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Summer is fast approaching down here in New Zealand and there are many retro/vintage events booking up most of my weekends.
Always one to stand out in the crowd and make a bit of a statement, I wanted to create an outfit for the Atomic Market held at the Classics Museum in Hamilton, NZ.
I love the Mexican hand painted skirts that pop up on a number of vintage sell/swap sites but alas they never are in my curvy size. So I was on a mission to change this and create my own!
Circular skirts are relatively easy to make they just take a lot of fabric.
I usually buy 3 metres and this works enough to allow for my preferred finished length of skirt below the knee.
I am faithful to the book Metric Pattern Cutting by Winifred Aldridge (mine is the 3rd Edition) Edition five I think is the latest version but all have the same pattern principles and it’s available on Amazon. The instructions for all patterns are easy to follow. First step is to find you waist measurement to then do the magic formula.
Example: Your waist measurement divided by 6.28 = radius for waistline
= 1, 2, 3 in diagram below
I don’t use a pattern but mark it out with tailors chalk, cut out, stitch add zip and desired thickness of waistband. Easy!
Circular skirts with side seams sewn up ready for zip, waistband and hem
I like to use an invisible zip and made the waist band wide as I like to be able to have the option to tuck in tops and this gives it a nice smooth line.
With this particular skirt I hand painted a lady wearing a fruit basket on her head surrounded by pineapples and finished it off with adding a small fringe braid to the hem.
To match the whole theme I decided on making a peasant blouse. I found a funky printed seersucker fabric in Spotlight (Aus & NZ wide fabric store).
The pattern I used was Burda Young #7554 Size 20.
I could have gone for a smaller size as this is generous in its sizing but the shirring elastic waist took care of that.
I did a combination of pattern B & C.
C style bell sleeve with the length of B and added 5 rows off shirring elastic at the waist. The first couple of rows I was unsure the elastic was going to gather up enough but by the fifth row it was perfect.
Shirring elastic is now my new best friend and such a great way to help get the right fit especially if things are a little on the big side around the waist.
The neck edge of the blouse has an elastic casing which you can gather to the desired fullness.
I like to sew with the shirring elastic on the bobbin
I am an hour glass figure so finding clothing off the rack hard to fit because of my small waist compared to my more voluptuous hip and bust ratio!
Shirring is also ideal for along the back of the bodice of dresses, I have several and they are super comfortable as well. This blouse is quick to sew, great for summer and a versatile pattern to alter neckline, length and sleeves.
To top the outfit I created turban made from the left over fabric from the skirt and blouse. Turbans are simple to construct. I start off with a large square of fabric folded in half on the bias then wrap and twist to desired style on a mannequin head. I added pleated rosettes and feathers for that finishing touch.
Overall I was exceptionally happy with this ensemble.
Circular skirts are great for curvy figures and cinching in the peasant blouse with shirring elastic and a belt gave more shape to the whole outfit. A little conscious of my upper arms the bell sleeve was flattering as well as adding a little drama and the scoop neckline was flattering for a bigger bust.
I had a great day out at the Atomic Market with lots of lovely compliments on my outfit.
Hope some of you ladies will take up the challenge and make your own circular skirt freehand too the possibilities for fabric choice and embellishment are endless!
Chica Chica Boom Chic xxx