bow for pink skirt


I made a bow for my pink skirt. It’s not completely what I wanted it to be, but I used what I had. I wanted a thicker bow, one that would really make a statement, but this will do in a pinch, since I only had thin scraps left. The best part is, it’s long enough to wrap around a couple times, which will cover up my skirt waistband, which is slightly too large for me.

Why is the waistband too large? I swear it wasn’t Seamstress Incompetence. When I measured my waist, I had just gotten back from my gut-busting trip to Italy, during which I consumed enough pasta/pizza/gelato/espresso/vino to gain several pounds (the exact number of pounds I gained Shall Remain A Mystery). Back home on my SANE diet, which is basically a “DON’T CONSUME ITALIAN STUFF” diet, I have since lost some of that poundage and now the skirt waistband is too big.
*Whine whine, boo hoo, life is so hard!*

So. The belt covers up all that nonsense. Hooray for simple-minded solutions!

process pics for pink skirt


I’ve already finished this skirt, but I’m posting some process photos ‘cuz I know some of you like them! (I love process photos!)


I gathered the skirt very carefully this time, since my first several attempts at gathering have come out a bit bunchy in some places, not gathered at all in other places. I’m quite happy with the result! I also used somebody’s tip (sorry, can’t remember who left the comment!) to pin pin pin a ton. So that’s what I did! I pinned at least every inch. Then as I stitched, I let the gathers lay down towards me as they went under the presser foot. The result was good!

I ended up straying from tutorials and kind of doing this project from memory and in a way that made sense to me. This meant after I gathered the skirt, I stitched the waistband directly on, right sides together, then folded over the inside part of the waistband and top-stitched it to the inside gathers, making sure to catch all the gathers in the seam.


I did the same thing I always do on zippers, which is stitch across the zipper tape. BurdaStyle says to sew a little piece of fabric on, which I suppose would be a little nicer, but I’ve always done it this way and it’s faster. I do wonder if it’s bad for my needle…Any thoughts on this?

yes, it’s going to be that kind of post

I finished my pink A-line skirt! I’m not doing a photo shoot of it yet,
because the first day I wore it I spilled black paint on it.

Ha ha ha ha ha.


So that’s getting a nice long pre-soak.

In the meantime, I made a bow belt. It’s not as big/overstated as I would have liked, but I used the fabric I had left. The good news is, I think it will cover up the skirt waistline, which I made just a little too big so it gapes a little. (Not intentional.)

I’ve also purchased this pattern:


I’m going to make a slip that is specifically meant to peek out underneath A-line skirt hemlines. I’m going to make this pattern using two layers of sheer fabric (actually, a pair of sheer curtain panels we had in our bedroom in our old condo). I might give it an elastic waistline instead of the waistline specified in the pattern, just so it feels more like a slip.

On the other hand, if I gave it a proper hemline, I could get away with wearing it over other things, like leggings (would that look weird?) or other skirts.

Hm…that might be a winning idea, especially since I took this picture in Italy:


I can’t decide if I like it.
Fashion people, or generally opinionated people, I need your opinions!
What do you think of these sheer maxi/midi skirts over mini skirts?

sheer maxi skirts

I’ve never seen them look as good on real people as they do on these runway models. (Oh, the power of a great walk!) It’s like the skirt can’t decide–or maybe the person wearing it couldn’t decide. “Should I wear a mini skirt today, or a maxi? I know! How ’bout both!” Here in Seattle I tend to wear clothes that are oriented with the weather. What does this skirt combo say about the weather? “It was too cold to wear a mini skirt today, but too warm to wear a maxi.” Somewhere in the world there is the perfect climate for this type of skirt, but I’m beginning to convince myself that No, I do not want a sheer-maxi-over-mini combo.

So, a slip it shall be! With an elastic waistband. Update as of 7/23: I have decided to make it with a real waistband, just so I can use it as an outer skirt if I ever wish. Fickle!

See that? How decisions are made around here?
I talk around in a big circle until I arrive back at the exact spot I started–but now I feel confident I’ve explored the other options and that Yes, I did indeed pick the best one.

This drives my husband insane. Especially when we’re shopping.

