The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

Circle Skirt & Ruffle Top: Do you believe in magic?

UPDATE 2/7/2012: I entered this in a competition at, so if you have an account there, feel free to "heart" this project over there.

I sent my husband and four-year-old daughter out tonight for their first ever Valentine’s daddy-daughter dance.  Did you do this as a child??  I remember going to at least one daddy-daughter dance with my dad at The Barn, a converted barn that was owned by our Park District.  I remember dancing with my dad, standing on his feet so that he could help me keep time.  My mom made me a twirl skirt from a pink and white heart fabric.  I loved that skirt.  I wore it to a every ice-skating party I went to that year, too.

Well, for such a momentous event I thought I really needed to make Cora an outfit.  I love sewing clothes but I don’t really sew that much for my daughters.  This is partly because I’m really busy sewing things for clients, but also because I don’t have that much interest in sewing kids’ clothes.  I like sewing for adults and for myself because I know the garment will be worn for years.  But with kids?  I’m lucky if it still fits a year later.
Here it is:

I started with the skirt, following Gretchen Hirsch’s circle skirt tutorial from Quick Stuff to Sew magazine, Winter 2011.  (If you don't know her, you MUST check out her blog).  The only change I made was to put in an elastic waistband instead of a zipper and waistband – hopefully this will allow Cora to wear it a bit longer!
The top was a bit of a hodge-podge.  I used the Peasant Shirt bodice from my Little Girls, Big Style book by Mary Abreu.  I wanted something with short sleeves that Cora could put on herself (no zippers or buttons to worry about) and this fit the bill.  For the bottom half of the top I generally followed the Shwin & Shwin Sand & Sea Top tutorial (another great sewing blog).
For the flowers, I followed a tutorial from Andie Johnson's blog.  I love making these flowers because they are super easy and resemble dahlias, which are my favorite flowers (Devon plants them in the garden for me every summer).
The main fabric is a purple velveteen that I found at the Economy Shop (great local thrift store).  I bought the hot pink fabric there as well – it feels like some kind of jersey but it doesn’t have much stretch.  The fuchsia skirt lining was leftover from a skirt I made for a client – I left it a bit long so that it could peek out.  The thread, buttons, and elastic were already in my stash, so all told this skirt and top probably cost less than $5.  It did take a long time to make, mostly because I decided to do a blind hem on the skirt and circle skirt hems seem to go on forever!  Apart from the hem I probably spent about 5 hours on this.
I’m waiting for Cora and Devon to come home now so that I can hear all about it.  I hope it was magical!

2 comments on "Circle Skirt & Ruffle Top: Do you believe in magic?"
  1. I don't know why I missed this! SOOOOO freakin' cute ... makes me a little weepie in fact. :)

  2. Darling outfit and a sweet occasion. :)