I have seen several of Megan Nielsen’s Cascade skirts popping up in the sewing blogosphere and I was getting flowy, wrap skirt envy! I also keep seeing the designer Thakoon’s fabric appearing in projects, particularly this awesomely trippy navy blue cotton print. Lauren at Lladybird used it on her fantastic culottes, and I also saw it featured on Grainline Studio’s page to make up these adorable pajamas. It is true what they say about how soft and fluid the fabric is, I am in love! I knew it would be perfect for the cascade skirt, I mean the name is cascade- that’s what this fabric does!
This skirt is super easy to put together. Yes you will deal with a whole lot of fabric and an extremely long hem, but it is a no brainer. Just as everyone else has said, you can truly trust the layout guide which Megan created for the skirt. At first it all seems kind of backwards because you have to fold your fabric in half instead of long ways, and then you just follow the grain lines. It all works out, I promise! I chose to make the full wrap version which wraps around the back and ties in the front. I love the design element of the skirt with the long ties. I did have to cut a significant amount of length off the back, this thing was down to my ankles and it looked kind of ridiculous at first. I think I cut about 6 inches off!
I really love the french seams and the rolled hem, they worked perfectly with this fabric. The slit in the front could be a little risqué especially in a big breeze, but if you were really concerned you could strategically pin it. I just wore mine to the local music festival called Forecastle here in Louisville and I took no precautions! However, there were a lot of hippies and people running around in bikini tops and not much else, so I figured a little leg wouldn’t offend anyone. Here are a couple fish people I met this weekend:
I had a blast, and I stayed (somewhat) cool in my skirt. It was in the 90’s after all! I definitely see more of these in my sewing future!
In other news Project Runway season 12 starts on Thursday! Bring on ladies night fully equipped with wine, snacks and cattiness! Yahoo!!
This is a skirt I made before my trip but I am just now getting around to blogging it. Traveling gets in the way of a lot of things, not that I am complaining! After I saw the version of this skirt made my Mimi G, blogged here, I pretty much had no choice but to shamelessly copy and make one myself. I used a cotton twill with a turquoise chevrony- zig zaggy print. I really like his material because its nice and soft but it still has substance and shape to it. No need to line it either which is a plus in this heat!
This is in front of our newly bloomed crape myrtle tree in the front yard, I thought it looked pretty!
Anyhow, back to the skirt. I made a couple changes to it based off the other reviews I read. I added extra length onto the ties because everyone had said it was too short to tie into a bow. This worked out just fine, but now I am kind of on the fence about the bow, I think it may be a little too fussy for me. I may just end up wearing it in a knot. I also omitted the pockets because I didn’t want to add any extra bulk, it already has a lot going on. I took away some of the gathers especially in the back since a lot of the reviewers noted that it looked like they had a bubble butt. I don’t need to add anymore junk to my trunk!
Unfortunately I think the front and back are a little unbalanced, I even ended up having to take the hem up in the front because it was hanging lower than the back. The ties pull a bit at the zipper in the back but its nothing that will cause any wardrobe malfunctions… I hope.
All in all I think its a cute skirt and is comfy for running around on the weekends, like this lovely one! Happy Saturday!
Hello friends, I am back from my sewing hiatus! Its been a busy school year and I’ve pretty much been running around like a headless chicken. However despite the madness I have finally graduated with my Masters and have some “me” sewing time over this Christmas break. Not to mention a much needed little getaway trip to Nashville the next couple of days- super excited! He also just graduated with his MBA so we are both ready for a little R and R 🙂
Aww aren’t we so cute and studious?
Anyhow, I have been working on the Cynthia Rowley skirt of the newer pattern 1783 and finally got to finish it this week. After seeing Suzy’s version in denim I became obsessed and had to shamelessly copy this great skirt. I LOVE the big front pockets and the front pleat. She had switched her pleat to the back, but I stuck with the original instructions and kept it in the front. I made mine as simplistic as possible and used a hook and eye closure only instead of a button. I also left off studs and embellishments and just used blue thread that matched the denim. I wanted this to be more of a basic piece in my wardrobe.
The construction of this skirt was very easy, and I actually found that the zip fly instructions were much simpler than the last zip fly project I made on my Thurlow jeans. This of course may be because I made two pairs and have some zip fly experience under my belt, but it seemed to be more straight forward on these. One thing that did throw me was the patterns requirement for a 7″ zipper. This is waaay too long! I already had a 7″ denim zipper that was perfect for these that I found at a flea market, so I stupidly turned a blind eye and used it. Although the skirt zips up and down perfectly fine and you can’t see any gaping holes or anything, there is about 3 inches of zipper extending on the inside of the skirt. A 4″ zipper would have been much more appropriate. Surprisingly no one else seemed to notice this problem on the other reviews I read for the pattern? Strange oversight…
The only other alteration I made was narrowing the hem of the waist line. I have such a short torso the 2-3″ hemline was way too thick and swallowed me up. Overall I am happy with my skirt, it will take me through winter and summer alike. Can’t go wrong with multi seasonal pieces!
I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas and enjoy the rest of the holiday season!
My copy of the Colette Ginger skirt FINALLY arrived last week and I immediately got out my scissors and started cutting! Super excited! I wanted to make the second version with the country-esque waist line in a dark denim. I love denim skirts but my favorite one is so worn that a hole has started growing in the rear. Not a good look, time to upgrade! I really wanted this one to be a cowgirl skirt, which really motivates me to find some awesome cowgirl boots to wear with it. That will be another endeavor…
Funny enough yesterday I read fellow blogger Kim’s post about adjusting an existing pattern to mimic the waistband effect of the ginger skirt. Her’s turned out super cute, AND it had pockets! The ginger skirt doesn’t include pockets but I really felt that these were needed especially in a jean skirt. I have seen this tutorial that other bloggers (like Lauren’s awesome version) have used to make scalloped pockets and I just loved the look of it so much that I followed the directions step by step and shamefully copied her design. Whatever, copying is the sincerest form of flattery!
To start I needed to draft my pockets. I didn’t have any tracing paper or fancy transfer paper so I went into the cupboards to see what I could make do with. What did I find? Parchment paper! Honestly this is probably the first time it has seen the sunlight outside our cabinet in a looong time, cuz this sista don’t bake!
I traced the outer edge of my front skirt pattern piece and drew in my seam allowance.
Next, I drew the scallops for the pockets. I tried to measure these out proportionately with the tutorial since hers were so symmetrical.
Then I drew in my pocket depth. I made my pockets pretty deep, you know- for all my money honey 😉
Next I used another piece of parchement paper and copied the outline of the pocket but extended the upper corner to make a big rectangle, this is the hip piece.
Then using anther sheet of paper I traced the pocket piece to make the facings.
And that’s it, just two extra pattern pieces to cut out. I followed the rest of the tutorial which was very clear and easy to follow. The only other change I made to the skirt was narrowing the hemline about 2 inches because I have a short waist. I also used a jeans zipper instead of an invisible one, I think the metal looks cool exposed.
I LOOOVE this skirt, I am already anticipating another one. The ginger skirt population in my closet could soon get very out of hand!
After making the flared version of 8750 in red corduroy, blogged here, I really wanted to give the pencil silhouette a go. I found this zig zag stetchy corduroy with blues and purples and I thought it would look really cool with the cut and pieces of this skirt.
The skirt is easy peasy to sew up, however the first time I made this, it ended up being HUGE and I had to take it in quite a ton. So this time I cut it smaller and used generous seam allowances and I think it ended up a hair too snug for my taste. Luckily it’s stretch so its not uncomfortable or restrictive. I guess I’ll just have to skip dinner before I wear it out!
I think it would look really cute paired with some pattern tights and booties, and a turtleneck. The back I went for an exposed zipper look, it was hard to match up my zig zags perfectly but oh well…
Overall, I think the zig zags give the skirt a dramatic look and this will probably see a lot of friends and fun these next few months!
Its that time of year again! Lots of family fun, football, my mom’s amazing italian mushroom and sausage stuffing, my mother in laws addicive broccoli casserole and stuffing balls, bourbon, wine pumpkin pie, and yes…. TURKEY! After my friend at work (a budding seamstress) had expressed her interest to take on an easy skirt project to make for her daughter with a turkey pattern, I became inspired to create my own adult festive version. I don’t think I could pull off a cartoon turkey print quite like her 4 year old, so I came up with an alternative design. Ta-da!
I found a dark purple corduroy at Joann’s, and I broke out Kwiksew 3003 from my pattern stash, this is a really simple easy pattern. The instructions indicate an elastic waist, but I opted to make it drawstring. I do afterall need something roomy for my turkey day indulgence. I made the tie hidden on the inside so it wouldn’t bulge underneath my sweater. This skirt is a piece of cake- it can be finished in under an hour.
