Floral Circle Skirt and Cropped Sweatshirt

Self Drafted Circle Skirt and Raglan Sweatshirt
This post is a two-fer! A whole me-made coordinating outfit. I’m teaching a bunch of sewing classes these days at a local Austin store, including a circle skirt class. I made this skirt as an example based on my measurements.

I found this great big floral stretch cotton at Joann Fabrics. I loved the graphic look of the roses and the colors. It had a very 50s vibe so what better use for it than a circle skirt?

Self Drafted Circle Skirt and Raglan Sweatshirt

I saw this fabric about a week before I bought it and decided not to get it during that trip. The next time I went to the store there wasn’t much left on the bolt. In fact it was just enough to make the circle skirt. I had to piece together the waistband.

Only problem – the fabric had a misprint – streaks of white running down the center fold along the grainline. Luckily, I saw it and was able to get the fabric at a big discount.

I did a pretty good job of hiding the unprinted areas in the back seam. Only a couple streaks show but they’re not noticeable.

Self Drafted Circle Skirt and Raglan Sweatshirt

(obligatory twirl shot)

I used a center back invisible zipper for the closure and made a narrow 1″ waistband (hidden by my shirt).

Because this fabric has some stretch in it, I worried that it would stretch out a bunch at the bias angles. It did. Good thing I let the skirt hang for about a week before I and trimmed the excess and hemmed it.

Self Drafted Circle Skirt and Raglan Sweatshirt

So after I finished my pretty new skirt I discovered nothing in my wardrobe went well with it. Time to sew a new shirt!

Self Drafted Circle Skirt and Raglan Sweatshirt

I had some criteria for this shirt:

  • Solid color: another print would just compete with the roses.
  • Cropped: I didn’t want to have to tuck a bunch of fabric into this skirt (I realize I could have made a Ginger Bodysuit, maybe next time).
  • Modern & vintage: rather than go all out feminine and 50s inspired, I wanted something more modern and even a little sporty. The raglan sleeves instantly read casual and I like the look of a sweatshirt mixed with an uber-girly skirt.

Self Drafted Circle Skirt and Raglan Sweatshirt

The shirt is drafted from an old raglan block. I simply changed the sleeves, made cuffs, narrowed the bodice, and added a waistband.

Self Drafted Circle Skirt and Raglan Sweatshirt

I found this fabric at Joann (I know right? Joann is really uppin’ their game lately…). It’s a heathered jersey with some kind of metalic-y fiber in it like the fabric I used for my Morris Blazer (although that was a ponte, not a jersey).

Self Drafted Circle Skirt and Raglan Sweatshirt

I’d call this outfit a success. Big ass roses 4evah!!!

Also, f you want to make your own circle skirt, By Hand London has a good tutorial (and an app!).

Deer and Doe and Grainline both have similar patterns as my shirt if you don’t want to draft one yourself.

 

Sparkly Box Pleated Skirt

Self Drafted Box Pleat Skirt

Oh, look, it’s my old standard photo background – the moldy green backyard fence! It’s not the prettiest place but its shaded and gets amazing light in the afternoon.

I hadn’t used it much lately because the giant trees surrounding our house make for a thick blanket of leaves over everything each spring. I finally got around to clearing out the leaves this week – I filled thirteen(!!!) of those big kraft paper yard bags!.

The leaves are never ending. Oh, well. In the mean time let’s talk about skirts!

Self Drafted Box Pleat Skirt

This skirt occurred as an experiment. Maybe I was inspired to sew pleats because I had been pleating petticoats lately for my historical costumes and wanted to apply that to modern clothes. Maybe I was sick of this fabric growing lonely in my dresser.

I’d had this nice sparkly black fabric for so long and with no clue what to do with it so I brought it out from the drawer, washed it, and as I was ironing, started playing with pleats.

What you see now is the result – a stitched-down pleated skirt. I think I may have stumbled on a new closet staple.

Let’s get to the details:

Self Drafted Box Pleat Skirt

The Pattern: None! But after fits and starts I realized I had to do some math to get the skirt to fit me.

The skirt is simply a length of 45″ wide fabric split up the middle into two rectangles, pleated and seamed together with part of the pleats stitched down. Each pleat is slightly larger than one 1″ in width, so each pleat takes up probably 3.25″ total.

Self Drafted Box Pleat Skirt

The Fabric: This fabric is, I believe, a cotton (maybe linen blend?) with metallic threads interwoven horizontally. Since I cut the fabric in half, I did the pleats up the selvage side so the stripes run vertical on the skirt. I bought it at least a year ago and I honestly don’t remember where it came from now…

The Changes Construction: Mostly trial and error until I got my math correct.

