Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yesteryear-Circular Skirts

Black Poodle Skirt by thevintagemistress on Etsy

With Halloween close at hand, my post today is about a yesteryear pattern that you can use for a costume straight out of the 50's. Of course, I am speaking of the full circular skirts that many call "poodle skirts." All you will need for your costume is a scarf around your neck or around your pony tail; a tight fitting, preferably sweater, top; and a pair of saddle shoes. Then you are ready to "boogie" AT THE SOCK HOP!

Making your own skirt is best done with a heavier weight fabric, like felt by the yard, lightweight wool blends, corduroy, or velvet. If you want to get fancy, try a shimmery taffeta, or satin with lots of petticoats underneath. You will need:

4 yards of 36" fabric or
3 5/8 yards of 44" fabric or
3 1/4 yards of 54" fabric.

one matching 6 inch zipper
and (depending on the weight of the fabric, one yard 2 1/2" interfacing for the waist band. )

Optional: bias tape, braid, appliques, or embellishments

Finished skirt length is 30.5 inches plus a hem. You can use a thread/string and a safety pin to draw a half circle on your fabric, using the selvage edge about 36 inches down from the cut end to attach the safety pin and mark out your half circle with a pencil or chalk for your cutting line. Do this twice, making sure that the half circles are exact opposites (with one straight diameter edge facing right and one facing left/repeating on opposite sides of the fabric - not folded). Cut a rectangle waistband to fit, making sure it is 5 inches wide and your waist size plus a couple of inches for the length. After joining the side seams of the skirt, leaving a 6 1/2 inch opening on the left hand side for zipper placement. Then any skirt pattern with a waistband can be used for instructions in attaching the waist band to the skirt, after you have joined the side seams and placed the zipper. Finally you will need to hem and embellish the skirt with your desired embellishments.

Or you might want a ready made skirt, or a more detailed pattern, available from various Etsy sellers. I've listed a couple of options for you:

Poodle Skirt Pattern from DotD on Etsy

Anyway you choose, it will be a blast from the past of yesteryear!

Update Aug. 2015:  I found a tip from a fellow sewer about making the correct waist size when useing a whole cloth donut method.  To make a pattern, she used a large sheet of paper folded in half and then in half again, making quarters. (You could use an old newspaper page.)  Then she determined the waist size that she needed.  Next she used her rule  "minus one inch and divide by six" to calculate the proper radius.  i.e. if the waist size was 34 inches, using this formula, the radius of your waist circle would work out to be 5.5 inches.  She went back to her quarter folded pattern paper, and measured from the folded corner of the paper, 5.5 inches.  Using a protractor from the folded corner marking a quarter circle.  Cut out the center of the paper (Making sure you leave a seam allowance) and you should have the inside of the skirt that matches the waist.

1 comment:

storybeader said...

what a cute skirt! SOME people can pull it off... not me!