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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,


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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!


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Etage Dress Review from Hand-Me-Downs!

Etage dress review

Etage Dress Review

We had the honor of testing the Etage Top and Dress for Terri of Sew Straight and Gather.  And entirely by accident, we had to use hand-me-downs for the fabric, thus qualifying for the week 2 theme over at Project Run & Play: “The Hand-Me-Down Makeover.”  Here’s the totally by accident part…the Etage top and dress uses knit fabric, and in our closest, very small town, there is one source of knit fabric; Walmart.  Now combine a short time table to test the Etage, a WIDE selection of 3 (THREE??!!!!) knit fabrics at aforementioned fabric mecca (dripping with sarcasm here!) and only 5/8 yard remaining of the only one that was close to being suitable.  Those components meant I walked over to the women’s section and bought another dress from the clearance section, just like the one I’d bought a week earlier for myself.

red dress before

Then I went home and dug through my closet and came up with three more knit fabric items:

Blue Skirt before

The dress I’d bought earlier (I was wearing it as a skirt…a byproduct of being 6′ tall!)

Grey Skirt before

A grey skirt.


And a blue dress I’d already refashioned once.   I had enough knit fabric from these items to make a top for Aria, a dress for Annie, and a scrap of fabric leftover for David’s turtleneck.  Not the failure it first appeared to be!

Etage Dress seated

Terri is going to release the Etage pattern for purchase very soon, and this is one I think you are going to want to add to your collection.

Etage dress review

Anne is so in love with her dress.  She wasn’t too enthused with the picture on the pattern, or the fabric, but once she slipped the dress on, she was sold!

Etage Dress review

She loves to twirl, and this dress is perfect for that floaty, twirly, perfection.  The asymmetrical layers create not only a fun look, but twirling pleasure.

Etage dress review

This dress is entirely lined, which makes it not only comfortable and warm, but modest too.  You could also use some of those dreamy, lightweight, semi-transparent knits on the market too.


Aria didn’t really love the shape of the overall finished Etage top I made her, but because it is soooo comfortable, she plans to wear it to sleep in!


And David is so very happy that he got included in another sewing project and photo shoot.


This time we went to a park again.  This particular park is so very large and fun that what inevitably happens is the kids split and getting a photo of them together is impossible.  But the separate photos Allegra got are awesome as usual.


I noticed a trend when sewing this time; boys ask for nouns and girls make their requests in the form of adjectives (pink dress, twirly skirt, long skirt!).


That’s why David has gotten a boat shirt, a zebra shirt, a fox shirt and this elephant shirt.


This elephant shirt fulfills the challenge we got from Elsie Marley.  #creativeassignmenttwofer  Our two words were Stripes + Elephant.


We’re pretty happy with our creative result.  We used an old stained turtle neck of Annie’s from last winter with hot cocoa stains on the front!  Perfect for a reverse appliqué elephant!

Etage dress contrast layer

The only thing not upcycled from this project is the second contrasting layer of Annie’s dress.  That’s the gorgeous knit fabric I got from FabricWorm.  Remember, I bought 1/2 yard of each of the 4 colors.  I used the first one here.  If you come back tomorrow, you’ll see another one!  Three down, one to go, and loving every inch of them!

Etage dress review

If you’re wondering, like I was, what Etage means, Terri enlightened me: it’s French for tiers.  Appropriate, eh?

Etage dress swing


The back of the Etage dress is just as fun as the front:

back of Etage Dress

So what could have been a colossal fail turned out into 3 garments that will be worn and worn and worn!

Etage Dress Review

Now we have 2 assignment for you:

Go buy an Etage top and dress pattern for your little twirler!

Go check out all the fun things made from hand-me-downs over at Project Run & Play.

Have a twirly, happy, fun day!

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Richie Rich 80s Cartoon Inspired Ethan Shirt

Ethan shirt

Ethan shirtI made another Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom patterns.  It was wonderful!  Actually, I made this shirt side by side with the black denim jacket Ethan Shirt flip I made, but it was still wonderful!

Ethan Shirt buttondownIf you make the Ethan Shirt, people will never believe you actually made the awesome shirt your child is wearing!  It’s really that tailored.  A while back, the males in our family challenged us to learn how to sew men’s clothing.  The really good, tailored stuff they like to wear.  Well…we’ve sort of been hesitant about doing that because men’s clothing is hard, and not as interesting or fun as women’s.

Ethan shirt sewn by Skirt FixationBut now that I’ve sewn up an Ethan Shirt, I’ve started noticing the way mens’ shirts are constructed and actually thinking, “Hey, I could do that!  I did that when I sewed the Ethan Shirt!”

tailored Ethan ShirtI decided to sew up the first tailored shirt for a male for my son, Thomas.  He has the enviable trait of managing to look really sophisticated in anything he wears.  Even those hole-y jeans and ripped up t-shirts he’s so fond of!  So I knew that when I made him an Ethan Shirt it would look great by default!  (Believe me, the Ethan shirt would look good on anyone, even if they aren’t amazingly suave and debonair like Thomas!!)

back of vestIn sewing them side by side, I would first sew the instructed step on Thomas’ shirt, then sew it on Aria’s denim jacket.  That way I could sort of test out the instructions.  I used a seersucker fabric from our stash for Thomas’ shirt.

Ethan Shirt back yokeI made all the hard options on his shirt, just so I could experience them!  Button placket, collar and collar stand, cuffs, cuff placket, back yoke, and pleats.  And they all turned out beautifully!

tailored Ethan shirt for boysThe only thing I did differently from the instructions was add buttons and button holes to the collar for a button down collar.  (Well, and there was the accidental way I sewed the button placket and pocket on the wrong side and didn’t realize it until Thomas put the shirt on to test the fit and he couldn’t figure out how to button it!  Ooops!  But that wasn’t on purpose, or the pattern’s fault!)

Vest from Ethan shirtYou can probably tell by all the exclamations in this post that I’m very happy with the Ethan Shirt!  So happy that I decided to use the Ethan Shirt pattern pieces to flip one more time, into a vest.  I’ll be showing you later exactly how I did that in a tutorial.  Why a vest if the Ethan shirt is already dressy?  To meet the current Project Run & Play challenge: 80s cartoon inspired.  Our cartoon inspiration was Richie Rich.

Richie Rich bow tie Growing up without a television, I just had Richie Rich comic books for entertainment, so when I made the outfit for Thomas, I made him a red bow tie since that was what Richie Rich always wore.  Then I googled the Richie Rich cartoon and he had on a blue bow tie.  Oh well, the challenge was specifically not supposed to be a costume, just inspiration!

Ethan shirt for boysRichie Rich was always very well dressed, but the shorts (in the comics anyway) still gave him a little boy appeal!  Thomas is in the tween stage between little boy and teenage boy, and seeing him this well dressed gives me a glimpse into what he’ll look like as a man. (Very handsome~ says the modest mother!)

Ethan shirt for boys by Skirt FixationI am simply on pins and needles waiting to see all the 80s cartoon inspired clothing over at Project Run & Play.  What was your favorite 80s cartoon?  How would you interpret that into fashion?  We’re also linking up to Sew Many Books.  A comic book is a book, right?

Project Run and Play 80s cartoon inspired Richie Rich by Skirt Fixation

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Black Denim Jacket Ethan Flip

Ethan Shirt Flipped to Black Denim Jacket by Skirt Fixation

Ethan Shirt Flipped to Black Denim Jacket by Skirt Fixation

We accepted Frances Suzanne’s challenge to flip the Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom.  Of course, first of all we had to sew an unflipped version of the Ethan Shirt, but we’ll get to that another time.  When we can get the boy convinced to show his face on a SKIRT blog!

Ethan Jacket Flip

I knew I wanted to flip the Ethan Shirt several ways in general.  Into something for a girl.  Into a jacket.  And then I remembered this oh so fancy black embroidered denim I’d purchased on time to make into a denim skirt.  So this post could be called The Skirt That Wasn’t!  But I digress.  So I showed the pattern to Aria, my tween, and she wasn’t impressed.  Then I showed her the fabric and she was more enthusiastic.  Finally I showed her an inspiration photo and she was totally on board..

Ethan Shirt Flip

Here are the little, technical ways I flipped the Ethan Shirt into a black denim jacket.

Black denim jacket

I changed the shape of the back yoke, sewed it only at the top and sides and added a button and buttonhole.

Black Denim Jacket by Skirt Fixation

I added a belt and belt loops top the waist.

Sleeve detail

I changed the sleeves by omitting the button placket and cuff and adding a faux belt and belt loops to the sleeve bottoms.  Also a button and button hole on each sleeve belt.  I’m sure there’s a more technical name for it than sleeve belt, but it escapes me at the moment.  Whatever!  All I know is Aria and I love this little detail!

Belt loops on black denim jacket

Here’s a secret little tip on easy belt loops instead of sewing a little tube and turning it, use seam binding.  I did!  It’s reinforced/top stitched to add strength and character.

black embroidered denim jacket

I changed the shape of the hem to be straight all around.

collar detail

I used a little stiffer interfacing on the collar and collar stand to accommodate because I was making a jacket, not a shirt.

denim jacket button placket

I omitted the button placket down the front, opting for a more jacket like closure.

Black Denim Jacket

We stopped the buttons just below the waist so for ease of walking and sitting.  But the jacket still looks format when standing without corrupting the straight shape.

Jacket with back tie

The belt can also be looped back around and tied in the back.

button down jacket

Or the jacket can be partially buttoned.

denim jacket with welt pockets

I added welt pockets!  Welt pockets, people!  This was my first time, and I was so pleased with the professional results!

Fortune Cookie fabric

For the pocket material, I departed from the sober feel of the jacket and used fortune cookie fabric!

Finished jacket inside

I finished each interior seam with either seam binding or a flat felled seam.


And topstitched every seam.  Sometimes twice!  But it looks soooo good, don’t you think so?

Wide shouldered black denim jacket

I did not change anything about the armholes or width of the Ethan shirt for the denim jacket.  The dimensions ended up being perfect.  I used the largest size, size 14.

side detail

Now I’ll tell you one tiny thing I’m not happy with about this black denim jacket.  Because of the large scale of the embroidery pattern, I had to decide whether to match the pattern at the front or the sides.  So I chose the sides.  But I still wish they all could have matched.  But that would have added about 14 inches to the sides of the jacket, so that wasn’t happening!

Belted in back

Did you know one of the themes for Project Run and Play Season 10 is Denim?  Guess what we will be entering?

Forest photo shoot

For this photo shoot we went into the woods again.  We took a different path from last time, but still got some great shots.

black denim jacket by Skirt Fixation

We had just seen the photo shoot by Babykins Magazine and were inspired to do the same theme.  Or maybe they copied our tulle skirt photo shoot!

Embroidered Denim jacket

This black denim jacket looks so good, coming and going!  Aria is so delighted with it that she actually said she hopes cold weather arrives soon!  It’s not usually easy to please a tween.

Embroidered Black Denim Jacket

I found those gorgeous buttons at Jo-Ann fabrics.  I had some that would have worked in my stash, but I wanted these to be special!  And I have a button weakness.  Sort of like my jacket weakness as evidenced here and here!

Black Denim Jacket Flip

Have you seen the other Ethan Shirt Flips?  They are amazing!  And I can’t wait to see what everyone else does with denim for Project Run and Play!  How about you, do you like to sew with denim?

Make it beautiful,


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The Mara Dress

The Mara Dress

I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry. Actually, why am I saying sorry? A girl has right to be proud when she’s sewn her first dress!

Mara Dress

Anyways, as you can probs tell, this is Allegra, who is very excited because I have sewn my first dress by myself. Mom was going to make the Mara Dress for Annie, but then she said ‘hey, why don’t we do it together,’ so we did. Mom made a shirt for Aria too. Mom would do one step on Aria’s shirt while I watched her, and then I would do the same step BY MESELF, PEEPS, on Annie’s dress.

The Mara Dress

The fabric is the lovely lovely cotton that I found moldering in the bottom of a stack at Ben Franklin. I also used a white cotton-ish fabric for the inset and some darker pink piping.


I didn’t have any real trouble with the pattern, although I thought I would several times. The tiny pleaty things – mom tells me they are called pin tucks, looked totes hard, but were actually easy. Mom didn’t do piping on Aria’s shirt, so I thought I might have a bit of trouble, but it came out all right, I think.

Girl's Mara Dress

Also, the shoulders seemed like they weren’t lined up, but look fine now. I adore the overall affect. Mom says that it looks very European, and I love the freer silhouette. It’s so little girl looking, in a good way. I have to tell you, when Annie first tried it on, she cried and said “There’s no decorations!” but now she likes it, because I explained how you can accessorize better with a simpler dress.

Mara Dress accessories

She wanted to dress up in the photoshoot, so I let her have Sarah Bear, and she dressed up with a hat and scarf and my heels. Over all, it was pretty easy and I really want to make more clothes – especially for myself.

Mara dress and blouse

I think they look pretty great together; these two in their Mara’s!

I’m out,


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The Mara Blouse

Mara Blouse by Skirt Fixation

During the month of July, we hosted Challenge Create: Fabric Swap Edition.  It was so very much fun and we had so much enjoyment watching all the contestants create things from fabric they swapped and rewarding them for their efforts too!  Even though we weren’t blogging about what we were doing, we weren’t idol!  So during the next few weeks we will be showing you what we sewed.

Mara Blouse by Skirt Fixation

First up is the Mara.  Over at Compagnie-M it’s been so beautiful to watch all the seamstresses create their own versions of the Mara pattern.  Since there’s a sew along we decided to sew up the Mara too.  And since Allegra had just made her very first impulse fabric buy, I wanted to teach her how to sew from a pattern!  Now Allegra has sewn up lots of thing in her life, but never anything from a pattern.  Since we have discovered how wonderful PDF patterns are to sew from, I decided to use one, the Mara, as her pattern sewing debut.  She stuck to the pattern and will tell you all about it tomorrow, so for today, I’m just going to show you the variations I made to make Aria a Mara blouse.

Mara Blouse

I dug in our (very large) fabric stash and found this amazing fabric.  This is the same print I used to make Annie her Josephine blouse (and skirt!)  But this time I wanted to take full advantage of the ombre effect of the fabric.

Mara blouse

Since Aria is a tween the first thing I did was size up the pattern for her (it only goes up to size 10.)  It wasn’t too hard to grade up the pattern, and once I did we were off!  I did have to use every single scrap of the fabric I had, even piecing the shoulders a little!

Back view of Mara blouse

Another change I made to the pattern was to add ribbon ties at the sides so Aria could add some shape to the blouse if she chooses.  This turned out to be one of her favorite parts of the Mara blouse.

Tulip sleeves on Mara blouse

We started out with the plan to make flutter sleeves, but in the end, the fabric we choose to coordinate with the ombre rose fabric was to thick to flutter properly, so we changed them to a tulip sleeve shape with a simple, quick seam at the back of each sleeve.

Mara blouse with white skirt

Aria chose to style this blouse with a white skirt, which accents the Mara blouse beautifully and allows it to be the masterpiece.

Fancy hairdo

Allegra styled Aria’s hair into a fancy do for the photo shoot!


She wove in some wooden beads for a unique effect.  Allegra also chose a location for the photo shoot that she felt was very European, to echo the Mara blouse.

I love how these few simple changes made the Mara blouse work for a tween.  Come back tomorrow to see Allegra’s version of the Mara!  One final look…

Mara Blouse by Skirt Fixation