Circus Skirt

circus skirt 1

circus skirt 4

Pattern – combination of McCall’s 6554 and Butterick 4443
Fabric – Cotton poplin from Mood in NYC

Tank – INC
Shades – Bulgari
Sandals – Tahari
Necklace – gift

This skirt was the result of a sewing disaster.

It started out originally as a dress, hence the reason for McCall’s 6554.  I thought it would be a sweet summer sundress out of this crazy stripe fabric I found at Mood earlier this summer.  I even thought through how to place the stripes – horizontal for the bodice, vertical for the skirt.  Oh, how fab it was going to look.

After stitching the skirt to the bodice and trying it on, I realized that this wasn’t going to work out at all – the fit of the pattern was much larger than I anticipated (even after making a muslin for the bodice) and frankly, with all of the crazy colored stripe action going on and a big A-line skirt, two words came to mind when I looked at this dress on me in the mirror: circus tent.

circus skirt 2

That’s when my mom stepped in and suggested I try to convert the dress into a skirt instead.  See, I made this when I was home visiting the folks in July, and my mom had a pattern on hand that she’s made into dresses and skirts for me in the past: Butterick 4443.  I used the skirt portion of the pattern and lined it up onto the skirt I already had from the McCall’s pattern (minus the pleat, I took that out and stitched the two center fronts together).  Following the swoop of the side seam, I traced the pattern onto my skirt, re-cut it and voila – crisis adverted!  I finished it up with an invisible zipper and tried a new technique of using twill tape in place of a waistband facing.

circus skirt 3

Instead of tears and a tent of a dress, I have a pretty new skirt that’s great for casual summer days.    When sewing gives you a lousy pattern, make an awesome garment!

What kind of sewing crises have you avoided?



  1. August 20, 2012 / 9:51 am

    Love the skirt. Especially like how you matched the stipes at the side seam.

    • August 25, 2012 / 1:16 pm

      Thank you! If I had been more diligent I could have had perfectly matching stripes down the side. But I'm not and I don't really like sewing with stripes, hahaha.

  2. August 25, 2012 / 4:00 pm

    You look so cute!! Great save! The stripes look fab.
    I have one sewing crisis that's been haunting me for weeks, and I haven't managed to fix it yet, so maybe you'll be the inspiration I need to make it less of a disaster. Congrats on your awesome skirt.

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