Thursday, December 19, 2013

DIY Gifts for Girls: Reversible Circle Skirt

I have a problem...a serious problem. I have grand plans in my head every year for all the sewing gifts I will complete. Lists and ideas begin in my head somewhere around September and then come December I find myself knee deep in another project. This year is no different. First came Thanksgiving and the idea of redoing my entire dining room, including the sewing of 6 slip covers, all in a week prior to family arriving. Now, here it is two weeks from Christmas and what am I doing? Painting my kitchen cabinets, of course! When will I learn? Really, when will I learn? But the good news is, my cabinets are looking AMAZING (can't wait to show you the makeover) and I have some quick and easy gift ideas to share in case you find yourself in my shoes and need fast, cute, and easy gifts to whip up this Christmas.

Have any little girls in your life you would like to sew for? I would recommend the incredibly fast and adorable circle skirt. I made my 8 year old and 3 year old nieces a couple skirts recently and they are hit with both ages. I mean, are you ever to old to twirl in a pretty skirt? I say fact, I may have to whip up a circle skirt for myself this spring as well. I will let you know if twirling at age 35 is in fact, still fun :)

There is always the classic circle skirt with all its twirling glory- and a wonderful tutorial can be found over at MADE. These are quick and easy to whip up, but if you have just a little more time on your hands, I would like to suggest checking out this adorable reversible circle skirt tutorial by Cherie of You & Mie over a This Heart Of Mine.

For my skirt, I used two inexpensive fabrics from the clearance section at Walmart as well as some orange double fold bias tape. The end result is two skirts in one and did I mention...hours and hours of twirling :)

Hop on over and check out these wonderful tutorials. This is great for BEGINNERS- and so fast and easy. I have another gift idea for friends or teachers up next- til then, I will be painting away :)


Friday, December 13, 2013

A Little Blue Maggie Mae

I have a weakness for little Maggie Mae's. This pattern is just so cute. I have made several before and don't see myself stopping anytime soon. One of my favorites was the one I made with an old pillowcase for a sweet little girl named Ella. 

I so hope I can find another pillowcase like this one again some day. I just love how it turned out. But the blue Maggie Mae I just created for another little cutie named Elise may be up there with my favorite. 

 This tunic was created with a thin corduroy from Joann Fabrics, a navy blue Kona cotton, hot pink piping and some Riley Blake neon cotton that I won from Project Sewn

I love the pops of pink in this top. You can find it in the lining of the pockets and the bodice as well on one of the back buttons and piping. 

The thin corduroy worked lovely on this top but if I am being honest...the piping, while cute, made the top a little stiffer than I would have liked around the bottom. 

I hope the little blonde darling who received the top is getting some good use out of it. 


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DIY Chevron Maxi Tutorial

                             Skirt: DIY, Navy Sweater: DIY, Gold belt: thrifted, Yellow Scarf: DIY

Whew...that was quite a blogging break I took! I was never planning on being away but the last few weeks have been extremely busy with decorating, sewing, hosting holidays, traveling, etc. I have several projects to blog about, but haven't found the time to edit photos and posts. Hopefully I can get a few up before my next major task- painting the kitchen cabinets!!!!

A couple months ago, I set out to make my friend Melissa a chevron maxi skirt in the hopes of recreating this pinterest look:

For my friend's skirt, I stuck with the black and white look, but for mine, I went with navy. I tend to wear navy a lot more often and thought I would be able to get more use out of it. To start I ordered 4 yards of each (black and navy) fabric from I can no longer find the blue, but here is a link to the black. Both fabrics were a cotton spandex knit. They had a light and beautiful drape and are very soft, however they are a bit sheer and require a slip underneath. 


1. Begin by gathering the measurements need to create a pattern following Mad Mim's wonderful tutorial. The only difference I made to the a-line pattern was adding a few more inches at the bottom to create more of a flare. 

2. Draw your pattern onto freezer paper and cut it out. Lay your fabric out flat, with no folds. Lay your pattern onto your fabric diagonally to create one panel for your chevron skirt. (You will cut 4 total panels. 2 for the front and 2 for the back). I laid mine down to have the chevron point going down in the center and up at the side. The straight line side of the pattern is the center seam and you can see the stripe will be diagonal on the panel and will point down in the center where the panels will be sewn together.  To get the most out of your fabric, after cutting this panel, move the fabric over and cut another panel that is identical to this one. (One of these will be used in the front and one in the back).

2. Next, turn your cut panel piece over and use it to line up the diagonal stripe on the other side of the front piece. You will want to lay it flat on top of the fabric (right sides together), lining up the stripes. Make sure your straight line (the center seam) is still going to have the stripe pointing down. Then pin, pin, and pin some more. Make sure your lines are staying straight and then cut out your 2nd panel piece. Do the same for the back. After cutting you should have 4 panels.

3. Next, sew your 2 front panels together on the straight center seam line. To get your stripes to line up and not shift, use steam a seam prior to stitching.

 Remove a piece of steam a seam a lay it down the length of one center seam line. (Lay the steam a seam on the RIGHT side of the fabric.) Then peel back the tape and lay your other skirt panel on top (Right sides together) making sure you are lining up your stripes. Once everything looks good, iron the steam a seam to create a permanent bond. After it cools, stitch a straight stitch with your machine, making sure your stitching line is further in than your steam a seam so that none of the steam a seam shows once your skirt piece is opened right side out. (Make sure you use a needle appropriate for sewing on knit fabric and adjust your tension as needed).

4. Repeat step 3 for the back 2 panels. Then, stitch the front and back panels together at the side seams. Use your steam a seam on these seams as well to make sure your lines meet up correctly and stay that way prior to stitching. Finally, create the waistband and hem using Mad Mim's tutorial. On my skirts, I only used one straight stitch on my hemline, instead of using a double needle. Because I tend to flare my skirts more, there is plenty of room to walk without it pulling the hem which would break the thread.

5. Then find a stunning little model to pose with and rock your new chevron maxi skirt: