Hey, Girlfriend!

❀ Making the World a Brighter Place One Friendship at a Time


When I was 3, I learned how to sew by hand from a chipboard doll that was pre-drilled with holes along her edges.  She came with a large yellow plastic needle, a selection of yarn colors and several sturdy cardboard outfits that could be sewn onto her body.


She must have been the latest and greatest toy, because I obtained 3 as gifts that year.  I received one for my birthday in August and two others, 4 months later, at Christmas!  That’s when, in addition to learning how to sew, I learned that it is impolite to tell the giver of a gift that you love it and are so happy because you already have two just like it!


A Stack of Summer Fabrics

The doll’s sew-on clothes were perfectly sized to cover her cute little bloomers and lace trimmed sleeveless undershirt.  The yarn stitching was easy to remove, so that the outfits could be changed and my sewing skills could be practiced.  I could do a running stitch, a backstitch or a whip stitch, left to right or right to left.


I remember, in the beginning, my mother pointing out a missed stitch or an inconsistency in my technique.  Eventually, I was a little pro and I graduated to embroidery, beading and working with a sewing machine.


I love knowing how to sew, but it’s a love hate relationship.  There are a lot of steps involved.  I sew the way I cook, I like to use every gadget and surface.  Which means set up and cleanup are projects unto their own.


Fabric-and-Top pattern

Gingham Cotton Fabric for a Sleeveless Summer Top

The first steps in sewing, for me, are born out of either impulse or necessity.  The fabrics shown here were purchased upon impulse.  Their hand was so nice and the colors were happy.  The deal was clinched, though, when I remembered that my husband and I are about to leave for a pre-summer tropical vacation!



Rayon Tropical Print with Pink Pelican Border for a Short Skirt… Actually, I am hoping to make this skirt ankle length with a slit or two.

I purchased the fabrics without patterns, deciding that I either had patterns at home or I would create my own (I am not a skilled pattern maker, but I can wing it when I need to).  I guestimated on the amount of yardage I would need.  I don’t recommend that you follow my lead!  It’s an easy way to spend too much money on extra yardage or not buy enough and then waste your money because you don’t have the amount you need to make what you want.


When I got home and looked at the possible patterns I could use, I realized I was limited by the yardage I purchased.  These photos are of the pairings I chose based on my mood, the mood of the fabrics and or the amount of yardage I had to work with!


An A-Line Dress with No Pockets


Hot Pink Floral Mesh For an Above the Knee Sleeveless Swimsuit Cover-up


Happy Colorful Tropical Eyelet for a Playful Swing Dress (I think this is the wrong side, but you get the idea!)


Cotton Gingham to Line the Tropical Eyelet Swing Dress


Rayon Watercolor Floral for a Knee Length Half Circle Skirt… I will make it so it sits on the waist, as opposed to the hip.



❀  If you sew, keep your eyes open for pattern sales.  Simplicity Patterns were on sale over the weekend at Joann Fabric and Craft Stores for .99¢ each!


❀   You may enjoy this post on How to Sew an Original Hem for an easy way to hem jeans!


4 thoughts on “Summer Sewing

  1. Janea says:

    What an amazing evolution from doll dressing to making some of your own vacation wardrobe! Those patterns and fabrics are so fun!
    XO, Janea


  2. Thank you Girlfriend! The fabrics are playful, aren’t they?


  3. Diane says:

    Hey Mel, I’m an old time accomplished seamstress too but you had it all over me with your creative idea to line your tropical eyelet swing dress with cotton gingham. That will be adorable. Please DO share the finished items preferably in pics taken on your vacation…..in the act, so to say!!!


    1. I’d better get my act together and start sewing! The dress you are referring to is the first one I want to make! Good idea, I will have a picture snapped of me while on vacation and wearing that dress! I hope the lining doesn’t make it too warm. Both fabrics are lightweight and the eyelet by itself is too see through with the size of the eyelets! It would feel great unlined, if only I was making it for a cover up!


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