my tee: Everlane
both mine and Penny’s hats: Target dollar section
Penny’s skirt: also handmade using same tutorial
If someone, who has never seen a single thing ever but wants to try for the first time, asked you what’s the very first project they should try, what would you tell them! I would say a basic elastic skirt! It’s seriously the simplest project - no pattern, one rectangular piece of fabric, one piece of elastic, and basic seams. You can make it any size from kids to adult, and any length from above the knee to maxi (and everything in between!). I recently updated an old tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary with updated images and more thorough instructions. So if you are a beginner who wants to give it a try, check out the how-to there!
Not that you have to be a beginner to make one of these skirts. I have a few favorites in my closet, and love them all. And they are a nice quick project palette cleanser! Both mine and Penny’s skirts here are these basic elastic ones. Mine in a light drapey rayon at midi length, Penny’s in a crisper chambray above the knee. Same technique, two different looks! I also added a tiny bit of interest to mine with a slit in the (one!) seam and topstitching in contrasting thread.
top: Megan Nielsen Rowan top, cropped with added band
fabric: light pink athletic knit from Blackbird Fabrics
When we go hiking, I prefer to wear leggings over any other hiking type of pants. And I loved my last pair of yoga waistband Virginia leggings so much, I wanted to make another pair for our recent camping and hiking trip! and I purposely bought a bit of extra yardage of this Blackbird Fabrics athletic knit with the idea to make a cute little matching fitted/athletic tee.
Actually, my original idea was for the top to be a bit shorter with a built in shelf bra/lining so that it was more of a tee-style sports bra. But I was racing against time to finish the set before the trip, so I just left it as a basic tee, sans built in bra. But it’s fine because it works just fine over top a sports bra. I used my favorite Rowan bodysuit/tee pattern to make it. Just cropped it and added a band along the bottom edge, similar to a sports bra, to help it stay in place better and not ride up.
I quite like how it turned out! And it was comfy to hike in. The only thing I would say - definitely need to wear nude colored undies with this light fabric. I thought, even though it’s a light color, because it was a thicker knit maybe it wouldn’t be a problem. But the first time I put them on, I was wearing polka dot undies, and there was definitely no hiding it haha. But nude ones did the trick, so no problem!
Penny’s top: Burda 9437
Penny’s shorts: Hello Dear Kids pants pattern, shortened
Penny’s headband: Nelly Lou
You guys, how cute is this little ruched sundress?! Honestly, when I first saw this pattern, with the main image being a sleeved version, I didn’t think the pattern was for me. Just not something I gravitate towards. But then I caught a glimpse of this tie strap view, and I surprisingly couldn’t get it out of my head. Then Tammy at D&H Fabrics Co gave me a little peek at a new fruit print viscose fabric before listing it, and it just seemed like the perfect match! And now, well now I want to live in this dress all summer long. I’m glad I took a chance on the pattern! No mods or adjustments were needed, because there is a lot of wiggle room with the elastic and tie straps.
So this viscose fabric is a dream. It’s drapy and soft. A tiny bit translucent in direct light (I’m wearing a slip underneath just in case), but not too sheer. And the abstract ‘fruit bowl’ print is just adorable. I love that it is colorful, but the colors are more subdued and more muted. Just my style. This kind of viscose woven is my dream summer fabric. So light and airy, I could dream up a million things to make with a whole bolt of it, lol.
And of course, I made sure I was able to squeeze out something for P too. I wanted something with a similar style, but not exactly the same, since I didn’t have a lot of extra fabric to work with. I found this little tie strap tank top pattern and it was the perfect compliment to my dress! It’s a little big along the top/under the arm. But I’m ok with that, because that just means it will probably fit her next year, too, lol.
Now enjoy about a million photos, because they turned out so cute, ha.
Both dresses : mashed up/self drafted
fabric: rosebud cotton poplin from Measure Fabric
Penny’s sunglasses: Mini Made Co
Penny’s sneakers: June and January
my purse: thrifted Free People
i am so so so soooo in love with how these dresses turned out!
I have actually had this idea for this squared neck ruffle dress in my head for YEARS. literally years. I think I saved an inspiration photo in 2016. I don’t know why I waited so long to make it happen, but I’m glad I did wait for this fabric. When I first laid eyes on this little mini rosebud print from Measure Fabric, I immediately started thinking of this dress again. It just couldn’t be more perfect! It’s a cotton poplin, so more of a shirting fabric. It is a little bit translucent in direct light, so I lined the whole thing.
