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Sewing for Tweens – Pattern Choices

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

Today we’re going to share some things we’ve learned about sewing for tweens.  We’re going to focus on pattern choices; what’s available, what they’ll wear!  You can also check out our thoughts on fabric choices over at the Cali Fabrics blog, later next week.

We’re joining the Growing Up Handmade blog tour.  It’s all about handmade clothing for tweens.  This is the age when my kids really start to express themselves.  Their unique style begins to shine.  I have 2 kids in this age category, so it was fun for all of us to plan and sew up 7 items for them to add to their wardrobes.  Yes 7!  That’s quite a lot of things to talk about, which is why this post is going to focus on patterns for tweens, and another post will focus on fabrics for tweens.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

First of all, we sewed up black themed outfits.  While kids of this age don’t clamor to be dressed in matching clothes, they still tolerate coordinated ones.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

There are definitely less patterns for boys in the sewing world than for girls.  So patterns for tween boys are even scarcer!  After looking through all my patterns for boys, I decided to buy 2 new patterns for Thomas’ black outfit.  The t-shirt is the Lennon Tee by Shwin & Shwin, a pattern designed specifically for tween boys.  It’s a fast and easy sew, and comes in sizes XS to XXL which is a 26” chest to 33.5” chest.  We made view A, the plain Tee, but there are 3 more versions we’ll be trying out.  We sewed a size L for Thomas.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

His pants are the Adventure Cargo Pants and Shorts by Pattern Emporium.  This pattern is very detailed, but not hard to sew.  There are so many different options for pockets, and pants and waistband and flies, that it’s a good idea to plan out exactly what you want first.  Thomas and I went over each option carefully and he told me exactly what he wanted.  The Adventure Cargo Pants can be made in sizes 2 to 14.  This was my muslin pair, and I made size 14 for Thomas, but the waist was 4 inches too big!  Good thing it has waistband elastic and he always wears a belt.  We added belt loops to these pants, made a zip fly, and allllllll the pocket options!

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

Annie is just starting to go into tween sizes.  She also is starting to put in more requests for certain items or details or patterns.  For the black theme, Annie got a mash up of 2 of her favorite girl tween patterns, the Camden Raglan by Hey June Handmade (affiliate link) and the Uptown Downtown Dress by Sew Straight and Gather.  You could also use this tutorial to do the same thing.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

Annie particularly loves the pockets which come from the bottom half of the Uptown Downtown Dress and the shoulder stripes which come from the Camden Raglan on top in this dress.  The fabric is bamboo rayon from CaliFabrics, a perfect lightweight and soft fabric for summer.  The Camden Raglan can be made in sizes 6-16, and the Uptown Downtown Dress can be made in sizes 2-14.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

For the next set of outfits, we actually went closer to matching than coordinating, but when it’s camo, who will notice?

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

For Thomas we used the same patterns, because they worked out so well.  On these I adjusted the waist area and took out 2 inches for this second pair of Adventure Cargos Pants.   This kid is actually very lucky that I sew for him because RTW (ready to wear) clothing does N.O.T. fit his tall and lanky frame!

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

The fabric is real, true Carhartt canvas from Cali Fabrics.  He’s pretty pumped about a real pair of Carhartts…that fits!  We promise a post really soon about how amazing it is!  And the desert camo jersey fabric from Cali Fabrics is perfect for t-shirts.

Click on the links below to see our reviews of other patterns we have sewn in tween boy sizing:

Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom

Big Little Wild Things vest by Twig & Tale

Classic Chinos by PeekABoo Pattern Shop

Which Way Out Jacket by Fishsticks Designs

Knight Hoodie by Charming Doodle

Newsboy Cap by Waffle Patterns

Small Fry Skinny Jeans by Titchy Threads

Everyday Tie by Made Everyday

And 2 that are next up on our sewing list:

Spring Showers Jacket by E&E Patterns

Parachute Polo and Sweatpants by Oliver+S

 

For Annie’s camo outfit, we planned a look that uniquely expresses who she is!  Girly and tomboy all mixed together in one.  She loves to dress up and look nice with a cute hairdo styled by one of her teenage sisters.  And she also loves to tear around in the woods with her brothers, playing hide and seek.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

 

