Dressing Up: Circle Skirt and Retro Blouse

Having seen some gorgeous dresses and separates in Dutch wax print fabrics recently (especially from two of my fellow Simple Sew bloggers, Vicky and Rhiannon) I was inspired to make something of my own.

Initially I considered making a dress, but I have a wardrobe full of them (most of which you’ve seen here!) that aren’t worn very often as I don’t often have suitable opportunities. The idea of matching separates became very appealing for this reason, giving me the appearance of a dress but with many more possibilities.

I chose to make the Veronika skirt by Simple Sew, having made the dress a couple of months ago, and a Simplicity reprint pattern (originally released in the 1960s) that I’d also tried out recently. This saved time as both patterns were already cut out.

Veronika and Simplicity 1364

A quick trip into Leeds one Friday morning, took me to my favourite fabric shops as usual (although sometimes I venture a little further for sewing inspiration, mostly to Cos, & Other Stories and of course to John Lewis, where fabric, patterns and notions can also, conveniently, be found and where I had bought the Simplicity pattern!). Leeds is wonderful for fabric shopping; I’ll write more about that another day.

Towards the back of the Kirkgate Markets there’s a little stall packed full of African fabrics and garments. It’s a real gem of a shop, the stallholder is lovely and the colours are breathtaking. Fabrics are sold in 6 yard cut pieces and are very reasonably priced at £20.

I spotted this beautiful print in navy blue, turquoise and pink, with a smaller pattern than the one I worked with last summer

The weather was perfect so by mid afternoon the fabric was washed and dried on the washing line (which looked fabulous and reminded me of seeing old saris used as nets to keep fish in pens in Bangladesh!).

Both patterns are quick to sew, with simple construction methods. I considered drafting armhole facings for the blouse as I don’t generally like bias binding but decided to stick with it and am happier than usual with the results.


Rather than using interfacing in the skirt waistband, I created parallel (almost!) lines of stitching to help minimise twisting and retain stability. The invisible zips were from my stash, so aren’t exactly the same colour but as only the zip pulls are visible I’m quite happy. The raw edges are all finished on my overlocker and both hems were edge finished, then pressed and turned once before stitching.


Here is the completed outfit. I’ll be wearing it today – a beautiful sunny Saturday – as I’m going to the Leeds Wool Festival with the Big Small while Mr T. and the Smaller Small help out with local pre-election campaigning and preparations.

Veronika Skirt with Simplicity 1364 blouse

2 thoughts on “Dressing Up: Circle Skirt and Retro Blouse

  1. The combo looks really wonderful! And it’s such a good idea to make the more versatile separates. You clearly have your head screwed on – as evidenced by going wool shopping while you send out the others to do election prep 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I’ve done a fair amount of election prep too and have more to do tomorrow but the wool was a welcome break. It’s been a very strange couple of weeks and I’m thankful for a creative escape from it all sometimes.


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