Archive for the ‘fabric’ Category


Summer 09 Skirt

I’m an XL girl.  Always have been.  So when looking at patterns, the models are always smaller.  I get excited and think I can totally sew that and it’s so cute.

Then I make it. Ugh.


First of all, I did not read the pattern carefully.  The cherry fabric was to be the main panels of the skirt with the brighter fabric “peeking” through between the pleats.  After sewing the 10 panels together, I realized that I mis-understood the instructions.  Only 2″ of each panel would go into the pleat so my skirt would actually be striped! Yuck- not what I wanted at all.

At midnight, I called my sister in Hawaii for a chat and I started another skirt.  I decided on the circle skirt instead because while trying on the mistake skirt, I realized that adding all the bulky pleats to my body frame was not a good idea.

Summer 09 Skirt

It took me less than 3 hours from start to finish AND I was talking to Fini the entire time.  This is an easy skirt. The fabric is Valorie Wells’ Del Hi collection called Paisley Earth and is just gorgeous. (If you see it, buy as much as you can afford.  The fabric is luscious and high quality. You will never regret it.) I really hesitated cutting up.

I still don’t know if this skirt is something my body should be wearing, but oh well.  I have my Summer 09 skirt.  I’m happy.

It's a Circle!


– Pattern is 2 pieces: cut 4 of the ¼ circle piece and 2 of the waistband piece.

– All pieces are cut on the bias so it takes alot of fabric, but it hangs so nicely.

– This pattern runs big so start at your usual size or go down one.

The End.


Patchy Moondance

I was the very lucky winner of Dana’s Moondance giveaway weeks & weeks ago, but just got around to posting about this great fabric!

Moondance is a new Free Spirit line by Jenean Morrison.  (All the links are on Dana’s great blog- House of Roux which is one of my must-read bloggers.)

I think this is one of those fabric lines that is a stash staple.  There are tons of different projects you could use this for from pillows to quilts to purses or…

Patchy Moondance


I made this skirt over New Years, but man- I had a hard, hard time deciding what to do with this fabric.  I wanted to use this fabric for so many projects that I kept hesitating from cutting it up.  The giveaway was two ½ yard pieces and one fat quarter.  I almost didn’t use it because I could see my overflowing scrap bin with which I could easily make this from…

BUT, I really wanted to try out this new pattern and I wanted to use this great giveaway fabric so the decision was made.

Patchy Moondance Skirt

I hate to say, the pattern was a little disappointing. The layout is jumbled with slanted black & white photos and steps spread out on one huge piece of paper.  It really depends on your style.  I’m a skimmer and more of a visual learner so I love good photos.  I don’t regret buying the pattern and love that it includes a huge size range (6 mos- 7 years).  I know I will refer to this pattern many more times, but I need to make myself slow down and read the pattern next time.

Needles to say my Moondance was used up, but I don’t regret it one bit ’cause now I get to buy more.  I see another hourglass quilt in my near future.

Hourglass Quilt

It’s finally done- my little one’s hourglass quilt.

Ms O's Quilt

And I’m absolutely in love with it.  I love the colors, the pattern and of course, love that I made it.  Many of the fabrics are from Sandi Henderson’s Farmer’s Market line.  This has to be my favorite collection of all time!

Ms O's Quilt

I’ve been thinking about this quilt ever since we moved Ms O into her twin bed this summer.

Ms O's Quilt

I was supposed to have it done by her birthday in June.  It came and went and still no quilt.  Then fall hit, but Nana saved the day with a thick comforter which we put to use right away.

It’s a large quilt about 92 x 64.  I know- it’s a weird dimension.  I still can’t calculate things right, but it fits on Great Grandma’s pineapple bed.  I didn’t use a pattern, but followed AmandaJean’s tutorial.  I cut my squares 8″ then cut and sewed those together for a total of 140 hourglass squares.  For the batting,  I used Warm and White- again thanks to AmandaJean.  With all the white cotton, the Warm and Natural I usually use would have tinted the pure whiteness of the quilt.  The Warm and White is wonderful and I’m seriously considering buying a whole bolt!  (It’s currently 50% off at Joann’s.)

I love tucking her in at night and wrapping the quilt around her tiny body in the big bed.

