Scallop Waist Skirt

I just finished making up Chie’s Scallop Waist Skirt from Grosgrain’s glorious Free Pattern Month. It’s a half circle skirt, perfect for dancing because it swings and twirls like a dream. The pattern is very straightforward and easy to work with, if you follow the instructions and actually listen to Chie’s directions. I neglected to do this because I got too cocky for my own good and I ended up making a right mess of my first attempt. But in the end, success prevailed and my new skirt is finished!

What I did wrong:

1. For my first try, I allowed Adobe Reader to print the pattern “Fit to page,” which shrunk everything…A LOT. This is why Chie so brilliantly includes a simple square in the pattern marked “5 inch Square” – so you can measure it, before you piece the pattern together, and be sure everything is the right size. Don’t neglect this!

2. For my second try, I believe I cut the waistband a size or two larger than the skirt. It seemed like it would be fine and I could just sew it to the skirt and then cut off the extra. Trouble with that idea is, the scallops are perfectly measured to match up at the zipper. So, when I lopped off one end of the waistband, it threw off the matching at the back. Lesson learned: check and double check everything.

3. I wrecked the first zipper when I tried to put it in the skirt. That’s why the zipper is white. I had a tan one and it matched great, but after I wrecked it, I wanted to force myself to put a zipper in correctly (just to prove I can do it!). Instead of running to Joann’s at 7pm, I utilized a white zipper from my stash. It doesn’t match, no. But I wasn’t about to be beat by an invisible zipper.

What I did right:

1. I lengthened the skirt about 2″ because I’m something of a tall person. I’ll add another 2″ when I make the skirt again, because this length is as short as I like to go.

2. The fabric I chose was a stroke of luck – it’s a lightweight suiting fabric with a lovely drape. Make sure you choose a fabric light enough to do justice to the swingy-ness of this skirt when you make it.


I love the way the scallops contrast against the blouse! And of course the incredible genius of the half circle skirt is enough to take any sewing fanatic’s breath away. I think I’ll make this in navy blue and bright red next. And then maybe hunter green!

Outfit details:

Sweater: Old Navy

Skirt: Made by me from Chie’s Pattern

Shoes: Melissa + Alexandre Herchcovitch Troupe Wedges from ASOS –> These are my first Melissa shoes and my new favorites. So comfortable, so cute and they smell like bubble gum!


Filed under Sewing

15 responses to “Scallop Waist Skirt

  1. OMG CASEY this skirt is AMAZING!! Also, I love your outfit photos! So pretty & classy! :D

  2. Thank you so much, Kate! You can totally make this skirt. And it’s SO much fun to wear! I’m so happy you like my photos – I’m trying to get a style going, like you have with your photos! :)


    Love the skirt. Love the shoes. Love your little shirt. IT’S SO PRETTY! :’)

  4. My biggest thing with any craft is that I always mess up somewhere along the way. And it’s always irreparable. I love how you point out what you did wrong and right with this project. The skirt is fabulous. I love the scalloping. And might I say, you have a fabulous figure for wearing vintage styles!

  5. It is so pretty! It’s one of those vintage fashions that doesn’t look out of place today (sadly, many of them do–60’s wiggle dresses, for example). You did a really good job!

  6. Hehee, thanks Niamhy!

  7. Thanks, Raquelle! I’m glad you liked the breakdown of what happened with the skirt. I hope my mistakes will help other people succeed with the skirt on their first try!

  8. Thanks so much, Terry! How true, this skirt has great vintage styling but with modern appeal. :)

  9. The scallops are so pretty! A lovely skirt. Sewing definately teaches you patience, this is why I struggle with it so much sometimes! I find the conditions need to be right, lots of coffee, maybe some chocolate, not too tired, decent light, no clamouring children etc, that why my out put is so low!! Maybe I need to get a grip!

  10. Hiya Trish!

    Thank you very much! Patience is often a hard virtue for me to maintain, too. I always try to rush things when I think I know what I’m doing and then I mess it all up. I like your idea of coffee and chocolate as sewing aids! I think I need to give that a whirl. :D

    Thanks for the lovely comment!

  11. You look great, that skirt is beautiful!
    I also bought those shoes and I love them <3

  12. Thank you so much, Giulia! Aren’t the wedges marvelous? I love them even more now. :)

  13. Love the shape of this skirt. Keep meaning to make myself a full circle but actually, after seeing this I think a half circle is what I’m after! Thanks for the lovely inspiration (Just found you on Twitter!) :-)

  14. liz

    I know this is way late but did you have trouble with the scallops not fitting close to the body? I have the waist line seam at the waist and the scallops are not close to the body. Wondering if it is just my mannequin. Thanks.

  15. Hi Liz,

    Not late at all! My scallops fit around the waist quite well. Have you tried on the skirt yourself? I will often gently try on garments while I’m in the sewing process to check the fit and make minor adjustments.

    All the best,


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