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Uptown Downtown Maxi Dress {Project Sew It}

Project Sew It sewn by Skirt Fixation. Love the coordinating binding!

If you thought I was late for the last Project Sew It post I did, just wait until you read about today’s project!

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There’s something inspirational going on this year.  Celina of Petit a Petit and Family created Project Sew It.  You can read all about it here, but the basic premise is to sew one thing every month.  I’m putting my own twist on it by sewing one thing for each of my nieces and nephews for their birthdays this year.  It won’t end up being once per month, and sometimes it’ll be more than once per month, but it’s my goal!  I sew so much for my kids, that I want to share the sewing love.

Project Sew It sewn by Skirt Fixation

This sweet niece of mine had a birthday in June.  Yes, June!  But I finally got around to sewing her project in September.  Since I was so late, I give her quite a bit of freedom in choosing the dress and the fabric!  Last winter I made her an Uptown Downtown maxi dress that she loved but outgrew pretty fast.  So naturally she requested another one.

Project Sew It sewn by Skirt Fixation

I sent her a link to all the Art Gallery Fabrics knit fabric on the Hawthorne Threads website and told her to choose.  (Actually, that was pretty mean as I don’t think  I would have been able to narrow it down to just one!)  She chose Pirot Evoked Knit in Silver which makes an absolutely adorable Uptown Downton maxi dress.

Project Sew It sewn by Skirt Fixation

Since I was so late in making her gift, and since cooler temperatures have arrived, I made her an Aster Cardigan to go with the dress.  I even used matching fabric from the dress as the neck binding inside the cardigan.  I used sweatshirt fleece for this Aster Cardigan which makes a lovely cropped sweater.  Unfortunately, even though I went up a size from the Uptown Downtown dress, the cardigan was too small for my niece!  I’m pretty sure it’s because the sweatshirt fleece doesn’t have much stretch.

Project Sew It sewn by Skirt Fixation

She’s such a sweetie, she sent both the dress I made her last year and this Aster Cardigan back to us so Annie can wear them!  So I owe her a new cardigan, that fits to go with her dress.  I think if I use French Terry, it will work out perfectly.

Project Sew It sewn by Skirt Fixation

My sister sent me some modeled shots of my niece wearing her dress.  I love how she styled it with a scarf and vest.  She definitely gets her good taste from her mom.

Project Sew It sewn by Skirt Fixation

Now I think I’ve only got a couple more things to sew for Project Sew It.  Hopefully I will be a little more prompt…although I know I’m already late for my newest nieces’s birthday!

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Forest Floor Adventure

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Stepping into the forest, on and off the path, in the dappled lighting we discovered quite an adventure.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

A deer bounded across the path and paused to stare at us with it’s great doe eyes.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Four squirrels nibbled corn a forbidden arms length away.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Something mysterious swam just beneath the water,  surfaced with a splash and dove down again before we came to a decision as to it’s nature.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Creatures rustled through the branches overhead as bird song lightened our steps.

forest floor 2 forest floor 1

The Forest Floor line of fabrics inspired my sewing creations like no other fabric has done for a while!  There are 20 fabrics in Bonnie Christine’s new Forest Floor line of fabric, and I used 7 of them in my creations.  I probably would have used even more if I could have gotten my hands on them!

Inspired by her experience of living in the forest, Bonnie creates a whimsical world where dreams of a magical place come to life.  Forest Floor hopes to ignite the exploration of forest curiosities, and take you on an adventure filled with green and oak flora and delicate berry tinted fauna that inhabits the wondrous depths of the mountains.

Explore the collection deeper: the collection | the lookbook | on instagram | about the collection 

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Today is our stop on the Forest Floor Fabrics blog tour.   The previous stop was at My Crowded Nest with a darling hexi quilt.  (Hello quilting goals!)  Tomorrow the ladies from Sweetwater Cotton Shoppe will share their creations made with Forest Floor Fabrics.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

We started with Flourish Aglow fabric in knit and made an Uptown Downtown maxi dress for Annie.  The combination of fabric and pattern caused Annie to positively float through our forest adventure.  This is the 4th Uptown Downtown dress I’ve made for Annie.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

It’s not only that they are simply darling on her, it’s that they must be amazingly comfortable because she wears them constantly.  This pattern has been updated, but since I had Annie’s size already cut out (she just needed extra length from the last time) I used the pattern I already had prepared.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

When Baby is finished nursing, I totally plan to make myself an Uptown Downtown dress from Art Gallery Fabrics.  It is the softest, most floaty knit ever!

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

I also made Annie a backpack from Wild Posy Flora fabric and the FREE pattern from Sew Much Ado.   Later this week we’ll have a detailed post about the backpacks we made so this post doesn’t become epic in length.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

After Annie’s dress was completed, I sewed some button up shirts for my two youngest boys.  When I first saw (and fell in love with) the Forest Floor Fabrics, it struck me that there are several fabrics in this line suitable for boys wear.  Which always excites me.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

David’s shirt is made from Timber Nightfall fabric.  The pattern is the Sis Boom Ethan Shirt, my favorite button up shirt for boys.  He is wearing his Classic Chinos with this shirt.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Baby’s shirt is also from the Ethan Shirt pattern, and it’s made from Luna Rising Shadow fabric.  This is probably my favorite piece of everything I made!  It could be the way the fabric makes his eyes pop!

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Baby also got a new backpack.  I used Sew Much Ado’s FREE bunny backpack pattern.  On a cuteness scale of 1 to 10, this little backpack is definitely off the charts!  The main part of the backpack uses Capped Dim fabric and the straps are from Maple Mill Fog fabric.  More details later this week.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Since David has a tractor backpack and also a Star Wars backpack he didn’t receive a new one this time.  But he did get to use 2 of the animal pouches I made by hacking the Forest Friends Pocket pattern from Violette Field Threads.  Tutorial tomorrow.  This is where I used all the remaining scraps not used in the clothing.  The deer face is from Laced Moss fabric,  the only fabric not seen elsewhere so far.

http://violettefieldthreads.com/products/preorder-forest-friends-pocket-set

All photography credits go to my oldest daughter, Allegra.  Stunning as usual and captures the mood perfectly!

Many thanks to Bonnie Christine for creating another fabulous line of fabric.  To see the rest of the creations on the Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour, visit this page on Going Home To Roost daily.

Affiliate links are used in this post.  We might make a few pennies, but not if past performance is any indicator!  Oh well, we remain ever optimistic…

 

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Women’s Uptown Downtown Dress Review

Uptown Downtown dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Uptown Downtown dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

The Uptown Downtown Dress by Sew Straight and Gather is one of our favorite patterns for girls.  So when it was released for women, we snapped it right up.  All of us want one, but Aria was the lucky first recipient.

Uptown Downtown dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

This fabric came from JoAnn Fabrics, it’s Sew Classic Knits Solid Interlock  (affiliate link) in navy.  It only has 2 way stretch, so I sized up a little from Aria’s regular measurements to compensate for the less amount of stretch.

Uptown Downtown dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Aria says she’s not usually a dress person (Go Skirts!) but she really really loves this dress.  One of the selling features for her are the pockets.

Uptown Downtown dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

For Aria’s dress, we went with slightly below the knee length, elbow sleeves and classic neckline.  We decided not to add the bodice lining as this knit is thick and not see through at all. This dress is one of those basic wardrobe pieces that can be dressed up or down as needed.  And as far as comfort goes, it can’t be beat!

Uptown Downtown dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

The women’s Uptown Downtown can be made in 5 sizes from XS to 3XL.  There are lots and lots of different options for the sleeves, neckline and length.  There are lots of tips for sewing with knit fabrics.  So many in fact that this pattern could even be used by a beginner to sewing with knit fabric.  There are also several different ways to finish the neckline which is helpful if you have a favorite finish or one method works better than another for you.

Uptown Downtown dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Although the instructions aren’t included for the waistband option, you could probably use the instructions from the girl’s Uptown Downtown pattern to make the waistband like we did here.

Uptown Downtown dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

This dress is available for purchase here.  No affiliate link, just a pattern we’ve made many times and love.  It’s going to stay on our new Pinterest board 2016 Sewing Plans because Allegra and I have plans!

Uptown Downtown dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

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A Monet Inspired Dress

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Today we offer you beauty.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationSpring births beauty.  And we needed a little beauty.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationSometimes life is harsh and cold, like winter. But spring always comes, and hurts are forgiven and forgotten.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationNew life, new hope, new beauty.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationSpring.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationThis dress was inspired by the Top Stitcher’s Art Gallery prompt.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationWe already entered our Senna Tote in the sew along for the Pioneer prompt, but we just HAD to participate in this one too! Here’s the prompt.

Who is your favorite artist? What do you love most about their work? Their vibrant use of colors? Their use of repeating patterns and geometrics? Their soft flowy painting techniques? Their subject matter? Their mood?
Let their overall style, or a specific piece of work from their portfolio, inspire a modern-day head-to-toe ensemble.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationIf you’ve been around Skirt Fixation, you know art is something we love and imitate often. In fact, we have a whole series devoted to Skirt Art. That’s where we choose a piece of art with a skirt in it and replicate it using a skirt and photography.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationFor the Art Gallery sew along, we chose Monet.

monetCollageMonet used the color blue often in his paintings. And he loved to paint gardens and flowers en masse. He was one of the Impressionist painters, so we need soft and flowy in our entry.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationNaturally we turned to one of our favorite dress patterns, the Uptown Downtown dress. Annie’s feather dress won’t last through summer, so a summer dress was in order.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationThe first time we made the Uptown Downtown dress, I had fabric like this in mind, but Allegra overruled. And I’m glad she did! Her choices were perfect for winter. But spring has come, and it was time for beauty.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationThe only change we made to the dress was using fold over elastic on the neckline, sleeves and hem. There was a dual purpose in this; both for aesthetics and because the floral knit fabric from JoAnn’s was so tissue thin it was very difficult to hem.  We used this fabric first on a Lane Raglan.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationAnd we love the finished look.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationWe discovered this wooded glade carpeted with bluebells and felt we’d stepped into a Monet painting.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationIt was quiet and there was a stream. But most of all the bluebells reigned supreme.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationAnnie stood knee deep in bluebells and declared this was fairy land.

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationWhat do you think? Would Monet approve?

Monet-inspired dress sewn by Skirt FixationWhat beauty has spring gifted you?

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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?

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An Over The Top Outfit

Over The Top Outfit by Skirt Fixation

When you sew, sometimes you can afford to go all out!  (Especially when you refashion and have a large fabric stash.)

Over The Top Outfit by Skirt Fixation

This is our interpretation of the Over The Top: Holiday Challenge from Pattern Revolution.  It all started with an Uptown/Downtown Dress we made.  Annie’s cousin saw and loved Annie’s Uptown/Downtown Dresses, so we decided to make one for the cousin and asked her favorite color (red) and something she liked (hearts) as well as preferences on pockets, sleeve and dress length, and neckline options.  Armed with that information we whipped out another Uptown/Downtown Dress.  All was going along just fine until we had Annie try the dress on for size/fit.  (The cousin being about the same size.)  Annie L.O.V.E.D. the dress and disconsolately insisted it was for her!  To appease her, I promised I’d make her something lavish.

Over The Top Outfit by Skirt Fixation

While this Uptown/Downtown Dress is a very fancy version of the pattern, it is made of knit fabric, and Annie simply lives in one of her 2 dresses, they are so very comfortable.  The little black dots on the knit fabric are velvet, so that marries beautifully with the crushed velvet side of the cape and muff.  (That lovely, dotted knit is from JoAnn Fabrics.)

HeartPockets

You may think we forgot about the request for hearts, but never fear, the pocket fabric is here!

Over The Top Outfit by Skirt Fixation

To fulfill Annie’s request, we decided to make her a reversible cape, hat and reversible muff.  After all, every six year old needs a faux fur and velvet cape, hat and muff combo with a little lace and ribbon thrown in, amiright?  The faux fur for the hat and one side of the cape and muff was in our stash, and the crushed velvet skirt was in our refashion pile.  Although Aria did pull it out for a costume post last year.

Over The Top Outfit by Skirt Fixation

An Over The Top outfit needs a hat, don’t you think?  (Pun intended, of course!)  Do you recognize the hat?  It is the same pattern we used for Annie’s refashioned leather jacket last year.  She outgrew the leather jacket, so it was time for another luxurious covering!

Over The Top Outfit by Skirt Fixation

The muff I made lightly using the tutorial from The Sewing Rabbit.  Except I made Annie’s reversible.  Allegra added the embellishments to the muff and hat, and I think they are just perfectly over the top!

Over The Top Outfit by Skirt Fixation

To make the cape reversible, I started with this vintage Little Vogue cape pattern, (from my stash, of course!) but changed the shape of it a little to work with the constraints of the size of the crushed velvet skirt.  I used the first three tiers of the skirt for the cape, and managed to eek the collar and muff from the remaining tier.  I had already used some of that last tier for the waistband of the Uptown/Downtown Dress.  I just sandwiched a satin ribbon between the two layers to make a tie front closure, but after seeing Annie wear it (for the last 12 hours both in and out of the house!) I will go back and add another tie closer to the neckline.  This tie feature makes the cape reversible, the collar just flips to either side.  I also eliminated the buttons under the arms to make it more easily reversible.

Over The Top Outfit by Skirt Fixation

Before we mailed the dress off to the cousin, we took some photos of the entire ensemble.  Everything coordinates perfectly because the waistband on the dress and one side of the dress and muff all come from the same crushed velvet skirt.

Over The Top Outfit by Skirt Fixation

Of course Annie had to wear high heels for modeling this outfit.  That makes it all the more close to an Over The Top outfit, right?

Over The Top Outfit by Skirt Fixation

Allegra, Aria, Annie and I are all debating which combination of the outfit we love the best.  There are so many different combination possibilities due to the reversible nature of both the cape and muff.

Over The Top Outfit sewn by Skirt Fixation

Annie pretended to be a Russian czarina for the photo shoot.  Due in equal parts to the temperature outside, the shape of the hat, and the extreme opulence of the outfit!  What do you think, it is Over The Top?  (And if you think this is Over The Top, go over to Pattern Revolution and see the others!)

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Uptown Downtown Dress Blog Tour

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

 

Dresses sewn by Skirt Fixation

We are delighted to be part of Sew Straight & Gather’s Uptown/Downtown Dress blog tour.  Terri was one of our Challenge Create: Fabric Swap Edition contestants.  The Uptown/Downtown Dress with the free Expansion pack can be described in one word: perfection!  When we saw Terri unfolding the free expansion pack day by day, we commented on how her daughter must be the most well dressed kid on the block!  In the country!

 

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

We loved the expansion pack options so much that we didn’t know where to start when we bought our Uptown Downtown Dress, and finally narrowed it down to two dresses.  We just had to make an Uptown and a Downtown dress!

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

After I bought the pattern, I went shopping for knit and had a flowered Monet’s garden look in mind with black sleeves and waistband.  But I couldn’t find the right floral, and called Allegra over for help.  She immediately zoomed in on this sparkly slate blue knit and suggested the shiny grey accents.  I wasn’t sure, but she reassured me several times that this is what we needed!  I trusted her and, once again, I’m glad I did!

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Once we were back home, I showed Allegra a stretchy polyester fabric I’d picked up at JoAnns on a previous trip, and it matched the slate blue knit perfectly!  I told her I was thinking about sewing up and Uptown and Downtown version of the dress, and did she think I was crazy?  She insisted that was the right thing to do, so the second dress was born!  But taking them one at a time…

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

The slate blue Uptown/Downtown Dress is Annie’s favorite!  She says she feels like a princess, and she looks like a medieval lady!  The extensions we chose for this one are: cutting it up, long sleeves, pockets, and maxi length.  We’re calling this one our Uptown Dress!  Fancy enough for any uptown event.

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

I followed Terri’s directions almost exactly except for two things; I widened the waistband to incorporate the full width of the shiny chevron on the grey fabric, and I used fold over elastic for the neckline, and it worked perfectly!  (Much better than the first time I used FOE!)  I happened to have the perfect shiny grey FOE in my stash!

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

I’d bought the fold over elastic to go with this fabric, but then ended up making that into a skirt!  Now I’m really glad I’d saved it for this dress…it’s the little details that make it so perfectly Uptown!

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt FixationI also chose to add some double needle topstitching to the waistband to accent that silver even more.

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Allegra insisted on taking Annie to somewhere special for photographing this dress, and found a place with castle-like vibes to complement the medieval flair of the dress.

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

There was even a spiral staircase to explore.

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

It led to a turret!

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Like we said earlier, this dress is just perfect!  And twirl…oh my!

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

The second dress has a more modern feel to it, with the shorter length and the cowl.  We’re calling this one our Downtown Dress.  Modern, hip, get the job done, in style!

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Even with the shorter length, the cowl makes this one perfect for winter.

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

The extensions we chose for this dress are: the cowl, long sleeves and pockets.

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

The slate blue knit combined with those fall feather colors make this one special dress.

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Although Annie was not with us on the fabric buying trip, Allegra assured me this blue would make her eyes pop, and she was right…it’s the exact same color!

Uptown Downtown Dress sewn by Skirt Fixation

Let us just say, these are the first 2 dresses we’ve sewn using the Uptown Downtown Dress pattern by Sew Straight & Gather.  There will be many more!  And this dress pattern is perfect for gift giving too, so you’ll need one in order to complete your holiday!  Right now is the time to grab this or the Etage dress pattern (you can see the one we sewed up here…another twirl party!)  because during the Uptown Downtown Dress tour, you can use the coupon UPTOWNEXPANSION25 to buy the dress at a discount of 25% off!  And be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway because there’s a winner every day!  Visit the Sew Straight & Gather shop right now…  If you want to see some more really, really cute dresses, go over to Sew Straight & Gather and follow the tour!

a Rafflecopter giveaway