Tag Archives: sewing tutorials

Skirt Sew Along Part 2: Darts

Today is a shorter task, but we will work on zippers next which may be a challenge for some of you. Today we will take a look at sewing our darts. Those were the V shapes we marked into our fabric last time.


First you will fold your fabric down the center of the dart matching your markings on both sides. Make sure you have your fabric right sides together while you do this.


Now, sew along the marking from top to bottom.


This is what your dart should look like. I am using white thread so it is more visible for pictures, but you will probably want to use a color that matches your fabric.


Take the thread tail located at the bottom of the dart and tie a few knots in it. That reinforces it, and is less bulky than trying to reverse on a dart to anchor it. Repeat this dart sewing for the remaining three darts on your skirt.


When unfolded, your darts should look like this on your skirt front piece.


Press your darts toward the center of the garment. In general you always press darts toward the center unless the directions specify other wise. As you can see above I laid my skirt back pieces next to each other to help myself visualize which way would be center.


As you can see the blue skirt is still mirroring the pink skirt. We will start showing differences in finishes on the next post.

Skirt Sew Along

I just love a skirt in the summer. Nothing fancy or lined, I just want a plain old skirt to wear. A-line is my favorite shape, and Butterick 4461 is my favorite pattern. It’s not too fancy. I can dress it up or down, and it is so much cooler to wear than shorts or pants in these hot Houston summers.



I made this version last year for the rodeo and got a ton of compliments. I used a Texas wildflower print by Michael Miller Fabrics.


I made this version this winter while wishing for spring. Sadly, I have already gotten to wear it and am wishing summer away.


I made this version around the same time. Sadly my iron wigged out and burned a hole through it. Le sigh. It was really beautiful.

I was thinking of the best way to do a sew along. Butterick 4461 the first skirt I ever made, so a very beginner could do it, but now I like fancy seams and new techniques that I would like to share. Here is what I came up with: I am making two versions of the skirt. The blue one will be a skirt that uses more advanced techniques. The pink one will be a version that uses very basic techniques that a beginner would benefit from.

Think of it this way, have you ever gotten an exercise video and the crazy buff trainer in front says if you are having any difficulty you can follow the one person doing a low impact workout? The pink skirt will be low impact and the blue one will be all out. You will be able to switch techniques I show on both skirts, and maybe you can teach me a thing or too.


Low impact pink skirt.


Advanced technique blue skirt. Isn’t it cute?

I know A-Line skirts are not for everyone. If you have a simple skirt with zipper in another shape, you may be able to follow along as well. I’m happy to try to answer any questions you have about this. In the meantime go get your pattern and fabric. As for zippers I will show how to do both an in seam zipper and an invisible zipper, so go nuts!

I’m off to complete my first important step: washing and drying my fabric on hot before I cut my fabric to thwart any washing and drying disasters in the future. I hope you do the same, and we’ll cut out fabric and patterns soon!

Random Question: Hey Stacie!  Why do you  recommend pre-washing fabrics on “Hot”?   Signed, Curious

Good question!  Sometimes my husband will do the laundry and not pay attention to temperature settings. We had an incident not long ago with a dress I had made that I had prewashed on a regular setting that he washed after it was completed on hot after several typical washings. It shrank and pulled, and I don’t think it will ever fit again. That was a huge lesson as well as a waste of money,energy, time and being upset with my husband. Now, in an effort to save my marriage, I wash on hot first to be proactive instead of reactive when someone else does laundry. If you have an alternate arrangement, washing on hot may not be necessary, but do pre-wash your fabric.

The Refashioned Stretch Velvet Top

Hello again!

Today’s post is all about an experiment I conducted to refashion an old top of mine.  I decided to cut it open and add button holes & buttons.  Overall, it was a success, with a little bit of a fail mixed in.  See below for more….

(The following is reposted from my most recent Sew Weekly contribution.)

The day we set aside to take pictures was a very grey and blustery one so, my dear, sweet, hubby, set up his equipment for an indoor photo shoot.   We didn’t think you’d be interested in seeing our humble living room, so he got creative and hence, the custom backgrounds….

Ever since I began contributing to the Sew Weekly, he’s been faithfully helping me photograph my latest sewing efforts and this week’s button holes “experiment”.  I must take a moment to extend an official “Thank You!!!” to my wonderful Mister.

The Facts

Fabric:  RTW stretch velvet shirt

Pattern:  This is made from a hand-me-down top that I was given a few years ago.  I decided to cut it open and refashion it into a button up top that I could then wear as a blouse or leave open and wear as a dressy cover up.  (My own personal experiment… eeeep!)

Year:  2012

Notions:  Vintage Buttons from my Grandma’s Stash

Time to complete:  2 hours

First Worn:  January 16, 2012

Wear Again:  Yes!

Total Price:  Free

The Details:  Going into this, you’ll note, that I had visions of leaving the buttons unfastened and wearing this velvety top as a cover up over all kinds of other little tops.  But, as you can see, or not see, there are NO photos of me with this little gem unbuttoned.  This is because, stretch velvet rolls.  So, if I ever were to wear it unbuttoned, everyone would get a nice long look at my button hole facings…..  Not the look I was going for, but oh well.  It’s good to experiment.  Right?

If the end goal is to be able to wear the shirt unbuttoned, I think this experiment would work better on heavier weight fabrics.  With that thought in mind, here’s a few pictures of my shirt’s “metamorphosis”:

I cut 2 strips of fabric about 1 1/4″ wide & about 2 inches longer than the shirt front.Then I ironed fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.
I found and marked center front and cut open my shirt. Eeeep!
With right sides together, I aligned one long edge of a facing strip with one long edge of my cut open shirt. Then I sewed the facing to the shirt and zig zagged the raw edge of the facing. (Next, I repeated these steps for the other facing.)
I then marked and sewed all of my buttonholes on the front of the shirt. This is a picture of my lovely facings….
Here’s a close up of my finished button hole and button. Except for the rolling velvet, this shirt turned out just the way I wanted.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read about this partially successful refashioning experiment.

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Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny