skirt

May: Project Sew My Style

It’s time for the latest installment of #sewmystyle.  Heads up guys, Jamie not happy!

This month’s make comes from CaliFaye.  It’s a simple skirt, simply named Pocket Skirt.  It is simple set of 6 rectangles and a 2 large pockets.  Simple right?  Are you starting to see my theme? Sometimes things aren’t as “simple” as they sound.

I knew immediately I wanted to make a grey version of this skirt.  Pretty much straight ripping off the picture on the site.  I figured it would go with a lot of the items I wear already and would be great for work.  I can fill those pockets to the brim when necessary.  I scored my fabric from Jo-Ann’s.  It’s a linen and rayon blend.  It so had me at the word “rayon”.  I’ve noticed when buying fabric that grey seems to be a 1 tone and you’re done kind of thing.  I usually want a darker shade but to no avail.  So much for there being 50 shades of it…

I put the pdf together quite quickly.  As I mentioned, there’s 6 rectangles and 2 of those are 1 pattern piece cut in duplicate.  I always cut the largest size first and then start determining what size I actually need.  With my measurements, it’s smaller on the top grading to larger for my behind. The measurements for this are whacky. I would be a medium in the waist (normal for me) and then a super duper large on the bottom.  Yowza… not normal.  My next thing to do is to look at the finished garment sizes… nope. Not understanding how you end up with those sizes when comparing to the measurements above.  Lastly, when I’m still unsure, I measure the pattern pieces themselves and do a bit of math.  Measure, remove seam allowances…. how the hell is this supposed to fit around anyone’s waist!?!?! I’m making the largest size and then chopping the hell out of it as I go.

Then being a good little sewist, I read the directions. Well sorta… I read the first 3 paragraphs twice didn’t understand, looked the pictures and said “Nope!”.  What the frick is going on here!?! This skirt looks so simple and everything is complicated as hell.  Oh and the kicker.  Totally didn’t notice that the skirt calls for not only elastic at the back (I was super excited about this. Comfy like sweatpants but not actually wearing sweatpants out and about) but it needs a zipper too.  Why oh why would you want to put those two together in a skirt? This seems like over kill.  Well, since I’m going to do whatever I feel like I’m negating that stupid zipper.  All this and I haven’t even cut any fabric. We’re starting off well.

I cut the largest size out. I knew the extra fabric was going to be gathered so when I slipped it on, the whole Weight Watchers “I’ve lost this much weight. Wow!” kind of thing was acceptable.  I put in some thread to gather the fabric.  Linen is a tough fabric and it doesn’t like to gather and by the time I end up gathering all of it, the skirt is going to be extremely poofy and poofy in areas I don’t need poof.  I automatically come with enough poof thank you very much.  Plus, when it was all gathered there was no way that my booty was going to be big enough to hold that up. i.e. I couldn’t get it to gather small enough.

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Front with a twin rows of stitching

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Back with a ridiculous amount of gathering. *sigh*

Long story short. I’ve ripped apart the skirt 4 times. I even had elastic sewed in the band so it didn’t flip and flop on me.  I’ll give myself a hand at this point and I took notes the whole time on how much of the fabric I ended up cutting off the skirt sides. I even made new, longer waistband pieces and hacked at them a bit too.  I’m going to take all that mess and make new pattern pieces. I don’t really know why I’m going to go to all the trouble now that I think about it.  I’m not sure if I’m ever going to make this pattern again.

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But, OH, the pockets!  I love pockets and these are huge!

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All in all the skirt came out okay.  (I think my face tells a different story) I’m not pleasantly surprised like some of my sews go.  It looks really dark and grim, then an amazing something happens and it’s sunshine and rainbows.  Nope. Not here.  I gave myself two evenings to finish this; after work and before my early bedtime.  That should have been ample time.  BUT NO! I had to work on it Saturday morning.  Finished, promptly folded it and put it to the side. Done…

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Doesn’t it look like I have on baggy boxers?  Oh the horror!  I swear my butt is nowhere close to eating the fabric.  It just lays something awful. I’m thinking about ripping it apart again… I obviously didn’t even care to iron the thing.

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Not bad from the front and sides though right? I feel this is my contemplation face. I did take more pics but let’s just not put ourselves through that.

I’m a little worried guys. Another CaliFaye pattern is on the #sewmystyle list.  I think it’s only a few months away.  I’m really hoping to not have the same bad sewing experience.  I sew for fun not because I “have to” and man did this one feel like a “have to”.

Flower Power Reimagined

I noticed lately that a lot of the clothes I made when I first started sewing aren’t getting a lot of wear. That mainly has to do with my sewing skills being at a whole other level so all my new stuff is super amaze-balls. Instead of parting ways with my old makes, why not reimagine it?

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I made this maxi skirt out of poly chiffon. (You’ll recognize the fabric from my Granny Chic top) I didn’t wear the skirt a lot because I had a hard time pairing it with anything. What top to put with it? When I did pick a top I would have to wrestle with it to keep it down because the fabric is so slick.

With the big shirtdress craze going on right now, I thought why not? There should be enough fabric to knock it out. I picked my fav shirt pattern, B5526. There is a tunic length version already included (version C) so if I add a few more inches, take it in a bit at the sides up top and add a bit of space for my rump, it should be completely doable. I also didn’t want full sleeves, so that saves what limited fabric I have. This should give me an a-line, 3/4 length sleeve shirtdress.

The skirt came apart quickly and easily giving me two big panels of fabric. I went for the main three pieces first (2 front panels, 1 back). This way if I run out I can modify my original thought. Sleeveless with a mandarin collar would still work. Luckily, I had enough fabric for all the pieces. Even had enough for two tabs to hold up my 3/4 sleeves.


Most of the construction went fast. The collar takes the longest because, well because it’s fussy and I have to read the instructions. I hate reading instructions. I just want to make! I also sewed a few pieces on wrong so seam ripper to the rescue! Once I got the collar on I added the sleeves and a small cuff, which you can kinda see in the pic. I waited to add the tabs until I could properly try the dress on. I ended up placing them 1″ higher than the pattern indicated.  I can button the tab or leave them loose and the tab completely hides in the sleeve.


On the hem of the dress I made bias tape. I could have serged the edge and turned it a couple times. But with this kind of fabric that tiny seam would have flared out and drove me crazy. The tape ensured the hem had a bit of weight and it would hang straight down.


After completion I felt eh. Have you ever made something, put it on and went “eh”? That’s this dress. Is it the fabric? Do I need to add some back darts to give it more shape? Am I not used to wearing this kind lose style?

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I did give a belt a go just to see if I felt better about the dress. It’s okay that way too. Oh well, I like it better than the maxi skirt.


So here’s my glam shot of my “eh” dress. Well maybe not glam of me but definitely glam of Freckles. Look at his majestic beauty! I was worried about button gap the whole time I was making the dress. With 10 buttons down the front, no peekaboo. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Tin Man Anniversary

This week is my 10 year wedding anniversary. Tin is the 10 year anniversary present. Sad not so clever title. Hey, I tried! Oddly enough this outfit didn’t start out as an anniversary outfit. The more I thought about making the shirt the more perfect it all seemed. Why?

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Because the shirt is made from the wrap from my wedding dress. I never actually wore the wrap but an unused rectangle of fabric is a prime opportunity for a new sewing project. It deserves new life.

I chose the Colette Sorbetto pattern for my shirt. One because I love the pattern and two because there really isn’t much fabric in a wrap. The fabric is a really stiff satin. There’s not a lot of give to the fabric so I had to be sure to cut a size that would be easy to slide on and off. I did have an issue when I was cutting the fabric. The height of the rectangle wasn’t tall enough unless I wanted a belly shirt. I’m so not a belly shirt kind of girl. There was now a choice to be made. Do I add a band around the bottom or do I create a yoke? I was afraid how big of a border I would need on the bottom and I don’t recall ever creating a yoke so why not?


I measured from the shoulder down the front to where an appropriate place for a seam to be. High enough to land at the bottom of the straps but not right across the bust would be best. I ended up with four pieces instead of the typical two. I sewed my yoke pieces to the bottom pieces first. As I mentioned before, the fabric is very stiff so I topstitched the seam down to sit flat. I did this for both the front and back. I added the bust darts on the front and sewed the twos pieces together.


At this point I decided to try it on. It did not look good. There was a lot of twisting and shifting to get the shirt on and it fit fine but the bust darts and the seam from the yoke was too much.

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I pulled out some of the bust darts and made it shorter. It was alright. I ripped out a bit more of it so the seams were on the side. Visually this helped so much!

