Elegant Circle Skirt

I’m very excited to have finished a new circle skirt!  (Yes, another one – I love circle skirts they definitely suit be and are very suitable for dancing in!).

I realised that none of my skirts were really suitable for wearing to a wedding that had a ceilidh.  They were either too short, a bit too smart, difficult to dance in (**cough** rainbow organza – beautiful but delicate **cough cough**), or just not very smart.  So I decided to make a new skirt!  I also had the requirement that I wanted it to be long (around mid-calf in length), be suitable for playing gigs in – including playing the accordion in it.

With these requirements in mind, I decided it should be:

  • black (for playing gigs in)
  • cotton (hard wearing)
  • have a lining (feels nice, good practise of lining!)
  • invisible zip (again for more practise!)

So I happily ordered the material and cut out two semicircles of each fabrics.  I then put the lining to one side and worked on the cotton for a bit.  I did the side seam that didn’t have a zip in it, and then the seam with a zip.  I was using french seams (just for fun), so I had to do a work around to fit the seam around the zip.  It worked beautifully in the end.  I then used a petersham ribbon for a waistband and finally hemmed the bottom – hurrah – a perfectly wearable skirt!

Then I went back to the lining and did the side seams (again in french seams).  On the side with the zip I left a gap at the top.  Then I used satin bias binding to help me make a waistband to go alongside the petersham ribbon on the cotton (the fabric was beginning to fray inconveniently at this point!).  I pinned the lining onto the cotton and hit my first problem.

Problem No.1 – The lining’s waistline was smaller than the cottons

Actually, it turns out that I’d managed a wonderfully geometry calculation problem and they were both too large for me.  *doh*  We’ll get onto how I stopped it being to big for me in problem no.2, for now, we’ll make them the same length in the waist!

To fix this problem, I worked from the join at the zip to the opposite side seam and added a knife pleat in the cotton saying, “it’ll look pretty and have this cute bit of extra material on one side for variation.”

All well and good in the end!

After sorting out this little problem I went back to sewing the lining in place around the zip and waistband.

Then I hemmed up the bottom of the lining – its around 10cm shorter than the cotton so it doesn’t peep out!  Now to fix the fact that its too big – by a long way.

Problem No. 2 – Its too big!

I guess I could have just brought the side seam in – but that’s too simple.  I figured that I could use this to my advantage and find a way to make it pretty at the same time.

I made up some cotton ‘ribbons’ and attached these to the skirt and made them into a little tie up belt.  I added a couple of belt loops just to direct the ribbons where I wanted them to go!

The idea is that this inserts a large knife pleat around the little knife pleat added in the solution to problem number one!

Finally, to make sure I didn’t lose the inside of the pleat while dancing, I added a little button and a piece of elastic with a button hole on it to hold the pleat up.  I don’t really want to sew it up as it might be useful to have a skirt which I can change the waistline on really easily.

So, while similar in construction to my other circle skirts, its also quite different and a lot more suited to being smart, danceable and accordion friendly!  Have some pictures of my new elegant skirt!  Excuse the light – the skirt is black and didn’t want to be photographed – my boyfriend had terrible trouble getting a decent shot – I’ll give you some more if we ever get some!


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