Sewing Rewind: A skirt, a shirt, and a coat... Oh my! ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Sewing Rewind: A skirt, a shirt, and a coat... Oh my!

This post is a little late today because I needed to take photographs of this next set of clothing using the fancy camera I mentioned yesterday.  It was my first crack at a DSLR camera.  Fun!

The next few pictures are of items that I've made and actually worn!  And yes, I know I need to invest in a dress form eventually.


In this post:

Red Beignet (high-waisted) skirt

My friend and I went to the Sew L.A. event back in September when Colette Patterns released their Fall patterns, which was the first time I encountered the beautiful patterns they offer!

Since I had only made a few other pieces of clothing (most not my style, but for practice purposes), this seemed like a good place to start with an actual piece of clothing I would like to wear one day!

I chose the Beignet pattern, even though it said intermediate!

For the fabric, I used some red poplin that I bought at M & L fabrics for $1.98/yard and the lining was left behind by someone in my class.  I bought the buttons at a swap meet, so I most likely spent $1 or less.  Definitely less than $5 all in all!

And here is how it turned out.

Red Colette Beignet skirt (unironed)  :(

My intention for this project was to serve as a muslin, figuring that if it turned out to be wearable, I could use it as a casual skirt.  Luckily, it turned out pretty well, and now I can avoid a few problems that I had while sewing it and make a few adjustments for my more expensive fabric.

I absolutely love the pop of lining that I used!  I almost wish I could have it peek out from the skirt a little.  Or maybe make some piping along the skirt with it next time.

Lovely lining

Also, the pockets are so cute and hidden!  It's a sweet detail that I love.  :)

Peek into the pocket

So many buttons!  Now, I definitely know how to use my buttonhole attachment.  Also, in the full view, you can see that I pulled on the last few just to make the hems line up right.  Next time, I know to adjust everything prior to putting in the buttons so it doesn't pull.

Many, many buttons

Also, I liked putting in the belt loops and making a belt for the first time..  However, I think that I would like to make it in a contrasting color next time.  Perhaps the same fabric as the lining.

Belt & loops

Overall, this was a winning project!  It wasn't perfect, but I can wear it out.  I even wore it to the Sew L.A. event that I blogged about before.  Much more fun than to make than a regular old muslin!

Maroon Fleece Jacket

Just before the weather got cold, I decided that I wanted to something warm but still light to wear.  I have an old fleece hoodie from Old Navy that I got way back in high school, and even though it is warm, it is relegated to pajama duty.

I was a little upset that all of the warm jackets and coats I was seeing in stores were either super heavy or super puffy!  Having given up my search, I was really cold one night and pulled out my fleece blanket.  Lightbulb moment!

So, I decided on the fabric first: anti-pill fleece from Joann's with a 50% off coupon.  Then, I found the pattern:  Simplicity 4032.

I decided to use view A but make a few alterations.  I omitted the bow on the collar, and used 3 buttons down the front.  The buttons were some that I got from the swap meet for a total of probably 50 cents or less.

The spacing on the buttons looks a little funny above, but you can see what it looks like below a bit better.

Overall, I'm sooo happy I made this!  It's so warm but looks much better than a sweatshirt!  With some skinny pants and riding boots, it looks almost like a blazer, but doesn't have that excess weight and heft like wool does.  Warm, cozy, and light!

Racerback Shirt/Dress?

Before making this top, I had made a few dresses and a skirt but no tops!  Tops are so much easier to make, and since I was embarking on something to make outside of class, I figured this would be a good place to start.

I had bought pattern McCall's 6359, and both my guy and I decided that I should attempt the view on the left.

Once again, I used cheaper fabrics instead of a muslin, because this would be my first time using this pattern.  For the body, I wanted to use a slightly sheer drapy green & black material from the swap meet for $1.  For the back, I had wanted to use lace as shown, but all I had that matched was a black cotton poplin for $1.98/yard, of which I used a tiny, tiny bit.  I had some black bias tape also from the swap meet for $1/4 yards but I only used less than half.

And this is what I ended up with.

Not the best silhouette or length, but then I added a belt!

So much better!  Now, the belt was definitely a good idea.  The top was essentially shapeless with no closures, etc. so it just draped straight down.

However, the length is something I'm going to need to change next time.  It was so long that I actually wore it out as a dress with tights and some tall boots.  

Next time, I would like to try the pattern again with maybe a lace contrasting fabric and adjust the length accordingly to make it a top for a petite girl like me!

Overall, I like the idea of making wearable muslins because I can see how a similar fabric will drape and feel as well as sew.  I had some trouble making buttonholes on the thicker fleece above, so I know how to work with my machine now to ensure that I don't end up picking apart all of those stitches!

What are your thoughts about making wearable muslins?


  1. I'm a fan of making wearable muslins too. Although I must admit I have been thinking about making a true throwaway muslin for a shirt dress I plan to make with some expensive fabric I got at Mood. I would hate to cut into it and find the fit isn't just right! Oh -- and I adore the lining on your red skirt. It's perfect!

    1. Confession time: I end up wearing most of my muslins... Unless it's a total fail, they end up in my closet!

      For your shirtdress fabric, muslin would be a great fit! My fabric is usually $1-2/yard, but expensive fabric from Mood definitely needs at least 1 muslin!

      But for example, I had a dress with a lace overlay which was a combination of two patterns. I wanted to use a similar fabric, and therefore used some green lace from a Sewer's Guild sale as practice. Using muslin would not have replicated my desired finished product. As for my "muslin", it's not exactly wearable for me (because the shade of green is sooo off!) but I'm sure other people wouldn't mind wearing it.

  2. Wow I love the skirt! Such a beautiful pattern + the colour is awesome! good Job!

  3. LOVE the skirt! The color, the lining, EVERYTHING! Very inspiring. :)

    1. Thanks! It was just meant to be a practice for more expensive fabric, but it turned out good enough for me to wear. :)

  4. I love the fleece jacket! I hope I can still find that pattern, I'd love it in my collection!


I love to hear your comments! And putting in your two cents is always free. :)