There is something positively magical about a full, drapey maxi skirt that calls for grabbing by the handful and tiptoeing through the garden. I made this fun polka dot maxi skirt out of the softest lightweight voile designed by Caroline Hulse of Sew Caroline.
I first met Caroline last year at Sewing Summit, where we each taught an apparel sewing class (mine was leggings and her was a skirt). She is sweet, sincere, and positively…well, GLEEFUL! That also just happens be the name of the limited edition line of fabric she recently designed in partnership with Art Gallery. I was excited to get my hands on some, and jumped at the chance to join her Gleeful Blog Hop.
As with most current designer editions with fabric houses, the line is primarily printed onto quilting-weight cotton. Unfortunately, I don’t use basic cotton all that much, as my style lends itself to more apparel-weight wovens like rayon or voile and stretch knits (we all know how I adore knits!) I was thrilled to find out that one of my favorites of Caroline’s prints, After the Rain, was available in this lightweight, silky voile! She sent me a couple yards and after petting it lovingly for a few days, I packed it into my suitcase to take on vacation to Utah last month, where I designed and sewed this pleated, pocketed, high-waisted, ultra-long maxi skirt.
The lightness of this voile allow the small pleats in front and back to add some structure to the design without all of the yardage getting bulky at the waistband. And pockets, because really everything that anyone wears, ever, should have pockets. amiright? I made these extra deep. I’m sure they’ll be filled with legos and cheerios this summer at the park. My first attempt at the waistband actually included these super clever elastic sections in the back–but I was experimenting and the skirt came out a couple inches too big around the waist. So, I just cut them out and added an invisible zipper along the side seam. Maybe I’ll try again with that elastic concept…it was good in theory!
When my mom saw the finished skirt she asked if I was going to hem it…and it was already hemmed! I felt like creating a drapey, puddling skirt, and this hit the nail on the head. Here I’m wearing it barefoot, where It drags about an inch and a half on the ground. And with heels it’s still perfectly long. The extra length adds a sort of drama to the gleefulness (if you will) of the print. Every time I wear it I feel sort of glamorous, but still informal and fun. It can go from park to date night with just a switch of the shoes and maybe throwing on some makeup.
A skirt comfortable enough to wear in my everyday life is just the ticket. I love how this one turned out, and am so happy for Caroline and her fun new fabric line! Plum approves, too.
Ah, summer. It’s arriving in slow, subtle awakenings here in the beautiful Texas hill country. First were the brilliant blossoms along every roadside, wildflowers as far as the eyes could see. Next came the buds on my new trees, fuzzy and hopeful (then turning slowly brown and dry as I’m just learning how to water regularly). Day by day my layers have become lighter, and these last few days I’m breaking a sweat even while sitting still if I’m in the sun, rather than tucked into the safety of the shade.
We moved to Austin exactly one year ago, and even though it’s creeping up quietly, I know what’s in store for the summer months: heat and humidity, sun and sweat. I can’t think of a better way to prepare for the Texas Summertime than sew a super simple, lightweight sundress for Melissa’s 30 Days of Sundresses Series.
For my Texas Summer sundress, I designed a simple-as-they-come box dress with an optional drawstring waist, made of the most delightfully breezy single layer gauze (which I double with the lining) and sewn in an entirely new way. Guys, it’s as easy to make as a pillowcase, though decidedly more fun to wear. Check out the details and a fully illustrated tutorial below.
There are two kinds of women in the world of Birth Experiences: those who want to know the baby arrive healthy, happy, and what you named him/her, and those who want to know every adventurous detail from the first real contraction to the last perineal stitch. I’m of the later, most likely due in part to my medical background in nursing. I’m also completely fascinated by how just as every baby is a unique individual, each one makes his or her own triumphant entry into the world. Even between my three own children, the birth experiences varied so greatly that looking back the primary lesson I learned was to not expect similarities!
I’ve recorded both Milo’s, and Eliot’s birth stories here on my blog. And today I’d like to share Baby Plum’s
For the sake of the first type of women out there, here’s the short: My sweetest baby Plum arrived at 6:12 am on December 15th, eleven days past her due date of December 4th. She came quickly, and I held her in my arms just 3 short hours after leaving home for the Birth Center. She was sweet and swollen, weighing in at 9 pounds 6 ounces. My heart grew three sizes that morning, and I have scarcely put her down in the last five months as I’m utterly smitten with her.
For those second type of women, here’s the real story:
Although it’s only March, it’s felt like summer in Texas on and off for months. We moved into our new house just before Christmas (which also was just days after Plum was born), and a week later the boys were running through the sprinklers on the back lawn! No joke. Of course, the swimsuit weather has been interspersed bouts of icy rain, and even a six inch snowman, but overall it’s been a very summery winter for us. Which is why, when I was invited to spread the word about the Perfect Pattern Parcel #1, I decided right away to sew up Dixie DIY’s Summer Concert Tee.
The swingy top is just fitted enough in the top to give it shape, and just loose enough at the hem to feel the best kind of summertime loungy and cool. I love the asymmetrical hemline (which I lengthened a couple inches in the front for my long torso.) And it turns out this is also a perfect top for effortlessly flattering my postpartum body. I loved trying it out, and loved even more that it only took about an hour to stitch together. It was a perfect project to complete during Plum’s morning nap.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Truly! When Kelli emailed me a month ago about participating again in her Handmade Ornament Exchange, I was thrilled! I remember the fun I had last year thinking up and creating my ornaments, then receiving package after handmade package in the mail in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
I knew this year would be even more special. Along with having just moved across the country, this Christmastime also brings my family to the completion of our new home, and most special of all, the birth of our sweet baby girl, Plum!
Of course my ornaments had to be Sugar Plum Fairies! What else would have been appropriate?! I had these sweet little gals dreamed up from the moment I replied “YES!” to the exchange invitation.
I wanted to keep them simple, sweet, and sparkly. Because they are very simple (and because I was whipping them out at 9 months pregnant!) I forwent a formal tutorial, but thought I could share some tips in case you’d like to make a Sugar Plum Fairy of your own! This basic idea would work for hundreds of other little characters as well, so dream away. Read More