Travel Maxi-Skirt

This is part of my fall coordinated travel wardrobe I started in this blog, about fabric and pattern planning. The series then continued with this coat. Now, I’m adding this maxi-skirt to the mix. Paisly-Maxi-Skirt_1

There’s not a lot to say about a maxi like this. You don’t need a pattern, and since it has an elastic waist you don’t need to deal too much with fit. The elastic waist is perfect for travel especially to places with delicious food! The top part of the skirt measures to the hip dimension with just enough added ease for comfort. This way there is less fabric gathered at the waist to bunch up under a top worn outside. I try to not bring a belt on vacation since it just adds more stuff to the suitcase, so in this case I will be making some tops that cover the waist.


In addition, I don’t need to remember to pack a slip since there is a lining. Yes, the lining is all wrinkled up! I like to twist fabric like this as it dries like the old broomstick skirts. Starting with wrinkles works well for travel! I can’t wait to make a few travel tops, but next week I’ll be showing a wonderful new vest pattern by Diane Ericson.

Diane Ericson’s Ashland Vest

Ashland-Vest_1It’s always a treat to make a pattern designed by Diane Ericson, and the new Ashland Vest is no exception. Her patterns are just more than a typical pattern. More creativity, more ways of sewing up the project, and more detailed options to use on this pattern or others. Each pattern is a lesson in sewing and finding one’s own voice, and not just copying Diane’s work. She encourages fearless creativity, and with those thoughts in mind my BSF and I opened up the pattern last week.

After taking a good look at the pattern and dimensions we decided to make a medium, and I think that was the right choice for us. Another might want a roomier feel and make a large. We also chose to use the front piece with a dart. Thanks to Diane for providing this option! I went to my stash and found two wonderful woven Japanese cottons and then a lovely brick-red striped linen for the lining. The Japanese cottons are different but beautiful on both sides, so that made 4 coordinating fabrics! In addition I turned them 90° to emphasize the differences.Ashland-Vest_4

BTW, the cottons are a dark brown and the linen has a black stripe. They look great together! There’s no need to get out a magnifying glass to match colors.

The pocket is exactly from the pattern, and there are no alterations except in the lapel. One pattern option is a wavy edge fold-over lapel exposing the lining. When finished, my stripe produced an optical illusion and the wavy edge just looked crooked rather than wavy. I had trimmed, clipped and pressed, and eventually decided for more wave. The shoulders were now finished so I couldn’t easily go back in to sew stronger curves at the seam. I was almost out of the linen (a bias strip would have worked well), and no other fabric looked good. Ashland-Vest-DetailPlan B, I made several matching strips from the leftover linen (there are seams to make it long enough). Then I serged a rolled hem on each side and slightly gathered the strips.  I placed the desired curves on the lapel and stitched it down to the edge. Great…a tailored vest with a ruffled edge. Didn’t work for me. I then just stitched down the loose edge so there is more structure. I like it, and in fact now think the bit of pucker adds a strong edge to the lapel.Ashland-Vest

Lime Tunic – Marcy Tilton Vogue 9112

This dress (in this case, tunic) by Marcy Tilton is brilliant! First of all it looks great on and second, and equally important, it feels great on.  I’ve also worn it with a Sleevy Wonder when it was a little cooler out. A T-shirt could also be used to easily add sleeves, especially if it’s made from a slippery knit. Even though this pattern takes time with all the different pattern pieces to cut and sew, I’m already thinking of making a second version. Maybe I’ll try adding a sleeve next time, or I’ll make one of Marcy’s little cardigans that have been on my sewing project list for a while. It’s so cold in air conditioning and so hot outside this time of year!


Mixing the pattern pieces of both linen and knit gives the tunic the comfort and ease that I desire in my casual clothes. Both of these matching fabrics right in my stash waiting to notice that they match! There really is nothing as joyful as a well stocked stash, and mine is looking good these days.


The tunic is 4″ shorter than the dress pattern in order to look proportionate with leggings. Since the bottom band would almost disappear with the shorter length I altered it to attach higher up on the back. I hand top stitched the pieces where the seams press toward the linen, and stopped when the seams pressed toward the knit, hoping to achieve an interesting balance of lines.


The only other minor alteration is a doubled collar which allows for the neck to sit up a little stiffer. While this linen is the same on both sides, the double collar also fixes the problem of a fabric with an unattractive wrong side.

Pockets, interesting details…what’s not to love?