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Posts Tagged ‘fast’

Y’all know from my previous post that I’m constantly scouring magazines for of-the-moment pieces to copy…er, um…sew myself. Well, my latest project centered around three trends on the runway this spring and summer:

Floral + Pastels + Maxi skirt

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that's reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that’s reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

With this in mind yet wanting something waaaaay cheaper…aka. more casual … I came up with this……………………

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

And in case you’re wondering, here’s how YOU can make one too:

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2" elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5". The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2″ elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5″ x 2. (you’ll be cutting two identical rectangles – one for the front and one for the back.) The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

It's ideal to have someone else measure you..but let's face it - 8 year old boys aren't exactly the most reliable source. So, here's how I estimate the length.

It’s ideal to have someone else measure you..but let’s face it – 8 year old boys aren’t exactly the most reliable source. So, here’s how I estimate the length. PS: it’s a little known fact that messy rooms make for more accurate measuring.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you'll cut.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you’ll cut.

You'll have something like this. Two identical rectangles.

You’ll have something like this. Two identical rectangles. (The sparkly Tom’s are not necessarily going to occur…)

With right sides together, sew up both sides - my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different

With right sides together, sew up both sides – my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different.

Now you're going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn't matter which end you use - they're both the same…whew!) You don't want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

Now you’re going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn’t matter which end you use – they’re both the same…whew!) You don’t want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4" …like this.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4″ …like this. 

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT - leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole - make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I'd get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit.

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT – leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole – make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I’d get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit. (yes, it’s inside out right now!)

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you're using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you’re using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

And you're done! Bam! Look at you!

And you’re done! Bam! Look at you!

I really really love this skirt! It’s super fun to wear, very comfortable, very forgiving of the figure, and even sexy if you ask me!  I’m wearing it to an Arcade Fire concert tonight…I’ll share photos of this little ditty in action tomorrow!

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to "work" be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57" fabric which gave me 104" of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to “work” be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57″ fabric which gave me 104″ of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

Alrighty, here’s the breakdown:

TIME: Literally 20 minutes, maybe shorter!

COST: I bought 3 yards of $13.00/yd fabric that was 30% off, so a total of $27! That’s a little bit better than $700…but maybe I’m a weirdo!

I hope you’ll make one of these…. I’m confident you’ll thank me!

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Hi friends!!!!

Yep…I’m still here, are you???

It’s been quite a while since I put my shop on vacation and all but forsook my little blog here. I’m bowing my head and slumping my shoulders in shame. Will you forgive me??? Okay, I get that. How about a quick little tutorial to warm our friendship up again… and better yet… it has POM POMS!!!!  Just typing the word “pom pom” gives me glorious goose bumps!

Here's what I'm talking about - glorious garland made from what else but dollar store pom poms!

Here’s what I’m talking about – glorious garland made from what else but dollar store pom poms!

Here’s the tutorial…free and fast…perfect for our friendship!

photo 1

Start with something good on TV – my choice was the ladies figure skating short program. Go Team USA!

In your lap, gather lots of loose pom poms, scissors, thread/embroidery floss, and a sharp needle. (a long one is best)

In your lap, gather lots of loose pom poms, scissors, thread/embroidery floss, and a sharp needle. (a long one is best)

 

Pull out a long line of your string - preferably as long as you'd like your garland to be; however, you can always tie two ends together to make it longer. Thread your needle and pass it through the center of the pom pom. Bam. You're almost done. I do NOT kid.

Pull out a long line of your string – preferably as long as you’d like your garland to be; however, you can always tie two ends together to make it longer. Thread your needle and pass it through the center of the pom pom. Bam. You’re almost done. I do NOT kid.

Just keep pushing them down the line and watch them form one long jolly line of garland. It's majestic and delightful. I felt like an Olympian myself!

Just keep pushing them down the line and watch them form one long jolly line of garland. It’s majestic and delightful. I felt like an Olympian myself!

When you've finished, wrap it around something you love…and experience a greater love you never thought possible.

When you’ve finished, wrap it around something you love…and experience a greater love you never thought possible.

I mean, seriously!!! I want a million of these all over my house!

I mean, seriously!!! I want a million of these all over my house!

Last look at what could very well change your life…and your view of television!

Last look at what could very well change your life…and your view of television!

As always, here’s the breakdown:

Time: My garland is about 3 or 4 yards long, and it took me 3 short programs. I mean, it took me about 15 minutes, including being distracted.

Cost: 3 bags of 80 pom poms – $1 each. I already had the thread and needles…so a whopping $3. Insert smiley face doing cartwheels.

Tomorrow, I hope to have a big surprise… which could include another curtain tutorial… Oh the suspense… see you soon!!!

 

 

 

 

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It’s been almost a year since we moved into our new home…but it feels like I’m just now getting started making it my “real” home.  For instance, the week we moved in I had my sewing room/game room painted a beautiful color turquoise.  The only problem is… it’s a horrible color turquoise!  No matter how many times I say, as I go up the stairs to the sewing room , “I love the color!  I love the color!  I do love the color!”… I do NOT love the color.  In fact, I don’t even just sort of kind of a little bit like it.  I loathe it to be exact.

I paid a painter to paint it.  Catch my drift…???  It’s just not worth it to me right now to PAY again to have it “fixed”… so I keep trying to come up with more ways to fill the room with fabrics and items that will absorb some of the Taco Cabana blue that’s splattered everywhere.

The latest attempt ….. PILLOWS!  And not just pillows… ZIPPERED PILLOWS!

You are going to LOVE how fast and easy these are!  The crazy thing is that this zipper technique makes making the pillows with a zipper FASTER than making them without… don’t you just love me for saying that!!!!

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This is the canvas I started with… I decided to make pillows for this couch…

What a difference 3 15-minute pillows make... right!?!?  Can I get an AMEN??

What a difference 3 15-minute pillows make… right!?!? Can I get an AMEN??

 

Here’s how I made these fun little ditties…

(I’m basically doing the same thing I do for my LINED ZIPPER POUCHES… only I’m not lining these.  If you’re using stuffing instead of a pillow form, then you’ll want to line your pillows….so just do exactly what I did for the pouches.  Only- call it a pillow instead of a pouch!)

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I started with my fabrics, some caning cord for embellishment, and zippers. (you’ll also need a pillow insert or stuffing … but seriously, you already knew that!) I used two different fabrics cut to the same size, and be sure to purchase zippers that are quite a bit longer than your pillow – trust me on this!

I first embellished the pillow the way I wanted.  I chose chair caning jute and just sewed it straight up the middle.  Then, here's where the pillow part starts, place one side of the pillow in front of you - ride side up.  Place your zipper - upside down - along the upper edge.

I first embellished the pillow the way I wanted. I chose chair caning jute and just sewed it straight up the middle. Then, here’s where the pillow part starts, place one side of the pillow in front of you – ride side up. Place your zipper – upside down – along the upper edge.

Your zipper pull should be facing down like this.

Your zipper pull should be facing down like this.

zippered pillows 11

Now sew the zipper to the pillow along the top edge like shown…. you’ll have to look closely because I chose to use white thread! sorry!!!

When you fold your zipper to the front, it should look like this.  Of course - you now need to iron it... sorry!

When you fold your zipper to the front, it should look like this. Of course – you now need to iron it… sorry!

Now put your other pillow piece on top, wrong side up, and line it up with the zipper.  Then sew to the zipper.

Now put your other pillow piece on top, wrong side up, and line it up with the zipper. Then sew to the zipper.

You'll end up with this!

You’ll end up with this!

After you press the zipper again, open up the zipper about half way... trust me - you don't want to forget this  step!

After you press the zipper again, open up the zipper about half way… trust me – you don’t want to forget this step!

Now fold the two sections over, right sides together and fold the open zipper parts like this.  Next, you'll sew down along the side, the bottom and back up the other side - forming a stitched square (the zipper making the 4th side).

Now fold the two sections over, right sides together and fold the open zipper parts like this. Next, you’ll sew down along the side, the bottom and back up the other side – forming a stitched square (the zipper making the 4th side).

Again, my thread is too light to see clearly, but if you bring your face to the screen and squint - you can see the stitching all the way around ... maybe... sort of...

Again, my thread is too light to see clearly, but if you bring your face to the screen and squint – you can see the stitching all the way around … maybe… sort of…

Oh girl - you're almost done!  clip your corners and trim off the excess zipper ends.  Turn right side out.

Oh girl – you’re almost done! clip your corners and trim off the excess zipper ends. Turn right side out.

