Upon reaching University and discovering the magic of Ceilidh Dancing, I soon realised that there was a need for me to get a beautiful twirly skirt to gallop, polka and spin the night away.
Naturally, I was looked around the shops and through online catalogues, but the things I really liked were generally just too far out of my price range, and the things that were, just didn’t suit me and weren’t what I wanted.
So I decided to make a skirt. This was to be my first clothes-making project! After extensive research, I decided that a circle skirt of some design was definitely the way forward. These are full skirts which sit on the waist (yes, waist, not hips…it means the skirt falls around you properly) and suits almost any figure! I wandered into the local haberdashery and found myself some lovely fabric.
This fabric is a polyester brushed twill. It is reasonably heavy-weight and most importantly was easy to sew. I also think it looks beautiful!
I decided I didn’t want a plain circle skirt, so I adapted the design I had found. I used a large square of fabric, cut a square of fabric out of each corner to create two points at each corner, cut a hole in the middle for my waist (but larger so that the material can gather and be twirly!) and hemmed up all the edges.
One of the mistakes I made with this skirt was to not deal properly with the raw edges of the material. As a result I have some bits of fabric which are fraying slightly and this makes the skirt look less tidy.
Once hemming was complete, I then finished the skirt by making a circular waist band out of some elastic, and sewing it to the skirt. This was also quite tricky as I was using a small and very basic sewing machine. It didn’t like straight lines or the large amount of material I was sewing! If you’re considering making lots of items then I would suggest getting a mid or full-sized machine, however, for one off garments a small one will normally be OK!
And finally, at the end of a day or twos work, I had made myself my first skirt. As it turns out, it was (and still is!) very comfortable and easy to wear not just for ceilidhs but for almost any event! I have since made two more skirts for myself.
The second skirt I made was infinitely harder than the first. I wanted to make a skirt that I could wear to formal dinners under a black or white shirt. So, going for the hard option, I went for a synthetic rainbow organza (a polyester and nylon mixture) with a dark purple trieste (polyester) for the under layer.
I made it in the same style as the first one, but it has 3 layers: 2 layers of the organza and 1 of the trieste. Each layer was slightly offset to allow the points to all hang separately! I don’t tend to dance in this one as the organza can be ripped far too easily!
My third skirt was a much simpler affair and very definitely for dancing. It is a simple cotton material. The design is the same as those above, with the exception that I made it from a square of material (instead of cutting out the corners). The main problem with this skirt is that it creases very easily!
These skirts go well with all sorts of other clothing and shoes from boots to sandals, leggings to tights, blouses to vest tops. I will be making some on a regular basis in different sizes and fabrics, but if you have a fabric (and size!) you would specifically like then please get in touch!