We made her the Laramie Shirt by Hey June Handmade (affiliate link) using the most amazing Indigo Ranchero Rayon Chambray from Cali Fabrics.  The Laramie Shirt is the little sister pattern of the Cheyenne Tunic, and you KNOW how much we love the Cheyenne Tunic around here!  It is just as wonderful of a pattern, in sizes 6-16.  Plus there is an extra option for a dress, which we’ve already promised to make for Annie.  We made 2 changes to the Laramie Shirt pattern, we added the ruffle down the front by cutting out 2 extra button plackets at 2x the normal length along the selvedges of the fabric.  Then we gathered them and sewed them inside the button placket as we topstitched it in place.  The other change was to make short sleeves, but still add the cuff and placket from the 3/4 sleeve option.  We had to make the cuff a little narrower in width and gather the sleeve a little bit to fit accordingly.  Plus we added 2 buttons instead of one on the cuffs.  For the girly factor!

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

Annie loves pencil skirts, and this one is the Jocole Girls Pencil Skirt which can be made in sizes doll and newborn to 14.  The only change we made was to add a pair of shorts underneath so Annie can stay covered during those rambunctious games of hide and seek with her brothers in the woods.

Click on each link below to read our reviews of other patterns we’ve sewn in tween girl sizing:

Polina Peplum by Coffee & Thread

Ila Dress by Coffee & Thread

Uptown Downtown Dress by Sew Straight and Gather

Miss Marlene from the Naeh Connection Shop

Molly Jacket by Violette Field Threads

Girl’s Yoga A-line Skirt by Jocole

Aster Cardigan by LBG Studio

Wild Things Vest by Twig & Tale

Longihood from the Naeh Connection Shop

City Park Tee by Hey June Handmade

Cabana Swim Bottoms by Peekaboo Pattern Shop

Just Keep Swimming Rashguard by The Wolf and the Tree

Classic Malliot by Call Ajaire

Slim Trousers by Lil Luxe Collection

#106 by Thread Faction

Rachel by Modkid

Whew!  If you’re still with us, please visit all the other great moms who are sewing for their tweens on this blog tour.  I’ve picked up so many helpful tips!

Monday – April 17th
Handmade Boy  |  Paisley Roots   |  Cucicucicoo: Eco Sewing & Crafting

Tuesday – April 18th
Beri Bee Designs   |   Phat Quarters   |  Sewing By Ti   |   Sew and Tell Project

Wednesday – April 19th
Courtney Zadik   |   Rebel & Malice   |   Vicky Myers Creations

Thursday – April 20th
Pattern Revolution   |  

And enter the giveaway too!  It’s a great one.  Plus if you’re sewing for tween, link up here, for another chance to win some great prizes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

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Bellah Shirt

Bellah shirt pattern sewn and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

We had the privilege of sewing up another German sewing pattern.  This time it was the Bellah by Prulla.  But don’t worry, this pattern is once again available translated to English in the Naeh Connection shop.

Bellah shirt pattern sewn and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

Bellah is a loose, casual shirt, made from lightweight fabrics.  The pattern is defined by some pleats at the shoulders.  I didn’t sew the pleats exactly the way the pattern recommends, but ended up with a very nice blouse anyway.

Bellah can be sewn in 7 different sizes from 34 to 46.  Those are European sizes, so if you don’t know your size, you choose one from the finished garment measurement chart included in the pattern.  I made size 36.

Bellah shirt pattern sewn and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

I love that this pattern includes the intended height (5’8”) it was designed for.  This is always helpful for someone tall like me.  Then I know exactly what I need to do to make it work for my 6’ tall frame.  This time, I only added an inch to the length, and nothing to the shoulders.  I usually widen a pattern at the shoulders for my broad shoulders, and probably should have this time, but it’s wearable as is.

I made the 3/4 length sleeves.  There is elastic at the end of the sleeves, another nice feature.  This means if you push the sleeves up, they will stay and not keep slipping down!  Always nice for a busy mother who needs every extra hand she can get!.

Bellah shirt pattern sewn and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

About those pleats; I closed the pleats like you do on a skirt.  When I was editing the photos, I realized something was not quite right about them, and went back and read the pattern instructions again.  Sure enough, I had messed up, they are supposed to be open, allowing for a little more detail at the shoulders.  But with the busy-ness of the fabric, I don’t think it’s too noticeable.

That fabric is some very lightweight fabric (crinkle chiffon?) that was in my stash.  It’s very pretty with shades of grey and blue throughout.  Since it is so sheer, I’m layering it over a black tank in these photos.  It is perfect for summer and into fall layered with a cardigan.

Bellah shirt pattern sewn and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

The Bellah pattern is pretty easy to sew, I did it in one afternoon, even with a nursing newborn baby!  There are only 5 pieces.  I did take time to finish all the edges of this lightweight fabric with a zigzag stitch to preserve it longer.  And ever though I added length, I only sewed a tiny rolled hem instead of the deeper hem the pattern suggested.  You can make it even faster if you choose the option to eliminate the buttons and buttonholes.

This is a nice pattern for a faster, casual woven shirt.  If you’d like to sew a Bellah shirt, you can find it here in the Naeh Connection Shop.

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5 Spring Skirts

If you’re looking for spring skirt inspiration you’ve come to the right place!  Today we’ve rounded up 5 spring skirts you can use to refresh your wardrobe!  After a long, cold winter, it’s time to bloom…in a skirt!  Click on the photo of each skirt to be taken to it!

First up is this flowy, breezy maxi skirt in pastels from Modcloth.  It will have you skipping and dancing through spring.

Or how about this Sweet Mesh Layered Skirt Elastic Waist Midi Skirt in white from OASAP?  It’s cheap price means you can get one of these spring-y skirts in every color!

Shabby Apple’s Donna Chiffon A Line Maxi Skirt in Blue is lightweight and perfect for spring.  Go fly a kite in this beautiful water in your stunning skirt!

Blush pink and skimming the knees, it doesn’t get more complimentary than this skirt.  You can find it on Amazon.

Possibly saving the best for last, there’s this flirty red poppy skirt from ModCloth ushering spring weather.  Yes, please!

We hope these 5 spring skirts help you leave the winter doldrums behind and spring into the next season.  (See what we did there?)

Affiliate links are used in this post.  That means if you click on and purchase one of the fabulous skirts, we might make a few pennies!  You’ve been notified and we thank you!

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1920s Inspired Baby Quilt {My Sister’s Quilts #9}

1920s inspired baby quilt blogged by Skirt Fixation

My Sister's Quilts series

If this is the first time you’re seeing this series, My Sister’s Quilts is the mini quilting memoirs of my sister who is a fantastic quilter and has made baby quilts for each of her 15 nieces and nephews.  (But none for her own 2 children, so I hear…)  Here she is to tell you about making this 1920s Inspired baby quilt for our nephew A.

1920s inspired baby quilt blogged by Skirt Fixation

This quilt was inspired by some vintage patterned fabric I found in a little quilting Boutique in East Molesey, England, called Creative Quilting. (You can find them on the web herecreativequilting.co.uk)   This little quilt shop was also only a 1/2 hr walk away from where our flat in Thames Ditton.

1920s inspired baby quilt blogged by Skirt Fixation

East Molesey is the tiny little village that is the across the river from Hampton Court Palace. Henry the 8th lived at Hampton Court during much of his reign!  East Molesey has many houses and buildings that have plaques on the front of them stating who lived there during much Henrys era.  Many of them housed support staff that worked in the castle, as well as famous authors, etc.   East Molesey is also where I got my one and only lucky glimpse of the Queen as her motorcade passed on the way to Epsom Horses racing track one day.

1920s inspired baby quilt blogged by Skirt Fixation

So, nestled in the middle of so much extraordinary history and culture, I found Creative Quilting.  It seemed bizarre to me that in the midst of all this amazement,  this little group of British ladies had a fascination with a much younger culture and art/sewing form from across the pond! When I first moved to England, I was quite surprised by the fact that quilting was not a popular hobby!  It made finding little corner shops like this one, particularly special.  The ladies there thought I was somewhat of a novelty, being American and all.  They would ask me to bring in and share all my projects, and tell about the massive fabric stores back home.  Many of the fabrics they stocked were imported from America. The Creative Quilting shop was a place of warmth, and there was a familiar comfort about it.   I could duck-in and have a little solace there when I was feeling home sick…

1920s inspired baby quilt blogged by Skirt Fixation

I enjoyed working with these 1920’s-1930’s inspired patterns! There is something that is unique, untouchable, and mysterious about the 20’s.  Art, music and fashion took brave new twists and changes which were much more daring than changes made in their preceding decades.  Then came the great depression and all of this new found flamboyance was traded for practicality.  I remember being fascinated listening to my grandma talk about the harshness of the times, the simplicity of life, and also about the flour sack dresses!  It was this grandma that also taught me how to hand stitch and make my first doll clothes.  During the depression,  quilting was one activity that a woman could do to fulfill her desire to be creative while still making something practical for her family.  Warm bedding was welcome on cold nights and the lovely patterns and fabrics brought a simple beauty to the home.  The quilt could be made from sewing scraps and from out-grown clothing, so very little expense was involved.  Sounds to me like us ladies could still use these reasons to indulge our sewing urges….

