The Captain of Marvel…

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I’m feeling absolutely…Marvelous 😉

Okay, was that too cheesy? When it comes to super heroes one can’t be too sure what crosses the too cheesy line. Anyways, I’m getting off subject-I sewed something! Not only did I sew it but I’m actually blogging about it!!! It’s summer and I’m finally beginning to to get some free time so what did I do? Fill it with a deadline of course.

It was a worthy deadline though. My friend hosted her first ever #GirlCon through a nonprofit she works for. She asked me to host a booth on costume design-teaching girls to read sewing patterns, how to take your measurements etc. It was a lot of fun, and I felt really honored to be a part of it.

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Because it was GirlCon, I really wanted to push female empowerment and decided to make a Captain Marvel costume. I love her in the comics and can’t wait for the movie to come out in the next year. This was my first real time sewing knits and of course my serger decided to battle me so I sewed it all on my regular sewing machine with a regular zigzag stitch. 

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Someone send help and teach me how to use my serger please!

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Anyways, I used Yaya Han’s Ultimate Bodysuit it’s McCall’s M7217 and it sewed up like a dream. I did a practice mock up in some white knit fabric that I think I will repurpose into Padme’s white outfit. The pattern has a lot of pieces which I found a bit intimidating at first, but in reality all those pieces just increased the suits form fitting capabilities. I only had to make a few adjustments to the pattern.

  • the neck piece was super tiny and I had to add an inch or two because it was soooo tight
  • I had to take in the crotch area by a few inches also
  • The front leg seam had to be taken up by about an inch or so graded down to about a quarter of an inch

For the Captain Marvel the additions I made to the pattern were altering the sleeves by slicing and dicing them up to make them two colors and then cutting out the gold star and stripes which I attached by pining like crazy and zig zag stitching it on.

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Some extra things to note for the pattern. The pattern pretty much fit me perfectly-I didn’t do the little foot/ankle holds to keep the legs down because the legs were so tight that i really didn’t need it. Without those ankle holds the length is perfect on me which is saying something though because I’m 4’10’ and normally REALLY have to shorten patterns. Also, I made gloves and OMG it was so hard! I had to remake the right hand glove 3 times before I got a fit I liked!!!

Anyways, Captain Marvel is the kind of super hero anyone can look up to and I recommend reading her comics-plus she has a movie coming out soon(ish) so check her out!

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Instruments of Entertainment

*There will be spoilers…you’ve been warned*

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Shadowhunters – regular whiny teenagers with super powered tattoos or rad warriors fighting demons for mankind’s salvation?

It occurred to me I should just review the whole 6 book series in one post, instead of spreading out the posts. Cassandra Clare has written quite the amount of books and short stories about the shadowhunter universe, and now has a show. But, this is about the six original books called The Mortal Instruments.

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City of Bones introduces us to a fifteen year old Clary Fray boring, artist girl from New York and her best friend Simon (fifteen year old teenage boy and member of a crappy band). Clary’s world is turned upside down after witnessing a murder by people, only she can see…

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The world of The Mortal Instruments is one of werewolves, warlocks, vampires, demon hunters and fairies. A world filled with young love so strong it puts the crush in crushes. There is violence, corruption, devotion and ultimate good. A place where the past never stops haunting you …and summoning demons to try and kill you.

Ya, know: normal healthy relationships right? 😉

Anyways, the books are no great literary feat, but they’re a lot of fun to read. The books are what I call popcorn reading – entertaining, but not a lot of substance or life changing capabilities. Kind of like watching reality t.v haha.

Here is my 5 star rating of all the books based on their entertainment factor (this is my second time reading the series, and I will admit I was much more generous with my rating system this time around):

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City of Bones: 5/5 stars. Good introduction to characters and world building, lots of drama.

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City of Ashes:4/5 stars. An interesting read, but too much whining about being in love with ones own brother. Incest is just not hot-come on people…

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City of Glass: 5/5 stars but I really think more like 4.5….  The shadowhunter world is really interesting. I like how Cassandra Clare plays with the newfound abilities she gave Clary. Sebastian is also a pretty interesting new addition to the character line up.

