A Skirt & Tee for Back to School

Adventures in apparel fabric, part deux! I wrote about the adorable Cuddle fur vest last time; let’s talk about the rest of the girl’s outfit – this darling skirt and top.


The skirt is our Potato Chip Skirt pattern, made in the lined view. It has a flat front, elastic back, and POCKETS! I used this gorgeous Robert Kaufman chambray, lined with the same poly satin designer lining with crowns that I used for the faux fur vest. Not a traditional pairing of fashion fabric and liner, but it works, and I love how they look together!


I liked the nautical print of the chambray when I saw it online. I LOVE it in person! Something about the pen-and-ink quality of the images, the deep black on gray, and the particular motifs almost look a little steampunky and it fit right in with my ‘urban back-to-school’ outfits.

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It’s a refreshing change from blue and red nautical prints for sure. It’s a slightly lighter weight than quilting cottons. Plus, I forgot to mention something really exciting in my last post discussing quilting cottons vs. apparel fabrics. Most apparel fabrics are 58″-60″ wide – so much more for your money! So when you are pricing fabrics, be sure to check the width.

I love the way this fabric looks on my finished skirt. I opted to use a simple black piping to set off the pockets, and blind-hemmed the skirt so other details would not distract from the fabric’s print.


Special tools or notions needed to sew chambray: none!

The liner was a little slippery and needed a fine and sharp (70/10) needle. Even with a fine needle, the hole punches made by the needle are more visible than I’d like them to be. I used wonder clips to avoid pinholes, though if you don’t have clips, you can of course pin within the seam allowance.  Special tools or notions needed to sew liner: 70/10 needle, wonder clips, patience.

The top is from our Garnet Dress, Top, and Skirt pattern. I made the long-sleeved top view and finished with a simple neckband, omitting the pattern’s collar to keep the outfit looking street-casual.  The fabric is a black and olive heathered stripe rayon/lycra jersey knit. “Drapey!” said my model when she tried it on. Clearly, her mom sews and has taught her the vocabulary! Mama, your work is done here.




The fabric is a lighter weight, very stretchy, and yes – drapey! As a pleasant surprise it was easy to sew, not curly at the edges or shifty to cut. I used my serger and coverstitch exclusively on this (not sewing machine) so had no problems with the machine eating the lighter-weight knit. If I sewed by sewing machine, I’d probably use a bit of stabilizer under the presser foot when getting the seams started.

Special tools/notions needed: ballpoint needle, 100% polyester thread. I stabilized the shoulder seams with clear elastic as I do with all knit tops.

Overall, I am thrilled with the ready-to-wear look of this outfit, and the model loved it too. #winning! I’ll be back again soon to tell you about the boy’s outfit.


Jen’s line of PDF sewing patterns for children is at www.tiedyedivapatterns.com and she blogs here.


Jen H, from Tie Dye Diva

Jen creates PDF format sewing patterns for women, children and babies at www.tiedyedivapatterns.com

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