As far as the pattern, I started with the Tessuti Fabrics Romy top just to get a starting point for the shape of the top (but altered it a bit) and then kind of just self drafted the rest. And then I kind of just eyed/self drafted Penny’s mini version. I was a little worried just winging all of it, but it was actually pretty simple and came out just as I was imagining!
Penny thinks the little rosebuds are strawberries and keeps calling them our strawberry dresses 😂.
Penny turned 3 years a couple weeks ago, and I realized I never posted any photos from her party here! She requested a rainbow and kitty cat party. Actually, she’s been telling me that that’s the kind of birthday that she wanted for months. And she never waivered.
Zach made her pretty rainbow cake, and I made the kitty cookies. I found a contact paper rainbow craft on Pinterest for the girls to do, and for extra decorations, I hung up a bunch of the rainbow paintings and drawings that Penny has done over the past few months. I’ll link as many of the other supplies as I can!
Penny’s rainbow dress: Old Navy
Penny’s cat ears: Target
Penny’s sunglasses: Gymboree
cat plates, rainbow cups, 3 and cat candles: Meri Meri
letterboard: oak & made
cat cookie cut outs: Amazon
Penny’s top: mashed up/self drafted top in cotton from Fabric.com
No new makes again! We’ve been re-wearing a lot of handmade items already in our closets. especially Penny. She actually originally wore this top over a year and half ago for our family photos, and it still fits!
Its funny, when she was really little, I barely made any clothes for her at all. I didn’t see the point in spending so much time and effort on garments that she would just grow out of in a couple months. Kids grow so fast! But then some where along the way, I realized that making clothes for her meant I could control how they were made. Meaning, I could make them grow with her. I can add a really wide hem that can be let down later as she grows taller. I can use larger seam allowances that can be let out as she gets older. I can purposefully make a garment just a tad big to start with. Not too big, just enough that it still fits, but also will fit her for awhile.
I can’t stop making clothes for her now!
slides: Old Navy
Penny’s dress: self-drafted
The last time we matched while wearing this skirt, its was January and we were in sweatshirts and lots of layers. Happy to finally wear it in warmer weather!
This Rowan bodysuit is my favorite one yet. I added in shoulder ruffles again like I have before (This time I documented the process, so there will be a tutorial on Design Diary sometime soon!). And the green pairs perfectly with this floral Wattle skirt. I didn’t have enough of the ribbed fabric left to make anything for P, so I grabbed this other green knit form Nelly Lou stash and whipped up our go-to gathered dress. Not a perfect match, but she still thought we were in matching outfits, so it was a win! She actually loves matching me, and I hope it never ends. I mean, I know it will, but I seriously live for this.
pattern: Megan Nielsen Patterns Cottesloe swimsuit
fabric: ‘watercolor mostera leaf’ by Little Arrow Design, purchased from Spoonflower
Gaaaaaaah, I love this swimsuit so much! I originally made another Cottesloe swimsuit out of this fabric - view D bikini with underbust band and waistband (you can see photos at the very end of the post). While I do love the look of that one, I purposefully bought extra yardage of this fabric because it’s gorgeous and I knew I would want to make different two piece versions to mix and match together. So this longline, tie strap top was born! Seriously, I couldn’t love it more. I’m definitely more comfortable in longline tops. Not necessarily a full tankini, but more coverage than a typical bra-style top. All I did for the longline modification was literally extend the lines of the side seams straight down. Nothing fancy. Easy-peasy. I lined the front only, and adding sewn-in bust pads (tutorial can be found on Design Diary).
And those tie details? Don’t worry - there will be a tutorial for Design Diary in the future! I didn’t make it this go-around, since I was just testing it out. But now that I know how cute it turns out, I’ll be doing it again (maybe on a one piece?) and documenting it for a tutorial. So keep a look out in the next month or two for that!
I also made a second pair of high waisted bottoms, this time without the waistband. But I still wanted the extra height that the waistband provided, so I again simply extended the side seams upwards about 3/4”. Again, super simple.
Now, in this swim print, I have 5 pieces - a longline tie strap top, a regular style top with underbust band, high waisted bottoms, high waisted bottoms with waistband, and also regular low-rise bikini bottoms! So many mix and match options!