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I finished the shirt with self made bias on the neckline, arms and hem.  The shirt was a little long but it looked fine. I tried it on after finishing the skirt and I ended up cutting an additional 2″ off the bottom because it was smashing some of the skirt’s poof.

imageTo go along with my shirt I needed a skirt. I bought several yards of a flamingo colored chiffon from SAS Fabrics. It was in a sale bin and I couldn’t help myself. I decided a skirt with an elastic waist band would be easy enough. I purchased an orange jersey to use as the lining.  I had plenty of wide elastic on hand.

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I cut the chiffon in half since the chiffon was so wide and I wanted a knee length skirt. I stitched the two pieces together to have a full skirt. I hemmed the bottom and fed fishing line through as I stiched. I had seen this done somewhere online to give fabric a curvy hem.

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The hardest part is feeding the elastic, chiffon and jersey through the serger. To prep I gathered the chiffon and pinned my three layers together. Here’s the hard part. Not only having each layer caught in your stitches but also stretching as you sew.  It’s quite a slow process.

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Once your done you have a great twirly, light skirt. Freckles is mesmerized.


All together I have the perfect outfit to go out to dinner and celebrate 10 years with Hubby.

Random Randomness

Some days there isn’t a full blown project in mind. It’s fixing little things or turning out something small so you feel accomplished. The past week was one of those times. I completed three random projects.

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The first project was fixing a dress I bought years ago. Originally it was a cotton maxi dress that went to the floor. Now it’s top is fraying and it’s nowhere close to even my ankles let alone the floor. I have been cheating and wearing it as a skirt with the top rolled down. I wore it several times like that. Have I ever mentioned I’m lazy?

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It was time to fix this dress properly. I started by splitting one of the side seems at the bottom. This dress is pretty much a tube and not the easiest thing to walk in. Is anyone asking at this point why am I hanging onto a dress that’s falling apart and difficult to walk in? I’m thinking the same thing as I write this Ha! I do like the print and it’s super soft so let’s go with that.

I split the seam up to just about the knee, tried it on for length and marked it with chalk on the front and back. I trimmed off the top of the dress.
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I used 3″ elastic to create a waistband for my new skirt which is as easy as sergering the two together and bam! Done! Dress

Next I used the cut off portion of my skirt from a few weeks ago and made a quick headband. The fabric is super stretchy so it was as easy as making a tube and sewing the ends together.  Dress

Quick and cute! Dress

Lastly, I made another disco bracelet. I loved the black one so why not make another? I bought 6″ of silver sequins. It really only takes somewhere between 4-5″ for my wrist. I made the spandex pocket on the inside for my Fitbit. Then sergered the two ends together. And bam! Saturday Fever baby!

Three new fun pieces knocked out in no time. Now it’s back to my other projects I’ve been ignoring.

Dress Fail Salvaged

Okay so I didn’t really mean to share two fails in a row but this one has a happy ending. Onward to the fail!

When I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree I really wanted to make a dress for my graduation. One thing I learned with sewing is that deadlines are the devil. I end up rushing things and then end up ripping everything apart. Eventually it goes back together the right way but that was not the case here.

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I decided to make McCall’s M6741 version A. I picked a multi colored rayon. This was my first go with rayon. I also decided to pattern match the fabric since it has a destinctive design. The pattern matching was a pain in my butt and somehow I ended up cutting the dress entirely too short. Like “hello butt cheeks” short. After a trip to the fabric store, I had a green knit to add on the bottom. Which was fine, because that’s on the illustration so if it’s on there then it has to work! Crisis averted.

The pockets on this pattern are placed on the front of the dress in the princess seams. I didn’t realize how stupid that was until I already had them in. If you put anything in them, it’s gonna bounce off your crotch as you walk. Nice mental picture right?

I hate that the zip is on the side. It goes from the hip into my armpit below the sleeve. I think it’s awkward. Don’t tell me to put zips in weird places because I don’t know any better and follow instructions!

The neckline is the most epic part of the fail. It doesn’t lay flat. I didn’t like the way it originally look so I added a “v” to it. MISTAKE. I still wore the dress but I was thankful my gown covered it.

It’s been almost two years ago that I made that dress. I couldn’t stand looking at in the closet anymore so I decided to do something about it. I chopped it. I cut it at the point it would fit my waist because this bad boy is going to be a skirt.

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I folded down the top a couple times and sewed it down.

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The most amusing part of the new little skirt is the little zip. Hehe check him out! It doesn’t zip down enough for me to step into the skirt and pull it up to my waist. I have to pull it down over my head. The little zip does secure it in place and I added a hook and eye for that extra security.

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I think it’s fun, flirty and like a good rayon it has a nice swish and flick.