From one hobby to another

The golden rule to a successful blog is regularity. I guess I can never expect this blog to be a success, considering I often leave it aside for weeks (or months!) at a time! I guess my blogging frequency is in direct correlation with the amount of sewing projects I completed AND the actual time available for blogging…

First of all, I never finished the 40’s Swing Dress.  I never went beyond muslin stage. I managed to figure out the neckline, but when I tried my muslin on, there was just one thing to say: MEH. It’s just not for me. Getting the size and the fit right was a pain, and it was actually generating way too much stress. I concluded that I have plenty of patterns with similar designs that I know will fit with minimal adjustments, and that I should focus on these instead. Sad ending to what looked like a great project, but for the sake of my mental health, it was for the better!

Moving on, February was the month when I reconnected with a hobby I had set aside for a long time: oriental dancing. Or belly dancing, as it’s commonly called. I signed up for weekly classes and monthly workshops with my former teachers and to be honest, I can’t understand why I ever stopped! The music, the rhythm, the moves, soothing and empowering all at the same time…

But weight gain over the past years meant that my dancing clothes didn’t quite fit anymore. So I went into sewing panic mode, and quickly made a skirt and a top. The skirt is View A of Simplicity 4188.

I made the skirt in what would be a size 26, but I could have easily gotten away with cutting a straight 24, as my fabric is really stretchy (poly/viscose/lycra knit). I didn’t add the side zipper, as it wouldn’t have made much sense considering the stretch of the fabric. I can just pull the skirt on very easily. The skirt consists of  8 panels and 8 gores, and a yoke. I finished the bottom hem with a lettuce edge using my serger. Very straightforward pattern, everything went together beautifully. This pattern will remain as my go-to pattern for dancing skirts, it beats all the circle skirts I’ve made before – hands down! The finished skirt is wide and twirly, while still being nicely fitted at the waist and hips area, perfect for dancing.

For the top, I used an old shrug/bolero pattern from McCall’s, M5196. It’s currently out of print, but you might be able to find it on eBay or Etsy. I made view C, with sleeve flounce.

This is also a very straightforward pattern that goes together quickly and nicely. I did a lettuce edge with my serger all around the neckline, the ties and the back, and the flounces. I came to the same conclusion as for the skirt: this is a great pattern for dancing! I will certainly use it again in the near future.

And here’s the result, my complete outfit with hip scarf:



  1. Very nice! Wow, how I’d love to be able to wear something like that! Eish haha

    • marieclaude says:

      You know, this dance is for all shapes and sizes, you’d be surprised how good you can look 😉 I ain’t the smallest, but that doesn’t make me an elephant 😉 (even a pink one haha)


  1. […] and April were by far the busiest months, with 8 sewing projects completed: from a bellydancing outfit, to a jacket, to several vintage-inspired dresses. The dresses were showcased in a photo shoot, an […]

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