You'll get THIS!!!  A zippered pillow!  I have made them with "hidden" zippers that take a long time, and I have made them like this in a jiffy.  Personally, I think saving an hour beats not seeing the zipper!  Maybe that's just me...

You’ll get THIS!!! A zippered pillow! I have made them with “hidden” zippers that take a long time, and I have made them like this in a jiffy. Personally, I think saving an hour beats not seeing the zipper! Maybe that’s just me…

 

Now for more photos…. the pillows’ selfies…..

zippered pillow 19a

zippered pillow 19b

zippered pillow 19d

zippered pillow 19cWhat a difference a pillow makes, huh!?!

The breakdown:

Cost: I used fabric I already had and pillow forms I already had, so my only cost was zippers.  At about $2.50 each, the cost is $7.50!!!  LOVE that!

Time: Trust me when I say that you can make these pillows in about 15 minutes per pillow… after you’ve cut them out… maybe even faster if you time yourself!

I hope you’ll try this out… the worst thing that will happen???  You’ll have one very large zipper pouch for traveling!

 

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Gosh y’all… how are you doing???  I’m sort of living in chaos right now, and I love it!

This post is going to be brief and to-the-point … I know, I know, you don’t believe me.  That’s fine.  I’ve earned your distrust.  However, tonight I’m serious.  I’ve been missing you and missing writing tutorials.  So, despite my chaotic chaos, I wanted to share with you the fastest, easiest headband I’ve come up with yet.  Know what else????

I. Saved. THIRTY DOLLARS!!!  $$$$$$$$

I was shopping lusting  browsing around Anthropologie the other day and I saw these gorgeous headbands.  But are you kidding me right now???  $32????  For something I’m going to put on my overprocessed, frizzy and most likely dirty head of hair?  I’m way too cheap smart for that!

So I ran out to Hancocks.  I found some embellishment ribbon on clearance for $2/yd.  Then, I made myself a cheaper…but I think just as fabulous version.  Judge for yourself…

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So, yes, it’s missing the rhinestones. If that’s important to you, you can pretty much buy a Bedazzler for the $29 you’re saving. I purchased the whole yard, but only used 23″.

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Besides a needle and thread, the only other thing you need is a pony tail elastic.

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It’s incredibly hard to photograph the back of your head by yourself… but what I’m trying to show you is that I used the length from the back of one ear, around the top of my head and over to the back of the other ear. Then give yourself a couple of more inches for the seams. I have a large head, so I used 23″.

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Now wrap the ribbon around the elastic forming a casing.

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As much as I hate saying this – the next step is to hand sew the casing closed. Maybe your machine can take the width of the ribbon. I’m jealous of you. If not…I can say with honesty that it only takes about 1 minute to sew each side. Repeat with the other side. (I love this photo b/c it shows how I’ve finally stopped biting my nails.  progress!)

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I used white thread so you can see it … I just used very simple but sturdy stitches. Nothing time consuming at all. The only real “trick” I used was making sure I had several layers of thread in my needle.

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Once you’ve completed the other side, you’ll end of with this little doozie. I love it. Fancy and Casual all in one.

And now for my feeble attempts at photographing the finished product on my head, all the while trying to make sure my craft room looks as clean and cool as possible.

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Okay  y’all – here’s the lowdown:

Time: literally THREE MINUTES!  (That includes hand sewing… crazy wonderful)

Cost: $2 … that’s a savings of $29.  Hurry out and get you some matching shoes with that money!!!

Try this….please!!!!

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I realized LAST SUNDAY that TODAY was the last day of school for ALL of my kids.  WHAT IN THE WORLD!?!?  How did this happen???

Somehow in the next few days, I had to come up with 6 Thank You gifts for my kids’ teachers.  And not only that – this week is the last week of our pay period … translation: I need these gifts to be FREE.  But how in the world do I adequately say thank you for 9 months of loving and teaching my children …. for free???

Put on my thinking cap and think. think. think.

I opened up my scrap fabric drawer for some inspiration….

And I came up with this … a reversible scrap fabric apron. And I must admit, I LOVE them!

I kind of feel bad for showing off my mennequin’s posterior, but if mine looked like that I’d show mine off too. Anyway, I love how the reversible part peeks through in the back! This particular version is made from a fabric remnant my husband brought me back from Africa. The houndstooth fabric is just remnants from prior projects.

