nobis opus splendeat: we need more glitter

Posts tagged ‘skirt’


Remember my post about my “day at the zoo skirt”? Well then I found this on Zazzle!

Can you imagine?

Oh yeah, I can see it now 😀

the “day at the zoo” skirt and hairband

This skirt took a lot longer than I thought it was going to. It was originally my “girls day skirt”, then it was my “canada day skirt”, and when it still wasn’t finished, it became my “day at the zoo skirt”. Here is a picture of me sitting on an elephant seat at the Calgary Zoo right by the elephant enclosure. (you can see the seating for the elephant area behind me!)

Here’s a closer-up view of the hairband… it’s probably the comfiest one that I’ve ever owned! This time it’s me and G in front of the flamingos! (I know you can’t see them, but they’re there!!!)

So here’s the low down. I used some more of those beautiful Patty Young knits, which I pre-washed and machine dried on HIGH to get them to shrink as much as possible. I found that all of my Patty Young knits shrank quite a bit, but overall quite evenly. I layed the fabric out folded selvage to selvage (like it comes off a bolt) and then folded it over one more time again. I cut the entire thing into 12″ sections (I think it was 42″ or 45″ wide) and since I ordered it from, there were a few inches left over at the end (which I set aside for the hairband). I divided the fabric up and stared at it quite a few times, but eventually I ended up with 3 tiers:

I gathered each tier at the top and attached it to the tier above it to make a nice ruffle, hemmed the very bottom edge, and put in an elastic casing and wide waistband elastic.

For the hairband I just took the left over strip and divided it in half and sewed the right sides together.  I figured out how long I wanted the flat part (to behind my ears) and ruched the rest of it with an elastic to hold it around the back of my head.

So in summary, things that went well:

  • I ❤ Patty Young knits, they’re so soft, but they don’t stretch all out of shape.
  • I remembered to pre-shink my material BEFORE I started cutting!
  • I love ruffly skirts and the way that they twirl!
  • It was nice and cool on the hottest day of the year so far!
  • I got the stretch in the right direction!

Things I would do differently next time:

  • I didn’t pay close enough attention to where the seams were when I attached the tiers, but there are a lot of seams as you get closer to the bottom, so I don’t know that I could have done any better.
  • I should have made the elastic tighter, I always forget to take into account the weight of the skirt.  One good tug from a 2 year old and it might have been around my knees!!
  • When working on the bottom tier I broke my last stretch needle and resorted to a normal one.  This made the thread catch when I tried to gather the basted thread to make the ruffles.  I broke that thread and had to re-baste it, that’s why it didn’t make it for Canada Day.
  • When I ruched the hairband, I used a zigzag stitch, but it still lost some of its elastic-y-ness.  Am I doing something wrong? I can never get elastic-y stuff to stay elastic-y after I’ve stitched it!!!

vacation sewing!

One of the coolest things about blogging and reading other people’s blogs is the moment you realize that there are a lot of people out there that are just as crazy as you are. And today, the crazy I’m referring to insatiable need to complete last minute sewing for a trip or event, sometimes as close as minutes before leaving the house. Last year I made a soft case for my camera and all of my camera parts while we were waiting for the taxi to arrive. This year my vacation sewing included:

  • a hat (see the “welding hat” post)
  • a wrap skirt
  • two zippered cases for cosmetics and hair clips
  • a neck pillow for the plane

So let’s start at the top… the hat.  You’ve already seen it, but here are some “action shots”!  We went to an area of Bavaro Beach near Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for 7 days.


me, my hubby, a coconut, and my hat at the beach near Punta Cana

It was THE BEST! It blocked all sun, kept me cool, and I even wore in the ocean and while snorkeling to keep the sun off of my white, white head. AND, it’s really like 2 hats because it’s fully reversible, which is da bomb when you’re traveling! (I couldn’t find any pics of me wearing it the other way, but I did!)

Next, a wrap skirt. This one was the weekend before I left. My sewing buddy watched in amazement while I just started hacking and sewing. It was roughly something like this:

*I’ll put a diagram in here when I get home today*

I have one picture of it waiting to be packed, but it kinda sucks, so here are some “action shots”!

me, my hubby, and my FIL waiting to be picked up by a bus out front of the hotel

on the tour

So overall, the skirt was a smashing success! It was just long enough, just wide enough, the ties were just long enough… but if I was to do it again I would make some loops to string the tie back through… I might still add them to this skirt. The material was perfect, it’s by Trans Pacific Textiles, carried at Hawthorne Threads, HERE!

Next, as I was throwing everything down the stairs in a pile to shove in my suitcase, I notices that I needed something to contain all of the little things… hair elastics, barrettes, pills, and everything else that a girl totes around with her on vacation. I made 2 of them, matching, one half the size of the other, using a Kokka light canvas, lined with a muslin, and purple zippers from Zipit, my favorite Etsy zipper store!

Sorry, pouches don’t really lend themselves to “action”!

And lastly, but not least… ly? A neck pillow. This one I totally winged at 8pm the night before we were to get up at 2am to go to the airport. I was cleaning up my sewing stuff and I saw the minky cuddle fabric stacked up on my table and it just came to me. I looked through all of my books for a pattern, but the closest I could find was a baby feeding pillow which was way to big. So I folded the end of the fabric into 4 (to make 2 pieces that were each symmetrical) and just started cutting. I sewed the right sides together and hand sewed the gap closed after stuffing. The result was the snuggliest and softest pillow EVER (not to mention cutest!), and everyone around me on the plane was jealous.

the snuggliest, softest, cutest travel pillow EVAR!

And when I got *REALLY SICK* on my vacation and spent an entire day just laying on the deck of my room trying not to die, it was a huge comfort. I didn’t have any of my sicky-pyjamas or my blankets to cuddle up under, but I did have a super-soft hug of a pillow!

a super-soft hug of a travel pillow

and even more exciting is the fact that I just ordered a couple of days ago the matching silky satin for pyjama pants 😀

So anyways, that’s the story of my vacation sewing. See ya later!

what i was working on this weekend…

I had no idea it was going to take nearly this long, but I’m quite pleased with the results so far…

This is only half the colors, red, orange, yellow, then green, blue, purple. The periodic tucks look precisely how I wanted them to, but it’s taking for freaking ever. Now I have to attached each pair of colored rows to the next color… But that’s another day.

pretty… but sooooo sloooow…

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