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A hello and four circle skirts



Hello!  I’ve been reading We Sew Retro on and off for a while and it only finally occurred to me today that this would be the perfect place to share all of the sewing that I’ve been doing, as my fiancee is getting a bit sick of hearing me carry on about it!

Some introduction… I first got into vintage clothing after buying my first petticoat last fall, and then my mother gave me my very own sewing machine for Christmas!  Which naturally led to all sorts of pattern hunting and vintage sewing pattern sewing, but to keep things in order, it started with circle skirts.

After doing a little math, I made my first circle skirt out of synthetic red felt.  This, in theory, was my wearable muslin, since it was the cheapest thing to make a skirt out of.  I cut it in two pieces and put the zipper and buttons at the side.  Since I wasn’t thinking enough about the buttons (and didn’t make an overlap for buttonholes) I ended up attaching elastic loops to the opposite edge to close.




Skirt the second was made out of a lovely black or very dark navy cotton with a blue-ish all-over flower pattern.  Since I was using smaller fabric, I cut this one in four pieces and moved the zip and buttons to the center back.  I was a little overzealous with the waist measurement… although it buttons, it does gape quite a bit at the back.  I think I’ve lost a little weight (or a few inches) since I made it, as it closes much more completely now.  I made a wide waistband for this skirt like I did for the red one, but forgot to account for it being cotton instead of felt, and did not interface it.  Oops.

For skirts three and four I cut the fabric in three pieces (1 half circle and 2 quarters) to eliminate the center front seam.  I also interfaced the waistband, which made a huge difference.  For the yellow one I extended the waistband and made buttonholes for the four buttons I used as a closure.  For the purple skirt, I forgot about buttons entirely and just sewed the zipper all the way through the waistband.  I may add buttons to be decorative later… I’m not sure.  The purple skirt is a bit odd, because it’s made of the same fabric (one would think) as the blue one, but after pre-washing the fabric came out quite sheer and has much less body than the blue.

I’ve since started stalking the local antiques mall for sewing patterns in my size and picked up several.  Further posts with more interesting garments to come once I extract myself from reading the back archives.

About the author: A recent college graduate, Frances is pursuing a career in music (preferably opera) while nursing a strong passion for sparkles, sewing, and all things vintage.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Rachel July 11, 2012, 12:04 pm

    I really love the red one. I am not sure if it is the combination with black (I have a thing about red and black) or just the way it swirls so good… but I love what you did 🙂

  • Viola July 11, 2012, 12:28 pm

    Wauw they dare all adorable!

  • Lizzy July 11, 2012, 12:33 pm

    all they are great, I love how they look with the black crinoline

  • D'ellis July 11, 2012, 12:53 pm

    Welcome! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely creations, and continuing success with your sewing!

  • Tessa July 11, 2012, 12:53 pm

    Yellow all the way, IMO! They all look great, and I like how you styled them. 🙂

  • Katherine July 11, 2012, 1:00 pm

    Welcome Frances! So glad you joined us 😀 Love these – styled perfectly!

  • EmSewCrazy July 11, 2012, 1:57 pm

    They are all super cute! Looks like you are doing a good job and learning a lot! My favorite is the red one!! My thoughts are a lot like Rachel’s in the first post!

  • rockabillykitten July 11, 2012, 3:33 pm

    I love the button detail on the red skirt. I also adore your hats! When I am making a circle skirt I use McCall’s 5811. It is a modern pattern so I do widen the waist band substantially. I have made a few of them now, they are so easy to make! They are just 2 pieces! I now include a pocket. This is one I made for Thanksgiving: http://kittenscloset55.blogspot.com/2011/12/thanksgiving-skirt.html

  • Sewing July 11, 2012, 9:17 pm

    Frances I love your skirts they are amazing. For a simple design they sure look sophisticated and stylish.

  • Betty Stitchup July 12, 2012, 7:33 am

    Gorgeous! Especially the red one with the black contract – stunning. I love the blue one too. Well done!

  • LadyD July 12, 2012, 10:19 am

    They all look great. I like the red one and the blue one best.
    I recently made a half circle skirt myself.

  • Katrina - Edelweiss Patterns July 13, 2012, 1:11 pm

    Oh, how beautiful! I looooove your circle skirts, and you look gorgeous in them. (Love the high heels, too!)

    Welcome aboard to We Sew Retro, and I look forward to seeing more of your projects!

    Happy sewing,


  • sorbetsurprise July 16, 2012, 4:01 pm

    I love the way you put together your outfits, your last is def my favourite.

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