Sewing a Circle Skirt and Rowan T

Sewing a Circle Skirt and Rowan T

I honestly don't think I've ever owned a circle skirt. Seriously I cannot remember ever having one, even as a child. Whilst in my 'I'm so busy with very little time for sewing phase' I thought it was the perfect time to try one out. I'm pleased to report I love it. I mean seriously why did this take me so long?

When I thought about it one of the reasons for avoiding this style was the association with 1950s, retro and vintage. Although I LOVE these styles and love cooing over them on other people it isn't the sort of thing I normally go for.

Then I realised I could do a modern take on a circle skirt with the styling. Pair it with a modern crew neck, very fitted Tshirt (hello the Megan Nielsen Rowan), ankle boots and a leather biker jacket and all of a sudden it would feel much more 2019 than 1950.

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Patterns and Fabrics

The Skirt

Skirt pattern next to fabric

I chose our floral print Samba crepe for the skirt. It is a mid weight crepe, full of body and perfect for a swishy circle skirt. I loved the design on it and knew it was beautiful quality that would wash and wear well.

I chose Simplicity 1200 for the skirt - easy to sew with  length options and waistband or sans waistband options. I chose the 20" length option with the waistband.

The T shirt

Tshirt pattern next to fabric

I made the T shirt in our John Kaldor Ritual fabric in black. Let me tell you, this is marvellous stuff. It feels incredible against your skin, has a great amount of stretch and washes and wears like a dream. It was absolutely perfect for the Rowan T. Oh and it comes in a very wide range of colours too.

I wanted to make the Rowan T since it came out last year or even the year before. It is a classic wardrobe staple with style multiple options. You can choose from a crew neck, V neck, turtle neck in T shirt form or bodysuit form plus there are three sleeve options to choose from: short, 3/4 or long. If you mix and match the options that is a whole load of T shirt lovin' for your wardrobe.

I opted for the crew neck with short sleeves, which I thought would work well with the skirt and was a much needed basic for my wardrobe.

I must admit, when it comes to clothes I can be a bit of a magpie, always drawn to the pretty sparkly garments and prints. Nowadays I realise you've got to make/buy the less exciting items to pair them with too.

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Adjustments and Sizing

The Skirt

I made a straight size 14 in the skirt with no adjustments. Let's face it all you really need to fit in this style is the waist. Easy peasy. My waist is 29" and the 14 was drafted for a 28" waist, but it worked out fine.

The T shirt

I opted for a small in the Tshirt. The small is drafted for a 36" bust and I am only a 34", but I knew it was a tight fitting garment and suspected the armholes on the extra small would probably be too snug plus the waist would be far too small. I'm really glad I opted for the small because the fit worked out really well.

I made my usual adjustments for a forward shoulder and high round back (I make these for any bodice, you can see a tutorial and video on it here).

I thought perhaps it was a little snug in the armholes, but then I realised it is actually that the shoulder seams are a little short on me, which pulls the underarm up. If I made it again I would extend the shoulder seams, although I must say this is really nit picking as the top is super comfortable to wear as it is.


The Skirt

The skirt was super quick and simple to make and I opted for an invisible zip rather than a skirt zip as suggested by the pattern. This is just my personal preference.

Sewing a circle skirt with an invisible zip

Rather than a narrow hem, which could be a little bulky in this fabric, I overlocked the edge of the fabric then pressed it up and stitched it down.

Angela suggested I knocked the differential feed up a notch on my overlocker to slightly gather the fabric in at the hem. This meant the raw edge of the fabric was shortened slightly and therefore pressed up better.

Sewing a circle skirt hem

I was a little short on the fabric for the waistband so I cut it in two pieces and added a seam to match with the side seam. This is barely visible and was a good solution.

The T shirt

The T shirt was also a super easy sew and only took a few hours. I made it on my Babylock coverlock machine and cover stitched the hems for a professional finish.

I used our stretch interfacing on the neck band to prevent it from stretching out of shape and to add some stability. It worked beautifully with this fabric.

Sewing the Rowan Tshirt by Megan Nielsen

I stabilised the shoulder seams with narrow ribbon, feeding it under the foot of my overlocker and stitching it into place.

Final Thoughts

I love this outfit and it will be worn a lot during Me Made May. It is perfect for this time of year when it isn't warm enough for summer clothes, but is too warm for winter clothes. Yay!

Trying out a new style that was easy to sew was a great way to keep my sewjo topped up when I didn't have much time to sew.

Sewing a circle skirt and Rowan Tshirt

Shopping List

Have fun sewing!


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