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I got a really nice bunch of fabric in Black Watch tartan and have been thinking of turning it into a half-circle skirt, but I’m worried because it means the alignment between drape and pattern might get a bit wonky in places—that is, much of the skirt will have the checks running at all sorts of angles except for two rather narrow sections where they can be expected to run roughly parallel/perpendicular to the ground. Is this a problem at all? Has anybody tried to make such a plaid (half-)circle skirt with satisfactory results? If it turns to be a bad idea, I guess I’ll just settle with the dreaded Skirt of Many Pleats….

And, since I’m still a novice sewer who handles buttonholes a lot better than zippered flies (which I tend to mangle rather horribly), I guess I might just as well ask a secondary question here: would such a thoroughly-patterned skirt look good with front opening buttoned all the way down? If so, what do you think would be best: shiny metal buttons or ones covered in the same fabric as the rest of the skirt?

Thanks beforehand for any answers to either question!


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  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    May 9, 2010, 08.52 AMby katexxxxxx

    No probs with the pattern on the skirt: make it bias front and back and have the seams along the sides with the pattern straight. You’ll need to let is hang on the dress stand for a week or two to allow the fabric to drop before hemming it.

    A simple side zipper will look much better and cause no bother in the straight cut seam. Baste it in by hand rather than relying on pins. And remember to sew it from the top down along both sides! Never go round the end and come back up – that way madness lies!

  • 20150117_152733_large

    May 9, 2010, 01.43 PMby mlssfshn

    Totally agree!

  • 970316_10201865009255816_2084508514_n_large

    May 9, 2010, 02.03 PMby lclausewitz

    Wow. Those are some really quick responses. I’m used to waiting for more than one week for this kind of thing on other forums.

    Anyway, on to the substantive matter: I hadn’t thought of rotating the skirt that way, but now that it has been brought up . . . it sure makes a lot of sense. Since I’m in a rather lazy mood (and the skirt isn’t particularly long), I suppose it wouldn’t hurt if I cut the skirt out of a single piece and let the single seam run up one of the sides, right?

    2 Replies
    • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

      May 9, 2010, 03.23 PMby katexxxxxx

      Absolutely not! :)

      The number of times I have don this can be counted amongst the stars… Especially when I was a poor student sewing those seams by hand!

      Zip on the left side, for tradition’s sake…

    • 970316_10201865009255816_2084508514_n_large

      May 9, 2010, 04.25 PMby lclausewitz

      That makes me wonder: why is it traditionally on the left?

  • 20150117_152733_large

    May 10, 2010, 03.37 AMby mlssfshn

    In this case most people are right handed and it’s easier to reach across and pull a zipper up than it is to reach down and pull a zipper up. The placement of closures on women’s clothing,also, tricked down through the ages. Rich women use to have dressers,people who literally put their there many layers of clothing on back during the Renaissance period. So that the closures would be facing the right direction for the attendants they were put on the opposite direction.

  • Img_3334_large

    May 10, 2010, 11.38 PMby Jodi Wade

    I made a plaid dress with a full circle skirt. It has buttons part-way down the front.http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/pink-red-plaid

    1 Reply
    • 970316_10201865009255816_2084508514_n_large

      May 11, 2010, 04.11 AMby lclausewitz

      That’s a really nice dress, and looks like appropriate inspiration to boot!

  • Bored_polar_bear_large

    May 12, 2010, 02.39 PMby 20beverly08

    with all the styles in fashion I’ve seen over the years—nothing is impossible. Just make sure you match your lines in the plaid fabric so it does not go in wierd directions. The easiest way to prevent this is the fold the fabric in half lenthwise and cut everything in the same direction. And, double-check your cutting layout on the fabric to make sure everything will go in the same direction when it is sewn together. I have learned the hard way to set it all pattern pieces out onto the fabric and then walk away from it for 24 hours. And then come back to it to recheck it one last time before I cut out the pattern. A circle skirt with a bias cut center seam that appears like an upward V or a downward V looks very elegant with a straight cut top in plaid. please let me know how it goes.

    1 Reply
    • 970316_10201865009255816_2084508514_n_large

      May 17, 2010, 03.22 PMby lclausewitz

      Ah. Too bad I probably won’t have enough leftovers to make a plaid coat as well. Would it work with a greenish herringbone coat, I wonder?

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