Friday, 4 March 2016

No Pattern Circle Skirt

Before I forget Happy Mothers Day to all the Wonderful mothers out there, I don't know how you do it.

Now on to my next sewing project.  While flicking through some old sewing magazines I came across a full skirt you can make with no pattern. It looked really nice on the model in the picture, but it has turned into a bit of a disaster from start to finish.

The instructions in the magazine gives you a sum to do with your measurements so you know how much fabric you need to buy, maths has never been my strong point.  So off I went armed with my bit of paper to the fabric shop.  I spent ages looking round all the gorgeous fabrics, but decided to go with a cheaper navy blue polka dot cotton. I thought it best not to buy really expensive material at this stage, this was to be my only wise choice.  when I got to the counter the enthusiastic young girl asked me how much I wanted, looking at the sum I did before it said I needed 4 meters of fabric.  the girl did not bat an eyelid and started to measure it out.  Looming behind her I could see this stern lady looking at me very strangly and she eventually asked me what I was going to be making, I told her and she said are you sure you need 4 metres that seems an awful lot.  By this point I started to feel a bit flustered and not wanting to look like a complete idiot I said yes.  I grabbed my purchase and ran feeling a little embarrassed.  Once home I doubled checked my sums and low and behold I had messed up completely and realised 2 meters would of been more then enough. never mind.

I soldiered on and followed the instructions it is quite simple, you cut out two rectangles and sew up the side seams.  you then have to sew 3 lines of gathering stiches along the top again not to much of an issue here. but then I had to sew an elastic band to the top, this did not go well.  It kept bunching up and I'm not sure if you need to use a special needle as mine kept puching the elastic part though so I have lots of loops, it does look a bit of a mess.  The next lesson I learnt is always check how much you still have left on your bobbin before you start sewing a very long hem, as I ran out half way round and no matter how carful you are it is very hard to start again and make it look neat.

Finally it was finished, it did not look too bad. I was very excited and tried it on straight away.  It was not good, the cheap cotton just doesn't hang very nice and it is completely see through.   looking at my self in the mirror I should of known better really who was I kidding these types of skirts have never really suited me.  I don't think I will be wearing this any time soon.

If any of you have any ideas on how I could rescue this skirt then I'm open to trying. Seems a waste to just throw it away.  though I still have to find a use for the other 2 meters of this cotton I still have not used.

Hopefully I will have better luck next week.


  1. Hi Erica! Greetings from Brisbane, Australia. Just found you via a comment you made on Handmade Jane.
    Well done you, starting to make your own clothes! It can be a bit intimidating when you venture into new territory but it won't be long & it will be YOU helping someone in the fabric store queue! (I chuckled when I read about the "stern lady" behind the counter - sounds like my old Home Economics teacher. hehe)
    You mentioned the needle puncturing holes in the elastic, & you're spot on re needing a different type of needle. (See? You're learning stuff already!) Try a "stretch" needle. They have rounded points which penetrate between threads rather than piercing them.
    I don't know if you read Tilly & the Buttons blog? She specialises in patterns for new sewers & whilst I've not used any of her patterns, they're very popular & I'm told the explanations are super clear & easy. Might be a good place to start? Keep sewing Erica & good luck! :)

  2. Hi Kathy. thanks for your lovely comment. I love Tilly and the buttons and have followed her blog for a awhile. I bought her book a couple of weeks ago and you are right she makes things sound so easy and it has lots of clear photos showing every step. I probably won't make many of her clothes as they don't tend to suit me, but I hope to use her techniques. Thanks for the tip about the needles, I braved the shop again and the lady helped me to get a good selection of needles of the most used ones.
    I hope you come back to see what I have been up to soon.