Dancing Skirt With Button-Pocket Waistband Closure

I’ve had the fabric for years, a lovely light blue (denim, I think) that had sun-fading streaks when I bought it (the price reflected that), necessitating some creative laying-out of pattern pieces.

The pattern (vintage Misses Simplicity 5819, Size 10, local second-hand) has been in my stash for a while. A couple of weeks ago I dreamed of putting them together, but it wasn’t until Mom visited that we finally got the ball rolling (she loves to sew–I don’t!).  Thanks, Mom :).

Further thanks go to my prince for being my stabilizing force in the stresses of sewing & gathering heavy fabric with breaking thread (yikes!) and for his photography :).

I lengthened the skirt by using the pattern piece for View 1, which has tucks, straightening the edges & not sewing the tucks. If I make this pattern again, I may narrow the top of the main skirt pieces for a final upper circumference of 40″ instead of 60″ (!) –there’s too much gather at the waistband for my taste (especially for such a heavy fabric).

I added crocheted lace trim (which I’d made for a different skirt, but ended up not using) at the base of the ruffle:

I used my new favorite waistband (copied from a ready-made skirt Mom resewed for me), and the skirt pocket from the old McCalls 5378 (a different pocket would work as long as it’s at least 3″ wide at the top). This eliminates the need for a zipper (a problem for me, since zippers are practically all polyester, which makes me itch) by putting the skirt closure at the pockets (which my skirts must have!). It also makes the skirt very size-adaptable, if I happen to gain or lose a few pounds. I just use the next button out (and I can move the buttons if I need to).

The waistband is made of two rectangles of fabric: 13″x4¼” (front) & 24″x4¼” (back). Actually, the back is bigger than I need–I’ll cut it down to 22″x4¼” next time.

To figure out your own size, the front piece should be one inch less than half your waist + 1/2″ seam allowance (or 1 1/2″ seam allowance, if you’re using a 5/8″ seam–I use 1/4″ for this). This puts the buttons slightly to the front for easy buttoning. For the back, add 9″ to the length of the front.

Iron a 1/4″ hem on all sides of each waistband piece, fold the rectangle in half the long way (the fold is the top of the waistband) & set aside.

Finish the top 7″ of the slanted side of each pocket piece (where they’d normally be sewn together) and sew the vertical sides to the upper side seams of the main skirt pieces (right sides together). Sew pocket pieces to each other, leaving the top 7″ (the edge you just finished) unsewn (this is your skirt opening).


Fold the front pockets back along the top of the skirt piece, gather the top of the skirt (not the pockets!) to match the front waistband piece, sandwich the top of the skirt & the pockets in the bottom of the folded front waistband & sew together from the outside of the skirt.

For the back, open the pockets out & gather the main body of the skirt (not the pockets!) so that the entire length fits the back waistband. Again, sandwich the pockets & top part of the skirt in the waistband & sew from the outside of the skirt. Sew two buttonholes lengthwise at each edge of the front waistband, spaced about an inch apart. Try on skirt and mark where to sew corresponding buttons on the back waistband.

More pictures…





Fruity Booties

Friends just had twins!

Strawberry Booties

The photo really doesn’t do these justice–they’re so cute!

I used this pattern for the booties, with these modifications:
For my thick red yarn, I did a starting ch of 23 (using the original sew-together pattern) & never did switch to dc (stuck to hdc throughout). The first short row (14 hdc) was red, then I did 2 hdc rows in green & the last row was ch 4, sc in 3rd ch from hook, ch1, skip a stitch & sc in next (repeat for 7 points). I left a long tail for sewing. With yellow yarn, I made random stitches all over the red part for the “seeds.” This would be cute with a little flower and/or leaves for a girl, but this pair was for a boy.

Raspberry Booties
(or grape, if made in purple!)
These would look better in a more cherry-colored yarn, but this was the best I had…

Again, I used this pattern but used the popcorn stitch. Again, start with ch 23. Make a popcorn stitch of 4hdc (the video shows a dc popcorn–same idea, but I pulled through all 3 loops at the end of each st instead of two at a time), ch 1, skip a ch, 4 hdc popcorn in next ch, etc. to the end of the row. Turn & do a reverse popcorn in the ch1 spaces on the way back so they all pop out on the same side. Keep the number of popcorn stitches the same on each of the long rows (the ends will zigzag a little–it works out in the sewing). The first short row (7 hdc popcorns) was red, then I did 2 hdc rows in green & the last row was ch 4, sc in 3rd ch from hook, ch1, skip a stitch & sc in next (repeat for 7 points). I left a long tail for sewing. If I were to do it again, I’d probably switch to green on the first short row.

Solomon’s Garden Popup Wedding Card

This is based on images found in the Song of Solomon in the Holy Bible
(aka Song of Songs, Canticle of Canticles or just Canticles):
A garden enclosed, a fountain, mountains, palm, apple and pomegranate trees, doves,
twin fawns, wheat encircled by lilies, roses and grapes.

Those of you who follow “At Home In Our Domestic Church”
will recognize this as an upgrade of the invitation for the “Solomon’s Garden” date!

Although I can’t post the file I used to create this,
(some of the images aren’t mine to share
and it’s a monster file!)
Here’s the next best thing: SolomonsGarden1
The images can’t be edited (although the text inside can), the image quality isn’t as good,
and I used a different image for the “Welcome to Solomon’s Garden” tab,
but it’s the best I can manage online.
I used digital photos of our lawn & the sky for the grass & sky,
& either drew, redrew or edited the other images.
The last page of the file has step-by-step instructions
(please tell me if you can’t make them work!).

The sparkle on the gate is from a “Clear Star” Jellyroll pen
(I use this all the time!)
and the corners were punched with Multi-Shaper punch “Fireworks“.

It’s a basic tab-style pop-up,
but on the front of the card instead of inside
(idea thanks to Vintage Pop-Up Cards, by Taylor Hagerty).

Here’s the card completely closed:

The bottom opens, making the image 3-D
(the deer and wheat encircled by lilies come forward behind the gates–
the photo doesn’t show that very well):

Here’s the inside:

And here’s a side view of the tabs that pop the images forward:

May this get your creative juices flowing!

Roses On My Toeses!

Now that it’s warm enough for sandals, the bows just don’t work.
Roses to the rescue!

(Yes, that’s a cat getting in on the action–he loves shoes!)

I used the rose pattern from the Irish Filigree Necklace,
found in Annie’s Favorite Thread Projects.
It’s quick & easy–the whole project (including figuring out the leaf pattern!)
only took a couple of hours.

For the leaves I started with ch 15, sc in 2nd chain from hook, sc in next ch.
1 dc into each of the next 2 ch
1 trc into each of the next 2 ch
1 dc into each of the next 2 ch
1 sc into each of the next 2 ch

Proceeding up the other side of the chain
(working into the free loop of each ch),
1 sc into each of the next 2 ch
1 dc into each of the next 2 ch
1 trc into each of the next 2 ch
1 dc into each of the next 2 ch
1 sc into each of the next 2 ch
ch 3, sl st to end ch (picot)

Sl st down the center of the leaf to form the vein
(or skip this step if you don’t care about a vein!)
& fasten off.
This leaves a bit of stem, which you don’t really need–
you could probably start with 11 chains.

Sew the leaves to the roses, sew the roses to the shoe clip findings
(I got these on ebay)
clip to shoes and you’re good to go!
(Just make sure you sew them on facing the right way–
I got it wrong the first time & they were pointing backward!)

Bows On My Toes!

Spring is sprung!
Time to decorate my white shoes!
(They desperately needed help!)

I didn’t take photos of the process, though,
so I made another pair in black.

I used this pattern for the lace, although I made the bow itself differently.

I started with a repeat of 6 shells across (a starting chain of 19)
and 5 shells long for the white–7 shells for the black.
The white thread was so old it didn’t have a size designation,
but it seems to be something thicker than size 10.
The black thread is Knit Cro-Sheen (size 10).

You could make the bows larger or smaller
by increasing or decreasing the number of shells in length & width.

Once that was done, I cut the thread & attached at the edge of the beginning chain
to do the same thing in the other direction,
making the shells in the remaining loops of the original chain,
opposite the first shells.
That way the outside edges match each other

The center is the same as the pattern, but only 5 shells long
(you could make them a little longer if you wanted the center a little looser).

I left long tails on the centers
(you could do the same with the original chain on the bows & use that),
threaded a needle with the tail & wove the thread in & out of the center of the bow
(and then back again) to gather it.

With that same thread, I whip-stitched the two ends of the center to each other,
being careful not to catch the bow itself in the sewing.

I pulled & tweaked the bow & the center into the shape I wanted,
then used the same thread to sew on the shoe clip findings
(which we found on ebay).

Here are the finished shoe clips upside down next to the plain shoes
(you can see the shoe clip findings attached)
with some kitty interest :).

And the finished shoe clips on the shoes:


Manly Lace

When my prince learned to serve for the Latin Mass a few years ago (as a favor to the chaplain at the school where he teaches), he developed a taste for lace–manly lace– specifically, for the lace that decorates some of the more expensive surplices. And he wanted the surplice itself to be linen.

We looked. Pricey! When we happened to mention it as a gift idea to my mom, who loves to sew, she made a deal with me: if I’d crochet the lace, she’d make the surplice.

It took me about 4 months!

I developed the lace pattern to my prince’s taste, using the less-common ch-1 filet crochet (ch1 for each open square, instead of ch 2–it makes a denser lace).  It’s crocheted vertically (I started at the lower right edge of the chart & worked my way to the upper right, then back to the bottom of the chart, etc.), using size 50 crochet thread and a size 14 hook.  The horizontal line of each square is a double crochet.  The spaces are a chain-1, the filled blocks are another double crochet.

Her’s the chart for the bottom edging:

Here’s the chart for the sleeve edging:

The bottom lace is about 4 yards long. The lace for each sleeve is roughly a yard long.

Mom, in the meantime, studied surplices and developed her own pattern to finish the project.
She made a muslin mockup for my prince to try on before cutting into the actual linen.

It’s being put to good use!

Lifelike Crocheted Johnny-Jump-Up

I’ve never been satisfied with the crocheted pansy patterns I’ve found…
perusing the internet offerings yesterday inspired me to try my own:

The two flowers without stems are crocheted–the violet & yellow at top center,
and the yellow at lower left. The others are real flowers.

These are Johnny-Jump-Ups–
the pattern could be altered a little to make them look more like violets or pansies.

Start with a magic circle (for best results, keep the ring small), ch 2.
All in ring: 3trc, 1dc, 3trc, ch 2, sl st (bottom petal), *ch 3, 4 trc, ch3, sl st (side petal), repeat from* once (second side petal), sl in 1st ch of bottom petal, pull tail to tighten ring, ch1, turn.

Working behind side petals, insert hook into the middle of side petal just worked and out through the center ring.

Grab thread and pull through for a sl st. ch1, insert hook into center ring between 2 side petals and sl st,

ch1, insert hook into the middle of second side petal and out center ring (as for previous petal), sl st. If you want to switch colors, this would be the time to pick up the second color. ch 3, turn.

In last ch 1 made (still behind side petals), trc, 2dtrc (wrap 3 times around hook), trc, ch 3, sl st.

Sl st into next ch 1 and repeat (ch 3, trc, 2 dtrc, trc, ch 3, sl st). Fasten off.

Sew seed bead to center of flower if desired (a touch of black embroidery radiating from the center would make them even more realistic!).