1920s inspired baby quilt blogged by Skirt Fixation

Anyhow, I have a little flare for the arts and for nostalgia, and so all of the above influenced me in the making of A’s quilt.  A is my bright little nephew, and I can’t wait to see how he will channel and develop his talents of precision and accuracy!  I actually thought of him recently when cutting out a quilt for his new baby sister.  Well matched quilting corners depend on the most precise and accurate cutting measurements! I love hearing stories of A’s attention to detail, order and organization.  These things will make you great A, and by the way, we all love you exactly the way you are!

1920s inspired baby quilt blogged by Skirt Fixation

Thanks, Aunt Fessy, for another fantastic quilt, history lesson, and memories of your time in England!  Who else wants to go there and visit this little quilt shop now?  We’ll see you next month for another installment of My Sister’s Quilts

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Polina Peplum and French Terry Ila

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

Coffee + Thread pattern tour

We are so excited to be a part of the Coffee + Thread patterns blog tour.  As you might know, we love Olga’s patterns, and we’ve sewn up both the Antalya dress and the Elena dress before.  For the tour, we would have loved to sew either one of those 2 dresses again, but we chose to try 2 of her other patterns, the Polina Dress and the Ila Dress.  With Olga’s permission, we decided to “hack” both of these patterns.

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

The Polina Dress is a darling vintage inspired dress with several options.  We chose to make Annie a peplum length dress by using the circle skirt option and shortening it to peplum length.  Annie loved and wore the last peplum we made for her to death, so we knew this would be a hit too.

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

The only other change we made to Polina Dress pattern to make it a peplum length was to omit the part of the slit that extends onto the skirt…just for ease of sewing.

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

The other major change we made to the Polina Dress pattern was to move the frill over to the edge of the bodice to become a butterfly sleeve.  We just sandwiched the frill between the bodice and the lining at the sleeve, and presto…butterfly sleeves!

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

The inside of this Polina Peplum is fully lined on the bodice part.  It is seriously as gorgeous on the inside as on the outside!

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

Because we felt it suited the feeling of the peplum length better, we opted to make ribbon ties instead of self fabric ties.  They just skim the bottom of the peplum when tied, and can be tied in either the front of the back.

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

The fabric came from my stash…I think I got it at Walmart several years ago, and couldn’t resist it’s vintage vibes for this vintage inspired pattern!  The large brown buttons up the back were harvested off a dress bought for $2 from the thrift store just for it’s buttons!

Polina Peplum sewn by Skirt Fixation

We all think this Polina Peplum ended up perfectly!  As it was being sewn, I wasn’t at all sure it was going to be true to the vision in my head, and at one point was sure it was going to be destined for the trash!  But Annie loves it and we recently made her a pencil skirt that matches perfectly.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

The other Coffee + Thread pattern we made is an Ila Dress.  We made several changes to the pattern too, to make it what Annie wanted.  First of all, the Ila Dress is recommended for woven fabrics and we used French Terry Fabric-African Violet from JoAnn Fabrics. (affiliate link)  Because of the extra stretchiness of knit fabric, we omitted the back zipper and the seam on the back, just cutting it out on the fold minus the seam allowance.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Due to Annie’s height, we lengthened the dress by 4 inches.  But we do find Coffee + Thread patterns to be a truer fit to Annie’s size than most patterns.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

You might notice we did a little something extra to the center panel.  To add the ruching, we just cut out the center panel at twice the length and gathered the edges before sewing the front bodice together.  And we had to use that same precious Art Gallery Priory Square Jersey Knit Cottagely Posy Emerald Fabric (affiliate link) for the hidden pockets too.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

We used White Sheer-knit Fusible Interfacing (affiliate link) on the yoke, and made sure to attach the interfaced yoke to the front of the dress.  Then we graded the seam allowances before sewing on the other yoke, due to the thickness of the french terry fabric.  To keep the inside yoke where it belongs, we stitched in the ditch, catching the 2nd yoke in place on the inside.  It all worked out very well, and we can see making a lot more knit Ila dresses in the future.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Annie sure is happy with this summer dress.  She wanted a “play dress” for summer, and says this is perfect!  With the added length, she should be able to throw on a pair of leggings and a cardigan and wear it well in to the fall and winter.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Annie wants me to note that she fixed her hair special for the Ila Dress photo shoot.  She spent over an hour braiding it into many, many tiny braids and then slept on them overnight.  She thought the waves were the coolest thing ever!  It’s so cute how she’s developing her own sense of taste and style.

French Terry knit Ila Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Now be sure to check out all the other stops on the Coffee + Thread blog tour…you’ll be so inspired.  Also all Coffee + Thread patterns are on sale during the tour.  And there is a HUGE giveaway!

April 10
April 11
April 12
April 13
April 14
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21 FREE Baby Sewing Patterns {Handmade Baby}

21 FREE baby sewing patterns collected by Skirt Fixation

In our Handmade Baby introduction post we told you that many baby patterns are free, and it’s 1 reason for sewing baby clothes.  Today we’ve got a list of 21 super awesome FREE baby sewing patterns.  There are many, many more than these 21, but we chose to highlight these 21 today because either we’ve sewn them multiple times and can vouch for their greatness, or we plan to sew them for their cuteness!

21 Free baby sewing patterns:

Newborn Capsule Wardrobe, the perfect guide from Skirt Fixation

The Top Knot baby hat from Make It Love It is cute, easy and fast.  Plus it uses up fabric scraps and keeps baby warm.

It simply does not get cuter than a Baby Circle Skirt by Made Everyday.  And it only uses one fat quarter for each skirt!

The Lottie Bonnet by Jilly Atlanta is about as sweet as a bonnet gets with those pin tucks!

The Ruffle Sleeve Onesie and Basic Onesie from See Kate Sew needs no further introduction…I mean hello? ruffles!!!

21 FREE  baby sewing patterns collected by Skirt Fixation

We just discovered the Baby Got Back pants from Baste and Gather, but we’ve already sewn up 3 pairs…with many more to come!

The free Hooded Raglan Sweatshirt pattern from Brindille and Twig is just as good as their patterns that you pay for.  Baby is warm and cute…what more could you ask?

The Little Geranium Dress from Made By Rae is so darling it’s hard to believe it’s free in newborn size!  Check out that sweet yoke detail!

How about these Toms Inspired Baby & Toddler Shoes from Homemade Toast?  Whoever said free meant unstylish never tried these!

21 FREE  baby sewing patterns collected by Skirt Fixation

The Newborn Gown from Stitched Together is so very, very good.  Probably because Rachel tested and tested and tested this pattern until she had it perfect!

The Ringer Tee from Brindille and Twig is one of those wardrobe essentials we see ourselves making over and over and over again!

This darling Janey Jump Around Dress from Peekaboo Pattern Shop is perfect for baby and beyond!

Free for Facebook members, the LIV skirt from Sofilantjes has those little extra special pocket details that give it total awwwwwwww factor!

21 FREE  baby sewing patterns collected by Skirt Fixation

Perfect is the right description for the Perfect Diaper Cover from Made Everyday.  We’ve made more of these than we can count!

If you’re looking for one bib pattern, the Ultimate Baby Bib from Peekaboo Pattern Shop is it.  And of course free!

A baby in an Infant Peasant Dress from Sew Much Ado?  Yes, yes, yes!

The Baby Pinafore & Bloomers from Melly Sews is double the bang for your buck.  Plus cuteness overload…for free!
21 FREE  baby sewing patterns collected by Skirt Fixation

 

We like to pair the Footed Baby Pants by Sew Much Ado with the Top Knot Hat (see the 1st lining above) for the perfect baby combination.

The Baby Romper from Life Sew Savory screams summer and is free in sizes 0 to 9 months.

A great Summer Baby Bonnet by Purl Soho for boy or girl keeps shaded from the sun.

 

The darling little Abbey Dress from Shwin and Shwin is free, cute and easy to sew.  We’ve got so many plans for this one.

And finally the Rowan Tee from Misusu is the one you need for a professional, boutique looking baby.  No one will guess you got the pattern for free!

21 FREE  baby sewing patterns collected by Skirt Fixation

There you have it…21 FREE baby sewing patterns you can make and love!  Leave us a comment with your favorite free baby sewing pattern.

