Archive for the ‘Tutorial Tuesday’ Category

Tutorial Tuesday – The Market Skirt

Welcome to my first Tutorial Tuesday!

I’ve been thinking about how I want to proceed with this. I could completely rehash the tutorial and show you step-by-step. I could just show you the finished product. …or I could do a little bit of both and a little bit of neither.

That’s what I will do.

So, each week I will generously link the author and the tutorial to this site.  I will also show you some pics I took, a little commentary, and some of my dos and don’ts.  The tutorial author’s pics are WAY better and some of these tutorials are lengthy! This way, you just get to laugh at my failures and get a huge self-esteem boost about your own skill level. 😉

This week, I present to you… THE MARKET SKIRT!

I know. It’s ridiculously cute.


So, I went to Hobby Lobby this week to buy some fabric.  I found a pretty cute plaid that I thought would be perfect for this and I looked for some white cotton that was pretty opaque. (Originally, I wasn’t going to double the white.)
I rushed home to start my project.

Task  #1 — resize pattern to fit 12 month sizing.

Since the kiddo was asleep, I used a pair of her 12 month pants to estimate her waist.  It worked well. I did add an extra inch to the waistline for sewing allowance. (17 total inches for the elastic)

With the computer in hand, I tried to understand what Dana was saying about the measurements. I got confused at first because she kept saying length and I was thinking vertically (as in the length of the finished skirt).  She meant the length of the fabric (which I think of as WIDTH… how wide the skirt is.) After a LOT of staring, I came up with these measurements for a 12 month size :

Waistband fabric length (width) – 12.75 in x 3.5 in
Skirt fabric length (width) –  21 in x 5 in
Hem fabric length (width) – 25.5 in x 2.5 in(I will do 3 next time)

Then, I cut out my fabric.  I followed her advice and doubled the white.
TIP (What I will do next time): I will cut (at least the hem piece) on the FOLD and I probably won’t hem it. Probably I’ll just stitch a top stitch to keep it creased.

Then, I followed the tutorial for sewing the skirt.  It was pretty well explained and simple. Although, my machine tried to eat my fabric. We had a tug of war. It won.

Now, I didn’t use my serger/overlocker to serge the fabric.  I attempted a different stitch on my sewing machine.  That said, if I choose not to bust out the ol’ temperamental serger, I will ZIG ZAG my fabric.  I did that with my pockets and it was much cleaner and neater than the other stitch I tried.

The dress was pretty simple to make.
Oh yeah — you know how they tell you that you can “cheat” the gathering of the dress by adjusting your tension all the way? Well, my sewing machine didn’t gather it so well, so I will have to do the “traditional” way from now on. Lesson learned.

Now, the pocket… well, I learned a lot.


The Gathered Pocket Tutorial.

Things I have learned about the pocket tutorial:

1. Make sure you leave enough space for the buttonhole (which is bigger than the button) and the band/gathers. I didn’t and I didn’t have quite the space.
2. Make sure you are well acquainted with your buttonhole maker. This was my first time with mine on my new machine. We have a learning curve.
3. My pocket seemed too big/wide for my skirt.  So I “pleated” it.
4. Maneuvering my needle around the pocket was difficult, so my pocket wasn’t perfect. I also sewed my button onto my pocket and sewed the pocket closed. My girl is only a year old so the pocket was only for the look.

Final thoughts:

*After washing, my skirt was REALLY wrinkled.  I talked to my grandma and she said that the softer cottons (think pima) are more forgiving in the wash. So, keep that in mind while shopping, unless you love ironing tiny skirts.
* I would make my hem piece a little longer and I wouldn’t hem (note earlier opinion). That way, pressing would be easier and it would have a cleaner look.
* I will make sure my pocket is perfect. This one, I became impatient.

Well, I hope this inspires someone else to try it! I’m sure you’ll do better than I will!

Next week: I will make a dress out of one of my old shirts and some scrap material! (Low budget!)


My sewing must-haves.

In light of Tutorial Tuesday tomorrow, I wanted to list a few of my essentials for sewing.


Right now I’m into the “Heart” Radio. There’s nothing like sewing while listening to Aerosmith, Kansas, Heart, Pat Benatar, and Journey!

Oh yeah, and things like…

Good scissors
Straight Pens
a little container for holding pins (or a pin cushion)
a fabric marking pen
measuring tape and a ruler


My new project!

Are you like me and like going through all the crafty blogs?

Places like…
Make It and Love It
Dana Made It
Made By Rae
…and others?

Well I do.  I love them. They have all these fabulous tutorials that I always think about doing.

Now, I’m not a great seamstress. I get impatient and I make a lot of mistakes.  I’m also just learning.  I know that I do diaper bags, burp cloths, and stuff, but the bags were taught to me by my grandma (who is AMAZING) and the other stuff is just a straight stitch. I want to learn how to become a great seamstress, though.

Why do I think sewing is important?

Well, I want my little girl to proudly say (or in a few years, groan) that “Mama made this.”
I think sewing is a lost art. Don’t believe me? Go look for fabric.
It gets me focused on something other than baking. Sewing is way less fattening.
… and I like being crafty.
(She’s crafty! And she’s just my type! Sorry. Beastie boys reference.)

So, I am going to tackle these tutorials and I will call it
Tutorial Tuesday.

Every Tuesday, I will display a tutorial I have attempted to tackle.  You’ll get to see me in all my messed up glory.  I’ll let you know if you can tackle it too. This way, I’ll learn what I like and I can perfect the ones I really loved to do.

Preview: This Tuesday, I will tackle “the Market Skirt”!

I can’t wait to show you! (Well, I can wait. Until Tuesday.)