Monday, June 28, 2010


This is the first skirt I ever made. It is an airline blanket that I took with me to the Cornerstone Music Festival, back in the summer of 2001. It was extremely hot and, out of desperation and a newfound hatred of shorts, I sewed this skirt with a sewing kit someone from the next campsite had. It is probably still my favorite skirt even though it looks pretty junky. It's certainly gotten enough wear these past nine years! (wow, I'm old.)

If the airline blanket skirt is my favorite, my brown circle skirt is definitely second favorite. I found this vintage brown linen at a garage sale about four years ago and made my first circle skirt. As you can see, the hemline is very uneven, in fact it's not really a line at all! I did not really know what I was doing and so the sides are shorter than the front and back. But, if you know me, you know that doesn't bother me one bit. I think this is the main reason I've stuck with sewing for so long. When most people would get frustrated and rip something out, I would just say, "eh, it looks fine" and wear it. I have definitely come a long way though...

Here's a close-up of the tie and button to keep the opening closed. (notice the sloppy stitching)

And here is my next attempt at a circle skirt, which as you can see has an even hemline--hooray! I think this one is only two years old. But it doesn't get worn as often because everything goes with brown, and not everything goes with this blue.
So, the point of this post is two-fold:
1) Don't let yourself get overly frustrated if you're learning to sew. If you are, do one of two things, either stop sewing and come back to the project some other day (I do this a lot!) or just say to yourself, "no one else will notice this mistake, so I'm not going to care." and just leave it. (I know I'm making some of you cringe.)
2)I absolutely love and adore circle skirts because they are extremely easy to make and they're very full without having gathers. So I thought I would post a simple tutorial here sometime before the end of summer. Believe me, if you make a circle skirt, you'll fall in love too!

Do you have a favorite skirt? What style is it? What makes you love it?

Monday, June 21, 2010

wrap skirt

A friend and I went in together and bought Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing. This skirt is from the book and is actually on the front cover. I really like how it came out, and it's perfect for summer.

Unfortunately, I have to say that the pattern's instructions are not written correctly. The directions call for 6 panels of the skirt for the medium size--well, that does not fit around my waist, much less overlap itself. Of course I just got some more material and cut out 2 more panels. I also had to lengthen the waistband/tie. But I can see a beginning sewer having a real issue with this. I'm sure Heather Ross knows what she's doing. It seems like a lot of patterns get written wrong in the editing process of a book or magazine--how frustrating!
Have any of you run into this? Do you ever find yourself reading a store-bought pattern and think the people who wrote it were on drugs? I do!

Monday, June 14, 2010


I got this dress from Anthropologie as my birthday present a few weeks ago. I almost didn't buy it because it was strapless, but there were secret little straps hiding in a bag clipped to the tag! And it's in linen!

My usual reason to go to Anthropologie is to get inspiration for clothing designs. I have actually only bought something from there one other time, and both of these things have been on the sale rack. But my philosophy on expensive clothing is: if I would spend lots of money on the fabric and hours of my time trying to make it and then fail--then it's worth it to spend a little money for a nice piece of clothing. And this dress is definitely the type of fitted bodice and full skirt style that I've been trying versions of for years and never getting right.

Another great clothing philosophy is that you can always find something sort-of-okay and alter it to be better and unique. I did this a lot in college with thrift-store finds. Two of my favorite dresses in college were both from the maternity section, and all I did was take them in to be fitted. Have you ever altered something that wasn't great and made it a favorite?

What are your "clothing philosophies"?

Monday, June 7, 2010


Yes, these are knitted nesting dolls! I randomly came across a book in the library
called Itty Bitty Toys. It has wonderful ideas for knitted toys and they are very straightforward. I couldn't resist making these cute matryoshka, and they were incredibly fast to make. The best part--the baby was entertained by watching the knitting needles!