Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The Happy New Year Knock Off Half Circle Skater Skirt

It's my last post for the year so Happy New Year guys! I've finished the year with a little skirt. No not for me..


About a month ago DD asked me to copy a pattern of her favourite RTW quilted knit semi-circle skirt. I did (see below). It also has a straight folded over waistband.

my draft

The piece to the left is the CF. I folded it out and drafted the complete piece, it's so much easier for cutting out. The piece in the middle is the sides (no actual side seam - clever) and the piece at the right is the back with the on grain CB seam for the zip which goes up through the waistband.

Anyway I thought yeah I'll do it some day when either DD or I find the right stable knit. It's high summer here etc etc

Then I did my usual rummage through my local op-shop and found a piece of houndstooth knit, very retro looking, which kept whispering my daughter's name. Well hey there, material is supposed to call out my name..but it was insistent so for the grand sum of $3 I took it home and threw it in the wash. I sent a phone photo to DD who loved it - of course and she loved my offer to make a last minute skirt. She asked if I could put something slippery in to line it so it wouldn't cling to winter tights. I had some slinky knit in a loud print in the stash and a chunky purple zip too.

I then had the bright idea of machine quilting the two materials together before I assembled them. To cut a long story short - any material that is quilted shrinks and has less give. I knew that but I still underestimated how much less give two layers of knit quilted together would have.

BTW during all my free quilting I realised I could use all those handy markings on my throat plate as a guide....duh... I really need to go learn how to make quilts day..and go to drafting day. In 2016? Maybe.

Anyway I ring DD and go 'Oh no going by your measurements it has turned out too small. I have enough of both materials to try again'. She said just put two panels down the back next to the zip. She'd seen it in RTW. Good idea!

I inserted panels and made a longer waistband so the skirt would be big enough to sit below her true waist like the original and then did the exposed zip.

This was another learning curve. How to put in an exposed zip while keeping the tapes of the zip on the inside and not appliquéd like the usual ones. I followed this excellent tutorial on Megan Nielsen's blog how-to-insert-an-exposed-zipper

Why did DD need a winter weight skater skirt in our summer? She leaves for a holiday to visit friends in Canada tomorrow. She's looking forward to it and she's happy about the skirt. A good feature about this skirt is it won't crush. She can roll it in a ball and put it in a corner of her suitcase.


close up of material

the zip and sneaky panels

inside front

inside back

A summer dress for me, and some shorts and a top....

Happy holiday and happy sewing,



  1. This skirt is amazing Val. Yes, quilting does draw up the fabric, but what a great save with the inserted strips. I read the exposed zip tutorial; I have looked at them on rtw and wondered how they do it. You daughter will really love wearing this, with the added enjoyment of the fun lining. Great sew!!

    1. Thanks Patricia. I sometimes wonder what we did before the days of internet tutorials..

  2. Cute skirt and wonderful for wearing in cold weather. I like the lining fabric so much it got me thinking it would have been fun as a reversible skirt. The way this circle skirt was cut is really clever. With multiple panels, it can be cut from narrow width fabric. I'll have to keep that in mind next time I see a circular skirt with one huge curved pattern piece. Clever idea on inserting the panels next to the center back seam. I have seen that done but not thought about using it for resizing a skirt.

    1. Thanks Audrey. It is clever isn't it? And yes it uses far less fabric especially on a two way nap.

  3. Cute skirt! Thank you for sharing the link to inserting an exposed zipper; it looks like a foolproof method. Happy new year!

  4. Love that fabric and exposed zipper. Nice!

  5. I initially thought the skirt was for you and I was thinking if you are going to wear it for the NYE party! Lovely choice of fabric by the way and loved the inside front and back detail; it gave me an additional resources on how to hem the dress I was making for my niece!