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A Life in Floral

Hi again! I’m back again this month to review the most beautiful Jersey Fabric I’ve seen to date and to show you what I did to showcase it. It is a cotton lycra with good 4-way stretch and a comfortable weight and thickness so there’s no worry of transparency since it has a white background. I have worn this numerous times now for the summer since it is cotton and very breathable. Not to mention that print - a lovely splash of watercolour flowers in an array of bright colours romantically strewn around the fabric. I think of a bunch of wildflowers artfully scattered across a white canvas and it fills me with joy just looking at it.

I decided not to be too fussy with the pattern since I really wanted the print to be showcased, so I chose to make a circle skirt with suspenders. These are so easy to make and I will try to show you how I made mine. For the circle skirt you can either do some basic calculations yourself or I found a handy circle skirt calculator on the By Hand London website - it even recommends what width of fabric you need!

One thing to note is that they recommend you cut two half circles to form a whole. For my skirt I folded my fabric first selvage to selvage, then turned it 90 degrees and folded again to get two fold lines. I then place the two long straight edges of my quarter circle pattern piece against the two folds and cut. This resulted in a continuous circle skirt with no seams. I’m going to include my poorly hand drawn diagram because I had an entire conversation with someone before who just did not get this concept. Hopefully you might find it helpful!

For the waistband, I measured the height I wanted my waistband multiplied by 2 since I’m going to fold it in half length wise – so about 8 inches for a 4 inches height. I find it best to measure where you’d like your waistband to hit in case you have a short (or long) torso. For the waistband length we want some negative ease so multiply by about 0.85 to get 85% of your total waist. You want to then sew it together short sides right sides together, mark every quarter on your waistband and skirt then attach with pins, right sides together and matching marks together. Stretch the waistband to fit as you sew it on with a zig zag stitch or serger. Be careful not to stretch the skirt or you will get wrinkle and bumps!

For the suspenders, you want to put your skirt on and measure from where your skirt sits on your back crossed over to your front. I wouldn’t bother to add seam allowance to the length since the fabric stretches anyway. The width is multiplied by two plus seam allowance, so mine is about 1 inch wide, so I want my width to be 2 inches plus 0.25 inch seam allowance either side since I use my serger. Sew your suspender belts along the long raw edges right sides together, turn out and iron so the seam is hidden in the middle of the belts, not on the edge. Serge the ends closed.

Find the centre of the skirt back and baste the straps in place about 1.5 inches away from the centre. I like to make the waist seam the back seam for ease. Cross over and bring the straps to the front and adjust length and position until you’re happy with where it all sits. Sew in place. I would probably sew a reinforcement square next time to avoid the slight puckering I got when I sewed two rows to secure each strap. I also highly recommend you try it all on before sewing your straps in case you need to shorten it. My straps still wanted to fall down after a long day so I will sew the crossover bit with a reinforcement square to stabilise it. I also think maybe some interfacing will help with this issue to stop the straps stretching out throughout the day. A reinforcement square is literally a square sewn to secure two pieces together often seen on bag handles where they join with the bag.

Hem the skirt and you’re all done! I serged the bottom then ironed up once and sewed in place. Swishy skirt joy for the summer, or make it in a thicker ponte roma or similar for the cooler months! I paired mine with a coral strap top when it’s hot but a striped long sleeved top for when the temperature drops. Dark grey also compliments the floral well, so I will be hunting for more grey stuff in the future to accessorise my suspender skirt. 

Until next time, see you later

Zoe @zoe_craggs

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