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City of Fallen Angels: 3/5 stars. I think this was the weakest book in the series. Clary is finally with her great love Jace, but she is still constantly doubting his affection and thinking he will break up with her even though he tells her OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN that he loves her. Also, Clary’s mom, Jocelyn, is the least interesting/weak plot point character. It was fine when she was in a coma, and it didn’t matter. Now that the story is revolving around her too, it’s just not good.

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City of Lost Souls: 4/5 stars. Jace and Sebastian make an intriguing team, and though I really felt like the series could have ended as a trilogy (especially after my feelings on the fourth book). This was an entertaining read and helped keep the series going for me.

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City of Heavenly Fire: 4/5 stars.  Alright, this book was long in a very long series. It’s over 700 pages! And wraps everything up OVER and OVER again. I mean I love when all the loose ends are all tied up but even this was excessive for me. The ending was good-I can’t argue that, but the book could have been around 400 pages. The battles are very cool and of course Clary and Jace’s epic powers canceled out how much they whine about loving one another and never being together. Super spoiler alert: the finally have sex! It only took 6 damn books and it is so cheesy. Super spoiler alert: how the hell did Jace magically have a condom with him in the demon realm??? What do I love though in books? An emphasis on safe sex in a YA novel, so thank you Cassandra Clare.

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A Miette Of Ones Own

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A warm skirt for the cold winter months. That was the simple goal of this Miette skirt pattern from Tilly and the Buttons (my favorite pattern designer ever in case you aren’t able to tell yet 😉 ). I have to admit that wasn’t why I bought the pattern though- I bought it so I could make a cute wrap skirt as a Christmas gift for a friend and then couldn’t resist making myself one(first hahaha).

I knew it was meant to be mine when I went to Joanns for gift fabric shopping and came across this gorgeous thick plaid-the softest fabric that I have EVER felt there in all honesty. I immediately bought 2 and a half yards and used pretty much all of it for the Miette. I think I have enough to whip up a pretty fabulous infinity scarf to match it…is there such a thing as being too matchy with patterns?

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As with all Tilly’s patterns, everything was really straightforward with great visual and written instructions. I cut out a size four for both me and my friend and got to work. With all Tilly’s patterns because they’re on such great thick paper, and I want to be able to fold them back together as perfectly as they come delivered, I trace the pattern on wax paper and use that as my pattern pieces. It causes me some extra work/time in the beginning but I think preserving those patterns and the abilities to make different sizes in worth the extra effort. I find this especially true because I have to get them shipped overseas and  can’t just run to Joanns on the next cheap pattern sale and replace the pattern for a $1.99 if I want a different size or something.

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Anyways, as usual I’m getting off topic. I sliced and diced the pattern and fabric pieces and then went to work trying to figure out my new serger a Singer ProFinish I treated myself to as an early Christmas gift (which I lived to regret believe me, but that’s a story for another time). With some difficulty I serged all the edges and then stitched everything together on my sewing machine.

I didn’t make any major alterations except I did do two holes for the ties for the skirt to go through instead of the one. I thought this made things easier and tidier with a more even look. I cut out the front pockets for the skirt and even sewed them on before deciding I really didn’t like the look with the skirt. The plaid didn’t match up perfectly and the fabric was heavy enough that it tugged down in the front which was not a flattering look to have on your midsection. A lot of cursing and unpicking followed that revelation.

IMG_3487Next time I will also shorten it more. I left the length long because it is supposed to be a warm winter skirt that I’ll be wearing boots and tights with but the next one will be a more versatile knee length skirt(maybe in denim).

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All in all, I would definitely have to say it’s a great make especially since I have already made two(one for me and one as the gift) and see many more in my future both for myself and others.

 

 

#2018MakeNine Challenge

#2018MakeNine WooHoo!!!

 

Let’s Start With the Knitting!!!

 

  • #263 Neck Down Wrap Cardigan-this will be my first knitted sweater! I bought the yarn already so I can’t wait to start 🙂

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  • Rose Red Wrap-it’s from Once Upon a Knit: 28 Grimm and Glamorous Fairy-Tale Projects which I’ve owned for a few years now and have always wanted to make this wrap.

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  • Farmers Market Shawl-because when you haven’t finished your shawl already the smart thing is to add another shawl to the que right? I just love Shannon Squire’s designs though so I see myself making many of her shawls 🙂

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  • Regina-it’s the last thing on my to knit list for the make nine. It is a gorgeous twenties inspired knit cap that I saw on instagram and absolutely adored.

