Give it a Twirl Skirt

Last summer I went on a rayon challis spree when it was on sale. I made a navy tank top with it, a pink and red dress with it and also bought black for this skirt. Unfortunately, I didn’t get this skirt made during the summer or early fall like I had hoped. Even though it took me a full semester of school to get to this project, I think it was worth the wait. I always think that’s a good sign-when you buy material for a project and finally pull it out months later and still want to make the same thing from it. Don’t you? I’m certainly glad that happened in this case.

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As you probably know by now, my personal style tends towards the simple rather than the flashy. I love a good basic that I can mix into my existing wardrobe with ease. A basic black skirt is a necessity. It can be dressed up or down and worn through winter, spring, summer and fall. This particular skirt is twirly and light in black rayon challis, so I’ll definitely be wearing it more in the warmer months. However, I did wear it once already with a slip and tights underneath and a light sweater on top and it felt season-appropriate. Dora is modelling a more summer-y look with a gray tank top. (I actually only put the tank top on so that I wasn’t trying to take a picture of a black skirt on a black dress form.)

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Design/Pattern: The pattern is my own. It’s basically a half circle skirt, but made from two quarter circles. I cut it so that the center-front and center-back were on the cross-wise grain (perpendicular to the selvedge), which is what causes it to hang straight down at the center and flair out at the sides. The picture above shows how full the sides are when they are extended.

Materials: black rayon challis, invisible zipper, petersham ribbon, hem lace, hook and eye, matching thread

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  • french seams
  • applied lace hem tape to sew a curved hem
  • invisible zipper
  • petersham ribbon waistband (This was something new for me. I got the idea from a Threads magazine article about reinforcing the inside of a fabric waistband with petersham ribbon. I love how it worked and will definitely have to try it again. Maybe I’ll be able to post a tutorial.)

Alterations/Changes: I made the pattern based on my own measurements, so I didn’t need to make any changes or alterations. If I were making this in a fabric with more body, I would probably change my cutting layout.

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The only downside of this skirt is that it is necessary to wear a slip under it. I can definitely live with that though. This skirt is versatile and comfortable. It also just looks so classic to me. One of my inspirations for this skirt was seeing a friend of my husband’s grandparents at a wedding in the fall, and she had on a skirt of a similar style with a boat neck top and she looked so timeless to me. With ballet flats and a sweater or strappy sandals and a tank top, I’m sure this skirt will go many places. I can see myself wearing this and feeling stylish regardless of what the current trends are.

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