Merry Christmas Tree Skirt

I had good intentions of posting this yesterday, for the posterity sake as much as anything, but yesterday was a little less than Merry, come mid morning at our house. In hindsight, we should’ve sent the boys to their room for a rest after presents and likely the lack of cinnamon sugar buns for the kids to snack on and keep their energy up, led to the endless bickering that drove me into a Christmas mommy tantrum. Either way, let’s just say, it was nice to wake up to 90% of the decorations put away already and the public part of the house all dusted and vacuumed.

Now for the tree skirt.

For the past three years, I’ve been planning to make a new tree skirt, but getting the materials and motivation in place before Christmas is over has not materialized. In November, I started my yearly Pinterest cruising of ideas and finally found one I liked quite a bit. It was out of equilateral triangles, about 8″ in length each side. For us, I wanted more of a scrappy look and when Brendon brought home homework with equilaterals, I took the opportunity to enlarge one sheet and make triangles around 4″ in length each side. I spent a week (or probably two) cutting the triangles, using all fabric previously purchased last year or in my stash for over a decade. I had plenty.

My Christmas Elves

Mom managing the machine. Brendon was pretty good at managing the pedal speed; we kept John to the material matching (no pedal work).

Then Thanksgiving break hit and I had the boys work one day randomly matching and sewing the triangles. We made it through the strips that would make up one of six wedges when Brendon asked if they could go on break. I obliged as it was very hard to temper my perfectionist ways (thanks Dad!) with letting them sew, even with the 1/4″ foot. My extreme dislike of the seam ripper was the only thing that kept me in check and no stitches were re-sewn.

It actually took longer thinking about sewing the strips into wedges and the wedges into a complete top than it did to do the sewing. I can really over think a project if I let my self! Nobody to blame there.

The strips, separated into wedge groups.

Top fully assembled. at this point I decided there would only be one line of quilting at the joint of each wedge. I am ambitious on my projects, but seeing it has taken me three years to get to this stage, I was ready to finish this project. I *might* add hand stitch quilting next year, but don’t hedge any bets on it.

Last week, hubby had Friday off and we took a little overnight trip to Chico (an hour is about as far as we can drive with these two creatures and still maintain our sanity). I got busy the night before we left sewing on the binding the night before we left, so I could hand sew it to the back on the drive. Completely forgot on the way down between all my chattering, responding to work texts (before Hubby reprimanded me for working on vacation) and also a stop in to Pumpkin land for chocolate samples and gifts (A MUST stop!! on 99).

And we have a Tree Skirt!! I went for pink binding to tame the red/green a bit and also because it was fabric I had in my stash. I originally wanted to do stripes, but had nothing on hand and wasn’t about to make a purchase at this stage. I guess you could say this tree skirt cost me ZERO dollars in materials since it was all previously purchased. I doubt Hubby would agree with this logic, but let’s roll with it.

But not to worry, I pulled the skirt out once we got tucked into our hotel and the boys were watching a movie. Between that stint, the drive home the next day and a little time on it at home, the tree skirt was finished and before Christmas!! I was pretty proud of myself.

As a side note, we stayed at the Oxford Suites near the Mall, IN-n-OUT & Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The room was clean, the staff friendly and plenty of included meals. There was a really wonderful breakfast buffet (This is really saying something because I have an extreme dislike for buffets), plus a dinner salad and soup bar and two drink coupons for cocktails per person. Definitely recommend.

Nestled under the tree, before its hasty dismantle yesterday and next to Vance’s new smoking chair that Brendon has deemed his in the wake of hubby’s lack of enthusiasm on the chair front.

Christmas Garment Sewing

It has been pretty quiet on the blog for….TWO months. Wow! The past two months have flown by in the typical way the end of year takes over and time for personal things, like writing my blog snippets, take a backseat to life. It’s been a busy two months, filled with less sewing and more work obligations than I’d like. As I told my besties yesterday, I want to put a tagline on my outgoing emails next year starting on the 15th of December that we are slowing down for the Holidays and will not be permitting any Project Emergencies!! Of course, I don’t that would go over with Upper Management, but I can dream or live in a delusional state, whichever the case may be.

Regardless, I’m pulling together a few end of year posts related to sewing, family, moving (Say What?!) and life.

On this Christmas Eve, I’m sharing my newest make: the Veronika Skirt by Megan Nielsen. (found here). With the rash of Black Friday indie pattern sales, I snapped up her Banksia Blouse pattern and then noticed she mentioned this skirt was the one pictured with the blouse. So, what was I to do? Get the skirt too of course! A pretty easy decision since you can get it FREE by signing up for her newsletter. So, if you are so inclined to make a circle skirt … head over to her website and sign up. (She’s also offering a free undies pattern for Christmas right now too).

Circle Skirts need to hang at least 24 hours to let the fabric figure out how it’s going to stretch, prior to hemming. Notice, I am unwilling to fully adjust my dress form waist, which is why it’s all ripple-y there. I debated the scalloped pocket for longer than necessary, but I love pockets and in the end didn’t want to figure out how to add inseam pockets with a side zipper on a tight timeline.

This is the first of Megan’s patterns I’ve actually sewn into reality. Last Spring I picked up her Karri dress, thinking it would be a perfect destash garment, but have only gotten through the pattern tracing stage. But back to Veronika. The pattern sizing is spot on (Booo!! For the added two inches due to all my holiday indulgences), so I made a size Medium to accommodate the waist and used this fantastic red satin from my stash. If memory serves my right, this fabric is from my wedding. Yes, 16 years ago. I made my sisters purses to go with their bridesmaid dresses… what is a wedding without some homemade goods?! Nothing I tell ya!

I clearly had a lot of fabric left over and a Christmas Skirt was just the answer. Somehow, it took me a long time from cutting the pattern to sewing the skirt and there I was hemming the skirt with 2 hrs to go before leaving for church yesterday. It was a race to the finish. At this point, I hadn’t done my hair or makeup, which lead to me just cutting the lining so it didn’t show when worn and leaving it unhemmed. Which as I type this I realize I just tossed it in the washing machine this way. Ugh. That’s going to be frayed mess when it comes out. Too late now.

Top is the purple voile lining. The rushed hem shown at the bottom of the photo. I decided I had limits, even with a Christmas skirt and used the wrong side of the satin, so the shiny side was inside and the skirt had more of a matte finish.

And as a further side note. I had originally intended to wear this Toaster Sweater (below), I crafted earlier this month with the skirt, but completely forgot about it until last night when I was putting on my jammies. Not sure it is cropped enough to work with the skirt anyhow.

This is the second Toaster Sweater I’ve made. The last one almost exactly a year ago. I never could figure why my first version came out baggy. It was only when I made this one I noticed I used 3/8″ instead of the pattern directed 5/8″ seam allowance. No wonder! The Toaster Sweater is a quick and easy make, but heed her caution about confusing the pieces. I actually had to remake this one because I got my pieces mixed up. For this version, I also chopped off the tall neck (see the pattern here) and made it just have a binding. It’s okay. Sticks up a little, but I’m still wearing it. My family calls this my “Pretty In Pink” outfit.

Without further ramblings…the Veronika Skirt.

Hubby cut off my cute green shoes, so I had him take a few more….

And he cropped my head. Hmmm. I really need to get a tripod set up. I would’ve liked to get some action shots, but these were snapped on our load into the van as we sped off to church.

…..Christmas is coming …….