Take Two for 2022: One last skirt


  • Juniper Skirt by Mood Fabrics
  • McCalls 6402

Okay, I know it’s already 2023, but I did happen to finish my last skirt just under the wire on December 31st, so I’m counting this as part of 2022.

This is the story of a fabric that I just couldn’t tame and multiple bad pattern choices. We start back earlier this year when I scored this rather unusual looking fabric with a designed I just loved. I knew I had to make a skirt out of it, but I just couldn’t quite figure out the style that would work for it. The fabric felt a bit stiff, until I washed it and realized it had more of a flowy quality than I first realized. To this day I have no idea what this fabric is – I bought it at a discount off a remnant table. I’m thinking it’s probably a type of polyester. I would never have predicted how hard it would be to sew with. Despite the fabric being somewhat thin, it was still difficult to get a needle through. I opted for a microtex needle in my machine, which worked well enough.

When I first saw the Juniper Skirt pattern from Mood Fabrics, I thought I had found the perfect match. I just needed to get some lining, but what do you use for lining when you have no idea what the main fabric even is? I decided on some black rayon twill that I could easily order online. I figured it was also synthetic material, so shrinking wouldn’t be an issue. All in all this seems to be the only correct choice I made as this did make a good lining which gave the skirt the right amount of structure. This was the first time using a free pattern from Mood Fabrics – they seem to make a lot of good ones and I had been curious to try one of them out. The directions on the website seemed easy enough to follow with detailed photos, however there were a few times I felt lost or that the directions were not complete. Where I think I went wrong is when I had to sandwich the overskirt between the front and back panels. I thought I had figured it all out, but somehow the skirt just didn’t line up right and to this day I’m not even sure why it’s off. I just know I’m unable to wear it as it is just crooked. It was one of my most disappointing moments in sewing history as I thought the style with the front flap seemed to fit with what I had pictured for this skirt. I was so baffled as to where it all went wrong, that I opted not to try again even though I had enough fabric for a second skirt. I was afraid it was the fault of the pattern and I would just end up wasting more fabric.

The overskirt section does not line up right when this skirt is on and I couldn’t figure out a way to fix it where it would fit properly.

The one thing I liked about this pattern was there was no hem – the lining was cut a little shorter than the actual skirt and then you sew the lining to the bottom of the skirt. When the lining is lifted towards the waistband, the main skirt gets folded over, which creates a clean finish with no hemming required. I liked this look so much I decided that whatever pattern I chose for my next attempt, would use this method instead of a traditional hem.

I didn’t want to give up on this skirt, so I was on the lookout for another pattern. One with maybe a similar style. I found the McCalls pattern in my stash and thought it had potential. I had wanted to make view E as I thought that front drape would look similar to what I had in mind for this fabric. However the more I looked into it, I could not figure out a way to line the skirt with that pattern. It would take skills I do not have in order to hack it to create the hemline I wanted. So then I looked at view A. This version was lined and so I could attempt my lining trick with the hem. And I figured that maybe the diagonal panel design might actually look cool with this geometric type design. For some reason I had some trouble understanding this pattern as well and the pieces didn’t really line up the way I think they should have. The results were…well the only good think I can say about the skirt is that it fits me. It tends to bunch up a bit when I move, so I’m not sure it will work as a wearable skirt. At least not one that I will want to wear often. I did end up getting the hem I wanted with this, however I do wonder if my changes to the pattern is another reason why this skirt doesn’t fall correctly. On a good note, it is one of the only skirts I’ve made where the waist is the right size and tapers in appropriately, so maybe I am getting better at something from this exercise.

In conclusion, my second skirt ended up being better, but I still didn’t get what I wanted out of this fabric. And I’m not sure if the problem lay with the fabric, which I admit was more difficult to work with than I first thought, or the patterns themselves. The confusion I had is probably on me – my lack of experience with sewing may be a main factor in why I couldn’t get these right. It doesn’t feel great to end this year on a failure (or at least a non-success), but I guess that’s life sometimes.

2022 is over, but I probably will still attempt some do-over projects in this coming year, since I love improving on stuff I’ve already made. I am still mulling over what my focus for this year will be and I think I have something so stay tuned! This past year has mostly been pretty triumphant with my sewing projects and I am looking forward to continued success into the next year. Happy New Year to my readers and hope to see you in 2023!

A little pleated: The Southwest inspired skirt

Pattern: Simplicity 1109, view E

When I first bought this fabric, years ago on my trip to New Mexico, I knew that I wanted to make a short-ish skirt with it. It took me awhile to get around to it, but it’s finally finished. I thought having a nice pleated skirt would work with the fabric and I just happen to have this nice Simplicity pattern. I liked the look of the skirt with multiple pleats, but when I asked around, the vote went to the skirt with one pleat down the middle. Well, I thought, at least it would be easier to make and would require a lot less pressing.

There is not much else to say as this was a pretty simple pattern. The fabric I used has embroidery on it, not a print, and I believe it gives it that southwestern look. The skirt does require a decorative zipper, since the zipper is on the outside of the garment. The instructions on the pattern was actually very easy to follow, which was good since I’ve never installed a zipper this way. I always feel the big 4 patterns don’t know how to explain regular zippers correctly.

The front pleat was also very simple. I basted the sides so that the pleat would be more crisp, and then removed the stitching after the waistband was installed. It came out pretty good, although one side seems more pressed than the other.

All in all, the skirt came out really nice. Something I will definitely wear more of when the weather is nicer.

Gray mid-weight sweater

Winter is…over


  • McCall’s M6796, View DMcCalls 6796
  • Vogue V8956, View C

Since it is now July, you would think that the fact it’s not winter any more would be obvious to me. It is, but I realized that with all the craziness in the last six months, I forgot to blog about some of my winter projects. I’m particularly proud of both of these garments, and not just because I actually completed them in the season they were intended for, but because they both came out really nice. The sweater I am most proud of, since I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on it and was able to wear it quite a bit, even as winter was thawing out a bit.

Gray mid-weight sweaterI am especially proud of the purely decorative buttons on the collar – I definitely chose the right ones for top.

Close up of collar
The lines on this really look as close to perfect as ever. I think this lightweight sweater knit was really the perfect fabric for this project.

This garment got a lot of wear this past season, since it matched a lot of things and Continue reading “Winter is…over”

skirt front

Rosari skirt: Super skirt of the 70’s

Pattern: Rosari Skirt by Pauline Alice, midi length

I totally love the skirts of the 70’s, so when I bought this unusual-looking corduroy, I knew I wanted something inspired by that decade. I actually bought a number of patterns with similar themes – A-line with buttons up the front. However, when I saw this pattern, I knew it was the one I wanted to try. I really liked the pockets and I’ve also been digging these indie patterns lately. It seemed like the one to try. This is a pdf pattern, which I’m still not loving, but I am getting used to the process of taping the sheets together. I just hate that it doesn’t fold up into a nice little envelope like the paper patterns, but I have made things a little better by storing them in those larger size manila mailing envelopes.

plaid corduroyThis pattern has a lot of options to choose from. There are 2 different lengths and about 4 different pocket styles. I went with pocket C, which was an inverted pleat patch pocket and flap. I cut two of these out, but when I read the directions, it seems that I Continue reading “Rosari skirt: Super skirt of the 70’s”

Another day, another knit skirt

Pattern: McCall’s M6966McCalls M6966

I’ve seen so many cute long knit skirts lately worn by people at work.  So I thought, why not make my own!  I had just bought myself a serger – exciting news.  So this was the perfect project to test out my skills.

Not much to say about this one.  I had used this pattern before, but this time I decided to try view C, but with the yoke I had constructed for view D.  It’s pretty basic, with just a back panel and a front panel, and the yoke pieces to form a waistband.


I did start to sew up the waist incorrectly, sewing where the elastic is supposed to fit in the wrong place.   Continue reading “Another day, another knit skirt”

Crescent Skirt

Coming back from leave…with a leaf skirt!

Pattern: Sewaholic Crescent Skirt

New Skills Acquired:

  • Bound seams

Well I don’t know what happened.  I got super busy in August and September and put my sewing on hold. Then all of a sudden it was December and I hadn’t gone near my blog, not even to read posts from my favorite bloggers.  It’s not like I haven’t been sewing – I have been working on projects here and there when I find a spare weekend.  In fact this skirt I am writing about was actually made in September and I had even started a post about it.  Well these things happen.  Sometimes you get so focused on the constant making that you don’t take a step back to write and reflect on what you have accomplished.  I felt so behind in the projects I wanted to finish this summer that I kept pushing through and I let my laptop collect dust.  But now we return to our regularly scheduled blog post, already in progress…..

What a difference the right pattern makes!  With my last skirt a fitting failure, Continue reading “Coming back from leave…with a leaf skirt!”

I tried it! Burda style pattern

Pattern: Burda Style Flounce Skirt Mini 09/2014 #104BurdaStyle Flounce Skirt

New Skills Acquired:

  • Tracing 

I’ve been curious about Burda Style patterns for a while now, but it took me awhile to figure out what they were and where to find them.  In fact, it took me awhile to figure out this was a regularly published fashion magazine that featured the patterns to sew the clothes featured.  I somehow came across one of these patterns when I was looking for a skirt to make that would go with some plaid rayon blend I had just recently bought.  You actually can get individual pdf patterns on their website, but since I’m a bit overwhelmed with putting together a pdf pattern (have not attempted this yet!), I thought purchasing the magazine would be better for me.  Plus there would be other patterns as well!

I’m not sure what I expected when I got the magazine, but when I pulled out the pattern section…

Burda pattern pages

Yikes, it looked like an astronomy map.  How was I going find my skirt?   Continue reading “I tried it! Burda style pattern”

Striped knit skirt

Dr. Strange-seam or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bias

Pattern: McCall’s M6966McCalls M6966

gray knit skirtstriped knit skirt


These skirts were inspired by the many striped knits skirts I’ve seen people wear at work. I saw this pattern online, and thought my skirt would really stand out having the stripes going in different directions (view D). Those diagonals were intimidating – there seemed to be a lot of room for error if I cut wrong.  But if I did it correctly, I would have a skirt that was not only me-made, but something you would see in stores as well!

My first attempt was a wearable muslin in a charcoal gray knit. I needed to make sure I could actually make this with bias seams before I ruined my striped material.  Turns out cutting out those pattern pieces on the bias was harder than I thought, but not for the reasons I originally thought. I bought 3 yards of fabric, thinking it was a bit excessive but safe. It worked out in the end, but if I make this again I may buy an extra half yard to avoid the cursing and the sweating. Fitting the pattern pieces so the diagonals match up perfectly took some creative adjusting, and every time I thought I had it with one piece, I adjusted for the diagonal and it would overlap another piece. Gah!

Advice: try to fit the two largest pieces first (bottom back and front) and then work your way to the next biggest. Trying to go by the picture for laying out the pattern does not work.

I tried to make sure the pieces were all going to fit before I cut, but its tough when you are cutting two pieces from the same pattern piece. These pieces were so large so I don’t think that folding the fabric would work in this case.  The good news is if you have successfully cut everything out, the hard part is over.

The rest was easy – I used my mom’s serger to sew up all the seams. This pattern is definitely one of the easiest I have attempted Continue reading “Dr. Strange-seam or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bias”