Posted on

Julia Cardigan for Selfish Sewing Week

Julia Cardigan


Julia Cardigan by Mouse House Creations

The last piece of my outfit made for Selfish Sewing Week is the Julia Cardigan.  We won 2 patterns from Mouse House Creations during Sewabration of Womanhood, and the Julia Cardigan was our automatic first choice!  Then I held onto it until I saw this fabric at Walmart, and knew they were going to be a perfect pair.  I bought 3 yards of the super lightweight knit fabric, and sent one to Karly during Challenge Create: Fabric Swap Edition’s Knit Week.  When I went to cut out the Julia, I realized, as Angela commented yesterday, that I was going to need another yard to be able to make myself the long sleeve version.  Because I didn’t have enough time to go to get more fabric just then, I decided to try and make a vest version of the Julia and add sleeves later.  But then I laid out the pieces as shown on the recommended layout, and realized if I disobeyed the recommendation, flipped over the front pattern piece face down, flipped the collar piece end for end, turned the cuff pieces 90 degrees, and slid the rest of the pieces around, I could get the whole thing out of 2 yards!  This included adding 3 inches to the sleeves (you know, because I am 6 feet tall and have a 6 foot wingspan also!)  I could have lengthened the front and back 1 or 2 inches also, which I will do next time.  (Yes, next time…this one is a winner!)

back of Julia Cardigan

But the Julia Cardigan covers my shirt in the back, so it all works out for this outfit.  I took a gamble, not knowing if I would ruin the whole Julia Cardigan cutting it out that way, but it turned out just fine!

Julia CardiganOne thing I was careful to do was match the stripes everywhere and I’m so happy with the results.

Julia Cardigan striped cuff

I like the look of the stripes on the cuffs running the other way, it gives them sort of a modern flair.  So there you have it!  An entire outfit, sewn just for ME!!!

Julia Cardigan stripe matching

Here’s a recap:

Skirt(s): Jocole Yoga A-Line Skirt

Shirt: Self-drafted

Cardigan: Julia Cardigan

What did you make yourself during Selfish Sewing Week?  What are you going to make yourself next?

Make it beautiful,


Posted on

Selfish Sewing Week Self-drafted Top

selfish sewing week top

selfish sewing week top

Today I’m going to tell you about the top I made for my Selfish Sewing Week outfit.  First of all, let me tell you, this is a wearable muslin.

From the Burda Style Dictionary: Muslin-Sewers speak of making ‘a muslin’ when they use a plain fabric to make a mock-up version of a pattern they want to try, as a kind of sample before they cut out and sew a final version in fashion fabric. The muslin is used to identify fitting issues and to make adjustments which the sewer then incorporates into their paper pattern.

Back of Jocole Yoga A-Line Skirt

So I’m calling this a wearable muslin because when you are 6 feet tall and you make a shirt that has sleeves long enough for you, you wear it no matter what issues it has!  Ah, the beauty of making your own clothes…

I had this idea for a shirt and dress pattern and I started playing around with it.  Can you believe the gals whose main theme is skirts might actually develop something that is not a skirt as their first pattern?  Don’t know…stay tuned!

Side of Selfish Sewing Week top

Things I love about this shirt:

  • raglan sleeves
  • looong sleeve length
  • slimming shape
  • one piece side inset shape
  • using a 3rd piece of my cherished Birch Organic Fabrics bird fabric!

Neckline of Selfish Sewing Week Top

Things I will change for the next time:

  • Start the inset/contrast fabric at the neckline
  • Curve in even more at the waist
  • Take out a few inches in the front and back to make it more fitted
  • Sew the FOE at the neckline tighter.  (To be fair; this was my 1st time working with FOE!)
  • Lengthen the top to carry on the inset/contras fabric shape longer

Julia Cardigan

I’d gladly take any suggestions you have for my work in progress!  Since it’s Selfish Sewing Week, I might actually decide to do something about these changes this week!  Tomorrow I’ll share with you the last piece in my ensemble, anyone recognize what pattern it is?

What have you been working on?  Anything for yourself?

Selfish Sewing Week top

Posted on

Jocole Yoga A-Line Skirt Review

Jocole Yoga A-line Skirt

If you’ve just arrived here on the Jocole Blog Tour, Hi and Welcome!

Jocole Yoga A-line Skirt

We are so delighted to have the opportunity to make the Jocole Yoga A-Line Skirt.  I think this is my favorite skirt I’ve ever made in all the skirts I’ve made in my lifetime!

Jocole Yoga A-line skirt

And to think I came so close to not making one for myself!  You see, it was like this: late one night I decided to make the Jocole Yoga A-Line skirt for the Jocole pattern tour.  (Yes we were given this pattern, but we would gladly pay twice the price for a skirt so wonderful!)

Jocole Yoga A-line Skirt

So anyway, it was a dark and stormy night, and I was tired but everyone was asleep and I knew this was going to be a quick sew.  So as usual, I printed out my first pattern piece, checked the test square, and when all looked good, I set off cutting and sewing.  Now I’ll let you in on a little fact that I didn’t learn for another hour or so.  My printer settings were off, but I measured from the edge of the 3 inch block to the edge of the 10 cm block so it looked like it was 3 inches.  I was making a skirt that was 24% too small since my printer was set at 86%.

Jocole Yoga A-Line Skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

About an hour later my new skirt was finished and ready to be tried on.  The skirt was so tight it looked like I’d painted it on with a paintbrush.  On my post baby body… Let’s change the subject, shall we?

Jocole Yoga A-Line Skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

I returned to JoAnn fabrics the next day and found a sparkly knit orange fabric.  This knit is almost sweatshirt weight.  Think about your favorite old college sweatshirt that you wore and wore and wore out.  This is that kind of knit.  Plus is has little sparkles all over it!

Back of Jocole Yoga A-Line Skirt

Armed with new fabric and new enlightened measuring method, I started over again.  One quick hour later, viola, my new favorite skirt was born.  The only change I made to the  Jocole Yoga Aline Skirt pattern was to lengthen it by three inches.  The pattern goes up to forty inches long for tall ladies, but I’m what they refer to as ultra tall.  I may have made this skirt a teeny bit too long, but that’s a heavenly change!!!

Jocole Yoga A-Line skirt tween size

Aria was delighted to inherit the first, tiny skirt.  Come back to the blog tomorrow to find out how I added a lining to her Jocole yoga a line skirt, and also how you could make one for a tween.  Not accidentally.  On purpose.  Because you meant to.  Ahem.

2 Jocole Yoga A-Line Skirts

I just love it when mistakes turn into treasures!  Looking on the bright side, Aria got a new skirt and I got the creamiest, most buttery knit yoga skirt ever!  I forgot to tell you one of my favorite things about the finished skirt.  I made the tall 16″ fold over waistband, and I love the privacy it gives me when I use the option of having it  unfolded for added coverage while nursing the baby!

Julia CardiganThen, the rest of the week, I’ll be sharing blog posts about the top and cardigan I’m wearing since it’s Selfish Sewing Week.  Also be sure to enter the Rafflecopter give away below for a chance to win 2 free patterns of your choice from Jocole.  To help you decide which Jocole Patterns you want,  check out the other stops on the Jocole pattern blog tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jocole A-line yoga skirtsSee you tomorrow!


Posted on

Cowboy Poncho from a Skirt!

Cowboy Poncho

Cowboy PonchoRemember that boy we introduced you to earlier in the week with his cowboy quilt?  Did we mention it was his birthday recently?  Oh, we did?  Well, did we mention that he l.o.v.e.s. cowboys?  Oh, we did?  Well, when a boy loves something as much as this boy loves cowboys, it’s easy to know what to make him for his birthday!

Cowboy Poncho with HoodThis gift was actually Aria’s idea, so here she is to tell you how the cowboy poncho came to be:

So while mom was making Thomas’ quilt I decided that I would like to make him a birthday present too.  And ever since we made our Not A Skirt ebook, he had been asking for a cape like the one I made. So I finally got an excuse and time to make him one.  Anyway a while back I had been looking through ‘the girls’ closet, and I found a not so great skirt that had cowboys and Indians on it.

skirt refashionIt had been mom’s from when she was a cowgirl, and it wasn’t anything I was ever going to wear, so into the remake pile it went, and it was just the perfect thing for a cape.

Cowboy PonchoSo here’s Mom to tell you how we made a skirt to cowboy poncho transformation:

Step1: Cut skirt off above the denim about 2 inches.

Step 2: Cut skirt open along one side seam.

Step 3: Fold over and finish edges of skirt.

Step 4: Cut out hood pieces.  (We used the pattern pieces from this rain jacket, but you can just eyeball a hood shape!)

Step 5: Fold over top edge of denim 2 times, sandwiching hood into the last fold and sew a new hem across the top.  (Make sure to situate your hood the right way before you sew!)

Cowboy PonchoAnyway now he loves it and he’s so happy with it he wears it everywhere.

Cowboy Poncho by Skirt FixationAnything to do with cowboys or horses and he’s all over it!

chagra & tack, south amrice horse ridingWe think he imagines this in his mind’s eye as what he looks like when he’s wearing it!

Cowboy Poncho by Skirt FixationIt was Aria’s idea to add the hood because she said she’s often wished she had one on her cape!

Cowboy PonchoThis cape makes him feel like he’s on top of the world!

cowboy poncho by Skirt FixationWe think he’s pretty cool too!  Just in case you were wondering!

Hats Off!How about you, have you made a cape or poncho?   Hat’s off to you!

Cowboy Poncho by Skirt Fixation


Linking up here and reposting here!

Posted on

Chiffon Maxi Skirt Knock Off

chiffon maxi skirt

Hello again, loyal followers, Allegra here. I wanted another summer skirt, but had a flowy-er one in mind this time.  A chiffon maxi skirt was what I needed!

Chiffon Maxi SkirtI looked out some fabrics from in our stash, and found this light pink one with a flowery pattern of darker pinks and grays. I did want a maxi skirt, and mom said she could probably work with this chiffon, so we got started. First we asked dad if he had any suggestions, ‘cause he’s been helping us out with projects quite a bit lately.

Inspiration Skirt

He liked the gathered style that I had picked in this inspiration photo, but said that we should probably not gather it as much if any at the sides, because that makes a poof, which can cause the feeling of large hips. Uh, yeah. So we did take his advice, and made the sides a lot less gathered.

chiffon maxi skirtHere’s Mom to tell you about the construction process:

1: Sew a tube from the width of the lining fabric.  (Mine was 44/45” width)

2: Sew a tube from the width of the pink chiffon fabric.  (Mine was 60” width)

3: Gather these 2 tubes separately, both to the same circumference.  Then I shifted the gathers on the chiffon fabric so most of the gathers were in the front and the back to achieve the look like the inspiration photo.

4: Baste these 2 gathered tubes together.

5: Finish the tops of these two.  I decided to do it at this point because I could do it in one step.

6: Sew the two layers to wide elastic for a waistband.  This was the first time I’d done this, and you’ll notice there are no photos of the waistband exposed!  But since Allegra doesn’t plan to wear it that way, we’re both happy!

7: Hem the bottoms of the two layers.  I did this at this point so that I could level them off and even them up!  If you are a super seamstress, you can do this at an earlier step, but because it was my first time sewing on an exposed elastic waistband, I wasn’t sure how even the hem would be when I was finished!  Plus Allegra wanted the lining to be about 2 inches shorter than the chiffon overlayer, so that’s another reason I did it after!  It was really very easy, and I’ll be using this method again.

chiffon maxi skirtNow I have a cute chiffon maxi skirt that’s more fancy, and more flowy, just what I wanted!

DIY chiffon maxi skirtThanks for reading,


Posted on

Linen Dress Refashion

linen dress refashion

Hello, peeps! Today I’m letting you in on one of my refashions.

linen dress refashion

Mom had this blue and khaki linen dress that she didn’t wear any more, so she said that I could have it.  The reason she didn’t wear it anymore was because the hem was sort of wavy.  I guess this happens to linen dresses after a while because of the nature of linen.  The reason she still had it taking up space in her poor old closet was because it was a tall size and she’d spent a lot of money on it and hated to just throw it away!  But instead of throwing it away, we decided to do a linen dress refashion.  It was a bit too long in the sleeves and hem for my taste, so I decided to start there. I started by cutting almost a foot off of the bottom and re-hemming it. Then I did the same to the sleeves.

linen dress refashion

Easy-peasy! I did have a few problems on the sleeves because this was basically my first time sewing a sleeve hem, but they look pretty good. The bottom hem is a larger one, because I just like bigger hems. Now you can see that it’s shorter and fits a bit better along with a belt. The problem is now that it’s too short for my taste, so I’ll probably just give it to Aria, or wear it as a swimsuit cover up. Or, I could just do another refashion from it! I’m thinking a skirt for Annie. Wouldn’t that be cute? Probably relatively simple too, because I could use the existing hem.

A simple linen dress refashion by a teen!

Keep your eyes peeled for another refashion post with this garment. Maybe it’ll turn into one of those posts where you get like a million refashions out of one thing! Anyway, let me know what you’ve refashioned lately!

See ya,


Posted on

Birthday Skirt Refashion

knit skirt refashion

knit skirt refashion

For my birthday this year, mom got me this skirt from Kmart. It was nice, lovely colors, great hang, but had one flaw. It was a couple sizes larger than my waist. Mom said she waited until it was on sale, and by then they were out of my size, but she thought we could do a quick skirt refashion.  I did want to wear it, it’s a great, modest church or ‘out-and-about’ skirt. Plus, it’s really comfortable. We decided to do a quick fix with the elastic, but upon further inspection, realized that it was sewn a bit weird. The elastic was sewn into the waistband, instead of just floating around in it. That meant I had to spend an hour taking out the stitches. Mom told me only to take out the stitches across the back so the front would still look the same and the gathers would be back there!  After that, mom pulled out the elastic from the inside and took in several inches.  Then she sewed an elastic casing because she said that was going to be easier than stitching it back together the way it was.  Whatev!  Just as long as it would fit and look good, I didn’t care about the whole mechanics of the thing!

quick skirt refashion

Now it fits much better, as you can see.

knit skirt refashion

Here you can see the slight gathering across the back.  Just in case you are wondering, this is one of the things we sewed along with the knit ladies during Challenge Create: Fabric Swap Edition!

quick knit skirt refashion

I styled it pretty plain, but I hope to dress it up like these skirts found on Pinterest.

Knit Maxi skirt

I love this skirt by Sew Much Ado, and how they tastefully paired it with a black shirt and bright cardigan.  Mine could be paired with a bright cardigan too!

Carissa Knits

This maxi by Carissa Knits is also gorge, and I love the idea of wearing mine with a denim jacket.

Knit maxi idea

The last way would be cute and simple, with a tee and a belt. Anyway, just a easy-peasy skirt refashion, fixing a skirt so that it’s now something that I will actually wear. A lot. Like really.

Simple skirt refashion by Skirt Fixation

Let us know in the comments what kind of skirt you’d choose for your birthday!

Posted on

Four Seasons Skirt Pattern!

Four seasons skirt pattern for spring

Today I’m going to continue with yesterday’s skirt pattern tutorial, and morph it into a four seasons skirt pattern!  The pattern I showed you how to make yesterday is for a very basic skirt, and can be modified so many different ways.  For today’s post I’m going to show you the way to use the four seasons skirt pattern to make maxi skirts, but it would be very easy to shorten this into midi or mini or knee length skirts too!  Without further ado…the four seasons skirts!

