I was sending some quilts for my cousin’s baby boy (post coming soon) but I didn’t want to send them along without sending something for his older sister. She’s quite the little fashionista so dresses are always a good bet for her 🙂 So I made ...

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"Pigs In Pajamas" - 5 new articles

  1. Another Geranium Dress
  2. A baby quilt for Patrick
  3. Truly Victorian 441 – 1861 Garibaldi Blouse
  4. Victorian Petticoat based on Truly Victorian free pattern
  5. Truly Victorian TV141 Round Cage Crinoline Hoop Skirt
  6. More Recent Articles

Another Geranium Dress

Polka Dot Geranium Dress and Buttercup Bag

I was sending some quilts for my cousin’s baby boy (post coming soon) but I didn’t want to send them along without sending something for his older sister. She’s quite the little fashionista so dresses are always a good bet for her 🙂

So I made her another Geranium Dress (patter by Made by Rae). This one was using one of my favorite prints, rainbow polka dots by Northcott Fabrics. I added some pink piping accents and used turquoise buttons. I love how it turned out and really kinda want something similar in an adult version. We’ll have to see 😉

Polka Dot Geranium Dress back

But I couldn’t just send her a dress. I wanted a little something extra so I made a matching Buttercup Bag. This is a free pattern, also by Made by Rae (although I didn’t actually notice that until I was posting on Instagram).

I shrunk the pattern to 80% so that it would be a better match for my little lady size-wise. I also added the same pink piping and interfaced it. I’ve made this bag a few times (here and here). It’s a great pattern and goes together quickly, but I like the look of the bag much better when the outside fabric has a little heft. I also interfaced the handle. It’s lined with some nice bright yellow and has a little coordinating pocket.

Both projects together took a yard of the polka dots and then I used other pieces for the lining of the dress and bag. Everything was from my stash (buttons, interfacing, fabric, piping, even the magnetic closure) — another win for de-stashing!

Polka Dot Buttercup Bag inside


A baby quilt for Patrick

Baby Boy Nighttime Quilt

My cousin is having a little boy in the very near future (like any minute now — she may have even had him by the time this is posted). So I wanted to welcome him to the world with a little gift.

Baby Boy Nighttime Quilt

I used this starry night print to do a whole cloth quilt for him because it made me think of bedtime and snuggles.

Baby Boy Nighttime Quilt

For the quilting, I did a swirly design, like wind or clouds in the night sky. Of course it’s backed with minkee for maximum snuggle potential.

You can also see the quilt label I made for him using the embroidery function on my Bernina. Have I mentioned how awesome this machine is? Embroidery is so much easier it with it than my Husqvarna.

Baby Boy Nighttime Quilt

Close up of the swirls. The moons have a greenish tinge to them like there are celestial gases flowing over them and I found this green that matched perfectly and totally made the quilt pop. I love a contrasting binding! The quilting is also done in a bright green that blended nicely with the blue but still provided enough contrast to show the design.

Baby Boy Nighttime Quilt

Mom and Dad say they love it and I hope little Patrick does, too!


Truly Victorian 441 – 1861 Garibaldi Blouse

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse

The next item which I made for the Victorian ensemble for the Dickens Fair was the Truly Victorian 441 – 1861 Garibaldi Blouse. This was probably the easiest and most straight forward piece of the ensemble that I made. I was fortunate that Jill had already made hers (technically twice, since she made a muslin that was too big and then had to make a second one that was the correct size). Since I knew her measurements and I knew mine, no muslin was needed. Which was a good thing because at this point, I was getting a bit tight on time and really wasn’t relishing making two of these. That being said, it’s a good pattern and I will definitely make another one.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse collar detail

I used a cream colored cotton sateen from JoAnn’s. It was actually pretty perfect. Easy to work with, soft, natural fiber but looked clean. Sewed up quite nicely.

I had just gotten my new Bernini 770 which has all these fun stitches on it that I decided to take it for a run. I was using an eggplant colored thread since my skirt was eggplant colored. I used the roses on the color and had to go for a simple on down the placket since otherwise it would have been too much.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse pig cuff detail

But on the cuffs and hem, I took the opportunity to use the PIG STITCH. Yes, you read that correctly. THERE IS A PIG STITCH ON MY MACHINE. If I hadn’t already thought this was the world’s awesomest machine, this would have clinched the victory.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse cuff button detail

As mentioned, the skirt and thread were eggplant and I was fortunate to have two lovely eggplant buttons (actually left over from another project that has since been abandoned because it was started so long ago that the fabric and style aren’t even in fashion any more. Sigh.).

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse cuff and collar detail

Here’s how it looks together. I love having the roses on both the cuffs and collar to tie it together.

Truly Vicorian 441 - 1861 Garibaldi Blouse pig hem detail

And of course, I needed to hem the shirt. Why not use the straight “ground” of the pig stitch to tack it down and give me another excuse to hide some piggies on my shirt. There is a distinct possibility that I will be using this stitch A LOT.


Victorian Petticoat based on Truly Victorian free pattern

Victorian Petticoat front

When you’ve got a hoop skirt, you’ve got to have a petticoat to go on top of it. Otherwise you can see all the hoops through it.

I made my petticoat based off the Truly Victorian Free Petticoat Pattern. They’ve got all the yardage listed there although I ended up buying an entire bolt of muslin because I figured I could always use it for actual muslins but I needed up using most of it.

Victorian Petticoat mess

I couldn’t find fabric with eyelet on one side and I wanted more ruffles so I bought separate pre-ruffled eyelet lace to use on the bottom of the top layer. It turned out to be a decent compromise.

Victorian Petticoat ruffle attachment

Attaching the eyelet ruffles to the bottom of the skirt. I think I bought the whole “bolt” of the ruffle lace which was 10 yards. 

Victorian Petticoat wedge piece

I also had some serious issues with the bottom layer of my skirt. The bottom layer of the pattern isn’t gathered as much as the top layer although I did add a plain fabric ruffle to it as well for extra “poof.” Somehow when I gathered it, it ended up shorter than expected and didn’t quite fit over my hoop skirt. I thought my calculations for the amount of ruffling were good . . . but apparently I was off. So I had to add some wedges in at the sides and back.

Victorian Petticoat wedge piece

I did this by cutting out wedge pieces (here I’m cutting 2 at once) that matched the bottom skirt. I had some leftover as you can see in the picture above (which should have been the first sign that something was wrong :P)

Victorian Petticoat wedge addition

Then I cut a slit into the bottom layer of the skirt at the sides and back and stitched in my wedge along the sides. You can’t see this layer anyways so no harm done as you can see below:

Victorian Petticoat not enough layers

This is the petticoat as the free pattern says to make it. Clearly you can still see the hoops through the top layers. The bottom part has 2 layers as described above so that part was fine. But this was not going to cut it.

Victorian Petticoat

So I added not one, but two extra layers because I was pretty sure one wouldn’t be enough to hide those hoops. And I’m glad I did.

Victorian Petticoat layer seam closeup

Each layer, including the bottom two, was gathered using my serger. This is actually the first time I’ve gathered using my serger and it was pretty cool how well it worked! I will definitely be using this for the next petticoat because I really want a pale pink petticoat next so we’ll have to make another. My understanding is that back in the day ladies would wear 5 or more petticoats as needed to hide the hoops!

Victorian Petticoat back

And here’s a back view. I need to fix the tie. It doesn’t quite get tight enough and then the petticoat sags a bit, but should be an easy fix . . . but probably won’t get done until absolutely necessary of course.


Truly Victorian TV141 Round Cage Crinoline Hoop Skirt

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline

This post is waaaay over due. This hoop skirt, or crinoline as they are sometimes known, is from the Truly Victorian pattern TV141 – 1858 Round Cage Crinoline. My friend Jill and I made them together last December for the Dickens Fair. We pretty much made it exactly per the pattern so there’s not a whole lot to talk about but I took a bunch of pictures during the construction so here you go.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline materials

Piles of boning and fabric. I usually get my corset making / boning supplies from corsetmaking.com. They sell lots of good costume making stuff in general. I also like GoldStarTool and plan to get a grommet press from there eventually.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline pattern

First step was cutting out the patterns for the kick bag which is a fabric covering for the bottom three hoops that prevents you from accidentally stepping through the hoops and getting caught. I cut those out while Jill cut and marked the grosgrain ribbon at the appropriate places.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline grosgrain

Those both took a while so I ended up sewing the grosgrain later although I think we did get the kick bags done together.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline kick bag

After the kick bags were done it was time to start adding the boning. Those bottom bones are really quite long. Had to use the real measuring tape for those.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline kick bag

We forgot to order hoop clips so I used packaging tape to connect the hoop boning together into circles . . . next time I’ll definitely use hoop clips as I can hear it crinkle. It’s not too bad, but I’d prefer the cleaner finish. I’m sure this won’t be my last hoop skirt 🙂

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline kick bag

Finally, I finished up the top of the kick bag.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline bottom

This was one of the only places I varied from the pattern in that I put the grosgrain strips into the seam of the kick bag before sewing it up rather than after. It gave a cleaner finish. Thanks to Jill for that tip since she hit that spot before me 🙂

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline

Next up was putting the boning through the casing. We used ready made casing. I’ve seen other people sew together two layers of grosgrain ribbon. If I were going for a particular look, I might do that, but in this case, the ready made casing was great and much faster!

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline sew up casing

The top two rows have an open area so I had to finish off the ends of the casing with some hand stitching.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline casing close up

The rest of the rows connect so I just sewed those together (after putting the boning together with tape).

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline hoops

A little in progress show before I added the top two rows.

Truly Victorian 141 Round Cage Crinoline

Finally, I used some 1” wide twill tape for my waist band. I need to get something a little better though. Maybe some webbing since the twill tape kinda rolls up and digs in. I’m sure if I had been wearing a corset it wouldn’t have been a problem, but I wasn’t. Either way, I want something smoother.

So that’s my hoop skirt! It’s got a great shape. I’ve seen a few made with different colors and I’d love to make a more colorful one or at least a darker one for under dark skirts, not that you can really see it once there’s a petticoat over it.


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