I made three of these in an hour – how awesome is that!?  Here’s how you can too:

You’ll need to remnant pieces that you can cut to approximately 30″ x 12″. (That is just what I decided to do. You can make yours as wide and as long as you want. This size will make you what I call a “carpenter’s” length apron – just above mid thigh.) I cut mine out with right sides together so that I can go straight to the machine without turning the fabric. Just pick it up and sew. Also, I chose to round the bottom edges. Purely a matter of opinion.

For this particular apron, I wanted to add rick rack (and who cares that I didn’t have quite enough – I just started down a little lower…it’s MY apron!). So, I just sewed the rick rack to the rightside edge of one apron panel. Then I placed that panel on top of the other panel with right sides facing. I sewed along the rick rack stitch line to attach the two panels together. This way you can be sure that the rick rack appears as it should.

Turn your apron section right side out and press. Lovely! Sigh, take in the sights, so pretty!!!

Now to attach the tie/band … cut a long strip of fabric about 6″ in width and as long as you like. This one wrapped all the way around and tied in front. Others can just tie in back, whatever you want and have enough fabric for. Then press the center, and then press in about 1/2″ on each side.

Making sure to match up the centers of the apron panel and the apron tie – begin pinning the panel to the inside seam allowance like shown.

Then fold over the tie/band and pin in place as well. I stitch the apron panel and band together first, then stitch the rest of the tie … if you start at the tip of the tie and sew all the way down to the other tip, your band will have a tendency to shift, so sewing the panel and band first helps to avoid that. But it’s your apron – do what you want!

Okay hot mamma, you’re almost done!!! Try the apron on for size and mark where you’d like to trim your tie (assuming that you want to trim it!)

Now all you have to do is tuck in your edges on both sides and sew ’em up. YOU’RE DONE!!!

Don’t just stand there… admire yourself and the mirror … this is one awesomely easy apron!

And so is this one! Wait…what? They’re the same thing??? How amazing are you!?!

Here’s another combo I whipped up.

EXTRA EXTRA: if you end up cutting a fair amount off the tie, just turn it into a headband. Bam. You’re killin’ it!

So, I feel as if you don’t really need the “breakdown” because I’ve been pretty clear…but here it is anyway:

TIME:  I finished 3 in one hour, so 20 minutes.  ***That means that you’ll have to cut them out at the same time though.

COST: FREE if you use scraps like I did!  Not more than about $3-$5 if you purchase fabric.

Okay, now don’t just stand there…go make some and give them away!!!

 

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This project is exactly a sewing project …but I’m hoping you won’t mind – it does include some buttons, so that counts for something, right???

My middle daughter Ellie, who’s 5 years old, is quite a crafting officianado.  She is always looking for something to make, draw, bake, sew, you name it.  So the other day, while Rosamund was sleeping and the boys were totally disinterested otherwise occupied, Ellie and I sat down to make some BOBBIES! These are all over the hand-made scene, and some can be super expensive.  Ours, however, were NOT expensive … but you shouldn’t be too surprised by that. =)

Here is what we made in about 15 minutes – and for $8. (Sadly for us, nothing was on sale when we purchased these supplies … so realistically, you could make all this for $4 if you get the pieces at half off.)

I keep these supplies on hand because I like to send them to my Parsimony customers who’s dresses get delayed.  Of course, that almost never happens (cough cough)!  They’re really fun to receive so it’s super nice that they’re so easy.  You can ask the Austin Craft Crowd folks, and they’ll concur – easy breasy fleezy!

You’ll need flat topped bobby pins and items to glue on. At our Hobby Lobby, the bobby pins are $3 for about 12 or 16 pins. These flower dealies were $4 for 6 – you can find them in the scrapbooking section.

See the round disk that’s attached to the top of the bobby? These are SO much easier than trying to finagle something around/on top of a regular bobby pin. There’s only one store in Austin that sells these, so if you can’t find them in a store you can find tons on Etsy. Just search under supplies for bobby pins.

Since the disk makes the bobby pin fall on its side, I like to anchor my pins onto a piece of paper before gluing. This way everything stays upright and the embellishment goes on straight and clean. Plus, it gives them a nice spot to dry.

Yeah, so, this was a mommy-daughter project, but one of us was distracted. I won’t tell you who.

Now, just take your heated glue gun and dab a dollop of glue onto the center of your embellishment – or you can put the glue directly onto the bobby pin. Same results. Turn the embellishment over and push onto the disk. Let dry. Done. Bam. Bang. Finished. You’re awesome.

You’ll get something like this! Ellie refused to have her photo taken, but she did pretty well as photographer.

When we completed the six flowers, we broke out a button jar and glued buttons together then onto the bobby pins. I love these too!

So seriously y’all, don’t delay.  Go get these supplies and make these – then give them away!  Grown ups like them just as much as kiddos.  Just sayin’.  These are really fun to take to a woman who’s just had a baby – what an easy way to look cute without being clean!

Here’s the lowdown:

TIME: We made all 16 in about 15 minutes..and that includes figuring out our button combinations.

COST: in a word CHEAP!  We made 16 for $8 so that’s FIFTY CENTS a piece…. applause please.

Okay – please, if you make these, let me see your work – that makes me sooooo happy!

 

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What should you do when you have 9 minutes to kill …. think, think, think.

You could clean your bathroom.

You could clean out your refrigerator.

You could jog a mile.

OR —— YOU COULD MAKE A SKIRT JUST LIKE THIS!

I really really made this in less than 10 minutes!

If you got ten minutes to spare, read on for how to whip this up and have 30 seconds to spare.

Grab a skirt that comes close to the size you’re wanting and lay it on top of your fabric. Keep your fabric folded just like it comes. I knew I wanted the new skirt longer than the current one, so as you can see I left room at the bottom.

Then just cut out a rectangle-ish piece of fabric. You can see that I cut it a little longer at the top to accommodate the elastic casing, and again, I made it longer at the bottom. (yes, you can also see that I didn’t worry about making it a perfect rectangle. This is a summer skirt – it’s going to be flowy, relax a little!

Fold the fabric right sides together and align the selvedge edges. Serge or sew that edge. (the other edge is the fold so there’s no need to sew – score!)

Next, serge or narrow hem the top and bottom edges.

Your bottom edge is done, finished, bam! The top edge now needs an elastic casing, so fold over the top edge and press.

Sew all the way around the elastic casing, leave an opening at the side seam to insert your elastic.

Use the sample skirt to determine how long to make the elastic. I made the new skirt’s elastic slightly longer than the sample so Ellie can keep growing. (just squint if you’re having trouble seeing the blurry image!)

Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing, then sew closed. Bam, your skirt is finished ….. AFTER you press down that side seam. Look at your clock – it should say approximately TEN MINUTES has passed!

The skirt you see here technically took 14 minutes – but that’s because I was taking photos along the way.  I wanted to see the “real” time so I made a second skirt for my other daughter using exactly the same process.  That time was 9 minutes!  I’m trying hard not to spit my Lacroix out of my nose because this is SO exciting!

This fabric makes me smile – I know they’re technically pears, but they make me think of lemonade!

Would you believe that each skirt cost me less than $2!?!? That’s cheaper than Savers people!

Now, yes, I know that this skirt is a total bare-bones skirt.  BUT WHO CARES!!!!????!!!!  If you pick out fabric that you love, you don’t need crazy ornate patterns, just let the fabric speak for its self!

Here’s the breakdown … and you seriously won’t believe this:

Time:  have I been stuttering?  In case you missed it, these skirts take 9 minutes!!!  (In the effort of full disclosure, I used a serger.  If you use a regular sewing machine, you might choose to do a double folded hem which will add about 2 minutes to the total.  Not bad if you ask me!)

Cost: Under $2!  I bought my fabric on sale for half price making it $3.50/yd.  The longest skirt was cut at 18″, making it $1.75 for fabric.  I had the elastic on hand, so I added just a quarter to the price since I didn’t use much.

These are awesome for a summer fun wardrobe that you don’t spend much on … you’ll be sooooo happy to let them get these all dirty and rotten because the expense and time burden are so super small.  Also, these are awesome for inexpensive but powerful birthday presents!

Lastly – you really really really can do this for a grown up too.  I am working on one for me as I type this – since my serger thread ran out, I thought I’d post the first two first.  Either way, it’s still a 9 minute skirt!

Go grab nine minutes, half a yard of fabric – and have fun!!!

Oh, and by the way – I’m certainly NOT the first person to create a fast skirt … for more ideas on making quick skirts (and a million other things, check out my friends over at All Free Sewing … every tutorial is free and easy!  I love this website!)

 

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