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**All photos are from the designers Ravelry**

 

Now Lets Start With the Sewing!!!

 

  • Well the very first and important make nine of the year is my wedding dress! I’ve already sewn the mock up but still need to do the fitting. The fabric is bought but oh man do I need to get sewing because I’m getting married end of May. Send me all kinds of positive sewing thoughts! The pattern is Butterick 5882 from Gertie and I love it!

**photos from Gerties Blog**

  • Next is the Butterick 6285-it’s been on my pattern shelf for about a year but I just treated myself to a serger so now I really want wait to sew it!

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  • Tilly and the Button’s Rosa! All my patterns for my #2018MakeNine are all already bought patterns because I really want to focus on my stash. Women struggle with a finding a good button up and I am no exception. I want to make the dress version in a Star Wars cotton I already picked up in anticipation.

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  • The next is Tilly and the Button’s Cleo. I loved the look of this pattern since its release, but really hesitated purchasing the pattern. As a petite woman I constantly worry about looking childish and worried that an overall dress would push the outfit more in the childish category. Then I decided I just really don’t care!! I wanted the dress, I wanted the pattern, so I made it mine! I’m envisioning it in a burnt orange denim- styling it with tights, knee high brown boots and a shawl style scarf.

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  • Lastly, this dress/pattern Butterick 6453 was seen across the internet when it was released. I rushed out and bought it immediately to then not make it! Super fail on my part. I even have purchased multiple fun prints of fabric for this dress so I really need to get on it sewing wise and just make it!

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Alright, I guess there isn’t much to say except I better get busy sewing a knitting! Happy New Years and Happy Challenge!!!

I’ll leave you with another funny photo of Echo :p

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A New Year-A New Day. A Reading-Sewing-Knitting Challenge

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Happy New Year! (I can still say this because it isn’t February yet right? 😉 )
This next year will be one of great changes for me but one thing will remain the same…I set a Goodreads book challenge!

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This last year I set my challenge of 110 books and surpassed it by one book!!! Goodreads tells me I read 36,541 pages and my shortest book was 104 pages(Betty and Veronica Vol. 1) and my longest was 870 pages(Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix).

There were many good books and only several bad ones out of the whole bunch! Looking back I read a lot of fabulous Urban Fantasy series. The Others by Anne Bishop definitely ranked high up there on the Good books scale, so much so that I have loaned them out to two other people since reading them! I haven’t finished the series but The Hollows by Kim Harrison is definitely winning in the contest of favorite book series. Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs is a close second. Werewolves, witches and vampires (oh my) was definitely the theme of the year.

Best Series: The Hollows by Kim Harrison

Best Comic: Bitch Planet with the Jughead comics coming in a close second

Best Nonfiction: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls or Talking As Fast As I Can by LaurenGraham

Best ReRead: Harry Potter(of course) by JK Rowling

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Best YA: Turtles All The Way Down by Johnn Green

I set my new goal for 100 books because I’m back in school full time for the first time in a few years(woohoo!!!). I figured I should pull myself back a little because of it.

I failed hard.
I failed hard at last years make nine challenge. So much so that I wasn’t going to reattempt it this year. BUT then I saw everyones wonderful make nine challenges options and decided I’d try it again…
It’ll be a combined make nine of knitting and sewing not separate like a lot of challenge choices I’ve seen cause I’m in school full time and planning a wedding this year on top of a ton of other things so I don’t have time for that nonsense 😉
Anyways…
Stay tuned for my #2018makenine

A Damn Fine Cup Of Coffee And A Damn Fine Skirt

“Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange.”
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This skirt gives me a very Twin Peaks vibe…well at least the original-I have yet to see the new season yet. Audrey Horn is a pretty classic character these days and her style is turning rather iconic…but then again so is just the pencil skirt 😉

This plaid was gifted to me in a bag of other fabric odds and ends. The zipper was picked because it was on hand already from a bag of zippers I bought for cheap on Amazon of pretty much every color imaginable. The buttons were from Joanns that I had bought for a previous project where you get a container of all different sized buttons all falling under on color scheme. Lastly, the skirt pattern itself is one I copied from Gerties Ultimate Dress Book and added the waist band from my retro shorts pattern. All in all, a very cheap project to make since all the materials were already accounted for and purchased for other projects…I love when that happens.

