Monday, December 21, 2009

christmas skirts

I had high hopes of making two pretty Christmas dresses for my girls. I had these patterns, and I was envisioning the A-line bell sleeved Butterick dress in a creme fabric with a sparse toile-ish print in black and black velvet ribbons for trim.

Well this vision went the way of a lot of my craft delusions. When the rubber hit the road, there just was no time. So I opted for skirts instead. Quick, I thought. Easy, I thought. Then my brain disengaged.

I decided it would be great to copy a tiered skirt that Thing 1 has in denim that I absolutely love. I think it is from the Gap. So I measured the skirt's tiers and added all my seam allowances and went to work.

Honestly, I think the delusional Butterick dresses would have been easier and less time-consuming. I didn't hand gather (I used the ol' crank up the tension trick), but it still took an age to put them together. Oy. But I'm mostly pleased. I might have been happier if I had chosen to do them in solids. I didn't want them to be super Christmasy. But, I had these two pretty red prints already on hand, so I decided to Use My Stash.

In between each tier is a band of brown corduroy. This is another thing that took a long stinkin' time to do. Much easier and faster to have used narrow velvet ribbon, but I couldn't find any at the store and I was very married to the idea of narrow, brown and fuzzy. So the craziness just compounded with me making miles of my own brown corduroy trim.

Then my sewing machine quit working as I was putting the last stitches into Thing 2's skirt. I think it overheated or something. I'd been cranking the tension up and down and sewing 90 miles an hour in a manic attempt to meet my deadline and it just started acting really crazy, getting these big snarls of thread all wound in the bobbin. So the rest of the skirt had to be hand sewn.

All's well that ends well. And they went so well with Santa's outfit!


  1. They are adorable. Well worth the trials and effort

  2. awwww.... look at how grown up they look! The skirts are way too cute, too. I have the same aversion to Christmas clothes, but they still need something cute and new. You did a great job!

  3. They look very very beautiful - skirts as well as your girls...

    Merry christmas from a 'new Danish girl on the blog'...;-)

    You are welcome to have a look at my blog - it's in Danish, but you can always check the pics...(and ask me if you want anything translated)


  4. I'm glad I have a boy and am not tempted to sew him holiday clothing... I know if I had a girl I wouldn't be able to resist! The skirts are so pretty... I'm in a mad rush to finish sewing a Hobbes tiger stuffed animal before Christmas... faux fur is not fun. My poor sewing machine is about to revolt.

  5. They were well worth all the work - Beautiful! (Love Santa's outfit too :) )

  6. Hey, guys. Thanks a bunch! I'm realizing most of my sewing posts are filled with angst. It's how I roll apparently. ha!

    Jessica, yes, too grown up! (sob!)

    Groovymama, congrats on your new blog. Language is no barrier for me, craft addict.

    Holly, dude! Hobbes is my favorite ever! I have every single Calvin and Hobbes book ever published. Bill is a genius! Genius I tell you. Your kid is so lucky! I'd love to see a pic.

  7. The skirts are precious. I understand the frustration of heading into something thinking it is going to be easy and it isn't.

    Instead of sewing something new for Christmas, I made sure that I made my daughter's flower girl dress last summer in a print that would work for Christmas.

  8. The girls look so sweet in the skirts and they are sweet and pretty tall girls!

    I would love to see the third of the patterns made into a dress - somewhen...

    Merry Christmas to you,


  9. I love the way their outfits match Santa, so sweet!

  10. Those skirts are beautiful! Now I want to go snatch up what I can of that house fabric from my local fabric shop and make a skirt like that for myself!

  11. Oh those are so cute!! Also, love your no OMG. Ugh, no likey that phrase.

  12. Where did you get that fabric??! Love.

  13. Awww, so sweet! Well done on the skirts, they look fantastic!

  14. steelebjm, the red polka dot fabric is is from Denyse Schmidt's County Fair. The other print is an Alexander Henry Granville in Cassis.

  15. I agree with your other commentators - sounds like they were a real pain but so worth the effort as they turned out beautifully.

  16. Funny about the bobbin tension: I had the same problem two days ago. If my sewing machine dies, I think I might too... :(

    Anyway, the skirts are adorable! And they'll get a lot more wear out of them than the lovely dresses--right?


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