Next I enlisted my mother the master crochet artist’s help. She loves to crochet and I fully take advantage of this, although I would like to eventually learn the skill of crochet myself. I found this turkey crochet pattern and had my mom make it up with crochet cotton. I prefer the crochet cotton to yarn for appliques such as this. The turkey ended up being about 6-7 inches wide which was perfect. I sewed it on the side of my skirt, it reminded me of something you could find at Urban Outfitters.
How cute is he?? Here I am at our friend’s Thanksgiving party holding he tray of (you guessed it) turkey! Dark meat 😉
It was quite a hit, I am looking to make up another one with an applique that I can wear all year.
This month has started the new season of Halloween costumes, every year my friends and I pick a theme (last year was Jim Henson characters) and we all choose characters and I usually get commissioned to make a lot of them. Needless to say I have already been busy getting my costume madness on so I haven’t had much garment sewing time. I really wanted to start making some Fall items to add to my wardobe and I have had my eye on this Vogue skirt 8750, wich looked like a quick sew. It immediately struck me as a perfect corduroy skirt, not a suggested fabric, but I figured if moleskin and denim are recommended then corduroy would also work. The pencil skirt version is cute and I love the look of pencil skirts, but I find this shape to be a bit constrictive so I opted for the more flared A-line cut.
I have never worked with corduroy, and I have heard that it is not an easy fabric to work with since it has such a heavy grain to follow. Well maybe because this was such an easy pattern, or because this is such a fine wale, but I had not problems. In fact I found corduroy to be one of the easer fabrics I have worked with since it stays put. This corduroy was a raspberry color and had a little stretch to it which makes it really comfy.
The pattern came together very quickly and easily, although I way over estimated my size and length. I chose the middle length E, and after constructing the whole skirt I had to take in the sizes an inch each and I cut about 3 inches off the bottom and put a fairly wide hem in. Before doing this it was almost at my ankles! It fits great after the alterations although the seams and curves don’t match up perfectly anymore which annoys me a bit, but won’t stop me from wearing this. The zipper was kind of a pain too because I couldn’t get the back yoke to match up either, but I guess it isn’t too bad. My favorite part is the ribbon binding on the inside (even though only I will see it) I found these cheetah grosgrain ribbon and it rocks!
I would recommend this skirt with two thumbs up- I think I might actually try the pencil skirt version too. I really like the brown one they pictured on the envelope. I think this will see a lot of wear this upcoming Fall and Winter for sure.
On a side note, I went to my friend Jackie’s Mad Men party and I got to sport my seersucker dress, very 50’s! Check out my Peggy inspired hairdo, photo courtesy of my buddy Todd:
I think that stripes are so much fun, they can be casual or dressed up and they can also make you look thinner (or fatter 🙂 Simplicity released their new patterns for summer 2011 and I absolutely loved this new pattern 2177 with the striped view. I didn’t care too much for the photo view, the girl looks like she is in a getup Holly Hobbs would wear and the little jacket looks a bit cheesy to me, but hey to each their own.
This dress was very easy to make and I actually used Michael Miller’s Clown Striped knit fabric in black and white. The back of the envelope suggested cottons, gauze, linen type blends but the knit worked out just fine. This pattern does run pretty big though, I actually ended up having to cut out about two inches from my perfectly finished straps so that it wouldn’t be hanging on me. The finished product didn’t look terrible, but I knew it would bug me so I used some left over material to ring around the striped and simulate gathering. I think it gave it a sailor type look which looks pretty cute! Although its hard to see them in these pictures, my hair covers them.
This dress has pleats at the top where the skirt met the bodice which I love because they are great for hiding any tummy issues 🙂
This dress makes me excited for the summer! Since I didn’t end up using nearly as much fabric as the pattern called for, I had enough left over to make this striped skirt from Kwiksew pattern 3003. I think this pattern has been around for quite a while given the illustrations on the front, the 90’s called and they want their rooster ponytail back! This is a very casual skirt with elastic at the waist so you can be liberal with sizing up and down.
One thing about this pattern to watch out for is matching the stripes. Since its virtually the same pattern for each skirt, the second view just has an extra cut down the center. This means you have to match up the stripes to the opposite side that what would have been pieced together with just two pieces as opposed to four. This means that the length will be a bit off when you do your hemming. I am only 5’2″ so I usually end up hemming quite a bit of length anyhow so it wasn’t an issue for me, but if you are tall you may want to compensate on the length when you cut your fabric. FYI please excuse my nasty thumb burn in this photo, be careful with those irons kids!
Here is one that I made for my friend Jo as part of her Bridal shower gift. My Mom crocheted the orange flowers that I added to the hem.
I would definitely recommend both these patterns- very easy to use and versatile, they are great for stripes but not limited to them.