Posts Tagged ‘skirts’

passport lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-4I picked out a couple simple projects for this edition of Kids Clothes Week. I had a plan, I really did. But here it is, Wednesday night, and all I have to show for myself is a skirt I made last week. Seriously, I’m having the hardest time getting my act together lately.


BUT… I did manage to accidentally fit things in with the traveling theme, and I do love it when a KCW button matches my skirt. So I’m pretending all is not lost.

passport lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-3

Anyway, this map fabric, I love it. It’s from Moda’s Passport collection, which includes maps of New York City, Paris, Tokyo, and London. Each one is beautifully detailed and comes in several colorways. This one is my favorite – perfectly muted blues and greens and grays.

passport lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-6

I went with another Compagnie M Lotta skirt, but changed it up a little. Lila’s first Lotta ended up needing elastic for a better fit, which means the zipper doesn’t get used at all. So this time I scrapped the zipper and made it easy on/easy off with just elastic in the back. I cut the back piece on the fold and added extra length at the top so I could fold down a back waistband and thread elastic through it (if you’ve ever made the Hopscotch skirt, same idea). Unsurprisingly I made some mathematical errors that complicated the process, but all in all, it was a really simple modification. This skirt pattern is becoming one of my favorites.

passport lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-5

In other news, there’s only one thing growing in our garden, but it’s one very delicious thing. This time of year is the best.

passport lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-2

Read Full Post »

handcrafted hopscotch skirt -- probably actually-2

Q: What do you get when you cross Alison Glass’ Handcrafted fabric with the Oliver + S Hopscotch skirt pattern?

handcrafted hopscotch skirt -- probably actually-5

A: The only article of clothing I’ve sewn in a month!

handcrafted hopscotch skirt -- probably actually-3

Okay, there’s my icebreaker. Now we can get to the skirt. This yard of the Plus print in Strawberry had been burning a hole on my shelf for some time, I just couldn’t decide how to put it to use. I hope I did it justice. The whole Handcrafted collection is stunning, the colors really glow. It’s hard to capture, but I think these photos are the best representation.

handcrafted hopscotch skirt -- probably actually-4I’ve made the Hopscotch skirt several times, so there isn’t much I can say about this pattern that hasn’t been said. I love the style, though – simple but sophisticated, and the elastic back waistband makes it practical to wear. And of course, the pockets are genius.

handcrafted hopscotch skirt -- probably actually-1I’m feeling inspired to sew some summer things for Lila, more skirts for sure. And last week I bought this pattern to sew for myself. There’s an 83% chance I’ll chicken out on that one, though. We’ll see.

Read Full Post »

Today I’m joining the It’s a Small World (blog tour) After All to show you a little bit of Rae‘s new fabric line for Cloud 9, Small World. It’s here, it’s great, and it’s corduroy!

a small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-2

Corduroy makes such a wonderful garment fabric, but the selection of prints has always been pretty dismal. Until now! It’s so exciting to see these bold, bright, Boden-esque prints on super soft, baby wale, organic corduroy. Rae did a beautiful job with these, and I really hope this substrate starts popping up more often.

small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-2I think skirts are a great place to use a bold print (this one is City Streets), and I knew right away it had to be the Compagnie M Lotta skirt, which I’ve wanted to try for the longest time. Marte of Compagnie M designs some really cool and unique patterns, and they always seem to catch my eye.

small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-2The Lotta is a simple gathered skirt with a flat front waistband and invisible zipper back closure, and the cutest little fold-over pockets you ever did see. The Lotta skirt comes in women’s sizes, too, and there’s also a Lotta dress for girls.

small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-6

I made the skirt in a size 5 (lengthened to 6) and added the optional adjustable waistband in the back. I ended up having to cinch it up quite a bit, so the waistband ended up a little bunchy – I think that’s just what happens when you put .75 inch elastic in a 1.75 inch waistband. It’s not a huge deal since her shirt covers it up, but next time I might just size down in the waist so that it fits correctly without any adjustment, or else scrap the zipper entirely and just elasticize the whole back waistband (like the Hopscotch Skirt, for example).

a small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-4

The corduroy worked really nicely for the skirt, though – it’s a perfect weight for apparel and is light enough to gather beautifully.

a small world lotta skirt -- probably actually-1-5

For more inspiration, check out Kristin and Tara and Rae‘s delightful Small World creations, and there’s more to come in the tour as the week goes on!


Small World is available around town and online, and Jones & Vandermeer has the whole collection in stock if you’re looking. Speaking of which, thanks for all who entered last week’s giveaway! The winner of the Jones & Vandermeer gift certificate is commenter #20, Sarah M. Congrats!!

Read Full Post »

Well these were supposed to be for fall, but fall just keeps on not coming. It’s been in the 80s, hence the flip flops and sleevelessness in this post. Not quite how I envisioned these skirts being worn, but I can hardly complain – the weather is beautiful, and it can’t possibly last much longer.

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-4By now it’s probably pretty obvious that I love the Oliver + S Swingset skirt pattern. Last week I retired some of the first ones I made (two years ago to the day for that last one, and a sunny day at that!) – those size 3s still fit in the waist, but the length has become completely indecent. It’s been time for a new crop of size 5 Swingsets for awhile now, and when Cotton + Steel came out, I knew there were a few good skirt prints in the mix. And then Tara made these two skirts with their brilliant chambray waistbands, which gave me the idea to modify the Swingset pattern.

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-2

It’s easy to do, and the modification I made applies to all sizes of the skirt, since the waistband’s finished width (1.25 inches) doesn’t vary between sizes. So I’ll give you my numbers just in case there’s any interest. Just create a new waistband pattern piece (it’ll be 2.25 inches wide after you add a 1/2 inch seam allowance at both the top and bottom), then shorten the skirt pattern piece at the top by 1.75 inches (1.25 inches for the waistband, plus a 1/2 inch seam allowance). The lines are on a curve, so you can use a ruler to draw a series of dots your given distance away from the curve, then cut on the dots.

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-10

Then sew your two new pieces together and follow the normal directions to finish constructing the skirt. Pinning and sewing on a curve like that is a little tricky (hence all those pins), but mine fit back together just fine, no clipping necessary.

_.c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1

I feel like I picked two of the most obvious Cotton + Steel prints – there are many more subtle but just as awesome choices in this huge collection, but I like skirts in bold prints like these. Plus what girl doesn’t want a skirt covered in horses. Anyway, LiMa Sews is carrying all five collections if anyone is in the market for some Cotton + Steel.

_c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1

The Arrows (from Melody Miller’s Mustang collection) skirt is lined with Kaufman’s Cambridge lawn (left over from this dress)

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-9and the Mustangs (from the same collection) are lined with an aqua Cotton Couture. I prefer the lawn as a lining, but Cotton Couture is the next best thing – it has a nice smooth texture and lighter feel than a lot of other solids. The chambray is by Andover, in Navy.

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-12So…my love for the Swingset skirt continues. The pattern only goes up to size 5, but I’ll be lengthening these babies for years to come.

c+s swingset skirts -- probably actually-1-3

And finally, here’s Oscar, tromping around in his Sketchbook shorts and his new boots. It’s crazy how happy a pair of rubber boots can make an almost two year old. He’s super proud of that Hello Kitty tattoo, btw.

oscar, almost 2 -1


Read Full Post »

2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually

She needed something wear on her second day too, right? I’m not usually one for themed fabric selections – I tend to avoid Santa faces on my holiday clothing, and I’ll be the first to admit that colored pencils on a back-to-school skirt is maybe a little on cheesy side. But cheese or no cheese, these pencils were calling my name.

2+2 skirt -- probably actually-10

I’ve had the Oliver + S 2+2 pattern forever (and made my very first Oliver + S garment with it, almost four years ago!) but I was never interested the skirt – I think the ironed pleats were too formal for my taste. But after seeing this version in the Flickr pool I realized it could have a softer look, and I was immediately sold.

2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually-2

Unfortunately, I only have the smaller size range in this pattern, which goes up to 3T. I debated buying the larger size range, but the pattern pieces are all rectangles, so in the end I cheaped out and just tried to size up from the 3T. I added 1.5 inches to the length and an inch to the width, and then attempted to do some math to move the dots and notches around. I’d say I was semi-successful.

2+2 skirt -- probably actually-13

The fit came out right, but I ran into some problems with the placket and ended up doing way more seam ripping than if I’d just used the real size 5 pattern pieces. And now that know I love the pattern, I’ll probably invest in the real thing so that I can avoid doing any math whatsoever when I make the larger sizes.

2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually-3

And I really do love the pattern! True to Oliver + S form, it was simple and straightforward to put together, but full of professional details – the pleats, the side placket with a button and loop waistband closure, the flat front waistband, and the wide two inch hem. The placket itself closes with sew-in snaps. I don’t have much experience with these, and apparently sewed them in completely wrong (my mom was appalled and showed me the light, aka resewed them for me). The snaps work well, but I really like Justine’s version with the buttons on the outside of the placket. I might try it that way next time.

2+2 skirt -- probably actually-17

The only thing I did differently was to add interfacing to the waistband, because I hate a floppy waistband. I should’ve just added it to the front, though – it got a little bulky when I pulled the elastic through the back.

2+2 pencil skirt -- probably actually-6Anyway, this skirt makes me happy – I just love it when a previously dismissed pattern suddenly becomes a favorite. That’s Oliver + S for ya.

Thanks to everyone who entered the Llama Fabrics giveaway, and I truly appreciate all the teacher gift advice! The three yards of fabric go to commenter #22, Lightning McStitch!


Read Full Post »

compagnie-m swing skirt -- probably actually-0978

I only recently discovered the talented Marte of Compagnie-M – it was this spectacular version of her Mara blouse (made by Laura of Behind the Hedgerow) that first caught my eye – and while it was that crazy-amazing Liberty animal print that drew me in, I was really excited to uncover Marte’s blog and pattern shop as a result. Not long after I visited her blog, she emailed and asked if I’d like to make her new Swing Skirt – and I definitely did. I loved the skirt the minute I saw it.

compagnie-m swing skirt -- probably actually-1036

There are so many great details – the big wrap-around pockets, the piping, the box pleat, the invisible zipper. I’ll admit I was a little nervous about sewing it – there was that zipper (my first! and it was no big deal, though tragically mine came out a little uneven at the top), and just the fact I’d never sewn one of Marte’s patterns, which meant I was going to have to think a little more than usual. I also knew I’d be sewing it very last minute because the past week has been a whirlwind first birthday around here.

compagnie-m swing skirt -- probably actually-1147

And last minute it was – I woke up the other morning at 2:45am and decided to capitalize on a few quiet hours and sew this skirt. It’s never really a great idea to sew at that hour, and a few mistakes were made, but I’m happy to report that Marte’s directions are solid – she even goes into extra detail (should you need it) with tutorials on her blog for the piping and the zipper and the optional adjustable waistband. I had a little trouble printing out the pattern – a couple pages printed with the very top cut off, but I was still able to piece them together just fine by leaving a little gap between the connecting circles.

compagnie-m swing skirt -- probably actually-1056

Also, my waistband ended up a tad too small for the skirt, which caused a little puckering and seam ripping, but it all came right in the end. And while there was really nothing too tricky going on, I will admit that I longed for a few notches while sewing this up – I know not all pattern makers use them, but they really take the guess work out of putting pattern pieces together, and I do love it when they’re there.

compagnie-m swing skirt -- probably actually-1029

That said, it was really fun sewing from a new pattern maker – everyone does things differently, and while I’m accustomed to a certain style of sewing, picking up something new is always a good thing. Marte has you finish all the raw edges of the pattern pieces first – which, admittedly, I thought was insane as I was doing it, but once I started sewing and had zero seams to finish? Well then it seemed completely brilliant.

compagnie-m swing skirt -- probably actually-1091

I made a size 3 lengthened to a 4 based on Lila’s measurements, and the fit is really good. A little big maybe, but she likes to wear her skirts low, so it’s just about right. With the invisible zipper there isn’t much room for error in sizing, but there’s also an option to make the waistband adjustable with elastic, so that’s another way to go. One thing though – if you end up lengthening the skirt, make sure you also lengthen your pockets and pocket facings. When you hem the skirt those are supposed to be tucked inside and sewn down with the hem, but mine weren’t long enough.

compagnie-m swing skirt -- probably actually-0979

And last, the fabric…you probably recognize the blue as Essex yarn-dyed denim (again, yes), and the pocket fabric is Windmarks from Leah Duncan’s beautiful Tule line. I picked up some fat quarters from Lima Sews awhile back, and had hoped to squeeze the box pleat and the pockets out of one of them, but it wasn’t quite enough. So I settled for just the pockets. But not before cutting the rectangle for the box pleat…then sewing it back to the fat quarter so I could cut out two pockets. These are the things that transpire at 2:45am.

compagnie-m swing skirt -- probably actually-1138And there’s my wonky zipper for the all world to see. I don’t care, I still love this skirt 🙂

Would you like a chance to win a copy of the Swing Skirt pattern? Just click on the link below and you’ll be directed to Rafflecopter, where you can enter the giveaway. It’s open through the 9th, and a winner will be chosen on the 10th!

Swing Skirt giveaway!

That’s all, folks. Visit Marte at Compagnie-M if you haven’t before, it’s worth a trip. And if you’d like more Swing Skirt inspiration, here’s the pattern tour line up – lots of great skirts to behold!


Read Full Post »

So I managed to make it four years and eight months without sewing my daughter a tutu, but my run is over.

peacock tutu -- probably actually-0420

Lila and I settled on a peacock costume for Halloween. It was definitely my idea – she suggested dressing up as a monkey, which I nixed, simply because I had no interest in monkey-sewing. Is that mean? One of these years I’ll let her choose, but after showing her Eric Carle’s peacock illustration she was genuinely excited about the idea, so I don’t feel all that bad.

peacock tutu -- probably actually-0331

I don’t usually go for fancy or frilly in clothing or costumes, but the The Oliver + S tutu from the Little Things to Sew book has always appealed to me – it layers five colors of tulle on top of each other, and I like the effect. And I thought it would look nice in an array of peacock-ish colors – I picked green, gold, turquoise, teal, and royal blue, and layered the lighter colors on top. The colors show through differently depending on how they catch the light – it’s pretty, I think.

peacock tutu -- probably actually-0414

Now…when shopping for my tulle, the colors I happened to want were of course located not in the $1.99/yard section, but in the “Italian fancy-guy tulle” section. So not only did it cost a bit more, but compared to the other stuff it’s softer and drapier…which probably isn’t really what you want for a nice full tutu. It works though – it’s not super poofy, and it’s not at all stiff or scratchy, which I think Lila will appreciate.

peacock tutu -- probably actually-0322

This was another one (late) night project – it’s pretty painless to put together, you just need some floor space to lay out your tulle and you’re good to go. And the construction is pretty clever – it ties in the back like an apron, which means it’s adjustable and could potentially be worn for dress-up long after Halloween. In fact, I’m hoping to attach the peacock feathers in a non-permanent way to leave the tutu intact.

peacock tutu -- probably actually-0400

One thing – when you attach your short ribbon, your stitches will show from the front, which I didn’t realize. I would’ve tried to match my thread better if I had.

Anyway, if you’re not familiar with Little Things to Sew, I highly recommend it – you’ll find lots of other wonderful projects in there. It’s beautifully written and photographed, and the directions are just as clear and detailed as any Oliver + S pattern. And while this is only my second project from the book, the first was the baby carrier, which is my all time favorite thing ever sewn. So I guess I have a special fondness for this book!

Okay, stay tuned for more details on the peacock costume. Felt feathers are now in production…


Read Full Post »

liesl & co every day skirt -- probably actually-0006

When I made Lila’s Oliver + S Swingset Bridgetown skirt back in August, my sister declared it her all-time favorite and requested a matching skirt for her birthday. I’d been searching around for a good grown-up skirt pattern when I got Liesl’s email with her new line of women’s patterns, which included the Everyday Skirt. The timing was perfect. The pattern was perfect. A twin Bridgetown skirt was immediately underway.

liesl & co every day skirt -- probably actually-9910

Liesl likens this pattern to a grown-up version of the tried-and-true Lazy Days skirt – it’s quick and simple to sew, comfortable to wear, and one you’ll make over and over again. The Everyday Skirt has some really nice, sophisticated details, like front pockets, smooth side panels, and a flat front waistband – there’s some gathering, but no added bulk, so the fit is relaxed and flattering at the same time. It can be made up in lots of different fabrics, and while the samples were wool and chambray in solids and neutrals, it’s also a perfect candidate for cotton prints.

liesl & co every day skirt -- probably actually-9956

Sewing from this pattern was so comfortable and familiar – it’s written and formatted in the exact same style as Oliver + S patterns, which for me are the absolute gold standard. Over the years I’ve developed such a trust in Liesl’s patterns, and I’m so excited about this new women’s line. I’ve always shied away from adult sewing, but who knows, that could all change now…

liesl & co every day skirt -- probably actually-9948

Anyway, Lila was so completely thrilled to be skirt-twins with her aunt – no cajoling necessary during this photo shoot!

liesl & co every day skirt -- probably actually-9973

You can check out all the new Liesl & Co patterns here – they’re available as PDFs which means either sending them off to be printed in one big sheet or printing and piecing your patterns at home – I’ve only attempted the latter, and while it’s no one’s favorite activity, I will say that I’ve put together my share of PDF patterns, and these come together exceptionally well.

liesl & co every day skirt -- probably actually-9891

This pattern was provided to me at no cost, but I’ve been gushing about Liesl’s patterns for years now, so it goes without saying that my opinions are my own! Thanks to Liesl for letting me try out the new line, and for making sewing so much fun!

Pattern :: Everyday Skirt by Liesl & Co.

Fabric :: Bridgetown in Starfruit from Violet Craft’s Waterfront Park line for Michael Miller

Read Full Post »

polka dot frothy skirt -- probably actually-9687

I must admit that I’ve never been a big fan of the bubble hem. Nothing against it, it just never appealed to me enough to try out. But you know how you can see something made up in the perfect fabric and you’re suddenly sold? That’s what happened to me. I was entering all the Make it Perfect patterns into the KCW database over the summer, and I stumbled upon the Frothy Skirt. And I became obsessed with making the exact same skirt.

a polka dot frothy skirt -- probably actually -9291

As you can tell, I did not make the exact same skirt. I thought the original was chambray, but I found out from Toni that she used double gauze. My “polka dot double gauze” search turned up this stuff from Drygoods Design, which seemed like a nice choice, but it was sold out when I looked (and wouldn’t ya know it, now available!).

polka dot frothy skirt -- probably actually-9507

The double gauze would’ve been softer and more bubbly, but I decided to add my own polka dots to some Essex Yarn Dyed Denim. I didn’t use the same method, but the idea came from the Oliver + S blog.

polka dot frothy skirt -- probably actually-9574

First I tried using a pencil eraser as a stamp, but the paint wouldn’t adhere to the fabric. So instead I punched 1/4 inch holes (standard hole punch size) into strips of freezer paper – I started out with a sort of grid system (one inch apart in all directions) but I got a little lazy, and it’s all very imperfect. It was my first attempt at freezer paper stenciling – are you supposed to reuse your stencils? I couldn’t bear the thought of punching a hole for every single dot, so I reused, which probably explains some of the rough edges – but you wouldn’t notice unless you got up close and personal.

polka dot frothy skirt -- probably actually-9065

I highly recommend this fabric paint – it’s Jaquard Lumiere in metallic silver, something I purchased immediately after seeing this post form Nested in Stitches back in February. Now and again I’ll visit Robin’s blog just to ogle this coat – I love that star lining so much.

polka dot frothy skirt -- probably actually-9669

The dots seemed like a good excuse to bust out the silver thread, too, so I used that for all the top stitching. It’s never as noticeable as I hope it’ll be. But I added an extra row of top stitching at the top of the waistband anyway.

polka dot frothy skirt -- probably actually-9584

The Frothy Skirt is one of the Make it Perfect Creative Cards – it’s available in “little” and “big” sizes, costs less than $3, and includes measurements to make your own pattern pieces (all rectangles) along with detailed, step-by-step directions. It’s a great little pattern. The only change I made was to sew my two rows of gathering stitches separately on each panel instead of in long rows – for some reason I couldn’t get my threads to pull evenly when they spanned the full width of the skirt. Other than that it was smooth sailing, and aside from the whole polka-dotting by hand thing, a very quick and simple skirt to make.

polka dot frothy skirt -- probably actually-9587

So there you go, I like the bubble hem after all. And now I’ve moved on to obsessing over this version of the skirt. Bubble hem in baby cord is next up.

polka dot frothy skirt -- probably actually-9511

Read Full Post »

hopscotch skirt in spots -- probably actually -9168

Surprise, surprise, I’ve sewn up another Oliver + S pattern! It’s been two years since I made the Hopscotch skirt – Lila had her own special sense of fashion when I first tried the pattern, and those two weren’t worn much at all. But skirts are a safe bet now, and it’s another pattern she’s going to size out of soon. So I had to get on it.

hopscotch skirt in spots -- probably actually

This skirt has so many great details – the takeout food container inspired pockets, the front button placket, a flat front waistband, and lots of top stitching (which doesn’t really show up on the navy, but it would be fun to highlight it on a solid colored skirt).

hopscotch skirt in spots -- probably actually -9234

And those origami pockets…they were trickier than I remember!

hopscotch skirt -- probably actually-9041

I wasn’t happy with my first few attempts and spent some serious time trying to get those suckers just right. My advice would be to transfer the markings with extreme precision and be very exact when you press the pleats – make sure you only press to the bottom dots. I even drew in the 1/2 seam allowance all the way around the pocket (it’s marked on the pattern piece), which helped a lot.

11 hopscotch skirt in spots -- probably actually -9144

The fabric is called Spots (in Park) from Rebecca Bischoff’s Blythe line for Robert Kaufman, and I love it so. I used it as the facings on this summer’s Class Picnic Shorts, (modeled with the same shirt, yes). And I originally bought it for a Washi dress, which I made in July. The dress wasn’t quite right on me, so I chopped it up to make this skirt. Just for the sake of posterity, I’ll show you a photo. I don’t know what Lila was doing back there, don’t ask.

washi dress -- probably actually-5741

The Washi pattern was truly excellent, and a pleasure to sew. I lined the bodice using Rae’s video, and had a unexpectedly successful first experience with shirring. I love the design of the dress, and it looks so good on so many people, I just didn’t happen to be one of them. And if you saw the rest of this photo shoot, believe me, you’d agree. To borrow from one of Sanae’s recent posts, my dress had a bit of a “sister-wife-on-the-compound” vibe to it (though her dress totally doesn’t!). The fabric didn’t drape well and the fit was off and it just looked….homemade. Which of course is the kiss of death, especially for adult clothing. I just have a difficult shape (or lack of shape?) to sew for, and very little experience sewing for myself or tweaking patterns. And when you combine all of that, you end up with…well…a kid’s skirt.

hopscotch skirt in spots -- probably actually -9189

But that’s okay. Cutting into a finished garment like that felt weird, but it seemed pointless to leave it hanging in the closet, and now it’s been transformed it into something that may actually be worn. And I think it will.

11 hopscotch skirt in spots -- probably actually -9207

And look!

chambray hopscotch :: probably actually

Two-year-old Lila wore the same boots in the original Hopscotch photoshoot. They fit now though…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »