Friday, May 20, 2016

Circle Skirt Conversion

I don't really like circle skirts.  I think they look cute on the super-skinny, but if you're trying to downplay generous hips or the midsection in general, I find that they add a lot of bulk.  I also find that a straight- or pencil-skirt silhouette is more flattering to larger calves like mine.

And yet, earlier this month I sewed one. Made of flowy rayon challis with a wide yoga waistband, it is  comfortable, drapey and flowy and doesn't add extra pounds where I don't want them added.  Who knew I could like a circle skirt?


This is the adult version of the Dyyni Skirt pattern from Pienkel, which is being released today.  I didn't actually realize that it was a circle skirt when I volunteered to test.  I'm glad I didn't realize it, because I never would have volunteered, and I would still be under the impression that circle skirts are not for me.

This particular skirt is sewn together in six wedges, with options for a woven elasticated waistband or a knit yoga band.  It also has options for a shorter upper layer with or without a vertical casing to gather it upwards, and for inseam pockets.  It comes in sizes 2-20, and there is a child's version as well as a free baby version that you can get by subscribing to Pienkel's newsletter.  For more information, more tester photos and a limited-time coupon code for 50% off, go here.


Although my measurements put me in a size 18, I knew I'd want less ease, so I sewed the size 16.  To further reduce the stick-out effect that I dislike on cotton circle skirts, I tossed through my sewing room looking for the drapiest fabric in my stash.  I juuuuust managed to squeeze the pattern pieces out of a small piece (44" long) of 54"-wide coral-colored rayon challi.

I made the yoga waistband view using a cotton/lycra with outstanding recovery.  The knit was stretchy enough to stand on its own without elastic, so I left the elastic out.  I like how the wide waistband allows me to sit the skirt portion lower on my hips. Plus it's really comfortable.  I am kind of curious how it would look if I had matched the knit to the skirt fabric, but I was working from stash and didn't have any coral knit.


The pattern itself is easy to sew and can be made in one sitting.  There are only two pattern pieces for the view I made (and only five for the most elaborate view).  Pienkel's instructions are clear and thorough, and she includes helpful tips like staystitching the panels before sewing to keep them from stretching out.  She also includes an option for finishing the hem with bias tape.  I opted to do a turned-up hem.  I also let the skirt hang for a day before evening out the bottom and hemming it. 

I am really happy with the finished product.  Circle skirts are never going to be an everyday sort of garment for me, and I would not make one in anything with less drape than this challis.  But the drape lessens the visual bulk that circle skirts can add to the abdomen and hips, and the wide knit waistband makes it very wearable for me. One of the testers left out one of the wedges, which reduced the skirt width further - an idea I might try if I make another Dyyni skirt.


The fabric feels lovely on - immediately after I finished it, I ordered some more challis as I didn't have much in my stash - and I know I will definitely be in the mood to wear this skirt from time to time even though it isn't my usual silhouette.

I also am currently smitten with the idea of making a midi-length challis version in a striking color - like emerald green or a vibrant purple challis - to wear for special date nights with a pair of ankle-strap heels.  Also, I don't currently own any ankle-strap heels so I'd need to take care of that too.  What do you think?

20 comments:

  1. I think this skirt looks great on you, well done! And I am actually of the opposite opinion – I have always thought circle skirts looked great on everyone, no matter the body shape :-)

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  2. I think it's great that you tested this skirt not knowing it was a circle skirt because it looks terrific on you! Love the color, too. Now I can't wait to make one for myself!

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    1. Thanks, Emi! It was definitely a happy accident.

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  3. I think this dropped waist silhouette is SUPER FLATTERING on you. Far from adding bulk (you're right that the fabric helps), it shows off your curves and skims over your hips and looks wonderfully swishy to wear! Sometimes it's good to get outside your comfort zone and try something new!

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  4. You could have witten my blogpost on this skirt, so funny!!

    Maybe the only difference is that I found a matching shirt to recycle into a waistband ;) And that I still have to blog it ;)

    Looks pretty!

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    1. LOL, thanks - looking forward to seeing your blog post!

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  5. I think this skirt looks amazing on you! Super flattering and just plain cute:). High five!

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  6. Thanks for all your help and your kind words! I think it looks great on you, glad to read it happily surprised you 😉

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  7. I love circle skirts! You make me feel wanting to sew on for myself!

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  8. Really smart yoga waistband does reduce bulk. You look beautiful! That color is divine. I love me some challis, too!

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  9. Clever fabric choice Masha, it looks lovely!

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  10. The skirt looks great, Masha. I think the waistband makes all the difference, and, of course, using super-drapy fabric too. Love this colour on you.

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    1. Thanks Marisa - the yoga waistband is really a genius idea!

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  11. The skirt looks great on you - the colour is wonderful!

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Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!