Drape | Half-Circle Skirt Discussion | 1950′s Housedresses | Steps 10 & 11

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Instructions | Day 7 | 30 Minutes A Day Sewalong

Good morning/afternoon/evening, fellow Tira Stitchers.  It’s been really exciting to me to wander through our flickr classroom space, because that’s exactly what it’s like- a classroom space!  I had an afternoon of real-life classroom stitching today at Voodoo Rabbit– we were a small but chummy group, and got some wonderful stitching and fitting accomplished.  M and L nearly finished their dresses in 5 hours, and for once I could actually do the bodice fitting myself!  With my own hands!  I hope the ladies will post their dresses soon, because they’re beautiful.

Meanwhile, here on the internet, we’re sewing through steps 10 and 11 on the Tiramisu Knit Dress.  We’ve laid a solid foundation over the past week (great work!), I have nothing much to add except a few small tips and a little lore about the cut of your dress.

The Skirt Waist Raw Edge Is Smaller Than The Midriff Waist Raw Edge


As we discussed in almost every lesson this week, the Tiramisu Knit Dress pattern is a “dressmakery” way to approach dress construction.  It’s a combination of patternwork to create a certain cut and drape and also the dressmaker’s personal interaction with the fabric.   It might seem a little strange at first, but in the long run it means you have the tools to adjust and tweak future Tiramisus regardless of the fabric weight or drape you choose to use.

It’s re-make-able.

Another dressmaker type feature is that the top edge of the skirt is cut smaller than the midriff band.  This is deliberate, as it is necessary to gently spread the top edge of a half circle skirt in order to create the lovely rippled effect in the skirt.   Over time, it settles and conforms to the body inside it in an almost universally flattering way.

The Ripples Are Also The Bias

Great Drape with bias in the CF

Great Drape with bias in the CF

Half Circle skirts combine comfort with and attractive drape through the stretch in the skirt’s waist seam, and through the bias cut.  This Red Stripe Tiramisu is cut that way.

Flying Version Polka Dot Tiramisu Dress | Cake Patterns

This Navy Blue Polka Dot Tiramisu is cut with the straight of grain in the CF (also with the seam eliminated, click here for details).  Both are cut from a knit fabric.  Extra points- check out EmSewCrazy’s finished Tiramisu “muslin” in the flickr stream and see if you can spot which of my skirts hers is most like- is the the “bias” or the “straight” one?

Half Circle Skirt In A Woven

Blueberry Parfait (Colette) in linen.  I made this two years ago, my first indie pattern make, and still wear it all the time.  I subbed in a half circle skirt.  Click for blog post and pattern review from the 3 Hours Past archives.

Blueberry Parfait (Colette) in linen. I made this two years ago, my first indie pattern make, and still wear it all the time.  The CF has no seam, but is cut on the bias. I subbed in a half circle skirt for the Colette skirt.  Click for blog post and pattern review from the 3 Hours Past archives.

Half circle skirts are popular in vintage patterns, which is how I became interested in them.  Once you have a half circle skirt pattern that works for you, it’s easy to continue making them. It’s an addiction, and Andrea B at Four Square Walls shares the addiction.  She wrote a great post on half-circle skirts, definitely worth a read.

“Flat” Dress Construction

Flat Dress Construction | Tiramisu Knit Dress | Cake Patterns

Flat construction for regular day dresses is another feature of many vintage patterns.   I like it because it’s relatively easy to adjust the lateral (across the body) fit to the dress as you sew, as long as the basic pattern pieces are relatively close to your size and shape.  This is especially handy for knit fabrics- but we’ll get into the “ease” discussion and fitting tomorrow!

Flat 50's Day Dress

For now, if you’re interested in learning more about the Tiramisu’s Vintage Pattern Lineage or Flat-Constructed 50’s Dresses, click the links to 3 Hours Past Archives.

Further Reading

2 Ways to Lengthen a Half Circle Skirt

Results: 2 Ways to Lengthen a Half Circle Skirt

Blue Lobster Dress (in progress @ 3 Hours Past, will feature half circle skirt)

Pedigree of a Dress- Tiramisu Design Inspiration

Half Circle Skirt Maths (excellent, excellent guide | By Hand London)


I let my 30 Minutes slip over the weekend to spend time with my family and today when I was teaching.  I plan to catch up tomorrow, and might just have to finish the dress.  We’ll see!  I’ll be sitting down to type ten hours after this post publishes and will leave the door to my sewing room “open” through twitter.  Last week Gillian (who has made like, forty Tiramisus already) and I talked about maybe trying to get a little Tira-Tweeting going on.  I just thought I’d mention it…


30 Minutes a Day Sewalong Tiramisu Headline | Cake Patterns

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