Saturday, September 28, 2013

An Autumn Circle Skirt

The hem really is straight, I promise, it's just the way I'm standing.
What says autumn? How about a circle skirt? No, well, to quote Mr. Darling, "A man's entitled to his own opinion."

I definitely do think more about separates when the weather starts to cool off, and I want to make a nice wool or corduroy circle skirt this fall. However, they take an unnaturally large amount of fabric! So, before I dig into the stash, or bank account, and use some more expensive material, I decided to test out this pattern on some $1/yard cotton print. Sure it won't be very warm in a couple of months, but the colors made me think more of autumn than summer, and I thought it looked well with this deep purple tee. 
Do you ever wish you could look like a pattern illustration? Maybe it's just me.

I used this vintage McCall's pattern, and would love to try a solid version with trimmings like in the picture some day. It was super easy to sew up, but crazy to hem by hand. The bottom of a circle skirt seems to go on forever, and I had to shorten it about 6-8 inches. Now, I know I'm short, but sheesh, I had no idea how short, and I hemmed it to hit me right below the knee. 

Insane amount of hemming on this, but next time I'll know to make it shorter, and that will help.

Here's a close up of the print. It has green roses (I know, weird, huh?) with brown leaves and little purple  flowers  scattered amongst them. 
There are several things I like about circle skirts. I think they are super flattering on a lot of figures, and they can be dressed up or down, made for summer or winter, use prints or solids, expensive or cheap fabric, and look ultra feminine, but one of the best parts is that they're good for twirling!

Best twirling picture I could get :(
I also wore this with a vintage brooch, brown cloth ballet flats with tiny bows on them, and a carved fake ivory and gold bracelet, but I had already taken off the bracelet and shoes for the pictures. 

Vintage brooch from eBay. Once again it's a cluster of something or another.
I actually have already gotten compliments while wearing my newest skirt, so am planning another cotton one in the print below. I know it's also a thin cotton, but it takes so little time to sew up a circle skirt, and I already have blouses/tops that will easily match it. Besides the weather in Tennessee will not be getting very cold for a while still. Yup, I can always reason my way into it. 

It's actually not so orangey in person, but more of a coral color. 
About three or four years ago our local Walmart announced they would no longer be selling fabric, and would be almost completely eliminating their craft section. Of course this was only after they had come to town a couple years prior and ran the two other fabric and craft stores out of business. *Grrr* However, I had the last laugh as they sold off some of their stock for $1 or less per yard, but you had to buy it in five yard lengths. My mom and I practically bought everything they had. I think we've both went through a surprisingly large amount of it already, but we both still have some. Sure some of it's really cheap stuff, but it works well for a lot of projects and for making muslins (something I'm bad for not doing anyway). 

So, what are you adding to your fall wardrobe?


  1. Really like your skirt and I share your love. I was wondering did it have a zipper? Do you have a recommendation for a vintage pattern store? I am getting back into sewing and plan on sewing a skirt. Saludos!!

    1. Thank you! It does have a seven inch zipper with two hook and eyes, but it's still an easy sew. I've bought several vintage patternsfrom various sellers on etsy and eBay, inherited some from family, found bunches at our local charity thrift store, and even had random people give them to me after they find out I collect/use them. The big thing with etsy or eBay is to make sure they say all the pieces are there. I have however bought a couple large groups of patterns on eBay before as is and it work out, but it doesn't always. I've been considering opening my own etsy shop At some point because I have hundreds of vintage patterns stored away. Happy sewing!

  2. Hello sweet Sarah, this skirt is such a delight - from the pattern to the classic swingy shape, it's the kind of thing I would make a beeline for in a heartbeat, to (green roses are not something one encounters every day, even in fabric form - let alone in a fabric that works splendidly for a 1950s piece).

    Our local Walmart (or any Walmart I've been to in recent years) doesn't sell fabric either, and we only have one (IMO, overpriced) fabric store in our town (which is part of a Canadian chain). It beats having nothing, of course, but it's a shame that there are so few fabric shops around any more (especially ones with reasonable prices). Sure, it may not have had the world's biggest or best selection, but I really like it when Walmart used to sell fabric. I made a lot of crafts and hair accessories in high school thanks to their fabric offerings. It's great that you and your mom were able to snap up so many yards before they ditched the fabric department.

    Fall is my favourite season - not just in terms of weather, festivities, foods, holidays, etc, but to dress for as well. Long sleeves (yay!), tights, and layers, but not necessarily super heavy duty coats and snow boots (aka, the Canadian uniform :D). Much like yourself, I find that I really tend to reach for separates now more than during the summer. In fact, on our recent trip to Calgary, though I packed three, I only ended up wearing one dress. It was separates (including a classic black 1950s skirt suit) all the way the rest of the time. The same continues to ring true now that we're home again, just as it does most years until spring comes barreling back into town again. It's great to give that segment of my wardrobe more play again and to come up with fresh new outfit ideas for the next half a year.

    Big hugs, tons of heartfelt thanks for your wonderful comments this morning, and countless happy October wishes!

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* I describe my figure, based on its measurements, as being hourglass with a little pear (as my hips are slightly wider than my bust measurement), and can tell you firsthand that crinolines do wonders to help camouflage any lower half going-ons that you might not be crazy about. One doesn't see the volume of their shape so much as they do the crinoline, especially if it's super poofy like the rainbow one in those snaps.

  3. Thank you for the compliments. I despise most things Walmart, but since we live in a rural area, sometimes we have no choice but to go there for things you literally can't get anywhere else, or at least without traveling over an hour away. But I do so miss their fabric and craft section. I guess they assume no one wanted those things anymore.
    I guess I'm just timid about wearing a crinoline, because for one I would like to make one if I wear one, but I haven't had the time yet. I may have to buy/make a rainbow one though for my daughter for sure. She's been asking for a crinoline for a long time, and she says her favorite color is all the colors of the rainbow, lol. If anyone could get me to wear one, it would be her. I've become a lot more feminine in dress since she was born. Having a little girl is so much fun.
    Vintage clothing has helped me feel a lot better about my body, too. I think most styles from the 30s-50s are more universally flattering on women of all shapes and sizes. I have been diagnosed with diastasis recti and have had a hernia since the birth of my third child. This means your abdominal muscles were literally torn apart and haven't healed back leaving a gap between the muscles on either side (this is what caused the hernia). I haven't had surgery yet, but that's the only way to fix it, so I may eventually have to have it. For now, I'm doing physical therapy, and trying to fix it as much as possible. This has made me extremely self concience about my appearance, and especially my mid section.
    I truly hope you all find peace in the coming days. My husband and I met at 17, so I've known my in-laws for a long time, and my parents are some of my best friends. I cannot imagine how hard it would be if one of them passed away. Hugs and prayers.