Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Finished Project: Half Circle Emerald Skirt.

So excited to finally sew with my delusted satin from Clegs! I bought the fabric a few months ago to make an evening dress, but my tutor said it might not have enough stiffness for me to sew with, so I decided to sew it at home without her help. I have sewn with polyester before, and had no trouble, so I knew I could manage this fabric.

I used the B5455 pattern for the bodice. I love this bodice, it has nice details around the neck, which is a V, and the back is also a V, very pretty. Even though my measurements indicate my size is 8/12, I cut a size 6. I see no point in cutting size 8/12 and then having to take it in 5cm at the back seams. Size 6 is a good fit for me.

Darts and more darts.
In total there are 14 darts on the bodice (dress fabric and lining).

The bodice is fully lined, and there is interfacing on the midriff. I used sunsilky polyester lining. To achieve a clean machine finish around the neck and arm holes, I used the bagging technique.

When bagging/sewing the neck and back seams, I wanted to create a lower neckline, so instead of 1.5cm seam allowance, I stitched with 2.5cm seam allowance. The result was a lower neckline, back, and thinner shoulder straps (by 1cm).

Bagging my bodice.
For the skirt, I drafted my own pattern for a half circle skirt. I followed a tutorial I found on a blog.

Basically, you measure your waist where you would like the skirt to sit (my measurement 65cm), add the seam allowance (my seam allowance is also 1.5cm) so I add 3cm, equals 68cm.
Divide 68cm by 3.14 to get the radius... which is 21.6cm. I am not great at maths, so I can’t explain the rest, so read it here J

I then drafted the pattern following the tutorial, which didn’t take long. It would have been handy to have a compass (for drawing circles) to draw from “point A” to the hem on the pattern.

The skirt is 20” in length.

Drafting my own half circle skirt pattern.
The skirt and the bodice fit together well, there was a little bit of excess fabric at the back seams (2cm on each side) so I trimmed it to be in line with the back bodice seams.

I am very confident inserting zippers now since my tutor showed me how to do it in class. Previously I had watched online tutorials and after many attempts eventually got a perfect zip!

With an invisible zipper, you leave the back seams open all the way down. Baste the zipper, then stitch zipper using concealed zipper foot attachment. Repeat on the other side. Stitch the back seams of the skirt, finish the little gap (between the bottom of the zipper and seam) by handstitching.

Perfect zip.
The skirt I cut was 20" in length, I ended up shortening the length by 1", and turned up 1" to hem.

After much consideration, I decided to finish the hem by hand. I love the look of a hem finished by hand, but was dreading handstitch this particular skirt because there is over 2 meters (2.4m) of hem! Handstitching took me 50 minutes, but the finished look is worth it.

I love the colours I used for this dress, I love green. I am not used to wearing half circle skirts, so I’m not sure how flattering it is for my body shape, I still love what I made though.

This is so annoying but I have misplaced my camera!!! I wanted to take some photos on my camera show to the true colour of the skirt... hopefully I remember where I left it and can take some proper photos! In the meantime, hope these photos taken on my iphone look ok.

Pattern: Bodice: Butterick B5455, Skirt: Drafted my own pattern
Pattern size: 6 bodice, 6 midriff, 6 skirt
Fabric: 0.7m delusted satin, bodice (champagne), 0.7m delusted satin, skirt (emerald), 0.6m sunsilky polyester, lining (buff)
Notions: Invisible zipper 10" (natural), Gutermann thread (169, 402)
    • 2cm seam allowance instead of 1.5cm (back seams) 
    • 2.5cm seam allowance when bagging bodice, around neck & back
    • Shortened shoulders by 2cm
    • Instead of fitted skirt in B5455 pattern, drafted my own skirt
    • Invisible zipper instead of dress zipper



  1. I'm loving the dress! Great work!!! Looks like you're improving quite fast. :)

  2. Looks absolutely fab. The half circle skirt is amazing. Glad I was of some help lol.

  3. You don't need a compass. Easier without. Tie one end of string length of ratio to a pin or something like that. Hold in position at corner. Tie other end to pencil. Pull taut. Draw an effortless arc.

  4. @Sassy T Hey Tina! Yeah I though of using a string after I had finished using a ruler in the same way, haha! Next time... :)


Powered by Blogger.

© 2011-2014 Sew Me Love, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena