Foliage wrap-around skirt

Fall is here. The trees are changing into vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red. So wonderful colors and light!

(Okoř, close to Praha)

During the last month I had a major clean-out of my closet and sewing corner. I keep a stack of old clothes which I don’t wear anymore, but the material is too good to be toss out and instead can be used in some sewing project. Several years ago I received an orange corduroy skirt from a family member for exactly that purpose.

During the clean-out this wrap-around skirt resurfaced. Being infected by those wonderful autumn colors around me I wanted to wear a skirt like this!

The original skirt was too long and too tight. So I generously cut off the hem and opened the side seams. From the cut off hem I salvaged rectangular pieces which I inserted into the side seams.

The direction of the corduroy of the skirt is (as usual) vertical, but of the inserted side panels it is horizontal. This I think adds an interesting feature to the skirt! Finally I repositioned the buttons and have now a lovely new old skirt!

Pattern: Refashioning an old skirt. No pattern used.

Fabric: A used corduroy skirt

Will I do it again? Refashioning old clothes? Always!

This is my contribution to RUMS.

Dieser Blogpost ist auf Englisch. Ich lese und beantworte Kommentare aber gerne auch auf Deutsch.

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Sun-Print Skirt

This has been a very longterm project. Two years ago I prepared this fabric for a skirt but never got around putting it together (I was too scared to screw it up). But ow I felt confident enough to finish it and enjoy wearing my new skirt during the last warm days of summer.

Inspired by Alisa’s sun-print bag I tried this technique on a very hot sumer day. First I cut out the pieces for a skirt (my trusted burda pattern, you can see previous versions here, here, here, here and here). Then I colored the fabric with diluted fabric paint and quickly pressed on it leaves I found in the garden. The whole thing I put to dry in the hot sun.

The dried fabric now looked like this – you can see the shape of the leaves:

I am still not sure how exactly this works. Alisa believes that this happens because the leaves absorb the pigments from the wet color. This could be one possibility. An other possibility is that the fabric dries faster where it is not covered by a leave. The water, containing the paint particles, is then sucked out from underneath the leaves (through capillary effects and the moisture gradient) so that there is then less paint where the leaves have been. Or the reason cold be an entirely different one. I am a geek and I love to understand things. So, if you have knowledge (or an opinion) about this I love to hear it!

So, this is the skirt. I kept it very simple, no pockets, invisible zip at the side, no visible seams on the outside. One new thing I tried:  after closing the upper edge of the waist band, I stitched the seam allowance to the inner part of the waist band before folding it over. That way the inner part of the waistband is kept better in place and will not peak out at the upper edge.

The print is not as visible as much as I had hoped and I am still afraid that it might wash out (although I used fabric paint and ironed the thing about a hundred times). Enough reason to try again! Now our summer is almost over but next year I might turn this into an other project with my sons!

Pattern: Burda style 2 / 2010 download-pattern (BM1002 104). I made model B. Alterations: I cut the back in one piece, put the invisible zip into the side seam, omitted the pockets, adjusted the length and have no visible seams on the outside.

Fabric: an old white cotton bed sheet, dyed using  Alisa’s sun-print technique and normal fabric paint bought at the local crafts store.

Will I do it again? YES! Its a fun technique! But next time it will probably something else than a skirt.

This is my contribution to RUMS.

Dieser Blogpost ist auf Englisch. Ich lese und beantworte Kommentare aber gerne auch auf Deutsch.

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Flowery Skirt


One shouldn’t climb over fences. Especially not in a new skirt. Well, I managed to rip a hole into my beloved new corduroy skirt when I climbed over an evil spiky fence. There you have it. Luckily the hole is small and the skirt is now waiting for me to mend it. It is sitting on top of a huge pile of pieces which need to be mended, altered or up-cycled (sigh!). Should I mention that I am not so good going about that pile? That I rather make something new? I probably should look out for a mend-along or alteration-challenge – some sort of self-help group for procrastinators like myself…


This semester I am doing a bit of teaching at the local university and of course I am concerned about what to wear. And since my corduroy skirt is temporarily unavailable (see above) I made skirt number three using the same pattern (others are here and here) from a nice thick cotton fabric I had in my stash. Because the fabric is quite thick I did not make pockets and no lining. Also, I cut the back in one piece so not to worry about the flowery pattern and moved the zipper to the side. Like with my corduroy skirt, I sink-stitched the waistband using the special sewing foot and stitched the hem with an almost invisible seam using the same sewing foot – the seam is not quiet invisible, though (see photo above), but I can live with that.

Pattern: Burda style 2 / 2010 download-pattern (BM1002 104). I made model B. I adjusted the length, skipped pockets, cut the back in one piece and moved the zipper to the side.

Fabric: Thick cotton fabric from Ik*a.

Challenge: This time it was more or less standard (which does not mean that I didn’t have to redo most seams a gazillion times!!).

Will I do it again? Yes! The next piece of fabric is waiting to be cut!


This is my contribution to RUMS.

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Corduroy Skirt


Up until now I knew three different sewing feet: two for putting in sippers (one for the invisible sipper and one for normal sippers), and one foot for everything else.

Then I read in blogs about sink-stitching the waistband and I decided to use this technique on my new skirt. Thanks to youtube I learned about the use of a special sewing foot which makes the sink-stitching so much easier. And, unbelievably, I actually own exactly the right foot for my sewing machine! Oh – how much easier is it with the use of the right foot!! I immediately took the manual of my sewing machine and I am now learning about all the other possibilities. I also stitched the hem using a special foot. Great!


So, here is is the newest addition to my wardrobe: A light and soft corduroy skirt with pockets and lining. I tend to make my skirts quite roomy, so that I can easily sit on the floor with kids, run after them and ride my bike. How well this skirt actually fits will show the wearing test – I notices already that the corduroy really loves to stick to my tights, even though I lined the skirt!


Pattern: Burda style 2 / 2010 download-pattern (BM1002 104). I made model B with lining and adjusted the length.

Fabric: fine corduroy (baby-cord), 100% cotton

Challenge: (1) first time I put lining into a garment; (2) first time I sink-stitched the waistband using a special sewing foot; (3) first time I stitched the hem with invisible seam using a special sewing foot.

Will I do it again? Yes! The next piece of fabric is waiting to be cut!

This is my contribution to RUMS.

The post Corduroy Skirt first appeared on

Summer skirt


Hurray! This skirt was hiding as an UFO since May and I was afraid it would not be finished in time to see the summer sun. But, thanks to my lovely sewing class, I managed to finally finish this skirt and could wear it today. I even managed to insert my first invisible zipper.

Although I usually prefer more gentle and toned down colors, I really enjoy wearing this skirt and it makes me smile each time I look at it. It is a very happy summer skirt.

The pattern is a download pattern from Burda. I omitted the pockets, because the fabric is quite thick and I was afraid that pockets would make it too bulky. I chose a rather large size so that the skirt is sitting loosely on the hip. As a result, it bulges a bit on the hips – the pattern is a bit more curvy than I am. I also did not cut the waistband on the bias, a mistake I only realized after finishing the skirt, but I don’t think it matters much since the skirt is rather loosely fitting in the waist. Other than that I have to seriously improve my fitting skills, the skirt was relatively simple to sew and to insert the zipper was much easier than I thought. I made some effort to center the pattern on the front and match the pattern at the back seam – I would say almost successfully…. The hem I just turned and top-stitched. I could have done a better job, though. I am just not able to sew straight, and the stitching is a bit of a zig-zag at times. What is the secret to straight stitching?

Pattern: Burda style 2 / 2010 download-pattern (BM1002 104). I made model B without pockets.

Fabric:  FREDRIKA from IKEA 100% cotton

This is my contribution to RUMS!