Sunday, July 5, 2015

Lady Topas and 1/4 circle skirt

Apologies for the dreary photos. My usual photographer is still in the hospital and my outdoor timer photos stink. Mirror pics are on the menu until further notice.

As I mentioned in my last post, not much fits these days, so I've focused my limited and erratic sewing time on quick pieces for myself.  

I'd been wanting to try a quarter-circle skirt for ages, ever since I read that it was comparable in fit to my beloved basic a-line skirt.  I used the By Hand London calculator to make my pattern.  The fabric is a thrift-store denim (2.5 yards for $5 - score!).  


(I'm wearing it here with one of the Kirsten Kimono tees I made while pregnant.)

I like the drape of the skirt, but I don't the think the quarter-circle will replace the a-line skirt for me.  It's a little voluminous and I feel like it adds weight to my hips and thighs.  I suppose it might feel less hippy in a drapier fabric, but I am not sure I will try it.


I tucked my shirt in here to show the waistband (which is a little crumpled in front since I did not interface it) but I don't generally tuck my shirts into skirts.

The back of the skirt closes with a zip and a hook-and-eye.  I hemmed it with a decorative stitch in two colors.


Although my Kirsten Kimono tees are very comfortable, they are a bit tight over the postpartum wobbly bits.  I went searching for a knit tank top pattern with a more forgiving fit, and found the Lady Topas pattern (free!).  It features a circular yoke and a softly gathered bodice - a cute alternative to the basic tank top.  The pattern is in German, which I do not speak, but it has lots of photos and is pretty easy to figure out.  I could not find any reviews of the pattern in English, so I dove in and made the L according to my measurements. It fit very well out of the virtual envelope.


I used a piece of Joann Fabrics reversible rayon/cotton (mostly rayon) knit picked out of the remnant bin a couple of years ago. It has stripes on one side and dots on the other.  They have it in a few colors and it is really cute, but it shrinks significantly in the wash.  I pre-washed my fabric, but the shrinkage meant that I did not have enough fabric to cut a yoke facing. I was considering this a wearable muslin (and I really wanted to finish it that day) so I decided to make the yoke one layer. I used clear elastic to keep the neckline from stretching out and turned and topstitched it.  It works ok but I will definitely make the yoke as written next time.


I do really like the fit and the fact that the yoke covers wide bra straps without looking matronly.  I generally prefer cotton or mostly-cotton knits, but I think drapey fabric is key to the success of this top.  


I am hoping to find the time to eke out another one or two of these before autumn hits.

12 comments:

  1. Both pieces look great on you. I like the simplicity.

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    1. Thanks! Sometimes simple is the way to go.

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  2. I agree with the above commenter. The simplicity makes these pieces great! Love both of them!

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  3. I love the top! Thanks for sharing the link...I'm adding it to my sewing list.

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    1. I can't wait to see what you make with it.

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  4. Hi Masha, I'm glad your husband is doing a bit better! Sorry I haven't commented on your recent posts, I got really behind in my blog reading, but I have been thinking of you!! I really like the way this quarter circle skirts looks on you - very flattering! And that top is just the sort of thing I would wear as well. I love a knot top with some bust gathers. I look forward to seeing your "non muslin" version. I'm glad you've had some time to sew despite a newborn and a husband in rehab! You are an inspiration!

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    1. Thanks Inder. I wore the skirt to church today and I think it is growing on me. It really looks better with shirts tucked in, though, and I'm never comfortable like that.

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  5. Hi! New to your site and am already a fan. The new top and skirt look nice on you.

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  6. You've made me a fan of the quarter circle. I love the drape of it on you. And I think there's something to be said for draped fabrics, especially the way they skim over post-post-post baby jiggly bits. Have you ever tried making a shirt with woven on front, knit/slinky on back? Or vice-versa? I bought a few Iike that and the fit is fantastic- not too billowy, not too clingy... I've been tinkering with the idea of making one, but not sure about the logistics.

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    1. Interesting! I had a maternity shirt like that (a hand-me-down) this time around that was two different kinds of knit in the front and back - one stretchy, one not so much. I found it kind of uncomfortable, like it pulled in the wrong places - but it was probably too small on me since it came from my super-model sister-in-law.

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