The Spring Skirt

Four seasons skirt pattern for springTo make this skirt I found a very spring-y fabric at Jo-Ann’s.  All the pattern and the embroidery make this skirt very colorful and busy!  I didn’t want to add to the busyness of the skirt by making a seam up the back, so I cut out two pieces from my interfacing pattern piece, both on the fold, cutting the fabric 4 inches longer than I wanted the finished length of the skirt to be.  I moved the zipper over to the side seam, and made the basic part of the skirt as usual.  Next I made two horizontal pleats around the bottom  of the skirt. Then I cut out several long rectangles and gathered them for the ruffle around the bottom.  Finally, I added the tiny transparent blue ribbon above the two pleats.

spring detailEvery time I wear this skirt, I get complemented!

The Summer Skirt

Four seasons skirt pattern summer skirtThe fabric for this skirt came from Jo-Ann’s also.  It came all sewed together in strips as shown, but every time I wear this skirt, someone asks if I made the skirt, and they are so impressed at all the work I put into it!  Sometimes I explain, and sometimes I let them remain impressed!  I made this summer skirt as described for the spring skirt above, except I didn’t add 4 inches to the bottom of the pattern.  I added a strip of lace around the bottom, and I was done with my lightweight summer maxi skirt!

summer detailThe Fall Skirt

Four seasons skirt pattern fall skirtThis was the easiest of the four skirt to make!  I did not make any alterations to the pattern except for putting the zipper on the side instead of in the back because again, the print of the skirt was busy enough without putting a seam in the back.  I didn’t even hem this skirt, instead using the selvedge for the hem.

fall detailI picked up this fabric at Jo-Ann’s as well, and I’m sure it was intended for making dresses, but since I’m so tall…skirt it was!

The Winter Skirt

Four seasons skirt pattern winter skirtI saw a skirt I really loved being sold by Long Tall Sally.  But (this was a few years ago, before they had any buying options for us US tall ladies) I didn’t want to go through the hastle of buying a skirt from the UK, plus it was a little out of my price range.  So I decided to copy it!  I started with some navy blue wool crepe.  I cut out the skirt exactly according to my interface pattern, with the zipper in the back.  Then I cut out an additional rectangle of fabric, about 4.5 inches wide, hemmed it and sewed it on about 4 inches above the hem of the skirt, making for a layered look.

winter detailI added the buttons because the original skirt had decorative buttons there.  My mother-in-law says this skirt looks like I payed a lot of money for it!

4 Seasons Skirt PatternNow it’s your turn…do you have a pattern to turn to every season?

Make it beautiful,


Posted on

Birthday Skirt Refashion

birthday skirt

Last week was my birthday, so I decided just make myself a new skirt.

birthday skirtWhat don’t you sew on your birthday too?  I had embroidered denim fabric I had been waiting years to use.

denim mini refashionI bought the fabric at a store closing sale.  I don’t remember now but there was probably some discount for buying the whole bolt because I had a lot of this fabric.  A few years ago I used some of it for a fun project.  I made a good friend of mine a pocket organizer from scraps of denim, lace and ribbon.  I use this embellished fabric for the background.  It looked something like this, but I never got a picture of mine!

Denim-Wall-Storage-Pockets-Made-from-Old-JeansBut I still have a lot of the embroidered denim fabric left.  At first I wanted to make this pattern Simplicity 4966:

Simplicity 4966But in the end, I decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do.  So I went to our denim mini stash and started over.  I found this perfect green denim mini to start with.

denim mini refashionTo keep the integrity of the shape of the skirt, I measured both the circumference of the waistband and the hem of the denim mini.  Then I measured the length to figure out the distance over which the skirt sloped.  I extrapolated this information to figure out the angle at which I should continue on as I lengthened the skirt by adding the embroidered denim fabric.  Now there is probably a whole lot easier way to do this, but I was pretty happy with the final resulting shape.

birthday skirtAt the same time I bought the denim fabric I bought some matching crocheted trim.  I was going to run the crocheted trim diagonally across the skirt in several places to get the look of the Simplicity skirt, but after I put it on around the bottom, I was so happy with it, I stopped there!

colorblock skirtI love how the three distinct colors have a sort of uneven color block effect.

denim mini refashionOne other aspect of this skirt I really like is the belted waistband.  Right now, the skirt fits snugly, but as my body makes some post baby changes, I will probably end up needing the belt!

birthday skirt refashionI still have quite a bit of this fabric left over, so there’s room for more fun projects in the future!  Stay tuned!

Denim mini Refashion

Leave me a comment about what you do on your birthday!  Have you ever made yourself a birthday skirt?

Make it beautiful,


We shared this project with Saturday Sewing!

Posted on

Refashion of a Denim Mini

Denim mini refashion!

Continuing to show you what we did during Challenge Create: Adult Edition, Allegra and I have a refashion to show you today.  We decided to write this post ala Becca & Suzanne style, for a little fun twist!  So I’ll let Allegra start:

Well, I had a situation lately. I had cleaned out my closet because of some moving around of clothes, and after it was all said and done, all of my clothes fit in one basket and a twelve-inch rod. I had only five skirts. FIVE SKIRTS. Do you actually realize how few skirts that is for a girl that only ever wears skirts? You can only wear five skirts in so many different combinations until people start (hem) talking. I had/ have in mind exactly what I wanted, long, plain skirts that aren’t patterned, as most of my shirts happen to be patterned.

Style J skirtI wanted this one from Style J, but mom said…well, here, I’ll let her tell you:

N.O. in no uncertain terms!  $52 for a skirt when we have a whole stack of skirts waiting to be refashioned?  What are you thinking?  Go and look through the stash and bring me back some possibilities, something we can refashion, some skirts that inspire you!  And she came back with…nothing!  Said she wasn’t in the right mood, or something.  So after I said some more motherly things about doing things to build character even when you didn’t feel like it, I took a venture through the skirt stack myself and came back with these two:

refashion of a denim mini starts here!

ombre beforeAharharharhar. I swear, summa’ this character building is goin’ to kill me some day, no offense. (Help mom, my arm’s cut off! ‘Oh that’s okay, it’ll build character!’) Ahem. Anyway, I was surprised with these skirts and found that I really actually liked them. I DID NOT see that skirt when I was looking. I am 100% sure that mom hid it just to be able to gloat. The denim skirt fit when I tried it on, and so I measured how long I wanted it to be and mom started sewing!

I promise, I hid nothing!  I just am talented (like every Mom out there!) at finding things.  Why is it when anything is missing Mom is the one that finds it every time?  As I tell my kids, “I just don’t give myself permission to NOT find it!”  Okay, enough Mom lecture!  Here’s what I did:

 Step 1: Cut off 6 inches from top of ombre skirt.

Step 2: Gather top of ombre skirt.

Step 3: Sew ombre skirt to bottom of denim mini.

Step 4: Since ombre skirt was very translucent, I cut off the old, worn out elastic top from one of my under-slips I tried to stretch through my pregnancy, and it did just that…stretch out!

Step 5: Sew slip to underside of denim mini.

Step 6:  Cut off the back pocket flaps which were placed in a really awkward spot & stuck out!

Step 7: Hand new skirt to Allegra and hold my breath hoping she likes it!

denim mini refashion

I dooooooo like it!!! I really love the swishiness, the shinyness, and the overall blue-ness. I paired it with my china-patterned shirt, and I love the effect. I’ll probably even be able to play the cello in it.

Denim mini refashion!So there you go, a joint-ish effort that turned out well.

(I still think I need more clothes.)

(Who doesn’t?)

Easy denim mini refashion


We lined this post up to Simple Simon’s Saturday Sewing party!