Category Archives: Skirts

Sequins are a (little) girl’s best friend

Sometimes after a prolonged preoccupation with shirt-making, a 15 minute sewing project is welcome.

Easy sequin pull-on skirt by Sew Maris

I give you the pull-on sequin skirt. Best for little girls, tho maybe under the right circumstances….. ūüôā

Last week I saw a cutie-pie in the grocery store wearing a sequin skirt with her rain boots, and knew my boot-wearing-granddaughter (who loves all things sparkly, princess-y, and jewel-like) would totally lose her mind to have one just like it. True confession: I have NEVER sewn on sequined fabric before. (Tho you can barely call the wimpy-netting-sequin-y stuff fabric.)  True confession: I bought this stuff at Jo-ann Fabrics. Not my fave fabric store. True confession: I never made anything so frivolous and impractical for my daughters. Something I now greatly regret and am trying to make amends for with my grand.

Easy sequin pull-on skirt by Sew Maris

Easy-peasy quick sew. I cut the fabric using an almost-ready-for-a-new-blade rotary cutter so the sequins didn’t dull a fresh¬†blade instantly. Stitched up the one seam using a triple zig-zag stitch. Don’t ask me why‚ÄĒit just seemed like a good idea! Made a circle of purple fold-over elastic and used the same triple zig-zag stitch to attach to one¬†end of the skirt tube, thereby making it the skirt waist.

Done and done. Nope, no hemming. No finishing of any kind. Fifteen minutes and it was all over but the photographing. Shirley (my dear mom, my first sewing teacher, and the goddess of sewing perfection) is definitely rolling over in her grave. ūüėČ

The cutie I saw wearing the inspiration skirt styled it with leggings underneath, a  knit top, and rain boots. So Pacific Northwest! If I can capture my DGD wearing this skirt I will be sure to grab a snap or too for photo evidence.

I definitely recommend this skirt for a quick palate-cleansing sewing project. Have you ever sewn a sparkly sequin garment for a little girl? For yourself? It was so.much.easier than I thought it would be! Maybe there are some sparkles in my future, too. ūüėČ

Happy sewing!




Ready for spring!

White eyelet skirt

My white eyelet skirt for spring and summer is ready for wearing! Now all we need is warmer weather here in the great Pacific Northwest. I love, love, love this fabric, and also how quick this skirt was to make. Two pieces plus a waistband – easy peasy. Of course it needed a lining, but a two rectangles is about as simple as it gets.

I made French seams so the finish was totally clean on the inside, and also so the seam allowance looked minimal from the right side.

White EYelet Skirt Seam

And of course then I had to also do it on the lining. Just cuz.

White Eyelet Skirt Lining

I think I am going to enjoy this skirt. I probably ought to get going on a few new tops to go with it, right?

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

Second garment underway for Stacey


Don’t look at the big mess in my sewing studio – check out the big smile on Stacey’s face! I am pretty sure it has something to do with that stinkin’ cute skirt she finished up a few weeks ago that she is modeling here. Or maybe it is the new dress she is cutting out and prepping – her second garment since she started sewing lessons.¬† This lady know how to get things done, she has a great eye for color and pattern, and I especially love how we laugh nonstop during her lesson time!

Have I mentioned before that sewing students totally rock? Keep it up, Stacey, I can’t wait to see how the red and white dress turns out!

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

Sewing an eyelet skirt for summer

I am so excited! Sewing for the current spring/summer season actually commenced TODAY. I bought some uh-dora-bell white cotton eyelet at Nancy’s Sewing Basket last August, and today it started on a path to becoming a wearable garment. Amazing!

I don’t remember the last time I sewed on eyelet – but it definitely has been a while.¬† I decided to use French seams, partially because I love the look of them, and partially because I wanted a narrow, completely finished seam inside. Sheesh! Stitching straight on heavily embroidered fabric with lots of holes requires focus, people. And lotsa controlling the fabric going under the presser foot. I couldn’t sew at my usual warp speed, that’s for sure.

Stitching eyelet fabric

This skirt is dead simple. A front, a back, and a waistband. Since I cut the front and back cross grain and both eyelet selvedges are scalloped, I don’t even have to hem it. Sweet! Well, there is a lining too, but still – not a tough project. The invisible zipper went in without a hitch. Here are my tips for making this a foolproof process.

Lay a strip of water soluble stabilizer on both sides of the fabric, and then pin the zipper on top of the stabilizer. The stabilizer really made the stitching smooth and stable.

Stabilizing zipper on eyelet

After both sides of the zipper are stitched, trim the seam allowance so that it is even with zipper tape and overcast the edges together. Might be a little hard to see in this pix, but I love how neat and finished the zipper looks on the inside.

Clean finishing zipper edge

I clipped the seam allowance below the zipper tape so I could continue my francophile ways and make a French seam below the zipper. Nice!

French seam on eyelet

Here is the finished zipper, and it looks perfect!!

Invisible zipper on eyelet

The white cotton lining is mostly completed and ready to go inside the skirt. I want the lining to hang free so that the eyelet holes are really visible. Probably I will have to whip the lining seam allowance to the zipper – at least at the very bottom – and possibly also down both sides of the zip. But I still think the floaty lining inside the skirt will look best. I hope I can finish it tomorrow…wish me luck, dear readers!

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

Pattern Review Day – Seattle 2011


Yes, I know I am late getting this post up. Sorry! But in case you missed the announcement, Pattern Review celebrated 10 years this month, and several cities around the country hosted a PR Day get-together on November 19th. We were lucky enough to have someone step forward to organize one for Seattle – thanks for all your hard work, Jacqui (pretty lady standing in the pix above)!

It was pretty much an all-day event, tho I was only able to hang out with my fellow sewing nerd friends in the morning. We started at Nancy’s Sewing Basket at the top of Queen Anne hill in Seattle.¬† We were entertained and informed by two lovely young designers,¬†Gina and Elizabeth, from SEWN Square One. In case you have not seen these patterns yet, you are definitely missing something. This new line is a division of Lorraine Torrence, and these patterns are very well-drafted, are fresh, modern designs, and have excellent instructions to boot. One of my students made the Go Anywhere Dress, which was designed by Gina. Adorable. Could successfully be made up in a wide variety of fabrics and be suitable for a range of occasions. Of course, I had to purchase a couple of patterns on the spot – the Swing Shift which was designed by Elizabeth, and the Upline Jacket. I am going to make the Upline Jacket in an “ikat style” print denim I have in my stash, and I am not quite sure about the Swing Shift yet. I do have to say tho,¬† it is so refreshing to see such hip, trendy YOUNG people interested in the art of sewing. These bright young designers definitely have their game on.

Below you can see Elizabeth is holding several of the SEWN patterns, and Gina is on the far right…almost out of the shot. Ooops. Cute, eh? ūüėČ


Here Gina is holding some of the sample garments while Elizabeth is describing the design features.


After learning more about SEWN Square One, I headed to lunch with a pal from ASG, and then sadly had to head home. The rest of the gang went on to Seattle Fabrics and Pacific Fabrics in Northgate. It was definitely a fun day, and I hope to attend more PR events in the future.  If you are not a PR member, join us!


Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen