Basilica Skirt

So the last post on the blog was my stop on the One Thimble Issue 18 blog tour - the Spirited Dress* by Candice Ayala. This time round, is the 'unofficial' post on the Basilica Skirt - another amazing pattern from Issue 18, and another pattern perfect for twirling.

The Basilica Skirt is designed by Orange Daisy Patterns.  It is definitely a statement piece.

The skirt has three layers - an circular underskirt (I used white rayon), and two square skirts that are shifted 45 degrees, so that the points bisect the other skirt. If you're feeling adventurous, you can add a third (or fourth) overskirt - it's up to you.

My overskirts are in a spotted chiffon I found at Spotlight for $2/m.  I love the drape of chiffon. Unfortunately, every time I try and lay the fabric out to cut a pattern, I'm reminded why I don't always like sewing with this fabric. The drape of the fabric also means that it's very difficult to get it to lay straight and square. I'm sure I spend more time trying to get the fabric laid out nicely than actually sewing up the skirt.

The pattern provides pieces that enable you to cut each quarter of the skirt (circle or square) individually. But if your fabric is wide enough (and/or pattern small enough), you can cut the skirts out in one solid piece. Depending on your mood, and how your fabric is behaving,  this can make things a lot easier or a lot harder. Personally, I like to avoid as many seams as possible in chiffon.

The seams I did sew, I used a french seam (instructions are included in the pattern) to give a beautiful finish. The pattern also includes great instructions for doing a narrow hem on the underskirt (definitely worth the effort).

My overskirts are bound with satin ribbon. As the edges of the ribbon don't fray, it was pretty easy to press into shape, and sew into place (mitred corners and all).  You could also use bias tape instead of ribbon - but beware, there's a lot of hem there. For a size 7 hem I used nearly a whole roll of ribbon for each skirt.

This is the point where I must confess that until now, I have not 'hung' any skirts before hemming. I was always too keen to finish them off and wear them. But after hanging and trimming this skirt, I have seen the error of my ways, and will be doing so in the future (except if I forget, or can't wait).  In all seriousness, this is an important step, especially when using fabrics known for their drape.

This skirt is a big hit with my daughter. She likes to pair it with a plain leotard (which does give a beautiful finish). I found some beige georgette and some pink and apricot tulle at the op shop last week. So have plans for another. Using tulle/netting for the overskirts means that I can skip the binding.

Of course, this skirt has great twirling potential. It twirls, swishes and glides in the most glorious ways. And it's just one of the many amazing patterns and tutorials in Issue 18 of One Thimble. If you're after more details on twirly skirt action, check out my 'official blog tour' post on the Spirited Dress. Or go and have a peek at what's included Issue 18 on the One Thimble website.

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. The options, sewing and metres and metres of binding are all my own.


  1. Great work! I love how you finished the hem with the ribbon - adds something extra!


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