Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sewing a Circle Skirt

I've decided to learn how to sew.  I made this decision partly because I have access to a couple machines and a teacher (thanks Justin!) and partly because I stumbled across Madalynne's beautiful sewing blog and fell in love with the whole idea of sewing my own clothes.

I'm starting with a circle skirt because I love wearing them and I heard that they're a good beginner project.  Have you made one before?  Would you agree?

I found a pretty great tutorial on Made that explained how to make a pattern for the skirt with my exact measurements, so I did that, and then Justin helped me make a muslin prototype of the skirt.

Here's what I learned from the prototype:

1. I'm terrible at sewing a straight line.  I had no idea it was even possible to be that bad at it. I'm going to do a lot of practicing on scrap fabric before I attempt to sew the elastic onto the actual skirt I'm making.  Are there any tricks to help me on this front or will it just come with practice?

2. I don't want my circle skirt to be an actual circle.  When I tried on the prototype, it looked noticeably longer in the front than the back.  That makes perfect sense to me because there's a lot more of me to cover in the back.  ;-)  I'm going to amend my pattern to add a couple more inches of fabric in the back while leaving the front the same length that it is now.  I guess I'll actually be making an oval skirt?

Adding length in the back to make a garment perfectly compliment my body type is what I love about the idea of being able to sew.  I don't want to blindly follow patterns; I want to make patterns work for me.  I want my clothes to be custom!

I know my grand plans don't match my skill level at the moment (duh), but wouldn't it be awesome if they did match up one day?  (I'm pretty sure step one is mastering a straight line, haha.)

Do you know how to sew?  Do you have any tips for a very beginner?
Thanks for humoring me!


  1. Button! This is awesome! So, I took a sewing class in highschool. And the very first thing we did on the machine was practice stitching designs on a piece of paper with no thread. Just put the needle in the machine and you can see the little pokes in the paper. We had "templates" on the paper with designs to follow. There was one with lots of straight lines. One with a big curly spiral, and one with some curves. Make some for yourself and after about an hour you'll be much better at sewing a straight line and you won't waste any fabric or thread :-)

    1. Genius! Thanks Button! I wish I had sewing class in high school...

    2. At sewing school they tought us the same trick :)

  2. Circle skirts are definitely a good place to start. I actually went to school for fashion design and could barely use a machine when I started. Practice is the biggest thing that will help you out, but if you want to work on your straight lines, draw lines on muslin (you can even make kind of a straight line "Spiral") and practice sewing over that.

    Hang in there! I could barely sew a straight line when I started, and within a year and a half I could sew a ski jacket! You got this, girl!

    Ladyface Blog

    1. Thanks Becca! I have lots of muslin so I think I'll try that out. =) I really appreciate the advice. xoxo

  3. That is great that you are learning to sew! I would love to but currently don't have a machine. At some point I will learn! Good luck with your skirt! ~Stephanie

  4. When I sewed my first skirt, I felt seventh heaven weating it, and I wore it for two days straight. The third day I noticed that some pieces were falling apart.... and realized that I had forgotten to double sew at the end of lines!!
    It's hard to learn the basics but than, you can sew whatever you want!!
    Have fun :)


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