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The Summer of the Phoenix Blouse

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

One of my favorite pattern designers did it again!  Yes, she released a new pattern (the Phoenix Blouse,) yes it’s amazing, yes, it fits great.  But the thing I’m referring to is that she made me try a new style again!  

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

The Phoenix Blouse by Hey June Patterns is a cute a causal boho style top.  It can be cropped and has bell sleeves or can be made sleeveless.  And, to make this blouse even more perfect, you can use the flutter sleeves from the Amalfi Dress on it.

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation 

The fabric suggestions are very lightweight, drapey fabric like rayon, gauze, lawn, poly, or silk.  I used rayon chambray, and it’s perfection.  But you’d better believe I’m going to be making the Phoenix Blouse in some of these other substrates.  In fact, prepare yourself to see a lot of Phoenix Blouses around here because I’ve just officially declared this the summer of the Phoenix {Blouse!}

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

The Phoenix Blouse can be made in 11 sizes from 2 to 22.  I sewed a size 6.  If I make this in a slightly less drapey fabric, I’ll probably size down due to the ease.  But for this fabric, it’s perfect!  This rayon chambray is from CaliFabrics, (sold out now) and we also used it for Annie’s Laramie Top.

The only change I made to the pattern was to add 1.5” to the width of the shoulders, my standard adjustment for Hey June Patterns.  It’s not the patterns, it’s my gigantically wide shoulders.  I did not add any length, and sewed the longer (not cropped) version, which ended up the perfect cropped length for my tall frame.  

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

Some special details on the Phoenix Blouse include a front and back yoke.  The front yoke can be embellished like you see here, and the back yoke has the cutest pointed shape.  Lace can be used on the front yoke.  I only had lace trim, and not a large piece of lace in the color I wanted to use.  So I sewed it in strips across the front of the yoke, overlapping slightly each layer.  I think it worked out perfectly!  

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

For the ties, I just used the top of the gathered lace trim that I’d cut off to make the lace lay flat.     I might shorten them just a little bit because when they are untied, they seem a little long.  And as she was photographing this outfit for me, Aria suggested that I could add another set of ties halfway down the front of the opening for a fun detail.  I’m going to do that right away!

The style lines of this blouse are so unique and flattering.  The rayon chambray is light, flows beautifully, and breathes well, so I plan to wear this all summer long!

Phoenix Blouse sewed and reviewed by Skirt Fixation

Of course I had to make a skirt to go with the Phoenix Blouse.  I sewed a Jocole Pencil Skirt in knit Art Gallery Fabric from the Arizona After line designed by April Rhodes.  I think the two work perfectly together, and I also want to try the Phoenix Blouse with an a-line skirt.  

That’s all for today!  If you want to try a beautiful new pattern that will make you feel amazing, try the Phoenix Blouse!


Affiliate links are used in this post to products we use and love and support!  Thank you for support our small business by clicking on them.  It means we might make a few extra pennies at no additional cost to you.

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Pattern Suggestions for 1 Year Old Capsule Wardrobe

Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Baby grew as babies do, and it was time for a new capsule wardrobe!  I learned a few things from her 1st capsule wardrobe, and wanted a change of color scheme.  Plus now I know she’s a girl and not a boy and could take full advantage of cute girl styles!

Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

First I drew out a grid for planning what she needed.  Typically we dress her in layers this time of year, so long sleeve onesies and leggings are staple pieces.  Top that with skirts, dresses and cardigans.  Finish with cute little touches like bonnets and a bubble skirt.

Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Each of the pieces can be worn with many other pieces in the capsule wardrobe.  And they can stand alone.  Pieces can be layered or worn along as the weather warms up.

Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Let’s start with the onesies.  This time I used the Eeny Meeny Bodysuit pattern by Peekaboo Pattern Shop.  When this pattern was released I immediately saw it’s amazing possibilities in building a capsule wardrobe.  Because the less pattern pieces you have to cut out the better, right?  I sewed 3 onesies in different colors.  On the front of each is a heart appliquéd on using scrap fabric from the bubble skirt.

Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Next I sewed up 3 pairs of leggings in 12-18 month size.  The Lollipop Leggings pattern by Peekaboo Pattern Shop is officially our go to leggings pattern for girls!  Instead of the light blue, I went with a denim knit fabric because Baby is on her knees a lot, and the color will hold up better.  I used a scraps of the floral lawn fabric as a tags on the inside for ease of determining the front from the back.

Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Next came the skirts.  Of course!  She got 3 total with the Bouncing Bubble skirt I showed you earlier.  The other two are the Spunky Girl Skater Skirt pattern from Peekaboo Pattern Shop.  I used the light blue fabric and a brown stripe.

Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Those same 2 fabrics were used to make 2 dresses.  (And the brown corduroy dress we made earlier fits her perfectly now, so it’s part of the capsule wardrobe too!)  Plus these 2 blue dresses still fit her too!  I used the Eeny Meeny Dress pattern to make the light blue shift dress, and hacked the pattern a little bit to make the brown striped one too.  (Tutuorial on this coming soon!)

Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

And then we needed cropped 3/4 sleeve cardigans for layering over the top of everything.  The Aster Cardigan stood up to the test.  We made a brown one with a plain collar, and a dark blue one with a faux piping collar.  The same wood buttons from the corduroy dress came in handy for the brown cardigan, and I added 2 accent buttons to the sleeve cuffs just because it was so cute!  Also, note the floral lawn fabric as the bias trim inside the neckline?

Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

Finally, I couldn’t resist sewing a 2nd bonnet for the capsule wardrobe from chambray and (you guessed it) floral lawn fabric!  I used the Evergreen Bonnet pattern.  Allegra embroidered the sprig of daisies on the chambray side.  These bonnets are reversible which is handy for the whole capsule wardrobe concept!  Making bonnets is such a delightful endeavor for me, remember you can buy our bonnets here in the Savvy Noggins shop.

Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation

We took photos of Baby every day for a week in her capsule wardrobe.  Each day we can dress her in something different and it’s so fun deciding which combinations to use.

Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation


Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation


Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation



Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation



Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation


Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation



Baby Capsule Wardrobe created and sewn by Skirt Fixation



Annie and I also took all these flat lay photos.  She took immense pleasure in deciding which garments to lay out next!

Modified dress to peplum by Skirt Fixation

It’s pretty nice to have a capsule wardrobe for Baby that all coordinates and crosses this time of year when the weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind.  And if we ever get tired of dressing her in brown and blue, there’s always the sloth peplum!

Today I’m over at CaliFabrics sharing my thoughts on fabric suggestions for a child’s capsule wardrobe.  Be sure to check it out.

Affiliate links are used in this post to patterns we use and love!  Please accept our sincere thank you if you click on one of our links because we might make a few cents at no extra cost to you!

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Girl’s Ombre Maxi Skirt

Girl's ombre maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

It’s been a while since I sewed Annie a maxi skirt.  As fast as she’s growing, the last maxi skirt I made her wasn’t maxi for very long either!  So it was time to keep the maxi skirt love alive and growing.  She fell in love with my ombre maxi skirt last year, and we recently found the perfect fabric.

Girl's ombre maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

For the pattern we used the girl’s version of the Jocole A-line maxi skirt.  This time we sewed a size 6 in width, and size 10 in length.  (She’s so lucky to have a mom who sews for her!)

The beautiful fabric is blue ombre double brushed poly from Simply By Ti.  This is Annie’s 1st garment made from double brushed poly.  Just like everyone else with their 1st double brushed poly garment, she is in total adoration over the softness and comfort.  This fabric is also available in a pink ombre color.  Which Annie would have adored as well!

Girl's ombre maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Interestingly enough, recently Annie went shopping in our attic where her older sisters store the clothes they’ve outgrown until they fit Annie.  It was very fun for all of us to see how some of the first skirts we sewed and refashioned for Aria now are fitting Annie!

Girl's ombre maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

It was intriguing to see how much our sewing skills have improved since then too.  Refashioning is a good way to put old clothes to use again, to stir the creative mind, and to get back into the sewing groove.

Girl's ombre maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

We sometimes still refashion around here, but more often we have been choosing to sew a garment from start to finish.

Girl's ombre maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation We’re excited to see where our sewing journey takes us next!  And we absolutely love working with small fabric shops like Simply by Ti.  Please go check out their excellent selection of garment fabrics.  Simply by Ti is a small fabric shop run by a mom who had a difficult time finding good garment fabrics online, so she started her own shop with really great garment fabrics.  She’s super friendly and willing to help her customers with fabric selection.

Girl's ombre maxi skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

The fabric for this post was provided by Simply By Ti.  Honest review is by us!  Annie styled this ombre maxi skirt with her Geneva Cardigan, blogged here.

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The Little Peasant Girl {Living Skirt Art}

Living Skirt Art Series by Skirt Fixation. Check out all the art they've brought to life!

It’s time for our very popular Living Skirt Art series.  Be sure to visit our TWO guests (sneak peeks at the end of this post) for their fabulous works of living skirt art!  You will feel like you are walking through an art gallery!

Living Skirt Art Series by Skirt Fixation.  Check out all the art they've brought to life!When we first saw The Little Peasant Girl by Heinrich Hirt, we just had to bring it to life.  Annie is several years older than the little girl in the photo, but we just had to include this piece of art in our Living Skirt Art series.  As in the past, we fell in love with the lighting in this oil painting as well as the model.

Living Skirt Art Series by Skirt Fixation.  Check out all the art they've brought to life!

Heinrich Hirt mostly concentrated on children as his subjects, and walking through an exhibit of his paintings would feel like you were surrounded by childhood laughter and innocence.  Heinrich was born in Furth, Germany where his father owned a comb factory.  Art seemed to run in the family; his older brother Johann Christian Hirt was a sculptor and attended the Munich Academy of Art.  Heinrich settled in Munich and exhibited his work throughout Germany, primarily in Berlin, Munich and Dresden.

Girl's Jocole yoga a-line skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

For this month’s Living Skirt Art, I sewed Annie a much needed new skirt!  She’s grown so much over the summer that a new long knit skirt for fall was in order.  I used the Girl’s Jocole Yoga A-line skirt pattern and some basic chocolate colored knit fabric from JoAnn’s.  This shirt goes with several tops Annie has that she’s outgrown the matching skirts to, like this Family Reunion top by Oliver+S (details here.)

Living Skirt Art Series by Skirt Fixation.  Check out all the art they've brought to life!

In Summary:

Painting: The Little Peasant Girl

Artist: Heinrich Hirt

Model: Annie

Photography: Audrey

Skirt: Girl’s Jocole A-line yoga skirt

To see all the other works in our Living Skirt Art series, click here.  As always, check out our Skirt Art (Paintings) and Skirt Art (Illustrations) boards on Pinterest. Any suggestions on which piece of skirt art we should be inspired by next?

Living Skirt Art Series by Skirt Fixation.  Check out all the art they've brought to life!

And now treat yourself with a visit to see Farrah at Mingo and Grace to see the well known artwork she’s brought to life.

Living Skirt Art by Mingo & Grace

Also, you don’t want to miss Emi from Just Add Fabric‘s creation.  You’ll want to read about her Living Skirt Art using a very special artist to her family.

Living Skirt Art by Just Add Fabric

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Girl’s Outfit details from Nothing But (k)Net

Gretchen Cardigan and Pencil Skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Street Urchins in cool clothes sewn by Skirt Fixation for Project Run & Play And now we come to the girl look for our Project Run & Play inspired Nothing But (k)Net look.  Which is actually where we started the whole thing!  But first, here’s the summary of the look:

Big Sister outfit:
Cardigan Pattern: Violette Field Threads Gretchen cardigan
Cardigan Fabric: Navy Jersey from Raspberry Creek Fabrics (sold out now, similar here: Stretch Bamboo Rayon Jersey Knit Navy Fabric)

Skirt Pattern: Jocole Girl’s Pencil skirt
Skirt Fabric: Fashion Knits – Fukuro Floral Denim Blue Poly Knit

Gretchen Cardigan and Pencil Skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

We started with the Gretchen Cardigan by Violette Field Threads.  As you may know, we’re currently sewing up all the Violette Field Threads skirt patterns.  (There’s a huge giveaway involved!)  When we saw this pattern though, we knew it was one we had to have!  Those ruffles just sealed the deal.