 

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Fiesta Fun, Fun, Fun!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

Today we get to show you all the fun we’ve had with Fiesta Fun fabrics.  Put on some sunglasses and prepare yourselves for the party!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

Recently we got the exciting privilege of using some Fiesta Fun fabric designed by Dana Willard of Made Everyday for Art Gallery Fabrics.  Today is our stop on the Fiesta Fun fabric blog tour and we get to show you how much fun we had with this fabric, and how we tried to keep true to Dana’s sense of fashion and fun!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

We started off by making a statement dress for Annie in Art Gallery Fiesta Fun Mexican Dress Midnight Fabric.  We used her very favorite maxi dress pattern to make her an Uptown Downtown Dress.

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

But we just HAD to add a sash of embroidery, hand sewn by Allegra, because it’s awesome and also Dana’s been embroidering on this fabric too!  She chose some of the flowers from in the design of the fabric and copied them onto the linen sash.  (Since the sash is from woven material, it only spans across the front of the dress to allow the dress to still stretch over her head.  Also, it is a lined so that the back of  the embroidery is protected from wear and tear.

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

This (as with all Art Gallery Fabric knits) was an absolute dream to work with and Annie is deeply in love with this dress.

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

The next fabric I got to work with is Art Galllery Fiesta Fun Florita Azul Fabric and I had in mind to make Dana’s Everyday Tie pattern with it for 2 of the boys.  But that was before I realized the tie is cut out on the bias, and the flowers would end up at a 45 degree angle all down the tie.  Still wanting a tie of some sort, I decided to make a bowtie.  I used the free pattern from Sew Like My Mom and shortened it enough to fit a boy.

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

The original plan was for the youngest of the boys, Lowell, to wear the bowtie with the white shirt.  But when the time came to put on the ties, he cried that he wanted a “hang down tie!”  So David sweetly agreed to swap shirts and ties for the photoshoot.  He also smiled and laughed and posed like a trooper the whole time!  Incidentally, since then Lowell has been begging to wear the bowtie every single day!  It figures.

http://sewlikemymom.com/mens-bow-tie-tutorial/

When I realized the Art Galllery Fiesta Fun Florita Azul Fabric wouldn’t work for the Everyday Tie pattern I turned to the expert for advice.  (That would be Dana herself!)  She said that one of the Papel Picado prints would look awesome for the tie, and so I ordered some more fabric!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

I sewed both a boy size and a tween size, and they are both so cute!  Thomas is just the right size for the tween Everyday Tie in Art Gallery Fiesta Fun Papel Picado Mesquite Fabric and the boy one fits either David or Lowell, depending on how it’s tied.  And the boys love to be matching too.  I never would have guessed that a quilting cotton would work for a tie, but as silky soft as Art Gallery Fabrics cotton’s are, they make lovely ties!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

Since baby clothes don’t require very much fabric, and I just HAD to, I sewed up a Virginia Beach dress in some leftovers of the Art Gallery Fiesta Fun Mexican Dress Midnight Fabric.  I used some of the Art Gallery Fiesta Fun Florita Azul Fabric leftover from the bowtie to create an accent yoke in the front, and added a strip of white piping for good measure.

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

Then I had just enough Florita Azul fabric left to use Dana’s free Perfect Diaper Cover pattern to make a matching diaper cover with orange bias tape trim along the edges.  And David was super happy that he got to match the baby for the photoshoot!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

The final ingredient for a Dana-esque event was to find a brightly colored wall for the kids to stand in front of in their Fiesta Fun Fabric clothing, designed by Dana, using patterns created by Dana!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

So after driving around town I found one very, very brightly colored yellow/orange wall which we decided was the one!  (In fact, it was the ONLY brightly colored wall in town, so we lucked out!)  If you’ve spent much time over at Made Everyday, you know how much Dana loves color and brightly colored walls to pose in front of!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

Check out all the other stops on the Fiesta Fun blog tour:

 

Some affiliate links are used in this blog post to some really awesome products.  We’ve included them because we think you should have them, but the legal powers that be want you to be informed that if you click on one of our affiliate links, we MIGHT make a few pennies…

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Free Patterns for March {Project Sew It}

Skirt Fixation sews up free patterns for Project Sew It

For March’s Project Sew It challenge, both Aria and Audrey sewed up FREE patterns for meeting the “bottoms” project.  (Project Sew It is a monthly inspirational sewing challenge created by Celina of Petit a Petit and Family.)

