Birthday gifts for the C family!

I'm finally back from Illinois, and I have so much to share! I'm hoping to post about my sister's wedding shower in a few days, I'm so happy with everything came together for it. But for today I'd like to share a few birthday gifts that I made for a friend's children.
One of my childhood friends has 3 kids (ages 5, 3, and 1), all with summer birthdays. She had an amazing birthday party for the kids while I was visiting, so I made a few gifts to bring along. She requested no gifts, but I couldn't help myself!
For the 5 year old and 3 year old I made a fort kit to share (this idea was on her pinterest board, so I took that as permission to break the "no gifts" rule!):
Fort Kit
And for each of them I made a small zip pouch filled with glow sticks and a flashlight, perfect for using in their fort!
Fort Kit zip pouch

Fort Kit zip pouch
For the baby I made a Halloween outfit (child #3 deserves a cute holiday outfit that's not a hand-me-down, right?!):
Halloween Outfit
For the Halloween outfit I added a few raw edge squares to the front of a store-bought t-shirt:
Halloween t-shirt
And I made a simple elastic waist skirt with a ruffle trim:
Halloween Skirt
I love this fabric combination so much that I created an identical skirt for Addy, and I may order more fabric so that I can make myself a pair of pj pants!
Halloween Skirt
Fabrics for the fort kit:
1,001 Peeps by Lizzy House
Fabrics for the Halloween skirts:
Guising by Lizzy House

The "Cover Your Assets" Skirt - It's Skirt Week!

I have a slight obsession with running clothes. It helps that there are some really cute, functional styles out there - even some of the C9 from Target has made it's way into my running wardrobe! But not only do I love these pieces for running, some of them are cute enough to wear around town. The only problem with  pulling on a pair of running capris for a trip to the post office is that, well, I'm wearing running capris. They are cute and comfy, but I'm not crazy about flashing my assets - especially the less than perfect assets that get me running in the first place.
While I was window shopping at one of my favorite stores recently, I found this cute skirt. It looked adorable on the mannequin, but $50 is a hefty price for a knit skirt that has no technical properties (i.e. wicking fabric, or pockets for storing an ipod). I left the store empty handed, and haven't stopped dreaming of that skirt since!
I finally attempted to sew a knock-off skirt and while it's different from the original, I love it! I used some super soft pink burn out knit that I had in my stash, left the hems unfinished, and used some 1" elastic for the waist.
"Cover your assets" skirt back
The burn out effect in the knit leaves it sheer in some areas, which was just a good excuse for using 2 tiers of knit! I also cut the back slightly longer, a trick I learned after studying my running skirts. Such a simple detail, and it makes a big difference!
"Cover your assets" skirt front
I'm really excited about this simple skirt, because now all of my black running capris have double the use!
Be sure to check out Skirt Week over at Crafterhours! To enter a skirt, use the buttons at the top right side of their blog.
And hop over here to enter a giveaway on my blog!

When voile and double gauze meet

I found some fun nani IRO at a lqs and splurged on 5/8 yard, hoping to make a skirt. I mistakenly thought that the fabric was 54" wide, when in fact it was 45". That changed my plans a bit, and sent me to another lqs in search of some voile. I loosely followed the Flirting the Issue skirt pattern (an Anna Maria Horner freebie!), and here's how it turned out:
At first I was unhappy with the way the skirt poofs a bit where the voile and double gauze meet. Then I decided to try wearing the skirt at my natural waist, and it seemed to work! I do wish I had the option of wearing the skirt lower for a more casual look, but a little bit of modern trend is just what my closet needed!

My Skirt Addiction

Wow, I think I can officially add skirts to my list of addictions.  Maybe it's because they are such a great way to use some fabulous fabric.  Maybe it's because they are so simple to create.  Or maybe it's because there are so many options when making them.

I headed up to my closet this morning with the intention of pulling out the top left skirt.  I wanted to take a few pics to post here and also over at Skirt Week!  But while I was in my closet I found 3 other skirts that I've made and never photographed or blogged!  The really fun part of Skirt Week is that you can enter a skirt that you just finished sewing, or something that you made 3 years ago!  So here we go, a mini tour of my closet:

Top Left: Awhile back I used this fabric to create a bubble skirt.  I wore it once, but wasn't really in love with it.  So last week I pulled out the bubble hem, took in the sides, and added a wide solid band to the bottom.  So much better!  I'm wearing it right now, and loving it.  Fabric is Dolce Grey Marilyn by Tanya Whelan and the bottom band is kona-coffee, i think?  No pattern, just a simple gathered skirt with a zipper back and solid colored band at the bottom.

Top Right: This skirt was made from the Barcelona pattern by Amy Butler.  The pattern has 2 options: tiered A-line or simple A-line.  I choose the tiered option for this, because I wanted to use a batik and I liked the idea of soft edges around the skirt.  I could stare at this fabric for hours.  The batiking process left a great all over pattern, which is highlighted in the brown sections.  I find it so much fun to follow the pattern through the blue areas, too-this is probably the most impressive batik I have ever seen!  This skirt is fully lined and has a zipper in back.

Bottom Left:  Double gauze!  A good friend of mine traveled to Japan last summer, and brought me back some really great fabric!  I gave her a few ideas of the designs that I'd like, and she brought me back 4 beautiful prints.  Three of them are still in my stash, waiting for the perfect project.  There's a great shot of what this print looked like before I cut into it here.  I started off by cutting the first tier of fabric at 1.5x my waist measurement.  Each subsequent tier is 1.5x the length of the previous tier.  I hand gathered the tiers, serged the edges, and finished the bottom with a rolled hem.  Each layer was lined with bleached muslin before gathering and the waist is 3/4" elastic.

Bottom Right: Another Barcelona skirt.  This time I used a grey corduroy and altered the pattern a bit.  I found that the blue skirt was a bit high waisted for me, so I took about an inch off of the top of the pattern.  I also took the hem up about 2.5", but because of the lower rise, the hem hits at about the same spot as the blue version.  This is a great skirt for the fall.  Fabric was purchased at JoAnn Fabrics.

I've already entered 2 skirts in the Skirt Week challenge, and the limit is 4.  I guess I need to decide which of these will make the cut!

Addy's Birthday Skirt

This was actually Addy's birthday skirt from last year.  I intentionally made it long so that it would last through this year.  And it's a good thing I did, because she entered her 2's much shorter and a bit "bulkier" than she is leaving them!  It always seems that within a few weeks of her check up, she hits a growth spurt.  So then I don't *really* know where she is on the height/weight curve.

I got the original idea for this skirt when I stumbled on this tutorial.  See, back when I found this tutorial I was just getting into the whole blogging thing.  I didn't really understand what they were, how often they were updated, etc.  I didn't even start using google reader until last fall!  So when I found the Round About Pocket Tutorial, I made a mental note of it and went on my merry way.  Then I got the idea to make Addy a birthday skirt with the (then) new Amy Butler line.  And I knew that it HAD to have a cute petal pocket on it.

I freehanded the petals, and instead of bias tape for the pocket edge I just topstitched.  The ruffle at the bottom was pleated by hand.  I really love this skirt, and I'm so glad she's getting another summer out of it.  The only bummer is that the petals have to be ironed down flat after each washing.  Although I usually just leave them all crumply. :)

The pocket detail:

The ruffle detail:

And some action shots: