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Posts Tagged ‘maxi’

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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Well, I suppose it’s better late than never.  Although, I’m not sure I’ve ever experiences the opposite, so I can’t say from a well-rounded position.

Anyway, I digress.

I was asked a while back to create a one-shoulder dress that would be fun for a bridesmaid’s dress.  Well, that’s pretty much ANY one-should dress in my book … but alas, I decided to create one from seersucker.  Why?  Because I love it…and, to be more specific, I had enough in my stash to make it.  =)

I decided to mimic my Seersucker Sailor dress except add a sleeve so that bridesmaids wouldn't have to keep pulling up their dresses during the ceremony, and it's a maxi dress. My camera's battery died right after taking this photo, so right now this is the best I got. Gee - I wonder why I've never auditioned for Top Model!?! (this is a joke people. don't send me a list of reasons!)

I like it okay.  It’s still growing on me.  I don’t love the kimono feel to it, but I don’t hate that either.  I think I need to play around with belt options … and maybe make it slightly fuller.  What do you think???  Ideas???  I’m also thinking of making another version as a drop-waist dress with a full skirt … one of these days!

I’m pretty sure I’m too late to create these for my friend’s wedding – but I’m delighted to have been given the challenge!

Happy one-shouler-dress-wearing-days-ahead for you all!!!!

 

 

 

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Well, here I am at 9:49pm on day 3 of my So Celebrate Sewing extravaganze …whew, getting this post in in the nick of time!  Which is fitting because today I am celebrating that in sewing, all you need is a few minutes to create something super cool.

As in this CAFTAN!

Believe it or not, you can make this dress in about 30 minutes… you need about 3 1/4 yards of fabric.  It takes 4 seams, 4 buttonholes, and one long tube to use as a sash.  That’s it!

Start with your fabric. I used 100% light weight polyester. Next time, however, I think I'll switch to a breathable fabric - 100% cotton for sure.

First, if your fabric has a factory fold that run along the length of the fabric, open it up so that you are facing the entire width of the fabric. Then, fold the fabric in half, right sides together, keeping the fold at the top. This means you'll have two equal halves measuring about 1 5/8 yards with the fold at the top.

To create your sleeves and side seams, measure down along the selvages on each side about 12". Place a pin. Sew all the way down from the pin to the end of the fabric. (Be sure to reverse stitch at the beginning since this opening is your sleeve.)

Now that you've created your side seams and your sleeves, you need to create your neckline. I pinned my fabric right to my ironing board, and then I started guessing how big the opening should be. Start small on this guess - you can always go bigger but you can't go smaller! After trying to pull it over my head the first time, I had to go back and make it a bit bigger.

Next, you'll need to add bias binding along your neckline. If you have enough fabric, create bias tape from the dress fabric. Otherwise, use storebought or coordinating bias tape. I have neither tonight, so I'll grab some later...you can still get the idea!

Now you need to add 4 buttonholes at the waist - front and back right side, front and back left side. To decide where, I held the dress up to me and went to a mirror. I located my waist and put a pin at the very right side and the very left side. Then, back at the ironing board (where I do all my pinning), I used those pins to also mark the identical spots on the back left and back right. (These button holes are used to hold your belt in place ... see photo below!) Also - when opening up your buttonhole with a seam ripper, please be sure it's not too dull. OR ELSE< you'll end up with puckered buttonholes like I did!

Finally - hem the bottom and create a quick tube for the sash. Thread the sash to the front from the back buttonholes. You've got yourself a fabulous caftan, maxi dress, billowy dress!

If you're wondering about hemming the sleeves - you use the selvege so there's no need! This truly is a 4 seam, 4 buttonhole, 1 sash piece - easy peasy!

My friend Erin Tyrrell and I were talking a few weeks ago about Caftans … whether or not we’d ever try to pull one off.  I think I just might try this one out in public!  The fabric definitely feels like flimsy plastic, so I’m not sure 107 degree weather is the best option for this fabric, but maybe something in a nice seersucker or something else light weight.  We’ll see!

Cost: I got this fabric for about $2/yd, so $6.50.  yay!

Time: Again, you really can do this in 30 minutes if you know how to use the buttonhole function on  your machine!

Okay ya’ll….I’m hoping you’re getting the hankering to Celebrate Sewing.  Share your thoughts with me if you like!

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