Skirt Fixation sews up free patterns for Project Sew It

Audrey’s Free Pattern Make:

Today’s post makes me really, really happy!  You see, about 6 years ago I had to throw away my favorite pair of yoga pants.  They were the only pair I’d ever had, I slept in them every single night, and they’d developed holes in some very conspicuous places.  But I’m sure you’ve had a favorite garment and know how hard this was for me, right?  Well, these specific yoga pants had lasted me about 10 years which probably justified the $80 I paid for them from a specialty tall company.  But since then I’ve been too cheap to put out another $100 bucks (price has gone up!!!) and have missed them ever since.

That all changed when Hey June Handmade published the Mountain Pose Pants pattern.  Did I mention it is a free pattern?  Yes.  I’m a huge fan of Hey June patterns as anyone who has been around her any time knows!  It’s the quality and professional results that you can achieve by sewing these patterns.

Skirt Fixation sews up free patterns for Project Sew It

For other tall ladies who want to know, the inseam of the Mountain Post Pants is 32”, and at the recommendation of Adrianna (the designer behind Hey June Handmade) I split up the additional 4” I needed to reach my 36” inseam by adding 2” at the knee on the shorten/lengthen line and 2” at the hem by continuing the flair at the bottom.  You may notice I didn’t hem these pants…I’m waiting to see if the double brushed poly fabric shrinks any more before hemming…or maybe I’m just reveling in a pair of yoga pants that are too long!!!

Skirt Fixation sews up free patterns for Project Sew It

And then there is the fabric I used.  If you have your ear tuned to the sewing world, you’ve heard lots and lots of chatter about double brushed poly knit fabric.  I wanted to know what all the fuss was about and ordered some wine colored double brushed poly knit from CaliFabrics.  In all the reviews I’ve read about double brushed poly, the author comments that they’d like to wrap themselves up in the fabric it’s so soft.  So I figured this fabric might make me a good pair of yoga pants to sleep in.  Let me tell you in a word: YES!

So now you know why this post makes me so happy…I’ve regained my favorite pair of yoga pants, possibly even better than the original pair due to the double brushed poly fabric.

Aria’s Free Pattern Make:

This month I was wanting to go with an easy pattern, partly because we have been pretty busy so I didn’t get around to starting my skirt until pretty late, and partly because next month is will probably be doing a bit more complicated pattern.

Skirt Fixation sews up free patterns for Project Sew It

I decided on Melly Sew’s Easy T-Shirt Skirt Tutorial because I wear the skirt Mom made me all the time! I started with a t-shirt my older brother no longer wanted.  This tutorial is SUPER easy! I had a lot of fun, partly because I didn’t even have to rip anything, and I was able to do it completely by myself!

Skirt Fixation sews up free patterns for Project Sew It

The hardest part about this skirt was probably the waistband because of the amount of stretching I had to do while sewing it.  I made a few changes to it as well.  I made the waistband a little wider so I can wear it lower down instead of on my waist, and I made the pockets deeper.  I always go for deeper pockets!  The pocket fabric is Birch Organic’s flight leftover from this dress.   Anyway, I’m really glad I made it and I will be wearing it all the time!

See you next month for the dress challenge…both of us are feeling really challenged even thinking about it!  Also, affiliate links are used in this post for really awesome products you should try…we love them and think you will too, that’s why we’ve included the links.  But legal powers that be want you to know we might make a few pennies if you click one of our affiliate links…

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3 Swaddle Blanket Tutorials

3 swaddle blanket tutorials by Skirt Fixation

Today as part of our Handmade Baby series we’ve got 3 tutorials for you on how to make your own swaddle blankets.  Each way is simple, fast, uses a different fabric, and ends up with a perfect sized blanket.  Let’s get started.

Flannel swaddle blanket tutorial:

Flannel swaddle blanket tutorial

Most flannel fabric comes in widths of 42-45 inches.  This makes your job really easy.  You need 2 yards of flannel, and you will get 3 swaddling blankets from this yardage.

flannel swaddle blanket tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Cut your 2 yard section into 3 equal pieces.  Depending on shrinkage, your pieces and finished flannel blanket will be 42-45” wide by 22-24” long.

flannel swaddle blanket tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Use your scissors to curve the top and bottom edges of each piece.  Zigzag or serge across the top and bottom edges of your flannel blankets.  (The side edges are selvedge edges, so you don’t need to finish them unless you want to!)

flannel swaddle blanket tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Tada!  You have created 3 soft and cuddly flannel swaddle blankets in no time at all!  We found this flannel at Raspberry Creek Fabrics.

