Tag Archives: skirt

Me Made May ’13 — Part 3

1 Jun

Well folks, the month has finally drawn to a close and I have successfully completed my first Me Made May challenge.  I must say it was a great confidence builder to be able to wear self-stitched or altered items each day for 31 days straight.  I even managed to make it more than 2/3 of the month without repeating an item!  As you have seen from my photos, I have several new items that have yet to be given official blog posts, but I will do my best to get those documented in the upcoming weeks.  So without further ado, here are the last 12 days of my month’s wardrobe:

 

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Me Made: Simplicity 2599 ruffle blouse
RTW: Nordstrom pencil skirt, Tessyla necklace, Cole Haan shoes

 

May 20 (Monday) — Today was a full day in the office.  Nothing exciting to report.

 

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Me Made: Refashioned David Kahn white jean capris
RTW: CAbi seahorse camisole and lacy jacket, turquoise necklace, nude patent flats

 

May 21 (Tuesday) — Another day at the office.  I hosted a CAbi party at my house the next night so my friend who sells the clothing brought her entire collection to my house a few days early so I could “test” things out.  I borrowed the cute seahorse cami and lacy jacket to wear to work this day with some refashioned white jean capris.  The capris are at least 5 years old and had a very flared hemline until I slimmed them down.  That was my first time to ever work with denim.  As long as no one looks up close at the seams and hems, I will be in good shape 🙂

 

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Me Made: In-House Patterns Belle Bow Blouse
RTW: Cookie Johnson straight leg white jeans, Kluster white coral necklace, Franco Sarto nude bow pumps (worn only for photo — being returned because they are too small)

 

May 22 (Wednesday) — My day off and my first repeated item.  I spent the morning dropping my car off to get serviced then met a new sewing buddy for some fitting help with a jacket project (Thanks, Nancy!  You are incredible!!!)  Nancy was so sweet and sent me away with an armload of awesome sewing goodies — patterns, fabric, notions — I feel so spoiled!

This was also the night of the CAbi party that I hosted for my friend Catherine.  For the party I made peach margaritas, fresh guacamole, and strawberry cupcakes with strawberry swiss buttercream; I picked up a party platter of fajita fixings from a local Mexican restaurant to round out the menu.  Yum!  We had a great time having a girls’ night in. Photographed here with Jennifer, one of my best friends since first grade.

 

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Me Made: Simplicity 2648 as a peplum top
RTW: LOFT denim jacket, vintage (college-era) black maxi skirt, turquoise necklace, Cole Haan purse, Cole Haan black peep toe low heel pumps

 

May 23 (Thursday) — A full day at the office at usual but in the evening my 5-year-old niece graduated from her pre-K school.  I cannot believe she will be a kindergartener next year!  The black skirt you see me wearing here is at least 12 years old.  I bought it when I was in college and have hung on to it since, knowing that it would come back in style again.  Unfortunately the elastic in the waistband has dried out so I will have to replace it before I can wear it again or I will risk wardrobe malfunction. I am posing here with the niece of honor and my mom.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged Jalie 2921 scarf neck tee with ties wrapped to back (so glad I figured this out!)
RTW: Cookie Johnson white straight leg jeans, Etsy necklace, nude Nine West low heel pumps

 

May 24 (Friday) — TGIF and I’m not on call!  Plus this is the weekend I get to spend sewing nonstop at the Sandra Betzina workshop at All About Sewing.  In this photo I am working on McCall’s 6559 which you will see more of later in the week.

 

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Me Made: Simplicity 1664 top (will blog soon!) and McCall’s 6654 skirt
RTW: Silpada necklace and Cole Haan tan peep toe heels

 

May 25 (Saturday) — The Sandra Betzina trunk show took place this day.  She went through the samples of all her patterns and discussed different techniques for altering and modifying each pattern.  Although most of Sandra’s patterns don’t appeal to me right off the cover (I don’t think I am in her age demographic), changing fabric and/or features can definitely make them more attractive (see my project from last year’s workshop here).  After the trunk show, we each sat down with Sandra and our chosen pattern (Vogue 1291 for me) to select our size and make any fitting adjustments to our flat pattern. We then all went home to cut out our fabric.

