
- Wire: from Spotlight – $5
Until next time,
Miss Maddy x
PS I’ve finally (almost) finished my Marlborough – keep an eye out for a post soon!