Tag Archive | circle skirt

The Big Floral Half Circle Skirt

As the end of Me Made May was waiting just behind the horizon, I got the inspiration to work on those UFOs, as I mentioned in my last post. One of those was a considerably long standing one, namely the Big Floral Half Circle skirt. Months ago, I had cut it out, including the waistband, which had iron-on interfacing pinned to it, all ready to actually, yanno, iron it on. Then it had sat unfinished, indeed barely even started, for maybe a year or so(?). All it needed was a back seam, a zip, a waistband and a hem. It was Bank Holiday Monday and I had a day’s worth of spare time, and I wasn’t feeling shattered from work. I was all set to finish it.

The back seam was the work of a moment, and the zip went in like a dream. It’s a lapped zip, and I’m feeling super-confident on those now! I do think the fabric helped, too. It’s a fairly heavy cotton sateen, with a slight stretch, and it sews up beautifully

Lapped zip

Lapped zip – a thing of beauty and a joy forever

The waistband needed a bit more work, I’d cut it rather wider than I decided I wanted it, so I had to do a bit of re-measuring and adjusting. I also mucked up the positioning a bit, and I was too lazy to correct it properly, so there’s a bit of a gap in the underneath part of the waistband (the bit where the button ended up) and it’s covered up by the other end of the waistband where the buttonhole is, so it’s not visible, but I’ll always know it’s there. But I’m not worrying about it, because I’m just so thrilled and excited by having actually done a machined buttonhole!



It’s the first time I’ve ever done a real one. It was so easy with the buttonhole foot, and the right programme on the lovely new Singer. I need to make some more things with buttons now!

And then, once the button was on, it was time to tackle the hemming. I was originally going to do a machined hem, because I’d had a late night the night before, hemming the Under the Sea dress. But then I had second thoughts –  the fabric was just too beautiful to ruin with a crummy machined hem. I wanted a lovely invisible hem for it. I tried the skirt on, and made sure the hem was level. Then I machined about 5mm away from the cut edge, and turned up to that mark, and turned up a second time, by about the same amount, to make a narrow hem. I pinned like a demon, and then I sewed. I was watching the Sewing Bee as it happens. It was rather nice to be sewing in a nice relaxed way while the contestants were having to sew to the usual ludicrous time deadlines.

And by the end of the day I had a skirt all ready to wear for the last day of Me Made May 2016.

Body shot

The last of the office selfies

Things I love about it: the fabric is lush, it’s got a lot of structure, it’s holding its shape well, but because of the sateen finish, it looks elegant, not lumpen. I adore the print, because I will always love gigantic floral prints, and because it combines a whole load of colours that work well for me, black, navy, grey, red, minty green. And it fits perfectly. I am kicking myself that I didn’t actually keep a record of the measurements I used, before I started sewing it up, because they would have come in very handy for the next one I make. I like the gentle flare of a half circle skirt.

I’m less than happy about my own stupid waistband laziness, because I could really have done the thing properly, if I’d only been bothered, but it is what it is… Nothing shows, it’s only in my head.

And this skirt has already earned a couple of compliments, so I’m definitely counting it as a win!

The Crazy Swirly Skirt

Tada! Here’s the Didn’t Quite Make It To Me Made May make! My new Crazy Swirly Skirt. It’s a straightforward circle skirt, made in two pieces because the fabric wasn’t wide enough for me to do it as a full seamless circle.

I wanted you to see how it matches the shoes perfectly

I wanted you to see how it matches the shoes perfectly



Eek, it was a bit blowy!

Eek, it was a bit blowy!

I had to tinker around with the light and colour levels on that second pic, and the black top has not fared well out of that process, but the skirt *has*, and that’s the important part of the photo, right?

I was going to bang on here about how this is one of my more ropey makes, but actually, there’s only one element of it that’s a bit disappointing, the rest of it is fine and dandy.

Firstly, I got the maths right and the waist circle is the right size, there was no need to do any gathering to make it work. Secondly, it’s got a great zip insertion (a hand-picked lapped zip, my favourite). Thirdly, the hem is looking pretty damn good. I used this tutorial from Coletterie, for machine hemming a curved hem. The only thing letting the side down is the waistband, which is not one of my finest hours. I am trying to use what I’ve got in the stash, so I used a length of petersham that I had, I thought that would be perfect. And it should have been, but I was lazy/impatient/stupid about how I put it in, and although it’s fully functional, and it’s neat inside & out, I wouldn’t want anyone who understands anything about sewing to look too closely at it!  It’s not terrible, and it’s certainly not bad enough for me to want to rip it out and do it again. It’s just not “perfect”.

Having said that, I still love this skirt. I fell for the print big-time last summer, when I was shopping for the Fall For Cotton challenge (I hear it will be back again in the Autumn, so I’m mentally readying myself for that) and when I was thinking of what to make next, it leapt into my consciousness. I think it will be a useful addition to my collection of me-made skirts, and will go with my gazillion black t-shirt tops. It’s also a brilliant colour match for the Slouchy Teal Cardigan, and the When Two Become One refashioned t-shirt. So plenty of styling options. I’ve still got a metre and a half of the fabric left over, and I’m even thinking I could use it for a matching top, then I could wear them together like a dress.

What else do I love? That it’s so twirly-whirly! Yay for little flirty circle skirts!

MMM14 comes to an end

This might turn out to be a long post! First of all, the final photo round-up, and then some thoughts on how Me Made May has worked out for me.

Day 28 – I do love this colour combination

The When Two Become One refashioned tee

The When Two Become One refashioned tee

I wore the refashioned t-shirt from day 1, with a plain black RTW pencil skirt.

Day 29

Another office selfie

Another office selfie

I wore the Blingalicious NotCardigan to work, with a completely different plain black RTW pencil skirt (I happen to like plain black pencil skirts). Thursdays are my half day, and by the evening I had changed, because I was off to la Belle France, for the weekend with my sisters. We were going on the overnight ferry, with a 3 hour car journey in the morning followed by an early afternoon appointment at the notarial office, so I needed to wear something that would be comfy for the car-rides, suitable for on the boat, and respectable enough for seeing the notaire. I also wanted to keep my packing simple, so I changed into…

Day 30 – What a scorcher!


A slightly blurry shot!

A slightly blurry shot!

I asked my 5-year-old niece to take this photo, so sorry for the blur!  It is, of course, the Pretty Summer Splodges skirt, teamed with a pink tee. The weather was scorchio!

Day 31 – And finally…

Yes, you've seen it before. A lot.

Yes, you’ve seen it before. A lot. And this one is by a 9-year-old niece. With bonus 11-year-old niece playing badminton in the background.

The return (yet again) of the hi-lo floral circle skirt. Because it was easy to pack, and it’s eminently suitable for summertime wearing. Also, bonus hair-flowers, which were also me-made.

And just for the sake of completeness, I can confirm I wore the Pretty Summer Splodges skirt on the journey home today, teamed with a white and black stripey slightly nautical-looking tee-shirt. I’m not normally one for La Mode Nautique, but it did seem quite fitting on the ferry!

And that’s it for Me Made May 2014.


My formal pledge was: “I will endeavour to wear something Me-Made five days a week for the duration of May 2014.” I had kept it limited, because I wasn’t sure I could manage more, but actually, I did far better than I had originally thought, and wore something me-made every single day of May. Furthermore, I managed to photo-document each outfit and post it to the MMM Flickr group, as well as here.

I didn’t find it difficult to wear me-made throughout the month. I deliberately try to ensure that what I make will be readily integrated into my regular wardrobe. I make cake, not frosting. Sometimes my cake may have interesting flavours and ingredients. There may even be frosting on the cake. But it’s still fundamentally cake. The things I make generally do get worn in my everyday life. So it wasn’t *too* much of a change to my wardrobe habits to stick to me-mades. It was sometimes a bit restrictive, because I don’t have all that many to choose from. Hopefully that will be less of an issue next time.

What I did find difficult was the photo-documentation. I found it interesting, but not easy to manage. I live on my own, in a flat that doesn’t have good natural light, with no full-length mirror (“It sounds so charming, Béa, you’re really selling it to us!”) So as you will have noted, photos generally tended to be selfies in our flats’ carpark, or in my office, unless there was someone I could reasonably persuade to take the shot for me (mainly the Gentleman Friend and various nieces). It got harder as the month progressed, and I’m sorry to note that I got more and more lazy about putting on makeup for the photos! I will make more of an effort next time.

But despite those reservations, you can see that I’m already talking about “next time”! I am really glad I did make the effort to photograph what I wore and post it on the flickr group, because the participation in that element of MMM was very community orientated, I became aware of a whole new range of sewing bloggers, and received some very positive and supportive comments from other MMM-ers.

In terms of appraising my own wardrobe, I’ve concretised (is that a word? It is now) some of the gaps I had previously been aware of. Meaning, while I knew I needed certain items in my wardrobe (e.g. I really need some tops) I now have a better idea of what sort of tops I need (e.g. I could really do with a plain white woven top, probably in a blouse or tunic style, and a plain black one ditto, and probably a red top of some description too). The other thing I need more of is jumpers and cardigans. I’m working on that, but knitting is slow! The Teal Slouchy Cardigan is a reasonable starting point, and I will probably make one more of these, with adaptations, possibly even two. But then I have to tackle the new-style in-the-round-top-down-circular-needles sewing that seems to be all the rage these days. I could really do with a plain black cardigan and another neutral one, in stone or camel maybe. I like cardigans, because they’re useful for layering, but I’ll be thinking of jumpers too. It would appear that Andi Satterlund’s Miette pattern is the generally accepted entry level version of these cardigans, but it’s too small for me and I’m not sure how to grade it up, so I’ll probably be trying Hetty, hopefully before the year is out. The other thing I’d like more of in my me-made wardrobe is dresses, two or three more in a range of styles would be nice. Dresses are easy to wear!

One thing that came out of the month’s photo-documenting of what I wore was how much I felt like I was letting the side down once it came to wearing repeats. Although I knew from the start that I would have to repeat, because I don’t have enough me-made in my wardrobe, and although I wore the repeats in different ways, it still felt like a let-down to the community. Which is ridiculous, really, because as one blogger (and I’m kicking myself for not keeping a note of who it was who said it) pointed out that actually it is totally normal to repeat which clothes you wear, that it’s normal that you wear your clothes in cycles. I also feel that MMM isn’t (or shouldn’t be) about all brand new shiny, it’s about how you integrate your me-made garments into your normal way of wearing the clothes you have at your disposal, as part of your normal everyday experience of getting dressed. Part of what I loved seeing other people wearing was how they styled one item in different ways. For me that’s part of wearing one’s me-mades in a creative way and making the best use of one’s wardrobe.

Which kind of leads on to thoughts about how Me Made May wasn’t supposed to be about making a whole load of new stuff to wear in May and show off to the sewing blog community, but nevertheless I did find myself inspired, excited, galvanised and encouraged by the warmth of the MMM community (and also by attending NYLon) to reboot my sewjo, which had been sadly lacking in the Winter months. MMM14 saw the completion of the Slouchy Teal Cardigan, the super-quick make of the Pretty Summer Splodges skirt and the commencement of the Crazy Swirly Skirt (which is still hanging up, and which I hope to check the hemline on tonight and hopefully complete it). I wouldn’t have got those projects to their present state without the kick-start of MMM14. Not that they were in any way a panicked or forced response to the strictures of MMM, it was definitely an organic part of the making process. I was just feeling the love!

I’d like to think that my me-mades are working towards a cohesive wardrobe overall. The Wardrobe Architect was a nudge towards this, but I stopped participating when it became clear that the aim was to work towards a Capsule Wardrobe. Although Capsule wardrobes are fascinating to me (in the same way that tiny living spaces are fascinating to me), it’s not something I wish to pursue for myself. I do wish to pursue a more integrated wardrobe though, so that my me-mades work together with each other and with my existing RTW clothing. I’m not aiming particularly for a wholly me-made wardrobe, though I have found myself buying less as I have made more, so it may be that as time progresses the balance of what clothing I’ve got will shift from RTW to me-made. But as I say, I want them to work together. So I’m going to be returning to a rule I created for myself when I was a teenager, to help me with Impulse Buys. The rule then was: If I can think of three things I could wear with this, I’m allowed to buy it. It wasn’t a hard and fast rule, sometimes I broke it, but in general terms it worked well. I need to apply the same rule now to what items I make, and further up the line, what fabric I buy, so that the stash is prepared for the Integrated Wardrobe. Hopefully this will mean that next year, when Me Made May comes around again, I’ll be more ready for it, and I’ll have a wider pool of garments to pick from and they’ll all work together really well! A girl can dream, can’t she?!

I would like to try and do one final MMM14 post, to round up a load of links to my new blog-crushes. That may happen, it may not, we’ll see.

Who would have thought, back when I was 14, that I’d have a use for Pi?

This is totally down to Amanda! She put the idea in my head of getting a quick skirt done by the end of May. So tonight saw me wrangling fabric and trying to work out all the radius calculations for a circle skirt. I know the By Hand London girls have got an app for that, but it doesn’t go quite big enough for my waistline, and I wasn’t sure how it would work with two side seams, because my fabric is only 110cm wide, not wide enough for a full seamless circle.

I am totally cheating with this one. The seams are both on the selvedge, so I’m not neatening them. (Shock, horror, and general pearl-clutching from the purists may now ensue.) Nothing’s going to fray in the wash, and I like the idea of having the selvedge details inside the skirt.

Get ready for a crazy print skirt shortly!

Get ready for a crazy print skirt shortly!

I’ve done everything bar the hemming. And sewing on the bar & hook. I’m going to leave the hem to drop over the weekend, and see what it’s like when I get back from France. I’m a tiny bit regretful that I won’t have this to wear while I’m away, as it would have made an awesome finale to Me Made May, but I know from experience that there’s no point trying to hem a circle until the bias has had a chance to hang for a few days.

The trip to France is a little bit sad, my sisters and I need to do the final signing off of some legal matters for my mother’s estate, but mostly I am expecting the weekend to be more about fun and laughter, good food and drink, sunshine and the beach. And anyone reading this in the UK would have to agree with me that those are all well worth the trip.

A long Me Made Weekend

Day 27 already and I can’t believe I’ve got all this way through Me Made May and have managed to wear something I’ve made or refashioned every single day. I’d been slightly dubious about it, hence I’d hedged my bets with a 5-days-a-week pledge, but I’ve surprised myself. A full Reflections and Lessons Learned post will be forthcoming once May is properly finished.

Onto the photos… As previously noted, we’re well onto repeats now, unless I surprise myself and manage to make something new in the next two evenings.

Day 23 – Friday

A bit grungy!

A bit grungy!

Friday I was at my volunteer job, and it’s generally very casual. I was wearing my pre-blog long tunic-y t-shirt dress. Styled with yoga pants and a hoodie. I thought it was all a bit grungy and down at heel, but my volunteer boss said I was glamorous because I was wearing animal print!

I was *this* close to saying “hang the photographing, I’m tired” on Friday evening.

Day 24 – Saturday

A new make! The Slouchy Teal Cardigan

A new make! The Slouchy Teal Cardigan

Aha! A new item! The previously mentioned Me Made Cardigan. I should have known better than to say it was too warm for using in May. That was just tempting Providence, wasn’t it? It turned cold over the weekend, so although I didn’t think I’d be wearing it much for a few months yet, I pulled it out of the cupboard. It’s a bit formless and unflattering, but it’s toasty and it’s the first jumper I’ve knitted for myself in a good 20 years, so I’m cutting myself some slack, and calling it “slouchy” rather than shapeless.

The leggings are also me-made, repeated from Day 9.

Day 25 – Features one of my lovely nieces

Saying goodbye to my eldest niece. Inadvertant colour co-ordination

Saying goodbye to my eldest niece. Inadvertent colour co-ordination.

My eldest niece*, Sophie, is off to the far end of the planet in the next couple of weeks, she’s flying to New Zealand for a year or two. Or maybe more. I can’t help fearing that some hunky rugby player will steal her heart and keep her there. Her leaving party was on Sunday. Although I didn’t realise it when deciding what to wear, I wore the perfect dress (repeated from Day 14), as the colour scheme for the party was lime green and blue (hence the pompoms).

Most of the guests were the nieces’ friends, it made me feel very old as they were all in their teens and early twenties! But they’re all such nice kids. Eldest niece already knew about MMM as she’d taken the Eurovision evening photo, and, bless her, she was telling her friends all about it.

Day 26 

Selfie Fail

Selfie Fail

Monday (being traditional British Bank Holiday Weather) ended up being a stay in and hunker down day. I wore jimjams for much of it! But I acknowledged that my pyjamas are not me-made. Lesson learned. Next MMM, I’m going to need a cosy onesie or something like, so that if I need to take a duvet day, I can do so within the terms of the challenge.

