Results: 2 Ways to Lengthen a Half-Circle Skirt

Skirt Drape Experiment | Comparison Shot 2 | 3 Hours Past

Last weekend, while I was working on the sewingcake site I got the itch to test and compare two ways to lengthen a half-circle skirt.  It was fun to sit down and stitch the two tester skirts.  Both are a lightweight rayon, close to the same weight and drape.  I used a navy and white spotted fabric to mock up Alteration 1 (trace n slide method of lengthening).  I used navy and white stripe for Alteration 2 (simple addition of length at the hem.

Drape Comparison | Lengthening a Half Circle Skirt

I haven’t done much styling or self-photos in the past few months, what skills I have were getting rusty so I set aside a little time to play with my camera and tripod to best show the drape of the skirts.  I played with the contrast and exposure in these photos to help bring out the shape and motion of the fabric.

Of all the photos I took, these two seemed to best show the difference between the two skirt shapes.  Alteration 1 uses slightly less fabric, but the shift in the grain of fabric at the side seam throws off the balance of the drape of the skirt.  Alteration 2 follows a regular half-circle skirt drape, with ripples gently forming in the fabric around the body.

I put a pocket in the mock ups, in case I decided to keep wearing them.  The striped skirt makes the cut (I do have a thing for stripes…) but I may decide to finish the polka dot skirt later.

Brisbane Tiramisu Class

I’m teaching the Tiramisu Knit Dress at Voodoo Rabbit in the Gabba this Saturday the 8th- I still have a spot left, so if you’re reading this and you’d like to come let me know and I’ll set you up!

We have another class on the 15th which also has a spot available.  Let me know if you’d like to come!

Picture 3
The site is the online home of Cake Patterns.  I can’t have Cake all over the place around here, it attracts ants.  My fridge isn’t big enough.  There’s frosting all over the ceiling.  I can do things on I can’t do here, and it’s really fun bringing all the elements together.  I’m still releasing pages, playing a little and getting used to the new space but do go and check it out.  I’ve hidden five of eight Pieces of Cake around the site and will be sure to let you know when I’ve hidden the final three.  If you collect all eight Pieces of Cake, you get a code for a free Cake Pattern.  One lucky winner will go fabric shopping with me.  We’ll have fun, even if you’re in Zanzibar.  Take a look.

Once I finish up the last little bits of Tiramisu pages for the site, I’ll be posting regularly again here at 3 Hours Past.  Thanks again for being patient with me, I’m really looking forward to posting about inspiring ruffled 20’s dresses (and what I’m cooking up from that inspiration), the crazy-clarifying and cheap face mask I’ve been using lately, more about color and sergers- basically all the cool stuff we were talking about before Cake work got busy.

Pavlova Flats | Wrap Top and Skirt | Cake Patterns

Oh- and the Pavlova Wrap Top and Skirt Circus will happen before the end of the month!  Pavlova has been a delight so far from start to finish, and it will be so nice to show her to you!  Last time, I ran the pre-sale for ten days and posted tutorials and experiments nearly every day.  That was fun, but for Pavlova I want to make it shorter- 5 days instead of ten.

Also, do take a look at Kate from Two Little Banshees’ black knit post-baby Tiramisu!  I think it looks great on her, and I completely understand wanting to wear it all the time! Up to now you’ve only seen the Tira on me, so go check it out on Kate!

I miss you!


  1. Astonishing the difference it makes. And you’re such a tease…Tira arrived yesterday morning and I already want that Pavlova top…such a great basic and I know that shape really flatters girls with curves.

  2. Very cool, it’s neat to see the difference in outcome. I love the polka dot fabric, I don’t know that I realized how much I liked polka dots until recently. There is something happy about them to me.

    Pavlova looks great, certainly has me drooling in anticipation.

  3. I received my pattern! Whoohoo:). I’m in Malta, Europe – pretty good timing – thanks so much! And thanks for the patches too…. I am looking forward to the next one, and the next one, and …… :_) Congratulations – the first one, and it’s a great one – I won’t be making it for now, it’s coming into winter here, and I am shivering as I sit at the laptop in fleece pants and a zipper, a wool scarf and sheepskin slippers – 16 degrees and damp unheated flats are not conducive to short sleeved jersey dresses… come spring I will start running up a few of these (rubs cold hands together in anticipation).
    The Cake site looks so cute – I am dying for it to be up – and for you to have this one bakc to the old style site – I lvoed you different postings… I don’t respond very often as for some wierd reason our work servers let me read your site but not post replies, and I am always too tired or cold at home to switch on.
    Steph – I have a (probably very dumb) question. How do you measure for cup size? I think I’m a C right now but not sure – to be honest, most of my bras are stretchy in the cup so they stretch to fit – the ones that aren’t and are all 36B (from before I put on 4 flipping kilos) now have some overspill in the middle. Vogue’s site says to measure high bust and full bust etc. But I remember reading somewhere else that you measured the under bust and the full bust and went from there. Please help!

    • Oh good, I’m glad you got it! :)

      Oh wow- sounds like you’re quite cold. If I could send you some of the heat we have here, I’d do it. We have a surplus at the moment.

      Thanks… :) She’ll be fully up and running shortly!

      The short answer is- no one knows how to measure cup size. :) Opinions vary on the subject… Really- I just went and did a google search in hopes I’d find something decent to show you, and I just found a long list of contradictory advice. I’m sorry! I really don’t know a whole lot about cup sizing, there’s just too many different ways of doing it and I haven’t decided which is the best one yet… Needs more reseach…

      If you mean the cup sizing for the dress, take a look here:

  4. The Pavlova is looking good!! There is a noticeable difference in the two skirts (in my opinion). That’s good; that means there’s more options! :)

  5. Wow, Steph! I am so glad you did your experimentation with the skirts!!! After your demonstration post yesterday, I had *assumed* that I’d probably like the more narrow version better, thinking it might be a bit more slimming. But seeing both profiles “in action”, I really like the fuller, more flippy-swirly version! It’s absolutely the most flattering! Thank you for doing these!!!! :-)

    • Yes, yes they are. Annibel. They are the BEST Borns I’ve ever had, and the finish on the leather is just wonderful…. Very comfy, these are plushy on the inside…

  6. I wonder if the Alteration 1 drape would be improved by adding a CF seam and shifting the grain to even between the two seams. Although I would probably prefer Alteration 2 anyway… I tend to think fuller is better.

    • Now look what you did, I want to try that now and compare… I think it probably would, but then we’d be venturing into 4-gore skirt territory and moving away from the half circle…

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