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 17 nieces and nephews.
It’s time for another Buy or DIY skirt! When Hey June Patterns released a denim skirt pattern, we were so excited! We’ve already sewn our first Sandbridge Skirt, and we’ll be sharing and reviewing it soon, but today we’re going to show you how much you can save with a DIY denim skirt for less!
Buy or DIY Denim Skirt Details:
Fabric Recommendation: Art Gallery Textured Denim Solid Scarlet Brick Fabric
Pattern Recommendation: Hey June Sandbridge Skirt
Buy or DIY Denim Skirt Math:
Frame Le Color Pencil Denim Skirt: $225 retail price.
Fabric needed: 1.5 yards
Fabric: $13.98 per yard
Notions: $6.11 denim zipper
$3.07 dungaree button
Total Cost: $40.15 for DIY
Total Savings: $184.85
Buy or DIY Denim Skirt Conclusion
Wow, the DIY wins again!! Are you seeing a pattern here? (See what we did there?!) We are going to grant you that it takes more time to DIY a denim skirt than to buy one. But you definitely won’t end up with the same satisfaction level! So now we are totally in the mood to replicate this exact skirt! Let us know about your great DIY denim skirt, or any DIY skirt savings!
Affiliate links are used in this post. Be forewarned if you click on our links, you just might find yourself the new owner of some really great products! And we might make a few pennies at no additional cost to you.
Recently I’ve had fun working with a new kind of fabric. Double brushed poly fabric is a knit polyester fabric that has been brushed on both sides, making it super soft to wear, but a little tricky to work with.
Before I started sewing with double brushed poly fabric, I researched it a little bit. I concluded that if you have a serger you will have almost no trouble sewing with double brushed poly fabric. Since I didn’t sew either of the shirts in this post with a serger (because I don’t HAVE one!) I’ll give you some tips I’ve picked up along the way about sewing double brushed poly fabric with a regular sewing machine.
Double brushed poly fabric has a 4 way stretch that is greater than 100% and it has good recovery, which means it’s very forgiving to sew with. It also has beautiful drape so there are many garments that look quite lovely sewn up with double brushed poly.
Quite a few seamstresses used double brushed poly fabric to make leggings, which is what I used it for my 1st time working with it. This fabric is 96% polyester, which the name indicates, and can be a little too hot to wear as a fitted garment in the summer. The other 4% is spandex. Some have found that looser, breezier garments from double brushed poly fabric work great in the heat. Personally, I’ve worn these 2 tops all summer with no trouble.
My biggest tip for sewing with double brushed poly fabric on a regular sewing machine is to use the right needle. A new stretch or ballpoint needle will help your machine NOT skip stitches.
My 2nd tip is to use the right thread. I had much better luck with 100% polyester thread than cotton or even a cotton/polyester blend.
My 3rd tip is to use the right stitch. My machine has a stretch stitch which worked great for straight seams. (You can also use a narrow zigzag stitch.)
The next tip is that if your machine starts skipping stitches (which seems to be the biggest problem when sewing with double brushed poly fabric) stop! Rethread both the bobbin and the main thread, and try again.
And finally, a tip few tips for hemming double brushed poly fabric:
use a double needle (or zigzag stitch,)
a longer stitch length (I used about 3.5)
some Lite EZ-Steam II fusible tape inside the hems
I also buried the ends of the thread inside my seams so they didn’t come unraveled. This means I had to hem the sleeves and bottom before I sewed the side seams. But it works great, and in almost 3 months of wearing, no popped hems!
Pink shirt details:
Pattern source: Hey June Handmade Union St Tee
Fabric source: Raspberry Creek Fabrics (no longer available, but a nice selection of double brushed poly fabric)
Blue shirt details:
Pattern source: Hey June Handmade Lane Raglan
Fabric source: CaliFabrics (no longer available, but a nice selection of double brushed poly fabric)
Affiliate links are used in the post to some really good products! Be warned that if you click through our links you might also be the proud owner of really awesome patterns and fabric! And also, we might make a few pennies to be able to support this blogging habit we have!
I realized I never showed some of the Grace Tankinis that I made while the pattern was in testing and production. All of the muslins (practice and test) suits that I made were from a pastel purple check fabric. A friend had given me about 9 yards of it, and it worked perfectly for checking the fit and assembly steps. But then I wanted some suits I could wear!