Originally I wanted to make a facing but decided drafting a facing based on a patternless skirt with a bunch of wonky pleats was too much work. Instead I cut 2.25″ wide bias tape and bound the edge. I think the diagonal angle of the stripes adds contrast and it proved an easy alternative to a facing.

Self Drafted Box Pleat Skirt

At first I planned on simply zig-zagging down where the pleats meet but then I noticed a spool of velvet ribbon and had an idea… I carefully edge stitched the ribbon over each pleat section, folding in the raw edge at the bottom. Luckily, I had exactly enough ribbon left on the spool to fit.

I tried to accommodate the measurement difference from waist to upper hip in my pleats by making the pleats deeper at the top than at the bottom.

Self Drafted Box Pleat Skirt

The skirt closes with a invisible zip that’s hidden behind one of the pleats. I made that pleat slightly wider and extended it over the edge of the zipper teeth (kind of like a mock-lapped zip). Then I stitched the ribbon over that very edge of the pleat so when I wear the skirt it mostly looks seamless.

Finally I added a hook and eye to the waistband but I didn’t do that good of a job ’cause you can see the hook. I should have considered that and possibly sewn it to the inside. Oh well, not going to fix it.

Self Drafted Box Pleat Skirt

The Results: For not knowing how it would turn out, this skirt has made me much happier than I expected. The body of the fabric holds the pleats well and makes the hem poof out nicely. Since it’s mostly black it can go with several tops but the metallic threads add a bit of bling. There’s something inherently feminine about a little box pleated mini. I’d call this make a success!

Cut-out Dress Version 3.0

Bonnell Dress
I’ve been busy busy busy working on all kinds of sewing but it’s been so cold and rainy lately that I’ve not yet been able to take pics of anything until now.

This is my third iteration of this dress and I’m quite excited to share it with you!

Bonnell Dress

The Pattern: Self-drafted. I only made minor adjustments since my second version but nothing that is noticeable.

Bonnell Dress

The Fabric: A brilliant silk/cotton blend with a paneled border print from Austin Fabric Co-op. Alas the Co-op is now closed – the third fabric store closure in the last 6 months. I’m so sad.

I snagged the final two-ish yards of this fabric on the very last day the shop was open and I struggled to fit my pattern pieces just right to take advantage of the print. I barely squeezed out the front bodice with some scant seam allowances on one side.

Bonnell Dress

I love the geometric look which compliments the triangle cut-outs, I think. The border print makes it look like I’ve got a nifty yoke on the bodice.

It was difficult to match up the print when cutting because the fabric shifted so much. I had to spray starch most of it.

The lining is plain ol’ white muslin.

Bonnell Dress

The Changes: The only real difference – I lined the skirt. The fabric was too sheer on its own.

Bonnell Dress

The Results: This dress probably now resides in my top 5 garments I’ve ever made. The print, the colors, everything just screams ‘cool.’ And the cut-outs just add to the fun factor.

Which brings me to the good news – I’m making a pattern for this dress!

Bonnell Dress

First of all, I think I need to mention that skirt. I know I said I was planning on releasing a new pattern for a skirt months ago but I kept running into problem after problem with it, including major measurement issues. At this point I figured it might be easier to just start over from scratch. With that setback I felt like I needed an easier pattern project. One that didn’t frustrate me. One with fewer pieces. One that I could feasibly finish within a reasonable amount of time.

And huzzah! This dress pattern I’m almost finished! The PDF will have TEN (10!!)!!! sizes!! Also, full illustrations, detailed instructions, sewing tips, and more.

I’m nearly ready to send the pattern out to testers so if you’d like to test for me stay tuned in the next few days for more information!

Self Drafted Side Cut Out Dress 2.0

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I think we have a winner! I revised my bodice block and the bodice pieces I used for my first version of this dress and now the whole thing fits much better. My first version turned out disappointingly baggy.
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I lowered the V in the back and got rid of some annoying gaping here and there. It still has those side cut outs which I like more now that the bodice is more snug.
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I also added side seam pockets because every dress needs pockets but often I am too lazy to do it.
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This is a light-weight quilting cotton I bought locally at the Cloth Pocket. It’s mint with gold printed dots. Coolest of all – it’s a border print! I love border prints!
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I lined the bodice in some scrap white fabric and used a center back invisible zip.
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I shortened the skirt by about an inch and a half compared to version 1. I think I like the slightly above the knee look more.
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I’m pretty smitten with this dress!
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Also, in other important news. I’ve decided to transition my blog from Blogger over to WordPress and the process might get messy. So if you see images not loading or getting weird redirects for the next day or so this is why.

I hope that once everything is fully up and running again I’ll be able to do a lot more with this blog logistically but in the mean time dixiediy.blogspot.com will still be functional but dixiediy.com may not.

So to make up for any inconveniences here are some fun gifs that describe my emotional state as I deal with this daunting task…

 

 

 

See you all at WordPress later (I hope)!