Greetings tropical hermit crabs! I’ve finished my first summer skirt and shirt combo (remember the bolts of cloth I posted the other day?) If any of you guessed the hawaiian-style Amy butler print with the pink and white striped knit, you win a gold star!

My master plan, as far as summer sewing goes, is to sew as many circle skirts as I can with a coordinating t-shirts. That’s a very boring plan, but it may be the most reasonable one I can arrive at. And, like most plans, it probably won’t last past the first engagement with the enemy.

But I got at least one outfit done! I bet many of you have made full circle skirts. So have I. I’ve used a pattern, but really as long as you know a little math you can draft your own pattern (here’s a tutorial.) As I’ve mentioned, we’re celebrating a month of skirts in May at the shop and Nikol, the owner, picked Kwik Sew 3637 as the pattern she’s using for the full circle skirt class (her version is totally cute! It’s got layers!). I was completely intrigued by the wide waistband so I got myself a copy of the pattern – here’s the technical drawing so you can see how it’s different – it’s a real, honest to goodness full circle skirt, even though it’s sort of hard to tell for sure from the drawing.


I used Amy Butler’s Twilight Peony in Amaranth from her Soul Blossom line for the skirt. Amy Butler fabric isn’t always my first pick – a lot of the designs are more graphic than what I like for clothing – but I’ve loved this fabric since we got it in at the shop – and I didn’t even realize until I cut it out that it’s got polka dots in the background!


[Amy Buter Twilight Peony available online]

Lets talk about the skirt, shall we? For those interested, the pattern runs from XS – XL, and the waist measurement for XL is 35 to 37 inches, which is four or five inches too small for my waist. I fudged and just sewed the waistband with a 3/8 rather than a 5/8” seam allowance which added one inch to the waistband. Also, the skirt is meant to be worn slightly below the waist and I wanted mine to be worn way ABOVE my waist, so the measurements were just fine.

The fudge worked just fine. I didn’t worry about making the skirt larger at all – since it’s cut on the bias I just stretched it to fit over that extra one inch. I really love the wide waistband!

If you DO have to size up a circle skirt, it’s better to actually do the math and make it larger by moving the waist opening down a bit so the opening is cut further towards the hem and therefore a bit bigger. I’ve sized previous circle skirts up by adding a strip of tissue from waist to hem along one side – that seems to cause some extra-odd settling along the bias!

I think you all know me well enough to know that I’ll take every opportunity to add a bit of decorative topstitching. Also, on autopilot, I stayed the waistband by stitching to the outer waistband rather than the facing. Since I already had one line of topstitching, why not add three more along with a decorative stitch – am I right?

Super closeup. Extra gold star if you can find the lucy hair!

There was topstitching on the hem too! I used the same stitch on the hem that I did on the Crescent Skirt.

I do love a good circle skirt! I went with a short length for a easy summer everyday skirt. Also, circle skirts sure are fabric hogs, aren’t they?

For the shirt I used a pink and white cotton interlock that we have in the shop – sorry, no swatch! I made another version of my summer of 1980 shirt out of the same pattern – Butterick 4685. This time I skipped the ruffle, but the wide elastic midriff band got a repeat – and I snapped photos along the way, perhaps I’ll post a how-to in the next few days!

My favorite part of the shirt is the midriff band and the green topstitching! After much wrapping myself with strips of pepto and white stretchy fabric, I decided to have the stripes on the midriff band go up and down rather than wrap around me. Does anyone hear the Flashdance theme? What a feeling, indeed.


Here’s a closer shot – I used a feather stitch, which seems pretty common on even basic machines. It’s stretchy! Another gold star if you can find the hound hair.


I used the feather stitch along the neckline and sleeves as well. Also, since this is a raglan sleeve shirt, I took a little field trip to crazytown getting the stripes to match from the bodice to the arms… Also! one of my favorite little details is that I stitched the label right to the back of the shirt – can you see the hot pink rectangle? This is the back of the shirt – I used green as the top thread and pink for the bottom (obv, I sewed with the label facing up!) T-shirts are one of the garments that I think require labels – it’s so hard to tell the front from the back!

OK, now some pics to see if the shirt and skirt will work with other garments. I didn’t do a lot of the shirt, since we already went through in the summer of 1980 shirt post… suffice to say this shirt is super comfy and wearable and will be worn a lot this summer with my staple short straight skirt… it’s also comfy with jeans!

Since the midriff band is so smooth it makes for good tucking! I think I like it tucked into the skirt more than untucked.

A fitted sweater, belt and circle skirt is one of my favorite outfits, hands down.

A cardigan and a tank are another favorite outfit! I think it works so much better with the wide waistband. The only other stand-alone circle skirt I’ve made (I usually attach them to dresses!) has a regular waistband that sits just under my belly button – tucking is NOT an option with that skirt!

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