This 1st example of the Grace Tankini is view B top and ruched sport skirt. The solid navy fabric is from JoAnn Fabrics and was labeled swimwear/athleticwear. It wasn’t as nice and thick to work with as later fabrics suits. The skirt is the view B skirt, and the inset ruched panel fabric is from The Fabric Fairy. I left off the pockets in this skirt.
The next example is the view A top and circle skirt bottom. This swimwear fabric came from Imagine Gnats and is of medium thickness and easy to work with. The skirt is a full circle, and so fun to wear and has nice coverage.
Third, I sewed a view B top and high waisted, ruched skirt bottom. These fabrics came from CaliFabrics, and were the thickest and nicest to work with. You could make an unlined tankini with this thick fabric. You might notice the high waisted version on this sport skirt has a wider waistband, which was an early version of the high waisted bottoms.
And finally, I sewed a view A top and plain sport skirt with pockets. The star fabric for the top is from CaliFabrics, and the striped fabric for the skirt is from Hancock Fabrics closeout sale. They were both nice, thick, good quality fabrics to work with.
You might think 4 swimsuits is too many, but considering Aria and I share most clothes, I suspect she’ll be wearing these also. All these photos were taken at my sister-in-law’s pool…isn’t is beautiful?
Today we’re going to sew the ruched tankini front panel on View B of the Grace Tankini. This is the part that gets the most questions, so we thought a photo tutorial would be helpful. It’s worth it to make the ruched panel on View B…it’s many people’s favorite part about this view!
Cut out the front panel. As suggested in the Grace Tankini pattern, do not cut it out on the fold, but open up your fabric, cut 1/2 of the piece, flip the pattern piece over and cut the other half.
After sewing the gathering stitches on the sides of the ruched front panel, gather it. It is helpful to lay out your side piece to see how far to gather the front panel. Start the gathers at the dot, below the notch where the top of the side panel goes.
As stated in the pattern, you can concentrate the ruching wherever you want to! More ruching=minimization of that area. Try to keep the gathers even from side to side so they don’t slant diagonally across your body. End the gathers 1/5” above the bottom of the front panel so it doesn’t sag down across the bottom. (Apologies for the blurriness of this photo. It’s the only one I ended up with!)
You can see how I’ve pinned down my side piece to keep it from moving as I gathered the front panel. When you are finished gathering, the bottom of the front and side will line up. The top of the side piece will be at the notch of the front panel.
Once the front panel is the same length as the side panel (from the notch to the hem,) pin them right sides together. Gently curve the shape of the front panel and the side piece to match up.
Sew the front panel and side piece together. We’ve found it more helpful to have the ruched front panel down against the feed dogs to help pull the gathers along evenly.
There you have it! Continue with the instructions to make the rest of the Grace Tankini.
Fabric used in this tutorial is from CaliFabrics.
We’ve got a tutorial for you about sewing a circle cut out in the back of the Grace Tankini for View A. This part is not hard at all and adds such fun to the back!
You could actually use the back pattern piece to add a circle cut out to the back of View B also. Or use a CD and place it in the center back (between the shoulder blades) of your favorite swimsuit pattern, and use this tutorial to add a circle cut out to the back of your swimsuit! Once you have cut out the pattern pieces of both your main fabric and your lining or shelf bra, follow this photo tutorial.
Line up the two circles and pin. The right side of your main fabric will be facing up, and the wrong side of your shelf bra or lining will be facing up. In other words, right sides together!
Carefully sew around the edges of the circle, using a 1/2” seam allowance. Stop and adjust the fabric as needed. It’s easiest if you put your needle down in the fabric and adjust the layers. Alternately, you can baste, check it, and then sew. If your fabric is thin and doesn’t have good stability, you might try marking the circle onto the back of the fabric and sewing this step before cutting out the fabric from in the middle. This will ensure your circle doesn’t end up stretched out of shape.
Snip around the circle, up to but NOT through your line of stitches you just sewed. This will allow the circle to lay flat. I’ve found using just the tip of a sharp scissors to be the key here.
Here’s a close up so you can tell how close to go to the stitched circle.
Pull your lining or shelf bra through the hole so it is now on the wrong side of the swimsuit back where it belongs. Carefully press around the circle to get it to lay flat.
Sew around the circle again with a 1/4” – 3/8” seam allowance. As you sew, you want to gently roll the lining/shelf bra to the underside so it doesn’t show on the right side when you are finished.
And there you have it! In the above photo you can see the inside and outside of the circle cut out. Your circle cut out in the back of a swimsuit is completely finished! Bring on the sun…
Fabric used in this tutorial is from CaliFabrics.
One thing we want to highlight in the course of our Handmade Baby series is how easy it is to refashion for a baby! You can use larger garments as (pre-sewn) fabric, and still take advantage of some of their existing elements. Today’s post is a perfect example of refashioning clothes for a baby.
Mr. Skirt Fixation cleaned out his closet of button up shirts again, and this time our new baby was the beneficiary! Men’s button up shirts usually good quality. This shirt was made from seersucker fabric, perfect to refashion into a baby girl dress for summer.
We used the Brooklyn Pattern Co. Franklin Dress pattern. Last time we sewed this we made it into a top for Annie. Since this pattern starts at size 6 months, it was a perfect choice. The elements of the men’s button up shirt that we took advantage of for this refashion were the back hem (notice how it’s scooped?) Also, we kept the sleeve hems and just added elastic to them. Of course, we took advantage of the button placket, and extended it all the way down the front of the dress. And we just had to keep the pocket from the front of the shirt on the skirt of the dress.
No hemming was required on the back of the dress and the sleeves, plus we didn’t have to make the button plackets. This made refashioning clothes for a baby faster and easier than if we had not used Daddy’s button up shirt!
And then we couldn’t help ourselves…we had to make a second dress using this pattern! The pin tucks and addition of piping are so darling in the tiniest sizes!
We made only one change to the (not refashioned) dress. We shortened the sleeves to just above the elbow length. I guess adding piping to the yoke bottom isn’t written into the pattern, but it’s hardly a change…just an addition!
We used Art Gallery Forest Floor Clover Grove Whisper Fabric for this dress and a matching diaper cover. (The diaper cover goes well with both dresses.)
The diaper cover pattern is free from Made Everyday.
Look how darling this dress is with other items made from the Forest Floor Fabrics line. You might have noticed we had JUST enough material left from the men’s button up shirt to make a contrasting yoke inside this second dress!
Baby is getting super wiggly for her big sister to hold sometimes! Nevertheless, we managed to grab a few modeled shots of the dress on Baby.
Leave us a comment…what is your favorite thing to refashion for a baby?
In May I had the awesome opportunity to explore Quilt Market for a few hours thanks to the generous ladies at Simple Simon and Co. I had been wanting to meet liZ and Elizabeth for years, and finally got the opportunity. Quilt Market is a trade-only show for the quilting/fabric industry. So you can see how I was like a child in a candy store as I walked around with liZ.
liZ and Elizabeth had a booth showcasing their new Just Add Sugar fabric line. They won the top prize at Quilt Market for best single booth award, and you can see why! Their booth was LOADED with fruit (which they brought in their suitcases all the way from Utah to St. Louis!!!) The booth just exploded with color and sweetness. The table was set for 6 and piled high with fruit, flowers, and of course their new fabric! I even got to record on video their reaction when they were presented the best single booth award.
Because there were hundreds of booths at Quilt Market and I only had a few hours, I had to be selective in what I saw. With careful planning and the ever generous Simple Simon and Co. ladies, I made it to my top 5 destinations!
Since I had chosen to wear my Runway Skirt made from Art Gallery Fabrics designed by April Rhodes, I had to see the Art Gallery Fabrics booths and meet April. She was there displaying her new Arizona After and Heritage fabric lines, and they are both amazing. Her booth was fantastic, and had a quiet peaceful atmosphere in the middle of the very bustling Quilt Market.
You might notice I also dressed Baby in an Art Gallery Fabrics dress (blogged here!) As I walked up to their booth, Walter Bravo (who assists his wife Pat in running Art Gallery Fabrics) held out his arms to me and Baby with delight in his eyes! We felt like we’d come home!
Another was this butterfly quilt display. I don’t even know what to call it. Let’s call it art! It was made from the In Bloom fabric collection by Sandra Clemons.