Gauze swaddle blanket tutorial:

Gauze swaddle blanket tutorial from Skirt Fixation

Gauze comes in a wide variety of widths.  If your gauze is 54” wide like ours from Cali Fabrics, use this tutorial.  If it is narrower or has a print that would end up sideways, use the flannel swaddle blanket tutorial above.  From each yard of gauze, you will get 2 gauze swaddle blankets.Gauze swaddle blanket tutorial from Skirt FixationFor each yard of fabric, cut your fabric in 1/2 width wise.  Your pieces and finished gauze blanket will be 36 x 27 inches.  Zigzag or serge the edges of the gauze.

Gauze swaddle blanket tutorial from Skirt Fixation

There you have it, beautifully soft and drapey gauze swaddle blankets.  This substrate is perfect for summer months when you want to swaddle without extra warmth.

Knit swaddle blanket tutorial:

Knit swaddle blanket tutorial by Skirt Fixation

Sometimes knit fabric has a tendency to curl on the edges, so this knit swaddle blanket tutorial helps stop that issue.

Knit swaddle blanket tutorial by Skirt Fixation

Most knit fabric comes in widths of 58-60 inches.  Cut out 37 x 31 inch rectangles from your fabric.  Your finished knit swaddle blanket will be 36 x 30 inches.

Knit swaddle blanket tutorial by Skirt Fixation

Fold over 1/2 inch along one edge and zigzag it down in place.

Knit swaddle blanket tutorial by Skirt Fixation

As you near the corner, fold in 1/2 inch before you reach it.

Knit swaddle blanket tutorial by Skirt Fixation

Then fold over 1/2 inch along the side you are sewing, enclosing the other fold inside.

Knit swaddle blanket tutorial by Skirt Fixation

When you get to the corner, put your needle down, pick up the presser foot and pivot your fabric.  Continue sewing a zigzag stitch along the next side.

Knit swaddle blanket tutorial by Skirt Fixation

Knit swaddle blankets are perfect for swaddling a baby tightly and they stay swaddled too!

3 swaddle blanket tutorials by Skirt Fixation

I love each of these different kinds of swaddle blankets and use them all!  Which is your favorite type of swaddle blanket?

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Swimsuit sewing for kids!

Today we’re bringing home a post that originally posted over at Project Run & Play because we thought you might be thinking about this type of sewing soon!

Today I’ve got a whole bunch of information for you to help you be able to sew a swim suit for your child this summer.  I was totally intimidated by this until I tried, and now I’m confident that with the right supplies and technique, you can do it too!  Let’s get started with some inspiration to help you WANT to make your child’s swimwear.

Sewing swimwear for your child is in reach! Just read this post.

Check out these handmade swimwear posts.  Some of these were moms sewing swimsuits for their very first time!

Flamingo Halter Suit by Chelise Patternson

Trio Swim style by Orange Who 

Swim Tankini & Skirt by Skirt Fixation

Fruit inspired Swims Suits by Paisley Roots

Reversible Swimsuit by Petite a Petite & Family

One Piece with boy shorts by Falafel and the Bee

And don’t forget those swimming accessories!

Easy swimming suit cover-up tutorials by Simple Simon & Co

Hamerhead Swim Team Bag by Sew Much To Give

Best swimwear patterns for children

1st you’ll need a good pattern.  Try one of these:

Sew Pony Cosi Suit 

Malibu one piece by PeekABoo Patterns (PeekABoo Patterns actually has over a dozen swimsuit patterns!)

Swashbuckler Swim Trunks by Patterns For Pirates

Salt Water Swim Trunks by Blank Slate Patterns

Kid Pants/Shorts by Made Everyday

Jalie Boardshorts

Next you’ll need some fabric.

Swimsuit fabric

If you’re sewing for a girl, check out some of these swimwear sources:

The Fabric Fairy Swimwear section

Girl Charlee spandex

Pink Stripe from Fabric.Com

Peekaboo Pattern Shop Ice Cream Fabric

Yellow Polka Dot

And for a boy you’ll need board shorts fabric which is also known as microfiber.

Boardshorts fabrics

Try these sources for board shorts fabric:

Sharks from Peekaboo Pattern Shop

Black from fabric.com

Aqua fabric from Peekaboo Pattern Shop 

Chinese dragon from The Fabric Fairy

Woody cars from The Fabric Fairy 

Finally, you might need a few special notions:

Swimsuit special elastic

Power mesh for under boys shorts

Swimsuit lining

So there you have it!  Challenge yourself to make some swimwear…you won’t regret it!  And then let us know so we can be inspired too!