A Wild Cheetah-Print Circle Skirt
Good morning, friends! How has your February been? Mine has gone by entirely too quickly, a blur of long work days and frolic-filled weekends. It’s also been a time of introspection, style-wise. As I’ve written recently, I’ve been in the mood for a bit more glamour in my wardrobe. Less pastels, more vivid color. Instead of skirts covered in adorable cats, I’ve craved, well…a skirt covered in a different cat, entirely! Maybe I watched too many Ann-Margret movies, as a child, but nothing screams glamour to me like a good animal print garment. When done right, it’s the chicest print out there.
Our dear Mood Fabrics, of course, does it right. This black & off-white cheetah print appeared online in December and I snapped up a length of it, with all that glamour on my mind. This fabric is a wide opaque cotton, with a fairly crisp drape and good stretch from its elastine content. I’d say it’s most comparable to a nice, weighty cotton sateen, perfect for a structured spring dress, cute little cigarette pants, or–tada!–a party skirt.
Me being myself, I chose the latter option. It merged nicely with my other obsession this month: the circle skirt. All variations of this classic, from half to full, get so much wear in my wardrobe. They dress down well in printed denim, for a retro daytime look, or dress-up beautifully with a silk blouse and heels. Once I make one, I remember how much I love them and promptly make five more! I’ve been on a 3/4 circle kick most recently, but I thought the structure of this fabric would lend itself well to the half-circle. Such a crisp drape suits the more belled silhouette of a semi-circle nicely.
I made my half-circle pattern quite awhile ago, but there are now plenty of calculators around to help with the math. (My two favorites are from Patty and By Hand London.) My personal preference is a pieced approach to circle skirts, to cut down on fabric waste. This one is two pieces, front and back, attached to a straight waistband, and closed with an invisible zipper on the left side. That’s the other thing about circle skirts–there’s no easier project, for a quick sewing fix. If you know how to sew a waistband and a zipper, you’re good to go. Make sure it hangs overnight, to let the bias fall as it needs, then hem it up.
Let’s see, what other construction details are there to note on this simple piece? The seams inside are all serged to finish and the hem is pretty narrow, about a half-inch, in deference to the fabric’s crispness. Of course, I made my life more difficult, by securing the waistband facing by hand and hemming the skirt with a small catch-stitch all the way around. Circle skirts, even half ones, have hems that go on forever and ever. A glass of wine and a good movie always see me through, however. This one was hemmed to Tim Burton’s Big Fish!
This is exactly the animal print skirt that’s been missing from my wardrobe. It is insanely comfortable, but also ready for a party! Nothing says “Let’s get festive!” like a classic animal print, paired with black accessories. Chic, but super fun. The only problem with this project is that I’m wishing I had more fabric leftover! Suddenly, cheetah print capris sound like a necessary wardrobe addition…