So I got dressed for the afternoon. Another repeat for the easy-peasy floral hi-lo circle skirt. This is turning into my go-to comfy weekend wear.

I totally failed to photograph myself in it.

Day 27 – Back to work

Total outfit repeat!

Total outfit repeat!

This is a complete repeat from Day 12. In the same outfit too, only the shoes are different. I feel like I’m letting the side down! I love this skirt but today has been a trifle windy, and the walk to my office is a passageway up a hill which acts like a wind tunnel, and I’ve had a fair few Marilyn Monroe moments- eeek!

I just spotted I have “orbs” in this photo. Indeed I have orbs on my orbs. How ghostly! Some say these offices are haunted- it’s an old school, and there’s rumours of a ghost of an especially fierce headmaster, but this particular office is apparently the old lavatory block, and I’ve never heard of a haunted lav!


Only four more days to go! Thursday, Friday and Saturday are going to need some planning, because I’m off to France for the weekend.


* I am very blessed in the Niece department. I’ve got eight of them, and two nephews. Eldest niece is 22, and Youngest Niece is 5.

MMM – it’s all skirts in this batch

Just a quickie, because we’re mostly on repeats now.

Day 19 – The Counterintuitive Black Bird Skirt

I'm still not fed up with this skirt- I love the birdies!

I’m still not fed up with this skirt- I love the birdies!

Day 20 – The Black Denim Skirt

Another view of my office

Another view of my office

Day 21 – The Minnie Mouse Skirt

It's a full circle!

It’s a full circle!

Day 22 – You’ve already seen the Pretty Splodges Summer Skirt

Here it is again

Here it is again

MMM continues – Days 15-18

I’m astonished that I’m still going strong. We’re well onto the repeats now, but I’ve somwhow managed a) to wear something me-made each day and more astonishing still b) to take & post a photo each day.

Day 15 – Colours again

Bright bright bright colours today

Bright bright bright colours today

I was wearing the You Mean I’m Wearing Orange?! Skirt again, this time with a bright turquoise (RTW) top. I was also wearing my favourite turquoise/green shoes, that matches  the t-shirt PERFECTLY.

Day 16 – Epic Fail

I'm only showing this because I sort of have to. It's an awful photo!

I’m only showing this because I sort of have to. It’s an awful photo!

I don’t even want to be posting this… Friday’s picture is basically an Epic Fail. I couldn’t take a photo in daylight, so all I’ve got is crummy selfies in my bedroom.  The Friday photo theme was Too pretty for pants? As it turns out it was Too late for photos!

This is a repeat of the stripey circle skirt. The first wear was a rubbish outfit, now this second wear it’s a rubbish photo. I’m going to have to wear it a third time some time in MMM and make sure it’s a *nice* outfit and a *nice* photo.

Day 17 – The mahoosive London Blogger Meet-up

At the Victoria & Albert Museum

At the Victoria & Albert Museum

A much better outfit (well it would have to be) for the Blogger meet-up- the Jif Lemon Dress. It was nice and cool to wear on a warm Spring day, and I got a lot of complimentary comments, and people checking out the appliqués. It’s always nice to get compliments about your me-mades generally, but it’s doubly nice when it’s from people who know what they are looking at!

Day 18 – It’s Déja Vu All Over Again

I seem to be repeating last weekend! Last weekend it was Jif Lemon on the Saturday and the hi-lo hem circle skirt on the Sunday. And it’s the same again this weekend.

Please to ignore the fact that my skirt has swivelled around my waist!

Please to ignore the fact that my skirt has swivelled around my waist!

Tonight I was at the Jazz Café at Reading’s football stadium, for a dance showcase. I’ve only just realised that it had got twisted around my waist by the time Trish took this photo for me! I should just call that a Styling Decision. You also can’t tell from this particular photo that I was wearing crazy high platform wedge court shoes with it, and I don’t know how I managed to not fall over and break an ankle.

Technically this was a twofer day- in addition to the skirt, I wore a pair of me-made leggings (the ones I wore on Tuesday evening) to dance in, but I don’t have photos of that. I’ll see if I can post a link to some pics later when they’re up on Facebook or elsewhere online.


I need to take stock a bit, see what the next week holds and what clothing I’ve got available to wear. I’m quite excited that I’ll soon have the pretty red & grey splodgy skirt to add to the list.