Miss Maddy Sews a Thing or Two – Part I

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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!

Quilting Cotton Coord Quilting Cotton Coord

IMG_4947To 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 onIMG_4945 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

Finally, I’m also wearing a Hell Bunny petticoat which I purchased from Atomic Cherry. I love my big swishy petticoats…which will doubtless become very evident in future posts 😛

IMG_4925 IMG_4926 IMG_4928 IMG_4929 IMG_4932

Until next time,

Miss Maddy x

PS I’ve finally (almost) finished my Marlborough – keep an eye out for a post soon!


  1. Jo · June 11, 2015

    This is gorgeous! I really wish I could pull off the crop top look!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · June 11, 2015

      Thank you so much! It’s not a look I rock often, but I thought it went better with the high-waisted skirt 🙂


  2. elainearmenta · June 12, 2015

    Your a very beautiful young girl, and it’s a pleasure to see your enthusiasm and watch you sew!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Demi · June 12, 2015

    What a great outfit! I love the fullness of the skirt–the tulle petticoat is a gorgeous addition! These skirts are looking so beautiful I feel like I should try them out one day.. can you believe I’ve never sewn one before?? Was the hemming difficult?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · June 12, 2015

      Thanks so much! You should definitely give it a go, I get so many compliments on it but they’re actually the easiest thing to make! I found the hemming okay, as the raw edge had been overlocked I only had to turn it up and stitch, and it eased in pretty well overall. There was a lot of it though…the circumference of this skirt is almost five metres!


  4. Sofía · June 17, 2015

    That’s a lovely outfit, Maddy!! And the petticoat is a nice touch! 🙂 I love circle skirts and, after seeing your amazing one, I was thinking about making another… The last one I made, I sewn the hem by hand, so it was a total nightmare!
    I discovered your blog through Erin’s Bra-a-Week, and all of your makes are really inspiring! Also, I’m 23 now and it’s nice to see another young seamstress! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · June 17, 2015

      Thanks Sofia! 🙂 I can’t even imagine hemming one of these by hand! I am planning on doing a trim around the hem of my next one, and even the thought of going around twice on the machine is giving me headaches, haha.

      I’ve been seeing your makes on the Bra-a-Week too, and they’re all lovely! I had a very enjoyable look through your blog this afternoon as well 🙂 I love seeing other my age sewing, so I’m very glad to have discovered your work too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Seckry Terry-Cecil · June 29, 2015

    Wow this is lovely!! And a very talented photographer too, the pictures show off the ‘garments’ form and shape beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

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