Category Archives: Clothing

Clothing

Tutorial: Goldfish Bowl Poodle Skirt with AccuQuilt GO! Big

Tutorial: Goldfish Bowl Poodle Skirt with AccuQuilt GO! Big | The Zen of Making

Tutorial: Goldfish Bowl Poodle Skirt with AccuQuilt GO! Big | The Zen of Making

Disclosure: AccuQuilt kindly provided the GO! Big electric fabric cutter and GO! Big circle die for this project.

Love the look of retro 1950s-inspired style? Be the belle of the sock hop with this fun and flirty DIY goldfish bowl “poodle” skirt!

It’s surprisingly easy to create your own custom version of the iconic poodle skirt, and, in this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make my quirky aquatic variation. But, before we get to the tutorial, I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite toy, the AccuQuilt GO! Big electric fabric cutter. The GO! Big definitely saved me a ton of time on this project—I’m kind of a perfectionist, so circles are probably my least favorite shape to cut out—and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. I was already in love with my AccuQuilt GO! Baby, and, I have to admit, the GO! Big really blew my mind too!

** This post is part of the AccuQuilt GO! Big Blog Hop! Scroll down to the end of the post for 10 whole days of AccuQuilt-inspired fun!**

Continue reading Tutorial: Goldfish Bowl Poodle Skirt with AccuQuilt GO! Big

A-Line Skirts: 5 Tips for a Flattering Fit

A-Line Skirts: 5 Tips for a Flattering Fit | The Zen of Making

After spending the summer living in my perfect summer skirt, I decided that it was time to tackle a go-to pattern for a fitted a-line skirt with a zipper closure. Because, elastic waistbands are great and all, but some fabrics and occasions call for a cleaner silhouette and a bit more structure. So, not happy with any of the patterns that I’d tried, I decided to draft a simple a-line skirt pattern that I could use as my winter uniform, and I was determined to get the fit just right. And, while I was working on my skirt, I put together this 5-step fitting guide to help you sew the fabulous a-line skirt of your dreams too! So, grab an a-line skirt pattern in your size—or draft your own, if you’re so inclined—and let’s make some fit magic happen!

A-Line Skirts: 5 Tips for a Flattering Fit | The Zen of Making

A-Line Skirts: 5 Tips for a Flattering Fit | The Zen of Making

Note: This is by no means a comprehensive skirt fitting guide, but these 5 simple tips can help you give your a-line skirts a more flattering fit with minimal futzing.

Continue reading A-Line Skirts: 5 Tips for a Flattering Fit

Tutorial Update: Plus Size Fit Guide for the Perfect Summer Skirt!

Tutorial Update: Plus Size Fit Guide for the Perfect Summer Skirt! | The Zen of Making

I’ve added a fancy new plus size fit guide to my Perfect Summer Skirt (with Pockets) tutorial! (Huge thanks to Amy at Knitty for her helpful feedback!)

The updated fit guide includes the following fixes:

  • Removing extra fabric fullness that can make the skirt look puffy/make the gathers around the waist look and feel too bulky in plus sizes or when using thicker fabrics
  • Adjusting a too-big waistband for a snugger fit and better fabric gathering around the waist

Tutorial Update: Plus Size Fit Guide for the Perfect Summer Skirt! | The Zen of Making

Ready to start sewing? You can find the suggested changes to the pattern and waistband construction in the blue box in step 1 of my Perfect Summer Skirt (with Pockets) tutorial.

That’s all for now, my crafty pals! Go forth and sew some skirts!

Tutorial: Perfect Summer Skirt (with Pockets!)

Tutorial: Perfect Summer Skirt (with Pockets!) | The Zen of Making

I have three requirements for a perfect summer skirt: it must be comfortable, it must be flattering, and it absolutely must have pockets. (Underline that last one three times and circle it in red.)

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how draft a simple elastic-waist skirt pattern that’s custom-made to fit your body, then we’ll use that pattern to make a cute, stylish skirt that sews together in a couple of hours or less. (True story. I made two in a row last Saturday afternoon.) I’ve also provided a handy fabric width and skirt size guide below so you can raid your stash with confidence!

Update: I’ve added a fancy new plus size fitting guide! You can find the suggested changes to the pattern and waistband construction in the blue box in step 1.

Tutorial: Perfect Summer Skirt (with Pockets!) | The Zen of Making

Wait. Does the world really need another elastic-waist skirt tutorial?

I guess you can be the judge of that. But, after spending the first few weeks of spring searching for a new go-to skirt pattern, I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed. I mean, sure, there are a million quick-and-easy elastic waist skirts out there, but, really, most of them didn’t seem all that flattering, especially for actual grownups who might want to wear them in public.

Bottom line: a flattering skirt needs the right proportions. So, I experimented until I found a pattern-making formula that consistently produced nice, non-bulky gathers at the waist, a loose drape, and a gentle a-line shape. That’s exactly the kind of classic silhouette that I’m looking for in an everyday throw-it-on-and-go-or-dress-it-up-with-pearls summer skirt. If that’s what you’re looking for too, I’m so glad you’re here!

Tutorial: Perfect Summer Skirt (with Pockets!) | The Zen of Making

Tutorial: Perfect Summer Skirt (with Pockets!) | The Zen of Making

A special thanks goes out to my pals at Dritz, who inspired this tutorial when they generously sent me a huge box containing ALL OF THE ELASTICS and other fun sewing tools and supplies!

Continue reading Tutorial: Perfect Summer Skirt (with Pockets!)