DIY: The Easiest Party Skirt To Make…Ever

Okay, maybe not the easiest skirt in the history of the world…but pretty darn simple nonetheless!

It took me about an hour and a half to make – tops! And it’s a simple, sweet party skirt that also works great for the everyday.

You Need:
*1 yd. of medium to heavy-weight satin, sateen, satin peau, or taffeta
*7/8″ width woven no-roll elastic (length of elastic = your waist circumference – 1″)
*matching thread

*measuring tape
*iron & ironing board
*sewing machine
*sewing needle for wovens
*1 safety pin/bodkin
*overlocker/serger (optional)

How To: (sorry no step-by-step photos)

(I think this size will work on Small-Medium-Large…for a Small, the skirt will be fuller and more cinched in at the waist. If you want more width to the skirt, increase the width of the panels. My waist is 27″; hips are 34.5″. Cutting directions, marker, and yield are using a 60″ wide piece of fabric.)

1. Cut two rectangles on-grain for the front and back pieces: both are 21.75″ long; the front piece is 14 3/16″ (that’s fourteen and three-sixteenths, if the way I’ve typed it is confusing). For the width of the back piece rectangle, add 1/2″ (therefore width of back piece = 14 and 11/16″).

2. Cut 2 rectangular side panels on-grain: both 21.75″ long and 11.125″ (eleven and 1/8″) wide.

3. Cut 2 pockets: both are the same width as the side panels (11 and 1/8″) and are 9″ high. (The front, back, and side panels you can all fit side-by-side on a 60″ wide piece of fabric, but the pockets can’t fit and will have to be placed above this row when cutting. So technically, when using a 60″ wide piece of fabric, you only need 30.75″, not really a whole yard. For a 45″ wide piece of fabric, you can only fit the front, back, and one side panel side-by-side; the next row up you could place the other side-panel on-grain and thereby require 43.5″ of fabric (about 1 yd. and a quarter), or, alternatively, you could place one side panel on the crossgrain and only use 11 1/8″ + 21.75″ = just about a yard total. This is what I did because I thought I had bought a piece of 60″ wide fabric but it turned out to be only 45″ wide – so I had to conserve fabric. In satin, I honestly think on-grain vs. crossgrain difference is negligible.)

4. Overlock/zigzag stitch on top and bottom edges of pockets.

5. Fold 1″ under on tops of pockets. Iron to set the crease. Stitch seam at 3/4″ down from top of crease.

6. Start by placing pocket on top of side panel, right sides together. Align top of pocket about 4″ above bottom of side panel, and align pocket side edges to side panel side edges. Stitch 3/8″ below top of pocket, through both layers, from side to side.

7. Fold pocket up, taught against the seam you just sewed; iron to set the crease. Pin side edges of pocket to side edges of side panels – then staystitch the pocket to the side panels a scant 1/4″ from side edges.

8. Overlock or sew each side panel to either side of the front piece; join back piece in the same way.

9. Overlock/zigzag bottom edge of skirt all the way around.

10. Turn up 3.25″ from bottom of skirt; iron to set the crease. Stitch hem at 3″ up from crease.

11. Overlock/zigzig top edge of skirt all the way around.

12. Turn under top of skirt 1.25″ from top edge. Iron to set the crease. Stitch at 1″ from crease – leaving 2″ unsewn, to create the waistband casing.

13. Attach safety pin or bodkin onto end of elastic. Thread elastic through the waistband casing, entering and exiting through the unsewn area.

14. Overlap ends of elastic by 1/2″. Pull elastic ends out of the unsewn gap in the casing, and stitch a square shape on the top of the elastic to secure.

15. Tuck elastic back into casing area – then sew the last 2″ of the casing closed.

You’re done!

This skirt is super-cute and can be worn in a casual ensemble.
Or you can dress it up and pair it into a party outfit – layer over a corset, for instance, or under a sequined vest.

People will feel a strange attraction to it when you wear it.

Everyone will love it unconditionally!

Happy DIY’ing…and Happy New Year!


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DIY: Ikea Fabric Dress

(handmade IKEA fabric dress, Mossimo Long Leather Gloves, H&M belt, Metro7 snakeskin print platform pumps)

To subject y’all to entirely non-fashion-related babbling drivel for a little bit…

One of the things that we were so psyched about when we moved from Honolulu to Oregon 2 years ago was…drumroll please….

Ikea within driving distance.
Yes, I know it’s sad and bourgeosie. Or strident middle-class desperation. Whatever. In Hawaii, the furniture available at most furniture stores is utter crap and ridiculously, ridiculously overpriced. And either teak (endangered…weighing a thousand pounds…um, no thanks) or wicker (infested with bugs, “island-style casual”…blech.) Nothing modern, nothing clean and streamlined…unless we wanted to pay thousands of dollars at Natuzzi or Z Design or somewhere. We lived in a beautiful condominium with cardboard boxes and junky mismatched stuff from Wal-Mart and cabinets from Home Depot.

Until we came to Oregon, finally visited Ikea, and were in heaven. Seriously, for the amount that you have to pay to furnish a home beautifully in a contemporary style in the islands…it would be cheaper to fly to the mainland, stock up at Ikea, and ship everything to Hawaii instead! Ikea could even raise their prices by 20% and still undercut what’s available in Honolulu by hundreds of dollars. Ikea people, take note!

But I digress. I love the textile patterns available in their fabric department; they’re so cool, so clean and uncomplicated. I must admit I went on a bit of a spree in the textiles department, picking myself up 2 yds of Patricia printed fabric last time I visited the mecca of Swedish design watered down for the average consumer palate.

And I made myself a dress.The fabric is stiff and 100% cotton, so it doesn’t lend itself well to anything but structured clothing, IMHO. I had to line the dress in poly satin since the fabric is really too rough to sit against the skin.

I wanted structured sheath dress with a little twist, so I chose Vogue pattern V1068 (dress on upper left). I had to make multiple alterations on the dress once made since of course the top part didn’t fit like the pattern said it would. I hate store-bought patterns. I thought the neckline was a little bit interesting. Not earth-shattering, but interesting.

This is why i.d. Bare Minerals is a travesty for my skin. It settles into all the fine lines around my eyes and makes me look like a perfectly lovely 60-year-old when I laugh.

I’m also working on a little removable puff-peplum for this dress…it won’t be done before the leaves start to decay, so I wanted to get these shots first. And a clutch handbag where I’m shading in the flowers with a fabric marker in various tones of gray…should be cool.

I’ve left the garden in this atrocious state for more than a week, reasoning that I wanted to do a photoshoot on top of all those beautiful Japanese Maple leaves before I rake them up. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.I had a little Marilyn Monroe moment there with the elbow-length gloves…from Target, can you believe it?!

Now I’m off to rake me some leaves!


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The Painted Man…He Haunts My Dreams

(handmade DIY dress, Icing by Claire’s belt, Newport-News patent clutch, Forever21 ring, Nine West heels)

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve done an outfit post…what with being sick, feeling down, and just not having the physical and mental fortitude to sit in front of the computer and edit hundreds of photos means no outfit updates. I’m sure you’re all very upset. 🙂

And yes, I edit every single one of the photos Hub takes…I Photoshop Blake Lively’s head onto my body. Or vice versa. ‘Narf. (And if you get that reference, you’re a total 80’s cartoon dork just like me.;-)

So this is a dress I made awhile ago, for that infamous FashionTribes post about DIY’ing your own designer-style painterly garment…and it was never posted on the site. Harrrumph.

So I styled it on my own.


I made the dress using Simplicity 3747. I altered the pattern to create a voluminous pleat in the front (Hub says it looks like maternity wear – totally not my intention), made an A-line shape to the skirt, and extended the lining so that it shows at the bottom. Hub also says the shape of it looks like something a patient would wear at a psych ward. (Read: neck a little too wide, shoulders shapeless, large and baggy and white.) It looks much better when belted. Maybe I shoulda stuck to the pattern? But I definitely wanted volume – very 2009.

And then I painted brushstrokes on the bottom using Tulip brand matte soft fabric paints (they don’t dry completely stiff and hard like most fabric paints, but they still, IMHO, add a little too much stiffness to the fabric for it to look “natural.”) These are really carefully done…and I had to do it twice to get it just right. I used Ebony, Lime, and Cornflower Blue, if I remember correctly.


This is the coolest ring from Forever21…it has tiny purple beads in the center…it’s like a little alien pod.

I think I’ve written that before. Man, I’m getting old.

Ninewest shoes
NineWest gold Joisey-girl heels. They make my feet look like the Jolly Green Giant’s.
(in size LOL)

-Carly J. Cais

Oh, sorry – and the title of this post…well, if you were a teenage girl in the early nineties (’91, I think?)…you definitely went to see this movie. Guys stayed far, far away. This was before dude lost most of his hair and became obsolete (read: made an overblown, ridiculous production with Dennis Hopper). And before other dude decided to marry his 27-yr old granddaughter (or so says the Enquirer or some schlock as of late). Hmmm…can you tell I was a film major?? LOL

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