Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Sewing Circle: A funky circle skirt and an adorable Peter Pan collar dress!

Today's Sewing Circle question came from an ambitious reader with two (very different) projects on her mind.  I think I was able to give her some good tips for both, and you may have ideas, too, so please share!

Recently, Gabby wrote...

Q: I was wondering if you could help me out with one or both of these questions.  First off, I absolutely adore this maxi skirt (or it might be a dress, but I think I'd make it a skirt). I was wondering:

1) What kind of fabric you think it's made from. It seems a lot lighter than anything I can think of. 

And 2) Do you think it's a full, half, or three-quarters circle skirt? I just can't tell.

Secondly, I really love this dress as well. Do you have any clue how to go about constructing it? I love the slightly dropped waist and the slight flare to the skirt! Not to mention the adorable Peter Pan collar!

Love those, Gabby!  Here are my thoughts...

A: Super fun project ideas! The skirt--I imagine it's probably a 3/4 circle skirt, about, although it has gathering at the center front and center back, interestingly. That's probably because it probably is actually a dress, and it has to have the gathering so it can pull over the head. So you can make it without the gathers if you give it a waistband and closure.

The materials look like a mix of lightweight cotton voile or quilting cotton (you could cut up old hippie-esque wall hangings or tie dye? I've found them at thrift stores before. You could also cut up 90's long dresses/skirts! That would be fun!), bright cotton knits (even just a ribbed or jersey knit would work, not too heavy weight), and that funny print that you might find on kids' bedsheets or something. My guess is, you could make something like this with any of your favorite fabrics (all approximately the same weight) and it would be really fun and personalized!

And that dress--OMG, so cute. I have definitely seen patterns for a bodice like that before, and then the collar you can add yourself (see my tutorial here for adding a Peter Pan collar), and the skirt is probably just a half circle skirt.  I can’t find the bodice pattern I had in mind but basically, you just need a princess seam bodice and then you can cut down the neckline to wherever you like!

I would recommend something like Simplicity 1913. You can extend the waist a little so it has a dropped waist, and then just make sure you cut your half-circle skirt to fit that measurement rather than your actual waist.

Here's another that would work, Butterick B4333.

Same principal; just looking for a princess seam bodice and then you can cut the neck to however low you want.  I'd recommend giving the bodice a full lining because it might be easier than custom-cutting a facing for the neck edge.

Readers, what do you think?  Have you seen the perfect dress pattern, or do you have any insights on that cool skirt??


  1. holy wow!!! that skirt is AMAZING!!! i want to forget work, run home, and make this sucker!!!! i pinned it, so its now on my to do list!!!

    1. Haha, nice! Yeah, it looks like it would be fun to make, too! Kind of like quilting but without the tedious parts... ;)

  2. I love these little dresses with the peter pan collars! Thanks for the link to the patterns! I just might try one for my next project! Great blog btw :)

  3. Anonymous3/06/2012

    The banksia top by Megan Nielsen reminds me a little of the peter pan collar dress and could be easily made in to a dress (in fact I think she recommends it in the pattern http://shop.megannielsen.com/category/sewing-patterns. Hope that helps! Caroline

    1. You're right, that pattern does have the same Peter Pan collar!



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