 

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“Through the darkness of future past / The magician longs to see / One chants out between two worlds / Fire walk with me. I’ll catch you with my death bag. You may think I’ve gone insane, but I promise I will kill again!”

The project was pretty straightforward to make: trace, slice and dice(alright not dice but saying sew didn’t sounds as flashy or rhyme :p ) I traced my size but gave myself ample seam allowance because I had never made the pencil skirt portion of the dress I was copying from Gertie’s book. Turns out it was completely unnecessary because I ended up taking in the sides/ though area of the skirt quite a bit…I think an inch or two on each side. I of course shortened it quite a bit too but being so petite that is a standard pattern alteration for me even when I use the “shorten here” lines.

 

 

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“I feel like I know her… but sometimes my arms bend back.”

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Things I would change: I really wish I had done a different style waist band. The waist band from the shorts pattern wraps around a bit and the overlapping looks a tad sloppy in a fabric without a heck of a lot of structure. Also when I was making the button holes to be able to pin down the overlapping part of the waist band I accidentally cut through by button hole and tore the fabric…believe me a lot of cussing went on. I always stick two pins- one on either side of the button hole when I cut through them with the seam ripper and I’ve never had that happen before-it was a pretty tragic moment. I also wish I had added a slit in the back or one slit on each side because I’d like the little extra movement they provide but overall I’m really happy with the skirt.

If you haven’t guessed all the quotes are from Twin Peaks. I’ll leave you with a hilarious blooper pose gone wrong…and then an adorable photo of Echo.

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Grrl Knitting[yes I meant to spell it that way;) ]

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Why Hello! This post has been in the making for quite a while now. I took the photos way back in end of July for the OAL2017 hosted by Andi and Lauren.
I’m going to cut this into two posts and this one is dedicated to the knitting portion of the OAL! This was the summer I really learned how to knit. I could say relearned but let’s be honest the first time I learned years ago I never got beyond knitting and purling scarves and couldn’t look at the stitch and tell them apart if I messed up! Not much of a real knitter then.

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Now I can at least tell the difference haha. This was my first garment I knitted and it definitely had its ups and downs but a lot of fun was had along the way. I decided I was going to do the Thunder Road by Amy Appel or Poison Grrl Knits-it’s an adorable bolero that’s inspired by the movie Grease(so honestly how could I NOT pick it…?). You’re supposed to knit it in cotton but of course I had to do it in a wool because I live to create problems for myself haha. The yarn I did go with was Quince & Co Chickadee which was absolutely lovely to work with. I used almost all of the two skeins I purchased.

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I don’t want to talk too much about the pattern because it is a paid for pattern and I wouldn’t want to give anything away but I will say Amy writes a great pattern. As a newbie knitter I did have to google some stitches and things like that but the instructions are all clearly written with some great pictures to go along with it.

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I did swatch as I am told any good knitter should 😉 and my gauge seemed to be correct(though I did have a hard time measuring the lace portion). I think when I knit it again(which I definitely plan to) I am going to go up a size because it is definitely tight in the shoulders and lower back section. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t gauge correctly or if it is because I used wool instead of the recommended cotton and I’m too much of a newbie to know to make sizing changes because of stretch etc. Either way the bolero is adorable and I can’t wait to wear it-this is especially important because at the moment I work in a conservative work environment and need to have my shoulders covered.
This pattern gets 5/5 stars in my book! I can’t say I can’t wait to try another of her patterns because I already am! You’ll just have to lurk around this space for my next review of Amy’s patterns!

When You Give A Girl A Sword…

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When You Give a Girl a Sword…Secondborn Review

I as many other people on Goodreads it seems couldn’t resist Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol…I especially couldn’t resist it when it was offered as a Kindle First book and I could get it for only $1.99(I mean who can honestly not be tempted by that kind of deal?).
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It took me a while to get into this book. I found the different Fates slightly confusing to keep track of especially because they aren’t explained what each one represents until later in the book. When I finally got over my confusion and gave up trying to figure out the social structure of the world I could finally enjoy the story.  Because let’s be honest-we don’t read YA for much other than the fast paced structure and the yearning over eager life or death  romance right? 😉

The concept is good. A world where you are only allowed two children and only the first born can inherit anything. The second born is sent away as a child soldier to fight the wars and do the dirty work of the first borns while the family still gets to reap the financial benefits of a child they no longer have to support. This system of course creates a lot of abuse and neglect(which duh). A second child can inherit if a first born dies-talk about creating sibling rivalry.
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The story revolves around second born Roselle St Sismodes and her mother is the be all of be alls of the Fates. Roselle’s privileged upbringing causes her troubles right from the start. Beginning with the fact that her life has always been televised-an easily recognized face is the exact opposite of what you want when the goal is to blend in.

There is romance in this book(YA duh), action, rebellion and adventure. Roselle creates friendships that will last a life time-if only they can survive long enough to live that life. The book is filled with a lot of girls kicking ass(something I always appreciate), clever boys and wicked mothers. The concept is interesting, the world slightly complicated though rather stereotypical (I feel) to most YA romance adventure novels these days. That isn’t to say it isn’t worth a read because I do recommend it. I’m just saying that a lot of these books tend to have the same sort of feeling to it and this is no exception. It’s the first in a trilogy so we’ll see what’s to come of the second.

All in all, I’d say 4/5 stars

-Happy Reading!
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Another CoCo, Another Color…

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Is that a groan I hear? Another CoCo you might say? Though really there shouldn’t be all that much grumbling since I haven’t even blogged about all 4 or 5 I’ve sewn now. The one I haven’t blogged about (yet) and sewed months and months ago now is still my favorite but this one gives it a good run for its money.

I finally did my first (completed) dress version of the CoCo. The purple version [here] was originally supposed to be a dress before I did some very tired/stupid sewing a chopped it MUCH too short and turned it into a cute top. I really did measure before cutting and everything but I didn’t count on the weight of the knit pulling down on the form and making the dress seem longer than it actually was. Regardless here is my new CoCo in an actual dress!!!

Again, the construction is pretty straight forward because Tilly is an absolute CHAMPION at making clear written instructions with coinciding pictures(seriously I would buy literally any pattern that woman puts out). I always have to be aware of the length as a pretty short gal but that’s standard for me.
I went with right above elbow length sleeves and added ties to the sides so I could pull it in a bit and give myself a little shaping. I love a good t-shirt dress(what I was going for) but I’m a tad too curvy for it to be flattering unless it’s either really tight or loose with ties on the sides or well… I guess belted but sometimes even that causes things to bunch awkwardly around my hips.

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I used about two or so yards of a light weight knit fabric from Joanns and some extra polyester green thread I had in my stash. Two funny stories about the thread:

1) I used till the end of my bobbin with only about 4 cm of thread left after finishing one of the whole sides of the dress(it felt like quite a sewing BAMF moment even if it was completely accidental).

2) I totally overestimated how much thread I still had left in that color and ended up having to use a lighter thread for the left half of the dresses side and the bottom hem but oh well-live and learn.

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Either way, I couldn’t be happier with the dress and can’t till fall so that I can layer it with boots, tights and scarves to add fun to a plain dress. Any dress that feels like pajama’s but I can wear out in public is a win in my book 😉

*side note:the hem isn’t crooked but the way I stand must be lol*

I’ll leave you with a photo of me and my fella watching the Eclipse and one of Echo being her usual cute self..

-Happy Sewing

It’s Curtains For Me…

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This was a very fun sewing project and another I did without a pattern which I’m rather proud of if I do say so myself.

The skirt is a simple pleated skirt. I drafted it using 3 rectangles one very large and two half its size. I then just continuously pleated the rectangles until they fitted the waist band which I replicated from my polk a dot shorts pattern. I even relocated the longer band(which if you recall I didn’t like because it was hard to hook the hook and eye closures). I used some vintage plastic buttons for the band which are a lot easier to button then the tiny hooks.

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I used interfacing to stiffen the waistband and horse hair braid to give the skirt volume without any petticoats underneath. The horse hair braid is from Amazon because it was much cheaper there than my local Joanns-I picked the the one that was about a half inch in width.

Everything about this was simple and easy but there is a funny story with the fabric(which was also used as the lining in my shorts heart pockets). My coworker insisted I take this fabric home with me because she loves to up cycle everything! But the fabric is her shower curtains!!!! You would never guess right? 😉

Not much else to say here!

-Happy Sewing!