Tuesday, 20 November 2012

27 Dresses...well skirts actually

My sons' hip hop dance class consists of three boys (including my two) and 27 girls!

One of their dances for the end-of-year concert has a 50s theme and I was enlisted to make circle skirts for the girls. I did volunteer my sewing skills, but the dance teacher was rather apologetic when she told me how many skirts she needed!

I needed no excuse to go to the fabric shop for supplies. I bought 30m of polka dot fabric in two colours - white with black spots and black with white spots, 20m of black elastic and some overlocker thread. I had planned to make my own pattern, but then I found a pattern for girls' circle skirts (Simplicity 7401) in the op shop for 20c. Must have been fate!

 I modified the pattern a bit and made three sizes (6, 8 and 10 years) on sturdy brown paper. Then I got cutting and sewing.

Here is a finished skirt.

I wanted the skirts to be as quick and simple to make as possible as there were so many. They needed to look good on stage, but it was fine if they were a little rough on the inside! The pattern suggested attaching a separate casing for the elastic waistband, but I made them with an exposed elastic waistband instead.

The waistband was attached by dividing the elastic and the skirt waist into quarters, stretching each elastic quarter to fit each skirt quarter and attaching the skirt with a simple zig-zag stitch. This can be seen more easily from the inside. Of course, simple ribbon size labels were a must.

 After a while, I got a bit of a production line happening where I grouped the skirts into sizes then did all the side seams, followed by the elastic waistbands. Once they were all made, I changed the overlocker to rolled hem mode and went for it. Metres and metres of rolled hems. It was quite therapeutic actually, although I had to chase the overlocker around the table if I went too fast :)

I calculated that, once they were cut out, each skirt took about 15-20 minutes to make.



  1. The skirts look fantastic and the sizing labels are very clever. What are the boys wearing and are you making theirs as well?.

    1. Aww thank you :)
      My older son is going to be Elvis and the younger is Danny from Grease. I think the other boy in the class is a bodyguard for Elvis. Fortunately the dance teacher is supplying these costumes! I can't wait to see the concert.

  2. That cream with black polka dots is such pretty fabric! Where did you buy it?

    1. Yes, it's lovely and satiny - perfect for these skirts. I got it from the clearance table at Spotlight in Osbourne Park. There was quite a lot left a week or so ago but it was selling fast!

  3. What a mission. They look great . I always end up doing costumes for my sons school production. I ave also done
    Kapa Haka (Maori cultural) costumes. That was the biggest of the lot....30 appliqu├ęd sun dresses! I think I will go into hiding next time lol!

  4. Wow, 30 dresses with appliques, I'd go into hiding too! It was fun though and I'll probably put my hand up again as long as it's a quick and dirty project like this one! It's also a good ego boost when the other mums say how amazing you are to have actually made them :)

  5. Oh, you're good!

    Glad you managed to get a production line going: I wonder how much time can be saved by planning things first so as not to make extra work for yourself.

    Enjoy the show!

    (Wonder what they'll ask you to make next time... Joke!)

    1. I think planning is definitely key with this kind of project. It was helpful to do the side seams on all the skirts, then change the overlocker over to rolled hem mode to do all the hems. Otherwise I would have been changing the overlocker back and forth, unscrewing needles etc., which is a bit annoying at the best of times. I can't wait for the show, the boys and I are all going to be in it doing our hip hop thang. Yo!

  6. Appreciate you sharing, great post.Really thank you! Really Cool. Sweater Dress


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