Finished Object: Position 5 Pavlova!

Pavlova Position 5

Here she is, all finished!  I meant to post this last night, but the internet at our house ground to a halt and refused to be revived.  Next morning after some fiddling, it’s back.  Whew.


This skirt was originally my Position 2 skirt– the one where I abused the horsehair braid hem. I’ve had a few emails since then letting me know I was doing it wrong.  Yes, I know.

The thing is, it would be weird to make a series of posts about circle skirts without mentioning horsehair braid.  There’s plenty of information in the internet about application of horsehair, and I made a brief visual reference, too.  I wanted to do something else- to show precisely how the braid reacted to continual wash and wear, a clear visual warning.

Worn In Pavlova Back

It’s not pretty, but that’s not the fault of the braid.

When I needed it, I couldn’t find any horsehair braid in Brisbane or Australia so MrsC who owns and runs Made Marion in Wellington sent me some.  She’s so good.


I couldn’t leave the hem looking so terrible, so before I appliqued and embellished my skirt, I ripped out the braid and re-stitched the hem.

Pavlova Position 5

I think it was the right choice.

One of the things I find curious about embellished circle skirts is how easily the ripples can hide applique motifs.  There’s a little pink bird somewhere on the back of my skirt…

Pavlova Position 5

Oh!  There she is!

Pavlova Position 5

And another one!  Who knew candy pink birds could be so subtle?


There’s nothing subtle about the satin ribbon birdcage, though.  I built it over an existing pocket but it would be workable (and saner) to mount it on a plain rectangle of fabric which then becomes the pocket.  I positioned the bird cage near the top of the skirt as per the inspiration photo, but given my druthers I think I’d like it better near the hem.  But this is fine, too!


The Position 5 skirt felt more like arts and crafts than a sewing project.  It was really fun.   I kept messing with the ribbon birdcage, adding and removing pieces of ribbon.  Can you see the little bird swing I snuck into the cage?   I also removed a “bar” so we have an open door.

And Lila the photo-bomber came back!   We couldn’t get out somewhere cool to do photos, but she kept me laughing and we had fun in the yard.


Downloadable bird and cage templates and construction details at

Meanwhile, The Pavlova Wrap Top & Skirt pdf patterns will be released on Craftsy tomorrow!


  1. I love how the skirt came out (awesome birdcage!) and I love the skirt on you but I keep looking at it and don’t think I could carry it off. This one really has me thinking – step outside of my comfort zone? Maybe start off with a small bird?

    • Thanks, Shar. :) I know what you mean! I like the birdcage, but without it I think the bird appliques would be a rather subtle and fun embellishment. A small bird would be nice, or a row of birds around the hem, or oh dear me the possibilities are endless… :)

  2. I love it, so 50s. Really eyeing off the pink top. I am amazed just how the colour and texture of fabric can change an outfit. You made me laugh at your terminology of ‘photo bomber’! I have one of those too. Must use it myself.

    BTW, I feel like a blog stalker, always putting my comments on! I’m really not, but having been in bed now for 10 days I don’t have much else to do. I can honestly say that having such an interesting blog to follow makes the time go quicker. And has given me so much Pinterest time I have now carefully planned out my pavlova beauties. Can’t wait to start :)

    • It is, isn’t it? More than any of the others, this one feels very 50’s to me. Must be the birdcage. :) I’m really fond of this pink top… It’s linen jersey, and I’ve been wearing her to death. She’s gone all soft and drapey drapey and very cool to wear. I’ll have to upload her action video for laughs…

      Lila loves photo bombing! She’s grown up so much since starting school, and I feel like I hardly see her anymore. But we have fun.

      oh no! Do you have the flu or recovering from something? Poor you! I’m glad I’m a bit amusing. :) And Pinterest is SO good for marshalling one’s thoughts and picking up patterns of preference and planning stuff.

      • I know what you mean about not seeing Lila much. Has she started prep? My little darling (sometimes) is now in year one. All of a sudden liking One Direction and Taylor Swift although she has probably never heard them. We do have to laugh.

        Unfortunately, no, my illness is long term. Have good times and not so good. Sewing and crochet keep me sane when unwell a lot. On the positive side, my hand sewing and couture skills have really increased as this can be done in bed!

        • Yes, I believe it’s called prep… It’s a small class, physical activity and reading and computer literacy and Japanese lessons once a week. She’s really loving it, I’m really pleased for her. But she’s *such* a big girl now, I just have to adjust. :)

          I’m sorry to hear that. : / I’ll keep trying to be amusing, how’s that? :)

  3. Hi Steph
    Love the applique and the photos of your skirt. Who would have thought that a candy pink bird could hide on a whte skirt. I’m glad you took a photo of your skirt without the Horsehair braid, it shows the drape of the skirt that I am aiming for. Lila looks her usual happy self, say Hi to her for me.

    • Thanks, Ann! :) This drape will come from a medium weight woven, twill or canvas or even denim… After multiple washes. It’s the classic “circle” drape.

      She’s so exuberant! I’ll give her a squeeze for you.

  4. The hem looks much better now. I’ve never experimented with horsehair braid before, but I am more of a pencil skirt girl. Interesting to know how it suits wear and tear though. I’m never as keen on garments that need specialist attention than those that can be washed in the machine.

    And as for the applique it looks great! I’m pleased that you finally got to make it happen! I remember when you first showed the inspiration for it.

    • Yes, it’s quite a change, isn’t it? Very very tidy. Only took about 20 minutes to rip the braid from the hem…

      That was such a long time ago! There’s something very very satisfying about making something real that’s been trapped in the imagination… :)

  5. I am not so sure about the bird cage but do like how you left the door open. I have never heard of horsehair braid. I love the skirt though. I have yet to get some winter fabric, my husband has just had a hip replacement so I am a bit house bound at the moment. I would like to try it in a soft denim and a lovely wool.
    My greetings to Pauline hope you feel well soon. I joined a crochet blog called Attic 24 you might enjoy.

    • Thank you Lyn. Nice to ‘meet’ you too. I think we may think alike. I have been following Lucy on Attic 24 for a couple of years now. Her work is so colourful and beautiful and her stories are always cheery too. Don’t you love looking out her attic window at her beautiful countryside, and how it changes with every season? Our blog writers out in blog land are sometimes so inspiring. Aren’t we so lucky today to be able to communicate and make friends all over the world.

      Hope to see your Pavlovas in the Flickr group too.

      • Thanks, Lyn… I’m not completely sure about the birdcage, either.. If I find I don’t wear it, I’ll just pull off the ribbons and keep the birds. They’re a little more discreet. :)

        I’ve never heard of Attic24, but have been wanting to do a little crocheting or something lately…

  6. Lila can photobomb as much as she likes in my book! She’s just fabulous. As is that skirt, of course. I think for me I’d have to do something a wee bit more subdued, but I absolutely adore it on you. And the new hem was definitely the right choice.

  7. Aw, I love it! Like PendleStitches, I’d go for something more subdued myself, but this skirt is just so much fun. I really love the birdcage. :)

Is it kind, useful or interesting? Great!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s