ME: “I love that dress so much.”
HUBBY: “You should get it.”
ME: “I think I will, but first let me look at (and touch) every single other item in the store so I can be sure I’ve checked all the other options.”

pattern purchased

For today’s “Just One Thing,” I downloaded and printed this FREE skirt pattern.
It’s FREE!


After looking at the pattern for a little while, I decided what I’d rather do is use Gertie’s skirt tutorial, which is what I used for my Nankeen skirt.


This tutorial was a favorite of mine–easy to do, great results. I also realized the BurdaStyle pattern pieces weren’t going to work for the print I was using.

I cut my pieces and realized there wouldn’t be enough fabric for pockets–not too big a deal.

I’ll show a couple process photos tomorrow and then hopefully do a photo shoot the day after that! I miiiiight be getting faster at some of these projects. Just a little bit.

a new plan for an old print

Okay, haven’t been sewing for a bit, it’s time to get back on the “Do Just One Thing Today” horse. My Just One Thing today has been to make decisions about my next project.

Originally when I made my wearable muslin dress, I planned to do the “real” version in my pink fabric. What I found it is, I hadn’t bought enough of the pink to make a dress. Plan B: skirt!

I’ve put together my thoughts here, which went quickly from indecision to…decision! This is why I love writing stuff down, it gives me clarity. What I came up with is more than just a skirt, it’ll be an entire ENSEMBLE!


I like the wide high waistband, and the shape of the skirt.


But I am a sucker for gathered skirts. I like the wide high waistband, and the gathered fullness of the skirt. I do love myself some full skirts. They give a nice hourglass, they feel modest but also very ladylike and flattering. And they’re dramatic. Ooh! I could even add pockets!


 I love the big dramatic bow. Maybe I could make this bow in leftover pink fabric, and wear it optional. On the other hand, I also like the skirt, but I don’t know if I would look as good in it as the model does. In general I’m not a huge fan of the bubble skirt fit. So maybe Skirt #2, with Bow #3?

Also, I like this:


 I like the sheer layer, and I have sheer fabric. Maybe I could do a sheer slip, and wear it under skirts whenever I feel like having that option. Now we’re talking! That would be fun.

 So, make skirt from Pattern #2, bow from #3, and sheer slip from Pattern #4 (or other slip pattern).

 When that’s done, I’d love to wear this with the skirt:


 The bottom one, with the collar and buttons. Make my own Nettie bodysuit, and transfer the Peter Pan collar on.

 bodysuit-technical drawings

 Bodysuit #2, high neck/low back/short sleeves, or maybe high front neck/high back/short sleeves.

The ensemble would only be complete with some fabulous glasses frames, sunglasses pref, black. And some gold jewelry, like a bracelet or earrings. My favorite black heels with white stitches.

Pink skirt, big bow, Peter Pan-collar t-shirt, sheer slip peeking out underneath. Too girly? Do you think it’s too girly?

TOO GIRLY?! Bah humbug! No such thing.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Oonaballoona, it’s Never Be Boring.

cinque terre

 Cinque Terre means “Five Lands,” a region containing five small towns that hug the Mediterranean Sea. Colorful buildings squeezed together, tightly clinging to bougainvillea-covered hillsides. Rocky beaches and the water warmer than a swimming pool. Eight years ago I visited the south of France with my sister, and have been pining for this part of the world since. It was perfect.


A cart in a small piazza in Buonasola




Vernazza, with the calmest spot for swimming, in a little harbor


Four ladies, sitting in a piazza at night;
the second woman on the left is 96 years young.
She told us if we want to live as long as her, “Drink wine. Good wine.”


In Rome, the streets are paved with black square stones
so that you imagine you’re walking on a reptile who snakes through the entire city.
Gelatteria stock flavors you’ve never seen before (rosemary/lemon, raspberry/sage).
Crowds pack the sidewalks eating pizza at midnight.
Maybe they’re addicted to the golden light
that glows off the white marble at night.


Statue in the fountain of the Piazza Navona


Ladies eating gelato on steps


A piazza at night, where lots of people mill about, and where we drank wine and ate apperitivi


Ancient Roman ruins (possibly where Julius Caesar was killed), which have been turned into a sanctuary for homeless cats


St. Peter’s Basilica