Gretchen Cardigan and Pencil Skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

This pattern would be great to use with some statement fabric, or as a girly basic, as we did here by using navy fabric.  This pattern is simple to sew up, the instructions are clear and photos accompany each step of the process.  It can be made in 7 sizes from 2T to 9/10.

Gretchen Cardigan and Pencil Skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Although it looks complicated because of the ruffles, knit fabrics don’t require hemming which actually cuts down on the amount of time involved.  I absolutely love, love, love the way the wrist cuffs are assembled.  I always wondered why wrist cuffs aren’t done this way in other patterns because you end up with your raw edges enclosed, creating such a beautiful finish.  I think I’m going to use this method on every knit cuff I sew now.

Gretchen Cardigan and Pencil Skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

The silhouette of the Gretchen cardigan is probably intended to be worn with pants.  A full, puffy skirt or dress would not work with this cardigan because of it’s length and the ruffles at the bottom.  But since that’s what makes it so charming, and because we needed to get at least ONE skirt in somewhere for our Project Run & Play looks, we turned to the girl’s Jocole Pencil Skirt.  This turned out to be the perfect fit to accompany the Gretchen Cardigan pattern.

Gretchen Cardigan and Pencil Skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

A very fast and easy sew, I made 2 of these in less than an hour.  (The other one is a size 18 months one for our Etsy shop.)  Also, the pattern fits on 3 pieces of paper, so assembling the pattern takes about 30 seconds!  This pattern can be made in 16 different sizes from doll to size 14.  Annie/A-kat will be getting more of these skirts for many years to come.

Gretchen Cardigan and Pencil Skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

I had the skirt fabric leftover from making my Lane Raglan.  Now I wish I had enough to make myself a Jocole Pencil Skirt because look how adorable that is!  Annie/A-kat informs me it’s super comfortable too.

Gretchen Cardigan and Pencil Skirt sewn by Skirt Fixation

Allegra styled her sister’s outfit with a white turtleneck, tights and a scarf.  She also made Annie/A-kat’s fantastic hairdo!  And she took all the photos and edited them.  She pretty much bought to life the vision I had when I was sewing these outfits.  Huge thanks and kudos for her workmanship!

So there you have it, all the details for our Nothing But (k)Net looks.  Be sure to check out all the other fabulous seamstresses in the link up.  And did you see what the contestants made for the Nothing But Knit theme?  Serious talent!

Now for the legal mumbo jumbo: affiliate links are used in this post, not because we’ve ever made any money off of affiliate links, but being ever optimistic, we plan to be the next Bill Gates of affiliate links.  Clicking on an affiliate link won’t harm you, and will certainly give our ego a boost, and may even add a few pennies to our bank account!

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Syrah VS A-line Yoga {Skirt VS Skirt}

The Syrah skirt and the Yoga A-line skirt face off in 5 rounds.

A fun comparison of two knit maxi skirts, the Syrah and Jocole's Yoga A-line

Now you may be saying; “Hold up, we ain’t in wit’ this.  In this here day and age, we know it be destructive to compare women’s bodies or skirts or whatev. We’s ALL beautiful.”  That’s definitely true.  However, just think of the Jocole’s Yoga A-line skirt and Baste + Gather’s Syrah skirt as friends who entered a Queen of the Beach contest purely for fun.  They’re competing against each other, but no matter who wins, they’re still going to get Starbucks together at 3:00 on Tuesdays and neither of them would even think of shopping for shoes without the other one.


Round 1: Pattern

Let’s talk about what these two patterns have in common first.  They both come only in PDF format.  They both love iced mocha lattes.  And both patterns use drawn illustrations rather than photographs for the instructions.

Now the differences.

Sizes: Yoga A-line skirt can be made in 7 different sizes from XS (0-2) to XXXL (24-26)

The Syrah can be made in 12 sizes from 00 – 20

Number of pattern pieces:  Yoga A-line Skirt has 2 pattern pieces and uses 11 pieces of paper.

Syrah skirt has 3 pattern pieces and uses 22 pieces of paper if you print all the sizes.  You can choose to print just your size and this may cut down on the amount of paper used.

Price: As of this date, the Syrah skirt costs $12.00 and the Yoga A-line skirt costs $10.

Also, Syrah loves sushi, and can’t understand why Yoga A-line doesn’t.

Round 2: Variations

The Syrah skirt has 8 style variations including the hemline, length and cut of the skirt.  Syrah wears flowers in her hair and loves the ocean.  The Yoga A-line skirt has 11 variations of length and cut.  Each skirt has 2 waistband options, but all 4 are different.  Yoga A-line likes small restaurants in big cities, and the smell of fresh ink.  The Syrah waistband can be ruched or flat, the Yoga A-line skirt waistband can be regular or foldover.  The Syrah skirt has a lining.  The Yoga A-line skirt has a matching girl pattern that can also be purchased.

Round 3: Sewing

This round is fairly short as each of these skirts only take about an hour to sew.  Each of these patterns uses a similar amount of fabric, and the same type of fabric, knit.  Both Syrah and Yoga A-line are into comfort; they argue over which of them is the most ‘chill’, but end up agreeing that they probably wouldn’t be ‘chill’ if they didn’t have each other as friends.

Round 4: Fit/Style

We’ve made each of these skirts several times (you can see them on our All The Skirts page) so we know about the fit.  The Syrah skirt has a lining, so can be made from lighter fabrics without needing to wear a slip underneath.  It fits loosely around the hips and flares nicely around the hem.  The Yoga A-line skirt hugs the hips and then tapers out to the hem.

And the winner is:

You!  If you choose to sew either one of these skirts, you are bound to be very happy, and most importantly, wearing a hand made skirt.  Now to Starbucks for drinks all around!

The Syrah skirt and the Yoga A-line skirt face off in 5 rounds.

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Pajama Pants (Sorry, no skirts today!)

Pajamas sewn by Skirt Fixation. All fabric and pattern sources listed.

Tis the season to make pajamas!  Last year I made pajama pants for (almost) all of my kids, and this year I decided to treat myself to some new pajamas.

Pajama set sewn by Skirt Fixation

When you are a 6 foot tall woman, pajama pants that fit just don’t exist unless you’re willing to put forth some large amounts of money or make them yourself.  The last (and only) pair I bought for myself more years ago than I can remember were so worn out that it finally came down to Mr. Skirt Fixation throwing them away.  Yeah, they were really that bad!  So this time I decided to sew some for myself.

I turned to one of my favorite pattern companies, Jocole.  You may remember when we sewed up all their skirt patterns for All The Skirts: Jocole & Urban Sew.  They don’t have a pajama pattern, but I was pretty sure their Ladies Basic Leggings pattern could be modified into exactly what I wanted.  I added a cuff to the bottom of the leggings and BAM!  instant pajama pants.   (It was super SUPER easy to do, and I’ve got a tutorial for how to add cuffs to the Basic Leggings pattern on the Jocole blog today.)

I did make one other modification to the Ladies Basic Leggings pattern.  The finished inseam (without the cuff) is 30 inches.  My inseam is 36 inches.  So I added 5 inches and the cuff, and these are actually long enough!  I’m so delighted I’m ready to whip up another 5000 pairs for myself!  This pattern comes in sizes XS to XXXL, so it’s pretty much going to work for anyone.  And with just one pattern piece, the prep work goes like lightening. I love the way the elastic waist is inserted, and as with all Jocole patterns we’ve sewn, the instructions are thorough and well illustrated.

Pajama Pants tutorial by Skirt Fixation

For a pajama shirt, I turned to one of my most comfortable shirt patterns, the Lane Raglan by Hey June Handmade.  I’ve made this pattern so many times it was fast and easy to whip out another shirt.  Here are 5 reasons why the Lane Raglan makes a perfect pajama shirt: 1-no itchy shoulder seams.  2-long sleeves for cold winter nights. 3-cuffs to keep the sleeves in place while you’re sleeping. 4-waistband keeps the shirt down while you’re sleeping. 5-perfect neckband, not too tight, not too loose, juuuuust right!  (I used the updated neckband this time, and the neckband came out perfectly!!)

Pajama set sewn by Skirt Fixation

For my pajama fabric, I turned to Craftsy.  Did you know that as well as offering classes and patterns (like our FREE Pegasus Skirt pattern) they also have crafting supplies?  When I saw this rayon knit ombre knit fabric, I just had to have it! Here’s the (affiliate) link, it’s called Midnight Ombre Floral Knit Fabric.  And it turned out perfectly for my new pajamas.

Pajama set sewn by Skirt Fixation

Since both these patterns were so easy and fast to construct and Aria has had a huge growth spurt, I decided to whip out another pajama set for her. Using the same patterns I made her some Ladies Basic Leggings (no cuff, and only 3 extra inches added to the inseam) and a Lane Raglan.  Her fabric was leftover from this skirt I made myself.  The black fabric on both our pajama sets came from Girl Charlee.

All PJs

These pajama sets were so quick and easy to make I think I will be making myself a few more pairs.  After all, why limit yourself to just one pair of pajamas when sewing them is this rewarding?  Sometimes you just need to pamper yourself.

Do you make (or buy) pajamas this time of year?  Please share your sources in the comments.

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Striped Pencil Skirt {Buy or DIY Skirt}

Buy or DIY skirt by Skirt Fixation. Learn how to make clothes cheaper!

Today we have another Buy or DIY post for you, which shows you solid evidence for making your own clothes! (Especially skirts- love them!)

Buy or DIY skirt by Skirt Fixation. Learn how to make clothes cheaper!


Skirt: Bergdorf Goodman ‘A.L.C. Marilyn Striped Knit Pencil Skirt’

Fabric Recommendation: Riley Blake Knit 1/2” Stripes Black Fabric

Pattern Recommendation: Jocole Ladies’ Knit Pencil Skirt


Bergdorf Goodman skirt: $130

Fabric needed: 1 yard at $13.48 per yard.

Pattern: $10.00

Total $: $23.48

Total Savings: $106.52

Buy or DIY Skirt Conclusion:

Ooh la la! You could make yourself a designer-looking skirt for a fraction of the price, and look like a style superstar!  What are you waiting for?

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Jocole Peplum Top Review

Jocole Peplum Top Review by Skirt Fixation

Jocole Peplum Top Review by Skirt FixationIn my last post, I mentioned the Summer Capsule Wardrobe.  This event is being hosted by Becca over at Free Notion.  The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is to have a small number of clothing items that you love and wear often.  No more closet stuffed full of clothing and feeling like you have nothing to wear.Jocole Peplum Top Review by Skirt FixationWith the help and guidance of Becca and the Summer Capsule Wardrobe sew along, I’ve finally found some patterns that I love and flatter me too!  You see, the secret to having only a few items of clothing is knowing what you like, and why.  This includes styles, fabrics, colors, and everything!Jocole Peplum Top Review by Skirt FixationThe first new pattern I tried out is the Jocole Peplum Top.  This flatters several body shapes including rectangle (me) and hourglass (Allegra) so it will be very useful and very much used!  Jocole Peplum Top Review by Skirt FixationBecca encouraged insisted we make muslins before using good fabric to sew our chosen patterns.  This makes sense and is in line with the theme of the capsule wardrobe; if you don’t like what you make, you won’t wear it.  So the purpose of a muslin, or several muslins is to check the fit with inexpensive fabric before you use the good stuff.  Jocole Peplum Top Review by Skirt FixationI grumbled about making a muslin!  I’ll admit it!  I just don’t like to sew something I’m not going to wear, and a muslin has a high possibility of not being worn, right?  I prefer to measure carefully and get it close enough.  But there are things I’ve made that I don’t wear, so I just gritted my teeth and made a muslin.  After measuring carefully!  And my muslin actually turned out wearable!  There were only a few changed I made from this one to the final versions.  Jocole Peplum Top Review by Skirt FixationI lengthened the waist of the Jocole Peplum Top a little bit more from the 3 inches I added for my muslin.  On the muslin, I used wide FOE for the neckline, (which is not called for in the instructions) and on the final version, I used narrow FOE.  I also widened the shoulders by grading out to an XL at the shoulders and back to a M by the underarms.  Because I’m not only tall, my shoulders are very wide.  Jocole Peplum Top Review by Skirt FixationIn the end, I was very glad I made the muslin, and only partly because I had another wearable garment!  The source of the muslin knit fabric was a dress I refashioned.  I also used some of it here.  And the knit for the final garment came from Girl Charlee.Jocole Peplum Top Review by Skirt Fixation I actually made a third Jocole Peplum Top…but it’s part of a whole outfit, so you’ll have to wait for another day to see it!  I plan to use the Jocole Peplum Top as part of my summer capsule wardrobe.  In these photos I’ve paired it with my Jocole Knit Pencil Skirt.  Even though the colors don’t scream summer, the knit is very lightweight, and I will be wearing it often in summer!

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Handmade Gifts say I Love You!

handmade gift

As seamstresses, we have the ability to give some really awesome gifts!  Recently, we gave some handmade gifts for some dear friends, and made a little something for ourselves too!  There’s nothing quite like saying I love you with a handmade gift.

handmade giftA friend was having a birthday, and so we made her a bag.  We used the free Arabesque bag pattern from Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness.   It was really simple to sew with great directions.  The main fabric is a checked silk fabric from the stash.

handmade giftThe interior fabric we also pulled from the stash, a black floral fabric that reminded us of our friend.

handmade giftIn this photo, you can see a black pleather bottom of the bag.  I got the idea to add it after the bag was already made, but it sort of skewed the whole thing, so I took it off.  Next time I’ll add the pleather before sewing the bag!  Our friend loves it and felt very loved when we gave her this handmade birthday gift!

handmade giftWe also sewed up another Uptown Downtown dress by Sew Straight and Gather as a gift for a cousin.  (This is the second time we’ve gifted a dress from this pattern!)  This dress is the perfect gift because it has classy lines but is made from super comfortable knit fabric.  (This is our favorite knit fabric ever as evidenced by how many colors we’ve sewn up: purple, blue, orange, grayteal, and now pink!)

handmade giftWe made this one with elbow length sleeves and maxi length with the silver waistband and silver FOE.

handmade giftRecently, we made our favorite Jocole skirt and gave it as a gift.  When Grandma flew in for a visit, her luggage was lost for a day, and so of course we whipped up a Jocole Yoga A-line Maxi skirt for her to wear!  We got this fabric in a Girl Charlee Bargain lot, and used it on Annie’s Asymmetrical Jacket.  I’m not sure who was more thrilled with the matching clothing, Annie or her Grandma!!  This is the 7th time we’ve sewn this skirt pattern, and we’re not planning on stopping anytime soon…

Thread SpoolsFor ourselves, we made the DIY Mix ‘Em Up Animal Spools.  Now we do a lot of sewing, and go through a lot of thread!  As soon as I saw this DIY project over on Handmade Charlotte, I started saving my empty thread spools.  Pretty soon I had enough to make a whole family of thread animals!

handmade giftIf you don’t sew, or don’t want to wait that long, you can purchase these similar wooden spools on Amazon: Darice 9146-58 Big Value Unfinished Wood Natural Cutout, Spool

handmade giftWe shrunk the free animal templates down to fit the smallest spools, and only used one on the really skinny spools.

handmade giftIt gives the whole crowd individual character, don’t you think?

handmade giftWe all played with these little cuties for quite a while!  And we are sure to pull them out for the youngest to play with when we have some sewing we want to get done!  What do you like to give for handmade gifts?  What handmade gifts have you received recently?