Except a few of us didn’t go straight home — my sewing bestie, Dianne (far left), invited Sandra, me and Joni (far right) over for dinner at her beautiful new home, spouses included.  I was asked to bring a cocktail, so I made a double batch of the Strawberry Riesling Slushies that Annie recently featured on her blog (if you couldn’t tell from the empty glasses and pitcher, the drink was a hit — not too sweet but very refreshing!). Mr. Homemaker and I had a wonderful time — our dinner companions were lively and entertaining and our hostess prepared an excellent meal for us to feast on.  Thanks again, Dianne!

 

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Me Made: Trina Turk knit tank altered to open up an extra buttonhole
RTW: Citizens skinny jeans, red Franco Sarto patent flats

May 26 (Sunday) — Our first full day of sewing with Sandra and my first day to wear something that involved only a minimum of sewing skill on my part.  None of my attire is me-made but this top only had two functioning buttonholes when I bought it.  On a less busty person I don’t think that would have been an issue but for me that made the shirt gape like crazy and revealed more than I liked.  So I got out my handy seam ripper and tore this shirt a new one — a new buttonhole that is 🙂

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Me Made: Golden Renfrew
RTW: Cookie Johnson white straight leg jeans, Kluster red coral necklace, nude patent flats

May 27 (Monday/Memorial Day) — This was our second full day of sewing.  I finished almost all of the construction of my shirt on Sunday so I just had to hem it and stitch down the neck band when I got to the store on Monday morning.  After that I made a few more flat pattern alterations to my knit maxi dress (McCall’s 6559) based on a knee-length muslin and cut out my fashion fabric.  Before we finished up for the day I had my shoulder seams sewn, the neckline finished with my new favorite method, and my side seams sewn.  All I had left was to bind the arm holes and hem it.

This photograph is a group shot of some of the ladies at the workshop.  We all had a great time and got tons of sewing accomplished!  Sandra is a great teacher and I always learn lots from her and the other students who all have more experience than me.  I am already looking forward to when she returns to our area next year.

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Me Made: Vogue 1291 butterfly sleeve top
RTW (not shown): Elie Tahari pencil skirt, Cole Haan coral wedges

 

May 28 (Tuesday) — Back to the real world.  Here’s my version of Sandra’s pattern, Vogue 1291.  Although this photo was taken during the workshop when I tried on my completed top (notice the mismatched necklace), I actually wore it to work the next day with a cobalt blue pencil skirt and my coral Cole Haan peep toe wedges but I just couldn’t get a flattering photo that I could bring myself to post for all the world to (potentially) see.  Sorry 😦

 

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Me Made: Sewaholic Cambie as a peplum blouse
RTW: Cookie Johnson denim capris, Tessyla necklace, Cole Haan wedges

 

May 29 (Wednesday) — My day off but this was a pretty busy one with running errands.  I started out with stopping by the hospital to check on my grandfather after he had surgery (he did great), then I had a dentist appointment, dermatologist appointment, grabbed a quick lunch, packed up some of my sewing stuff, headed to a friend’s house for a sewing playdate for a few hours working on tracing off and making flat pattern adjustments to the Colette Chantilly pattern, ran to the grocery store, then came home and cooked dinner for my husband.  I actually scored a “This is one of the best things you’ve ever cooked” from Mr. Homemaker so the recipe will be making an appearance here in the future.  Be on the lookout.

 

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Me Made: Simplicity 2599 ruffle blouse, Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt
RTW: Tessyla necklace, old belt, Via Spiga blue suede pumps

 

May 30 (Thursday) — Back to the office.  Two me-made pieces this day.  I added a belt over the Hollyburn skirt and I really like the look.

 

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Me Made: McCall’s 6559 maxi dress in a drapey knit from Elliott Berman (from my NYC trip)
RTW: Old belt

May 31 (Friday) — Yay!  I made it!! This is my most recently finished project — I started it during the Sandra Betzina workshop and finished it up the Thursday evening after so I could wear it before the month ran out. I will dedicate an entire post to this pattern, but can I just tell you that I LOVE it!  It is so easy and once you figure out your fitting tweaks and the sizing, it is such a flattering and comfy dress. I am going to make up more versions in both the long and short varieties.

And can I just apologize for the awful photo? After 30 days of remembering to take daily outfit photos, I hopped into bed last night and remembered I hadn’t taken my photo for the day.  Well, I wasn’t going to mess up on the last day of the challenge so I jumped out of bed, threw my dress and belt back on and tossed my iPhone to my husband and made him snap some photos of me in my bare face and bare feet. While I was at work, I paired the dress with my denim jacket and some white leather d’Orsay pumps.  After work, I nixed the jacket and changed into some white flip-flops for a casual business dinner.  I also paired the dress with a multistranded Silpada necklace (seen on May 25).

Reflecting on the month, I feel like I have grown in my sewing skills, especially in fitting.  I finished several new items during the month — 7 total — and overall they each fit really well and I don’t have any major construction complaints.  I do need to bite the bullet and start working on fitting myself for pants and shorts.  All in good time, I guess.

Well, guys, thanks for following along.  I have several pattern reviews to bring you as well as some recipes for desserts, drinks, and main dishes.  Stay tuned!

 

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Me Made May ’13 — Part 2

20 May

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Well, the month of May is almost 2/3 of the way done and I’m proud to report that I am holding strong on my Me Made pledge.  I have even managed not to repeat any items so far!  I will likely have to repeat something this week, though, as I am running out of items and I can’t sew fast enough to keep up (but don’t think I haven’t been trying!).  So without further ado, here’s May 10-19:

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Me Made: Sandra Betzina Vogue 1045 blouse
RTW: Citizens of Humanity Jeans, Cole Haan purse, New York and Co. necklace, red patent flats

 

May 10 (Friday) — We joined some friends and attended our local annual Rotary Steak Cookoff.  While the location was moved this year because of threatening weather, the grills were still going strong and we enjoyed tasting lots of different steaks.  In this photo, I am posing with my friend Catherine in front of one of the team’s displays.  It was too funny not to have a photo-op!

 

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Me Made: Renfrew #1
RTW: Kluster necklace, Citizens jeans, coral Cole Haan wedges

 

May 11 (Saturday) — Since this was the first weekend my husband and I have had to ourselves in a while, we drove to Pensacola, Florida (just across the state line) and had lunch at a cute little burger joint downtown called the Tin Cow.  They also had delicious milkshakes and I can’t pass up a milkshake.  After our lunch, we went to Joe Patti’s to pick up fresh sea scallops for Mothers’ Day dinner, to Four Winds market for steaks, and then met up with Matt’s dad and sister for dinner at a local Italian restaurant.

 

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Me Made: Simplicity 1808 shorts
RTW: New shoes T-shirt from Nordstrom

 

May 12 (Sunday/Mothers’ Day) — For the majority of the day, Mr. Homemaker and I piddled around the house doing chores and preparing food for dinner guests.  That evening my parents, sister, nieces, future brother-in-law, and friends Leslie and Danny came over for surf and turf.  Matt grilled the steaks and I prepared the scallops from Ad Hoc at Home that I have posted before as well as a Caesar salad and baked potatoes.  My sister brought bread, dessert, and sweet tea.  It was great to spend time with my family and friends.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged Simplicity 2648
RTW: LOFT jacket, Nordstrom belt, Cole Haan wedges, The Limited necklace

 

May 13 (Monday) — Back to work this day and wearing a pre-blog Simplicity 2648 in a ponteroma knit.  This dress is a little big now but it’s okay when covered with a belt and jacket.

 

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Me Made: Vogue 8032 top
RTW: Old white belt, Nordstrom pencil skirt, Nine West pumps

 

May 14 (Tuesday) — Sorry for the blurry nighttime iPhone photo.  This day was just business as usual with a full day in the office.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged Margarita Tank Top
RTW: Citizens jeans, black flats, Kenneth Cole necklace, Ray Ban sunglasses

 

May 15 (Wednesday) — My day off was spent sewing a new top (see May 17), getting a hair cut, and seeing a house with my realtor.  This tank top was refashioned from one of my husband’s old T-shirts using the A La Mode Margarita Tank Top pattern.  I haven’t blogged this top but I think it is a nice little pattern for a tank.  Next time I make it, though, I will lengthen it a bit and lower the arm holes a tad as they are a bit constricting.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged Jalie 2921
RTW: Kenneth Cole ponte pants; red patent flats; Kenneth Cole necklace

 

May 16 (Thursday) — Back to the office this day but nothing exciting to report.  This Jalie 2921 is unblogged and largely unworn because I don’t like the ties.  But when I pulled it out to wear it, I decided to try wrapping the ties around and knotting them in the back and I loved the effect it gave the top so I think this will be getting a lot more wear now.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged, brand new Simplicity 1664 top
RTW: LOFT capris, Kluster necklace, Donald Pliner red patent slides

 

May 17 (Friday) — TGIF and the weather was beautiful so my stepson and I put the top down on the convertible and drove to the local Marriott Grand Hotel to take pictures of my brand new Simplicity 1664 top.  Can I just tell you, I LOVE THIS TOP!  It fits true to the pattern sizing (must be because it is a “Threads” pattern and not standard Big 4).  I didn’t do a full bust adjustment, just graded one size up in the bust area.  It sewed up really easily and was completed in 2 evenings’ time.  I will give it a dedicated blog post soon.

 

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I offered Kris $5 if he could catch a mullet jumping in the background of one of my photos.  Well, I owe him $5 now — can you see the fish?

 

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My handsome stepson/photographer, Kristofer

 

 

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The grounds at the Hotel are beautiful.  Mr. Homemaker and I try to find a reason to have a weekend staycation there at least once or twice a year.

 

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Me Made: McCall’s 6654 skirt
RTW: Nordstrom chambray shirt, Silpada necklace, Frye shoes, old belt

 

May 18 (Saturday) — I have been on call this weekend so that keeps me close to home and pretty free of major plans.  On the up side, though, it allows lots of time for sewing and other crafty pursuits!  I whipped up this skirt to wear in the span of about an hour and that included time spent waffling about which size to cut and measuring the pattern pieces.  You can read more about my experience in my last post.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged Vogue 8887 halter top
RTW: Nanette Lepore skirt, Kluster necklace, Steinmart shoes

 

May 19 (Sunday) — This is also a new, unblogged top — Vogue 8887.  I sewed this halter up in a silk I got on sale from Sawyer Brook.  This pattern gave me fits and I am not 100% happy with the final product.  At least in this photo you can’t see all the things that drive me crazy.  I will try to get this one blogged soon, too.  My husband snapped this photo in the middle of our picturesque downtown.  Our city swaps out the flowers on all the street corners regularly but the May planting is always one of my favorites with the star-gazer lilies.  We even have flowers on top of our trash cans 🙂

Well, that’s all for now.  We’ll see how many more days I can hold out before I have to repeat something!  Thanks for reading 🙂

McCall’s 6654 — Knit Maxi Skirt

19 May

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Well, friends, I have been on a sewing spree this week!  Me Made May has been Motivate Me May for me!  I have completed three projects this week, this skirt being the most recent.  I think I have been so eager to complete projects because I have made it 18 days into the month without repeating an item.  While that wasn’t part of my original pledge, I am amazed that I have made it this far with no repeats.  I am afraid I will have to show some reruns this week, though, but I will try to style them differently.  Aside from this skirt, I have also made two shirts, one of which you can get a sneak peek of on my Flickr stream and I will have reviews forthcoming for both tops.

 

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This skirt (McCall’s 6654) is one of the simplest things I have ever sewn — it is three straight seams plus a waistband casing with a piece of elastic inside.  I didn’t even bother to hem it.  It is really quick and easy if you have a serger but I can’t imagine that it would take much longer with a regular machine — just remember to use a narrow zig zag stitch so your stitches won’t break, especially on the waist.

 

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My only beef with this pattern is that it runs HUGE!  But I find this to be the case with all Big 4 knit patterns.  I suspected this going in so I did a little preparation before I started cutting.  I first looked at the pattern pieces to see what the finished measurements were for each size.  Unfortunately, the finished waist measurements weren’t given so I measured the waistband casing piece and subtracted the seam allowances.  I then realized that if I cut my size according to the size chart, this skirt would be GIGANTIC, so I decided to see which size corresponded to the waistband size I wanted.  Basically, I looked for the size that most closely matched my waist measurement plus seam allowances so there would be zero ease at the waist.  I didn’t want a bunch of excess fabric gathering at the waist of this skirt that is supposed to have an A-line silhouette.  I then checked the finished hip measurement for that size, and saw that it was only 1″ smaller than my hip measurement so I decided that I could live with that.  But honestly, there is no way this is 1″ smaller than my hips — do you see any negative ease?  My final skirt ended up being 2 sizes smaller in the waist and 4 sizes smaller in hips than what the size chart recommended!

 

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Overall, I highly recommend this pattern for anyone.  Seasoned sewists will find it a breeze and a great palate cleanser after more complicated projects.  Beginning stitchers will boost their confidence with the 2 simple seams and elastic waistband.  What do you think, should I shop my stash for a floral knit for my next version?

 

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For more details on the construction, visit my post on Pattern Review.

Vogue 8603, Washington DC, and G Street Fabrics

4 Mar

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So I have to apologize to my email and RSS feed readers who may have noticed that my last post went up a few days prematurely. I guess I will just blame it on the lack of time awareness that goes along with being on a cruise. I actually scheduled the post for Thursday but the WordPress app on my iPad had different ideas. Regardless, now you definitely know that I am spending the week bobbing around the Caribbean aboard the beautiful Celebrity Reflection.

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I’m sorry for not posting this skirt sooner — I initially stitched it up about a year ago but a series of events have kept it from making an introduction before now. Initially, the skirt was complete save for the hemming. Then, I lost a little weight and it got a bit big in the waist. I ended up taking it to my local alteration shop for the modifications because I decided if it was up to me, it would never get done. She also helped me mark the hem. By then it was summertime and I just didn’t feel like working on the skirt any more so it has sat in my UFO pile until now. I decided to finally finish the hem and wear the skirt on a recent work trip to Washington DC a few weeks ago.

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While I was in DC, I made a trip out to G Street Fabrics that all of the DC area sewing bloggers talk about. I had to take the Metro out of the city into Maryland and then walk 5-10 minutes to get there. They have a decent selection of fabric but some of it is hard to peruse because of the way all the bolts are piled on top of one another and their prices are ridiculous! Their silk charmeuses were $60-$70 per yard! I also saw an exact cotton that I purchased in NYC for $6 per yard selling in G Street for $25 per yard. They did have a nice selection of trims and buttons and I did manage to find a few things to bring home. I will show them in an upcoming post along with the Hart’s Fabrics buys that I mentioned not long ago.

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I love the ruching on the hips of this skirt. It reminds me of a skirt I have by one of my favorite designers, Nanette Lepore.

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Unfortunately, I have forgotten many of the details of the construction of this skirt because I made it so long ago. I do know that I cut the lining from the pieces that did not include ruching — no sense in having double the bulk in that area.

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My fabric is a lovely stretch suiting from Emma One Sock with a peachy nude background and green, magenta, and coral tweed-like flecks in it. It is hard to see the details of the fabric from these photos. I will try to update when I get home.

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I lined the skirt with a silky and slightly stretchy pale green satin. I used hot pink for all of my serger threads.

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My mother and grandmother joined me on my trip to Washington. While we were there, we had the opportunity to visit my cousin at work at the Pentagon!

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Sewaholic Hollyburn Skirt

27 Jan

Don’t forget to enter my One Year Blogiversary Giveaway!  The giveaway will end Thursday, January 31 at midnight CST.  Click here to leave a comment on the giveaway post and be entered to win a free Craftsy class of your choice!!!

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This Hollyburn skirt is my most recently finished sewing project and I have to tell you what a joy it was to stitch up.  I was in the middle of muslining the shirtwaist dress from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing because I’m going to a workshop in California with Gertie (!!!) next weekend.  I needed something quick and easy with no fitting issues to cleanse my sewing palate and this skirt was just the thing.  Simply make sure you pick the right waist measurement, confirm with the finished garment measurement and start cutting and sewing.  I chose a poly blend suiting from my stash (from Joann’s) and used a silky royal blue cotton sateen for the pocket and waistband lining (from the NYC trip).  The interesting thing about the fabric from Joann’s is that I have a pair of pants from The Limited in the exact same fabric!

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I was originally going to participate in the Hollyburn Sewalong being hosted by Rachel at My Messings but once I got started on this pattern I couldn’t wait to finish it up.  I have come to the conclusion that Tasia of Sewaholic Patterns is a very gifted pattern designer/drafter.  I have now made 3 of her patterns (Renfrew x 2, Cambie, and this skirt),and they are all very well-drafted and the instructions, while succinct, are very well-written.

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This skirt is a simple half circle with slash pockets, center back zipper, and three length variations.  I chose to make the shortest version as I recently read that my ideal skirt length is a little above my knee — never knew I had short shins!  I made a size 8 but I did cut the length at the size 16 line.  I sewed a 5/8″ hem.

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While this pattern is suitable for beginning sewers, I decided to make a few small modifications to fancy it up a bit.  I split the pocket piece into two to create a separate pocket lining piece.  I also sewed the skirt/pocket lining seam at 1/2″ so that the apparel fabric would roll to the inside a little bit and the blue wouldn’t be visible from the outside of the garment.

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Until the Date Night Dress, I have only ever done invisible zippers.  This skirt was my first time doing a centered zipper.  I probably ripped and basted this thing a half-dozen times before I was satisfied.  I finally got it close and steamed the life out of it to make it look decent.  I have to say I am quite satisfied with it now.  I departed from the directions as written a bit and sewed the back seam up to the notches and backstitched.  Then, I basted the rest of the seam closed to make pressing the seam allowances back easier.  I took the basting out after pressing and before pinning the zipper but I think if I had left the basting in while pinning, I wouldn’t have had to rip the zipper out so many times.  Any more experienced zipper-installers have a say about this?

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You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes — Elvis Presley

Here’s how I wore it to work.  Same old Talbots cardigan (I love this thing!), and my Via Spiga pointy-toe, low-heel pumps.  You can’t really see it in the photos but they are blue suede that matches the lining fabric.

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I also modified the waistband piece to be able to line it with my blue fabric.  I split the waistband piece in half lengthwise, then added a 5/8″ seam allowance.  I then cut one piece each from fashion and lining fabric.  I interfaced the fashion fabric only with a lightweight woven interfacing from Emma One Sock.  I sewed the pieces together along one long edge, trimmed and edgestitched, then treated the pieces as one per the instructions for the remainder of the construction process.

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I finished all my raw edges with my serger.  I guess I could’ve changed to black thread but I kind of like the white contrast since the fabric has little white flecks in it.

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To finish the waistband, I stitched in the ditch all the way around and this worked out perfectly.

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For my hem, I bound it in double fold bias tape.  This served two purposes.  First it provided a clean finish.  Second it added a little structure to the hem so it has a bit of flare.  I normally handstitch or machine blind hem all my hems but I decided to just machine straight stitch this one since the stitches blend into the fabric so well.  It was so much easier that way!  🙂

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Top: Ann Taylor
Cardigan: Talbots
Skirt: Made by Me!
Shoes: Via Spiga
Necklace: Tessyla from Etsy

Holiday Dirndl Skirt à la Gertie

24 Dec

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I bet you were thinking I had given up sewing.  I have actually been doing a fair amount of sewing I just haven’t had time to get things photographed and blogged.  I did have a chance to snap a few pics of this skirt, though, the other Sunday when we went out for brunch and a wonderful Christmas jazz concert.

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I made this skirt last year using Gertie’s Dirndl skirt tutorial and it is such a quick and easy project, especially if you are a new seamstress or don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to a project.  My fabric is a beautiful green silk dupioni with large tonal polka dots (which are hard to see in the photos).

I did stray from Gertie’s tutorial a little bit in two ways.  One, I made the waistband from one piece of fabric.  If you are going to sew two pieces together, why not just cut one and fold it in half?  Two, I don’t really think a pattern is necessary for this skirt.  I just tear my fabric on grain to get my skirt panels in the desired length, then I fold them in half and cut any excess width off after making sure the edge is straight.  Other than that, I followed the directions she outlines.

If you are looking for a quick and satisfying make or a beginning sewing project, I definitely recommend this skirt.

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Styling Notes:

Top and black bead necklace: The Limited

Cardigan:  Talbots

Shoes:  Cole Haan

Belt:  Target

Crinoline slip:  Trashy Diva

Lipstick:  MAC Russian Red