There are 500 butterflies. Five. Zero. Zero. Incidentally, you can buy the pattern to make your own butterflies here.
Also, I HAD to meet Tula Pink. Tula is basically a celebrity in the sewing world. And her fabrics are amazing. She even has a line of scissors and sewing notions that everyone is gaga over. But the real reason I wanted to meet Tula was to see which one of us was taller! I’d only seen photos before, and noticed her height, and was curious. I’m not spilling the beans, but let’s just say we saw eye to eye about some things!
I also got to meet Alison Glass (who designed the fabric on this skirt) and her assistant Chen. In a totally unexpected turn of events, I got a signed copy of Blair Stocker’s book Wise Craft Quilts. And Rebecca Bryan gave me a precut mini charm pack from her new fabric line Panache. There were so many other people I got to meet and fabrics I got to see and feel, it was incredible!
Spring Quilt Market 2017 was and amazing experience for me. I’m so thankful to have experienced it and for liZ and Elizabeth. Since everyone was so generous to me, I’m holding a giveaway for some of the amazing items I picked up at Quilt Market. To enter, all you have to do is follow us on Instagram and comment on our giveaway post there.
Today I’m going to show you a shibori dye skirt I made a few months ago. Every year for my birthday, I make myself a new skirt, and this year was no exception! It’s a way to treat myself with exactly the present I want.
Shibori dying is the method of taking white fabric and indigo dye plus some objects and special folding to make patterns. Now shibori dyeing is really awesome, and yields amazing results, but if you’re busy, or don’t want to be in danger of a kid reaching into the dye bucket and ending up with blue smeared everywhere, or you just don’t have time, you can use the easy cheater method like we did. Click this link to buy Indigo Tie Dye fabric from JoAnns. That’s right. Pre-dyed fabric. And done! Shibori dyeing is really in right now, and I intend to try it myself sometime. But until then, this fabric will hold me over!
As you can probably see, this shibori dye skirt ended up a little too long! I made the same length as the other Syrah Skirts I’ve sewn, but the rayon spandex fabric is quite heavy and pulls this one to a longer length. In the end I’ll either hem this one shorter, or continue wearing heels with it!
To wear with my new skirt, I needed a plain shirt. I tend to love colors and patterns, and end up with quite a few garments I can’t wear together. So I made a plain old navy blue Seafarer Top that I wear All. The. Time. Lesson learned; I need to sew myself more basics. This lovely navy blue knit fabric is Riley Blake Cotton Jersey Knit Solid Navy Fabric.
As I say every year about my birthday skirt, I’ve got a new favorite skirt! Leave me a comment…what do you do to treat yourself on your birthday?
Affiliate links are used in this post because I hope to be able to earn enough money to sew myself a skirt for my birthday next year too! Help a gal out by clicking on her links…it won’t cost you anything extra, and I might earn a few pennies!
Allegra’s summer job requires her to be on her feet in an uncomfortable uniform all day long. So when she gets home she just wants to be comfortable in non-constricting clothes. She described to me exactly what she wanted; a loose, flowy dress with dolman sleeves and no shaping. Immediately my thoughts turned to the Santa Fe pattern.
TO make the Santa Fe top into a dress, I simply measured from her shoulder to her knee, and made the pattern that long. I kept the same angle of the A shape at the side seams, and dipped the hem down in front. I think I ended up adding about 15 inches to the length.
For the fabric I used some super lightweight rayon jersey from the stash. I don’t remember exactly where we sourced it, but you can find similar here: Rayon Jersey Yarn Dye Knit Grey Fabric.
Right now the Santa Fe top is the featured pattern over at Hey June Handmade, so you can grab it for 15% off. It’s already a steal, at full price with 6 different views. You can see the other Santa Fe tops we’ve sewn here and our review of the pattern here. Be prepared for a new favorite pattern!
Allegra is delighted with this Santa Fe dress. She says it’s like wearing a cloud! Whenever she get home, she slips into this dress for some R&R time!
Leave us a comment below…what do you wear when you just need to relax?
Some affiliate links are used in this post to really great products! We’ve chosen to be affiliates for them because of their awesomeness. Be aware that if you click on one of our affiliate links, we might make a few pennies at no extra cost to you!