Girl’s Linen Skirt with Ruffle Edge

I bought this blue linen a long time ago with a dress for me in mind. I changed my mind a couple of times about what pattern to use, and in the meantime, my daughter found the fabric and declared her love for it. You see where this is going.

I cut out my dress pattern and used the leftover to make a skirt for her. It’s just a gathered rectangle again, like this one, with a little ruffle added. This kind of skirt is so easy to make, and I love not having to use a pattern. Really, she likes them as well as a dress, which I find much more of a chore.

Unfortunately I’ve found some mistakes in the way I cut out my dress, so I’m in a bind and trying to finagle my way out of it. Meanwhile Little Miss has really been enjoying her skirt. Love the styling here, don’t you? That’s all her own doing.

But next time I’ll make my outfit first, then see what fabric I have left over. Almost finished assembling this sweater. It’s looking really good, if I do say so myself.

We were in Austria last week, so beautiful, where I finally got up the nerve to get off the bunny slope after lots of coaxing. Woohooo!!

Currently reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. So completely fascinating! It’s the most interesting story I’ve read in a long time—the true account of the woman behind the cells that started a medical revolution. Definitely check it out.

The Great Pattern-Drafting Experiment

This project looks simple, but it has taken me many months to complete. Okay, I have to admit, over a year, but I wasn’t working on it that whole time. I haven’t sewn much for myself  in the last few years, mostly for my kids and our home. Part of that has been not wanting to spend so much time on something that might not fit me in the end. So when I heard about Cal Patch‘s book, Design-It-Yourself Clothes, I fantasized about making something to fit me perfectly.

Fiber July 1 – 5, 2011: Design (and MAKE!) Your Own Clothes with Cal Patch

I really like this book. The instructions are clear and written with a sense of humor. The projects are just the right speed for me——beyond beginner but simple enough not to be intimidating. But my favorite thing is that the book leaves lots of room for experimentation. So I like to flip through often and just dream about what I might create. For me, dreaming is more than half the fun.

That said, my first project doesn’t involve a lot of experimentation, besides the pattern drafting itself. It’s the first project in the book, with very little deviation besides the added waistband.

I crossed off a lot of firsts with this skirt. Besides my first self-drafted pattern, I also made my first muslin (trial run of the pattern in a cheap fabric), sewed my first invisible zipper, and used my first French seam. I now realize flat-felled seams would be better here, but oh well.

I’m not completely crazy about the skirt. There are a lot of flaws you can’t necessarily see here, and although the fabric is lovely and soft, I’m not sure what to wear it with. Just having made it feels like a big accomplishment, though.

Since I had plenty of fabric left over, I offered to make a skirt for my daughter, too (just a simple gathered rectangle). If you know me well, you know I’m really not a matchy-matchy type. Our bridesmaids didn’t even match. But my Little Miss loves matching, so she was totally hip to it, especially when I offered to add a floral strip at the bottom.

I love her styling choices here. She’s a bold little fashionista. I feel a mother-daughter matching day coming on. Oh, the things we do for our kids!

Garden Skirt

Yay! My sewing machine is finally hooked up and working again after the move. I was beginning to miss it badly. My daughter picked out this fabric for a skirt for her birthday, which was awhile back, and now finally it’s finished. It’s a bit bigger than I intended. I wanted it to be a little big so she could keep wearing it a year or more, but this is a little more than that. Oh well. She loves it, and it was very simple to make. I just did a gathered rectangle with an elastic waist. I cheated on the hem and just did a regular seam, but I actually did finish the raw edges on the inside (I hope my mother and mother-in-law will be impressed with this attention to detail).