Handmade makes everything cozier.

Pretty Petti

My goodness I totally LOVE these!

Shy & Cold

Pettiskirts are light, full of fluff and can twirl like no other.


Yes! I made this. I was prepared for the worst and heard horror stories. I read of people who didn’t and wouldn’t even try to make these, but would spend $80 for one.

Pettiskirt fluff

But. I wanted one. I wanted many.

It Twirls!

I knew I couldn’t afford them so when I found the fabric (you have to use nylon chiffon) for only $1.50/yd, I took the leap.

People! It’s easy. Scratch that. I mean it’s easy if you have the right equipment. I have a gathering foot which works very well on my machine. The hardest part is figuring out how many yards you need because at $18 for shipping & handling , you don’t want to order more anytime soon.

So the details:

I used about 7 yrds of nylon chiffon and 1/4 yrd of silk charmuse. I really don’t think you have to use the silky stuff. It depends on the look you want, I guess. I think a cute cotton print would be just as pretty. My daughter is a small 2T so for larger sizes I would figure for more.

There are two layers of chiffon and silky stuff. The skirt has four tiers. Top tier is the silky, the next two are the chiffon loosely gathered, then the bottom layer is called ruffle fluff. A good name I think.

Here are my dimensions:

I wanted the skirt to be about 11″ long.

I cut 18 strips (from selvage to selvage which is 54″) 5″ wide. That’s eighteen 5″ x 54″ strips.

For the ruffle fluff, I cut 90 (!!!) 2″ x 54″ strips. My gathering foot gathers the 54″ strip down to 8″ which is why you need 90 strips!

I followed the directions from the forum post closely, but did sew the skirt from the bottom up starting with the ruffle fluff.

Overall, a fun and darn cute project which I can’t wait to sew again. Really, I loved making this and really really love the pettiskirt. If you want to try one, let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help you whip one up!


Infant Kimono Outfit

Yup.  This outfit cost me $2.99 in fabric.  No, I didn’t include the bias tape, thread, needles or any of that stuff because that would ruin the $2.99 fun.

Joann’s was having a sale and Fini couldn’t believe I bought more fabric, but come on!  Two dollars and ninety-nine cents for a yard of this SUPER cute flannel?  I had to have it.

And now for the nitty-gritty sewing details and problems with this outfit:

1.  The pattern is Simplicity “It’s So Easy” #3941.

2.  No, it’s not so easy with all that darn bias tape and criss-cross-crap.

3.  You can see ugly seams on the inside of the kimono top.  It really should be lined.

4.  The pattern is for xxs-L which turns out to be newborn to 18 months.  Aren’t you not supposed to have string around a baby?  I wanted to use my snap press, but the part that you push down into the snaps is the wrong size.  I tried to find a die that fits or snaps that fit, but I think my snap press is just too old to find parts for…  dang-it.

5.  Sorry, is this post too negative?  Oh well, it’s late.

6.  After finishing the top and the pants, (BTW- the rise on the pants is about an inch too long.  By the rise, I mean, the length from the crotch to the waist.)  Anyway, after finishing the top, I put it next to the pants and I can already tell without trying it on baby, that it’s ***way*** too wide.  I know the newborn this outfit is meant for will be swimming in this!

7.  So now, with the top too wide, I take a look at ripping it all apart…  NO way.  Not with all the bias tape and ties sewn in all over the place.  It stays wide.

8.  For the bias tape, THIS is the BEST tutorial ever for helping you get your corners nice and tidy.  I finally get it!  (You don’t want to know how long I’ve spent on bias tape corners.)

9.  The bias tape around the pant hem was took a lot of work, but I think it was worth it.

10.  Do you all know about sewing teeny sleeves and stuff right-side out, but still sew on the wrong-side?  Really-  you must, must, must learn to do it this way.  Of course, Kathy explains it much more eloquently- “sew a circular seam from the opposite side”.  It has taken so much headache out of sewing those darn little areas!  Please check it out and yes, sit down and try it.  I promise, you will not regret it.

Okay, I hit 10 so that’s enough.  It is now AM and I’m still up.  Crazy.  This is the only way I can blog, sew and keep my house semi-clean.

Mary stop laughing.  Yes, my house is semi-clean.


Will I ever have enough fabric?

Latest Purchase

While out of town last week, I bought this stack at this store. I brought it home washed, folded and ready to be put away. HA!

There wasn’t *any* way I could shove one more yard of anything into my fabric armoire. It was time for a major clean-up!

While folding my stash, I realized that I had forgotten about many pieces I had bought over the last few months. These were bought, washed and thrown in a pile somewhere around my dinning room table- aka sewing studio. (Those who know me well are laughing because there are MANY piles around my dinning room table as well as on top and behind.) I kept thinking that I had way too much fabric. I was embarrassed and a little ashamed at the stacks I had accumulated this past year. I felt a little overwhelmed and mad at myself for my latest purchase.

My sisters come over and marvel at my fabric stash. Chris shakes his head as he passes by. My kids can build forts in every room of the house with the yards I have.

Any yet…

Yesterday I wanted to make a doorway “curtain” for my front door since it’s propped open pretty much every day that it’s not raining. (I don’t have a screen door and I wanted something that keeps people from seeing straight into my house.) I go to my stash and look for *the* fabric which could be sewn for this project. Heck, I thought, this will be eeeeasy to find something to fit. I didn’t need much- just enough for two pieces to hang straight from the top of the door frame to about chest level. Chris had already installed the rod so everything was ready to go.


Nothing! I have nothin’ that I would want hanging for the world to see as they walk or drive by. I searched and searched. I wanted something which reflects us as a family. I wanted something hip, modern, breezy and earthy.

Still nothing can be found. I will have to brave the heat tomorrow and search for just the right fabric. But really, I must say that this case is not unusual. I’m always looking for that certain fabric design which will create something that looks exactly the way I imagined. I believe that the fabric can truly make or brake what you’re sewing. Please, choose fabric wisely. Take the time to get it right and you’ll never regret it.

So- the next time the lady working at the Stitchin Post who recognizes me and thinks I LIVE in Sisters because I’m there “buying fabric all the time” asks if I need anything else- I just might say, “Why yes, of course I need something else”, because that next yard might be *the* right piece of fabric. 😉


BTW, in a post soon:
I haven’t forgotten to pass on my pants tips, but I also want to tell you more about this latest sewing fiasco and this finished one.

And lastly, you MUST check out this sewing room.

Have a great weekend!

Finally, Something for Dad

I had planned on making everyone pj pants for Christmas. Well, that came and went and so did Spring and most of summer. But before Fall comes, I swore that I would get the pants done. And I did!

More Pants

This is the first thing I’ve sewn for Chris besides the mushroom bags. I was able to make him 2 pairs- this one with fish and another with planets on a black background. I used Simplicity 9871, but had to trim about an inch off the sides and waist. The pattern is WIDE with a long waist so be aware. You need alot of fabric- almost 3 yards for each pair so I’m not sure if I’ll make him more for some time.

I couldn’t stop with pj’s only for daddy so I made these for the kids:

PJ Pants

I LOVE these and love that they all match! The dinosaur fabric is cotton and made by Timeless Treasures and the trim I just found while here on vacation. I wish I would have bought much more than just a yard. It’s a Robert Kaufman print designed by Amy Schimier. I don’t think I’ve heard of her before, but I really like this design and will be looking out for more of her stuff. The trim is a little long for Ms O, but she likes it.

The pattern for the kids’ pants is loosely based on Simplicity 4206. Earlier this summer, I made the boys some boxer shorts and didn’t have a pattern for boxers so I used this pattern for girls’ shorts. I copied the pattern onto freezer paper, cut it out, ironed it onto the fabric, sewed up a pair and fitted it on the boys. After testing the fit, I made adjustments on the freezer paper for later use. (You can usually iron the freezer paper on 5-6 times before it looses it’s stickiness. It’s well worth not having it pin!)

So for the pants, I used my same freezer paper pattern, but added the length needed for each boy. Since Ms O is so much smaller than her brothers, (she’s 2 and her brothers are 6 and 4) I had to adjust the pattern even more simply by taking off 1 ½” off of the sides and waist. And voilà- they’re done and they fit!

5 pants in 2 days- not a bad vacation.

(I learned ALOT about pants while making these, but I will save those tips for another post. I need to get outside.)