Posts Tagged ‘women’s clothing’

I promise this will be my last post on Skirting Couture! Here are a few blurry snapshots from the weekend workshop.


All of us worked at our own pace, and on our choice of 3 different skirt patterns. I was lucky to get the room with an extravagant amount of table-space per seamstress. Aaaaah, the luxury!  Look at all those pretty skirts in process.

a new Friend

I shared my table with Timshel. Couldn’t believe all we had in common!  She made her skirt in the gorgeous Azalea Small Gathering from Good Folks.

my skirt in "small gathering"

Isn’t it lovely?  Timshel was making one of the harder skirt styles, which required much more cutting.  It’s going to be beautiful.


Oh, and look what I found in Timshel’s photostream! See, it’s Anna’s zipper coil drawing. Fabulous, right (wink, wink)? It was very helpful in understanding the invisible zipper.

But for all the learning and sewing, there was an equal share of socializing.  A room full of ladies sharing this passion.  New friends and new blogs.  I’m sure that was half the fun!


And shopping. At the last minute, when our class time was truly over but no one wanted to leave, the ladies hovered around the table full of Anna Maria Horner goodness and bought up fabrics like they were going out of style (and many are going out of print, after all).


The Skirting Couture weekend workshop was an amazing treat that could only have been improved by you all being there too.  I wish you were!  Next time….

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Thank-you, thank-you for your comments and advice on Decisions, decisions.  The first morning of Anna Maria Horner’s  Skirting Couture workshop, I still didn’t know which fabric I would use!  So, completely unlike me.  But, after setting up my sewing machine I just knew that I would reach for the Natura by Alexander Henry.


I think my inner “Type A” drive to use up a fabric that I had no other inspiration for won out over other factors.  But, your advice to use the cheaper or less-loved fabric in class and the Anna Maria Horner Little Folks fabric for a second go at the pattern was wise, very wise.   The trouble is I can’t imagine when I’ll be making a second skirt.  Between Christmas sewing and do. Good Stitches, I feel I’ve a very busy season ahead.  If only my father-in-law would enjoy a handmade skirt!  Ok, scratch that.

Ms. Alexia

Back to the class. Please say hello to Ms. Alexia. She’s Anna’s assistant and a wonderful teacher (in fact she teaches bunches of classes in Nashville). Alexia’s also the beauty that graces some of Anna’s pattern covers, so perhaps you will recognize her! And, yes, this photo is blurry. Unfortunately many of them are as I’m still learning the basics of using my husband’s fancy camera. Sorry! See that phone in the back? It’s in focus :).


As I was saying. Here is Alexia demonstrating the mysterious invisible zipper installation. Turns out it is rather easy. As easy as she and Anna promised, really. I won’t try to explain it here, because there are real tutorials out there. But, Alexia gave us a live demo while Anna drew diagrams with a fading blue dry erase marker. I wonder if anyone else was thinking as Anna drew pictures of zipper coils, “Wow, and she really draws her fabrics out too, just like that. Just as easy.” Yes, I know, I’m hopeless.


Here is the zipper halfway sewn in. See how it pulls back the fabric and “hides”?

Gladly, I was able to try my hand at installing my invisible zipper while still in class.  Every so often it was “Alexia, am I doing this right?”  My goodness, she is p-a-t-i-e-n-t.  But other than having a bobbin problem that required rethreading mid-way through…


I was able to get the zipper in without a hitch! Credit the good instructions, friends. And speaking of friends, I shared my looooong table with the sweetest mama-to-be. Thanks for the pictures, Timshel!

Zipper success

With the zipper finished, my skirt outer is complete. It looks skirt-like and even fits! Wow, who would have thought?

My skirt

Now I can definitely say that I’m glad I went with the Alexander Henry. This skirt is totally “me”. I’m considering adding a peak-a-boo lining with either a solid or small black/white print showing to add that extra handmade zing. What do you think? I’m also considering going lining-free, because I’m lazy (and perhaps not so modest? Were I grew up, in California, you just wear nude panties). And now, here is my invisible zipper.

So invisible

Are you really still here? I can’t believe how long this post is! And, I still have more pictures to share from class. Let’s save those for tomorrow. Shall we?

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I could tell you that our vacation is off to a wonderful start.  That we’re all having fun.  About the children’s first horseback ride ever or the amazing art experience at the Frist.  But, I know you really just want the dish on Anna Maria Horner, on the class, on her fabric (yes, Innocent Crush!!!).

lovely little temptations

on Anna

If you read her blog you can’t be surprised to hear that Anna Maria Horner is friendly, approachable and completely charming.  I’ll say even more friendly in person, if that’s possible.  I was truly nervous about the whole thing.  Not just about meeting Anna, but about the whole class experience.  But, just as it is here in crafty blogland, the ladies at the Skirting Couture class were beyond nice.  I’m far from a social butterfly, but I already feel among friends.

Ok, back to Anna.  She’s quite genuine.  Her love for fabric, for fun and for her family pour out all at once.  Like a true southern lady, she made everyone feel welcome and comfortable.  And that’s why I don’t think anyone could feel very star-struck once they’ve met her.  She’s all too nice for all that.

Proper Attire in Progress

On class

For class, we’re creating with one of Anna Maria Horner’s soon-to-release skirt patterns, Proper Attire Skirt.

Anna began the class by sharing her story – how she journeyed from college years studying drawing to her gig as a fabric designer (among other talents).  She was actually designing other products like stationary and gift wrap when Freespirit fabrics approached her with an offer for fabric design.

After an opportunity for all students to introduce themselves and confess to fear of the invisible zipper, Anna treated us to a mini-lecture on the basics of fashion draping.  She demonstrated draping, pining and cutting fabric to create a pattern template on a dress form, and made sure we all understood the difference between body measurements and finished measurements, allowing for ease.

Information is good.

After lunch we were all eager to get started.  And then came the hard part – which style of skirt and which fabric?

beautiful bolts

on Innocent Crush

Oh, the fabrics!  Anna brought a gorgeous selection of Good Folks and Little Folks.  She also brought a sample of each skirt style made in Innocent Crush, her new collection to release this fall.  Remember that pretty patchwork she posted to her blog yesterday as Afloat in Patchwork? She had turned that work of art into a pretty gathered skirt.  And the waistband is a scrumptious velveteen.

Innocent Crush Velveteen

I didn’t know what to think when I heard that Innocent Crush would include velveteens.  Velveteens?  Just touching it convinced me.  Soft, but not solid velvet.  Not too heavy, not too much.  And if anyone else wondered at velveteen, I suppose we should all know better than to doubt Anna Maria Horner’s instinct for substrates after those crazy-fabulous Little Folks voiles.  So velveteens… for slippers? a robe?  a cuddly plushie?  a baby quilt?  ahhhh, I SEE!

A few more peaks at Innocent Crush!

Anna's Proper Attire Skirt

Innocent Crush

Innocent Crush is scheduled to hit stores this November.  It’ll include cotton voiles, a bunch of quilting cottons and velveteens too!

More class tomorrow.  And, yes, I feel completely blessed to be here!

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Decisions, decisions.

Today we are off to Nashville!  It’s a much-anticipated family vacation and my opportunity to take class with the fabulous Anna Maria Horner.  After doing some wishing and praying (and begging), I was granted a late entry into Anna’s “Skirting Couture” workshop.  Yes, we’re making skirts, and I still haven’t chosen a fabric.

To begin with, I’m just intimidated.  My attempts at sewing clothing before have been frustrating, to say the least.  And, this isn’t just a skirt – it’s to be lined and have an invisible zipper!  On the one hand, the weekend workshop is a wonderful opportunity for me to learn some new skills with a real-live teacher to help.  That’ll be a first!  On the other hand, I’m afraid I’ll destroy my supplies, be the dork of the class and not even like what I make (entirely my fault, of course).  And then there’s the thought, what if I annoy Anna Maria and she doesn’t like me at all?  (Wait, is this still high school?).  Ahem.  And there’s all my cards.

So, chin up, I’m going to Nashville.  I’m bringing along two fabric options because I really couldn’t decide.  Hoping you could help me with that!  The skirt I’m making is a fairly common style with gathers that fall all around from under a wide drop yoke/waistband.  I think it’s to look something like this one made by my friend Amanda of Little Cumulus, but with not quite as long of a drop yoke.

Anyhoo, here are my fabric options.

Option 1

Option 1:  familiar quilting cotton.  a fabric I have no other use for.  would have to make drop yoke/waistband out of the ash gray as shown, because do not have enough of print.  the birds are great, and I like this kind of over-sized, open print for a skirt.  a little too rainbow bright for a grown woman, perhaps?  still, I think I would wear it.  my husband says I will (yes, I am surprised he has an opinion on that).

Option 2

Option 2:  silky cotton voile (by Anna Maria, no less).  a fabric I purchased for this project and it was pricey.  afraid it will slip when I sew.  afraid I will destroy it (I could save it for something else).  the colors in the print are more “me” for clothes.  the print is a little small and may make me look bigger?  Aria thinks this fabric is dreamy.  she is right.

Please help me decide!

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a Good Try

I’ve had this babydoll floral-print top for about 3 years now.  It’s been a favorite, and I often get compliments when I wear it.  I put the top on earlier this week and took it off again.  Truthfully, I’m not loving the babydoll style anymore.  When I noticed a stain midway down the front, I gained the courage to toss it.  But, then I hesitated…  What if I could refashion it?


A few weeks ago I landed at Ruffles And Stuff, a beautiful, feminine blog full of fashion tutorials with a style akin to Anne Taylor Loft or Anthropologie.  Disney’s work made up my mind that I would try sewing clothing again, but this time for ME!  Afterall, I know I’ll appreciate all the work that goes into a project (remember that top that Aria couldn’t like?).  Disney does many a refashion on Ruffles And Stuff.  My idea for this top is not actually from her blog, but I still feel that seeing her work gave me the freedom I needed to start thinking outside the box.

So, I grabbed a black racerback tank that doesn’t get any wear (not bra friendly) and layered it under the floral print bodice.  After snipping off the babydoll body just under the empire line, I pinned it over the black tank like so.  Looks promising, right?


Sewing these knits took a bit of patience.  I found that lightening my presser foot pressure eliminated a wavy seam, which I’ve struggled with before with knits.  All in all, it was a very quick project (and one I actually did during the day!).  On trying the finished top on the first time, I realized that the tie backs had to go.  With the two-tone style the floral ties looked very odd – trust me.

Unfortunately, that’s where this refashion went from “success” to “good try.”  Take a look at these pics.  The one of the left (which I took myself, so please excuse the blur), shows how the bodice is supposed to fit.  The one on the right shows how it actually fits.  As I wear it the bodice creeps up, so that the empire line and ruffle hits at the fullest part of my cup.  Not the most attractive.  Apparently, those empire ties were holding the top down in the front, under my bust.  Oops.


So, now this top is destined for Goodwill.  I hope that it will fit someone else better!

A good try.  You live, you learn, right?

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