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April 27

Nautical-Inspired Circle Skirt

Hey Guys!

I’m not sure if you’ll be happy (or sad) to hear that my nautical-fever hasn’t abated yet.  I myself am super stoked, but I don’t have any more immediate Nautical sewing plans.

Outfit Details:

Hat: Estate Chicago, during the Modern Vintage Chicago event
Lipstick: Aphrodite color from the brand Napoleon
Blouse: My white cotton Violet, pattern by Colette
Skirt: Linda Skirt Pattern by BurdaStyle, in a red linen-look cotton blend
Shoes: Navy & white striped espadrille/wedges, Naturalizer (last year)

This past week’s SW (I’m now abbreviating Sew Weekly) challenge was to sew a circle skirt.  I was very optimistic about sewing a skirt during the week last week, but time & lack of motivation had gotten the best of me when I found myself on Friday without a project started.

I was looking more and more for inspiration online that would re-motivate me to sewing my skirt, I’d even created a special pinterest board to house all of my circle skirt ideas.  But as Saturday rolled around with no skirt in sight, I sat down at my sewing/dining room table to jot down some of my ideas and focus.  I looked up briefly at my shelves and saw what I should be been working with the entire time… my own stash for inspiration!

I have a jar of random notions at the tippy-top of one of my bookshelves; it’s in clear glass so I can see at all times what I have in there without weeding through things.  Anyhow… I had bought some navy and white striped elastic last year at the mega Textile Discount Outlet (the same one that Tilly and I visited on Friday).  I’d been meaning to use it as a waistband to create a nautical skirt and I’ve just never gotten around to it.

One major thing that was holding me back was the fabric.  I don’t usually buy red fabric and I’ve never had any in my stash that I thought I could use for it.  (I was sooo wrong!!)

Last year I made this kitschy 1/2 circle skirt that I love, but often goes unworn.

I had a large remnant left over from this project and I never knew what I could use it for.  I’d wanted to make a skirt out of it but how many red skirts does a girl need… or so I told myself last year.  Plus I didn’t think I had enough yardage for another full skirt.

I have no idea how I eeek-ed enough fabric out of my prior remnant for this skirt, but somehow I did.  I used the Linda Skirt pattern from BurdaStyle which is my go-to for a basic, circle skirt.

I’ve made a few Linda’s already and I’m thinking it’s not a true circle skirt.  I don’t have quite the same twirl factor as other that I’ve seen.

This seems to be the classic-Liz twirl pose. I have no idea why I raise my arms up like I do.  heh

The construction was super easy.  I didn’t do anything fancy with it and as a result, this is my fastest project to date!  I cut the fabric on Saturday night which took (maybe) 30-45 mins because I cut all the pieces flat and had to contend with the funky remnant to be sure I could cut out all 4 pieces.

I started sewing the pieces together on Sunday late morning and was done in an hour, two at the very most.  I serged all of the seams, stitched the elastic on, and then did the hem.  I generally don’t do my hems by machine but I wanted this skirt to remain casual and finished it with a simple double fold hem, 1/4″ wide.

All day on Sunday I was telling Felix we were going to go out and take photos of my circle skirt.  He was like “You suuuure you’re going to be done in time???”  I’d told him I would be, and I think he was actually reeling from how fast I whipped up this skirt.

Sewing goes really quickly when there’s no hand stitching or zippers to insert!

Elastic-1, Zipper-0.

I just bought this red lipstick last week, the day of my Nautical Dress Photoshoot.  Since then I’ve worn it on 2 different occasions and I surprisingly love how loud it is.  I’ve found that it really makes my vintage inspired outfits *pop* a bit more.

Oh… and how do you like my new hat?!

I just bought this hat last Saturday and was smitten by it.  The sash is very Madeline, but the rest of it reminds me of a sweet summer picnic.  I wasn’t intending to wear it with this outfit, but as soon as I threw it on *just to see* it was perfect and stayed on for the whole shoot.  Can you spy the little flowers that are at the base of the hat too?

So, what other nautical-inspired pieces shall I sew next?  Just teasing….or am I?!  heh

P.S.  It’s my birthday today.  :)  Felix is taking me out on the town and I’m going to be wearing my Nautical dress for the occasion.

  1. Lauren / Apr 27 2012

    How have I never considered elastic waistbands in a circle skirt? BRILLIANT. You are brilliant and I am soooo going to rip you off lol.

    Happy birthday, lady! I hope it’s a good one ?

    • Liz / Apr 27 2012

      Heh Yes! It’s my second elastic waistband in a circle skirt. :) So comfy for weekend wear.

    • Liz / Apr 30 2012

      Thanks Lauren! :) I had a fab time.

  2. Amy / Apr 27 2012

    Happy birthday! What a fun skirt. Keep the nautical-inspired outfits coming. They look great on you and really work with that new red lipstick.

  3. gail / Apr 27 2012

    You look adorable! I myself am never tired of the nautical look – keep ‘em coming!

    and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Have a fantastic evening – you’re going to look gorgeous in your lovely dress!

    • Liz / Apr 30 2012

      Excellent… more nautical coming up. :) Well… soonish anyhow.

  4. Rachel / Apr 27 2012

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It looks lovely- that elastic really sets it off (and makes a really nice, simple, quick skirt!).
    I like the nautical look- so keep ‘em coming ;)

    • Liz / Apr 30 2012

      Thanks Rachel! Everyone really seems to love nautical; I love it. :)

  5. prttynpnk / Apr 27 2012

    That waistband is just the right amount of pop- love it. That hat is the ginchiest, too.

  6. Meg / Apr 27 2012

    Happy Birthday! I hope you a fabulous time out on the town :)

    I love your nautical circle skirt – it looks fantastic paired with that darling hat! The lipstick color is perfect on you also!

    • Liz / Apr 30 2012

      Thanks Meg. It may get a spin to a certain event on Saturday… weather depending of course. :)

  7. Annabelle / Apr 27 2012

    Happy birthday dear Liz! I hope you have a fantastic date with Felix. The nautical skirt looks great and I bet you will get more use out of it than your other red skirt. The shorter length and simplicity of the skirt will lend itself to greater use. Have a great day!

  8. Sherry / Apr 27 2012

    Love your red skirt, so simple yet striking! You can never have too many red skirts I reckon! I wear mine a lot, both in summer and winter.
    And have a happy birthday!

  9. Gillian / Apr 27 2012

    You are adorable! I’m loving the nautical sewing – Keep it up!
    Happy birthday!

  10. Clare S / Apr 27 2012

    How exciting – your birthday AND more nautical goodness (red, white and blue – my fave wardrobe colour combo!)!! Happy birthday! I hope you have a brilliant time!

    On a more technical note … I’m very tired, so this might be a stupid question, but how does an elastic waistband (I am SO envious of your striped elastic, by the way! Amazing!) work with a circle skirt? I’ve used one on a gathered-waist skirt, so the gathers allow the fabric to ‘stretch’ with the elastic, but how do you do it with a circle skirt? Think I must be missing something here, but I’m puzzled!

    Fab, quick make, I can imagine this will get lots of wear!

    • Liz / Apr 30 2012

      Hey Clare. You’re not the first person to ask me this so don’t worry. :)

      I had about 1″ to 1.5 inches of extra ease in the waist opening of my red linen fabric So the elastic does stretch a tiny bit. But I cannot pull the skirt up from the bottom up, I have to put it on from the top down.

      I treated it very similar to instering a traditional waistband. But I did have to stretch the elastic a bit to get it to fit to the main fabric. You don’t see any pleats on my skirt since they are so small and I tried to steam-shrink them all away.

      Does this make sense?

      • Clare S / May 1 2012

        Aah, I think I get it! Very clever! Plus, I should imagine that even though there is a bit of difference, it would only show when you’re not wearing it and the elastic isn’t stretched out. Thanks for the explanation – I’m going to have to give this a try!

  11. Angela W. / Apr 27 2012

    Happy birthday my dear. Love your blog. Love your creations.

  12. Trice / Apr 27 2012

    Happy Birthday.

    Very cute skirt

  13. Jo / Apr 27 2012

    Pretty! I love the simplicity. I really want to make myself a circle skirt!

  14. Donna / Apr 27 2012

    The skirt looks so cute on you! Happy Birthday!!

  15. Jane / Apr 28 2012

    I absolutely love it. I’ve got some wide polka dot elastic that’s going to be put to good use very shortly (when I shamelessly copy you!) You look fab in it, happy birthday! x

    • Liz / Apr 30 2012

      Ooooh! Polka dot elastic???!!! Where did you find that?!

      • Jane / May 1 2012

        Walthamstow market in London, I nearly passed out when I saw it! It’s so special I’ve got to use it for something awesome! x

  16. angie.a / Apr 28 2012

    Oh the striped elastic is PERFECT! What an adorable skirt. Of course there’s room for more than one red skirt… haha! Happy Birthday!

  17. Stephanie / Apr 28 2012

    Happy Birthday! :D Mine is coming up soon too!

    • Liz / Apr 30 2012

      Thanks Stephanie! Happy pre-birthday. Any special plans?

  18. Sassy T / Apr 28 2012

    I love elastic waistbands. One of the first skirts I made had one. They seem so cute and carefree. Fantastic skirt.

    • Liz / Apr 30 2012

      Thanks Ms. Sassy T. :) This skirt is perfect for the weekends, and since May is just around the corner I have a hunch it will make a lot of appearances on my blog for Me-Made-May.

  19. Maria / Apr 28 2012

    Happy Birthday, Liz! You look adorable.

  20. Vicki / Apr 28 2012

    Looks like a great wardrobe basic, and I second Clare S’s comment: How did you join the waist to the elastic without forming gathers? If the radius had to be equal to your hip measurement, and you waist is obviously smaller than your hip, I can’t figure it out!

    • Liz / Apr 30 2012

      Hey Vicki. I just responded to that question by Clare. Please scroll down to see that comment. :)

      If it’s not clear please let me know and I’ll post up some more pictures.

  21. karen / Apr 29 2012

    I love this skirt, it is so chic! The shoes are great too.

  22. Rochelle New / Apr 29 2012

    That’s some fancy elastic! I love it! I definitely need to get my hands on some so I can make about a million of those skirts. Sooo comfy.

    • Liz / Apr 30 2012

      I found my elastic at one of my local fabric stores… if you need it I could see if they have some more.

  23. Ginger / Apr 29 2012

    Ooh, I LOVE this! It’s so cute! I’m surprised that you don’t wear a lot of red– it looks great on you!

    • Liz / Apr 30 2012

      Thanks Ginger! My cheeks get pink quite easily and so I never wanted to wear red/pinks since I thought it would only highlight that fact. Until I started sewing I never thought to go for bottoms in red. :) Perhaps a pair of red trousers are in my future…

  24. Qui / Apr 30 2012

    Happy Birthday Liz!!! I love the skirt (red is my fave), and I especially like the part where there is only an elastic waist band, no zipper! Awesome :) I have been soooo stuck on navy blue… I can’t escape the slight nautical look–I say keep ‘em coming! All your nautical pieces are darling!

  25. Elise / Apr 30 2012

    Aah I love this! Totally wondering why I don’t have a red skirt now… :)

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