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May 19, 2011
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The Holly Hobby Lobby mini-wardrobe. With the retailer that shall not be named… (Kwik Sew 3003)


Greetings snipes! After countless summer nights hunting for you 20 years ago, I’ve finally found you! Tonight I’m ready to unveil my mini-wardrobe from the Hobby Lobby fabric haul, accompanied by a belt and a tank top also purchased while on our recent road trip. The belt and tank came from a giant retailer in Prairie du Chien whose name rhymes with bad art and whose sky high ceilings I try to never gaze upon. What can I say – we needed a gallon of water for the hound and a box of Sudafed for me and who, I ask you, can resist three dollar tank tops in lime green or hot pink belts for eight dollars? I’m going to shop local purgatory, aren’t I. Quick! I’ll distract you with a picture!

What were we talking about? Why, polka dot jersey, of course! In case you missed yesterday’s post, I made my very first visit to a Hobby Lobby in Rockford, Illinois, and left with one and a half yards each of pink and black polka dot jersey, three yards of black rose cotton and three yards of super giant grosgrain rick rack. I’m on a mission to build up my summer wardrobe with separates, so I’ve been collecting coordinating wovens and knits for skirts and shirts. How, I ask you, could I resist this black and white polka dot knit?? The black rose cotton was totally up my alley. Here’s the first combo…full length.

Check out that hot pink rick rack hem treatment, all you snipes! I used Kwik Sew 3003, a super simple bias cut skirt with an elastic waist that I’m teaching as a class next week. I’d made a practice run a few months ago and didn’t love it, but then pulled it on to wear last week and decided that I actually loved it for a simple summer skirt. Plus, I really wanted to use the rick rack on the hem, and all my other summer skirt patterns (um the Crescent and the full circle skirt) have much fuller hemlines that would probably require more than my paltry three yards of rick rack!

[rick rack hem treatment]

I’m not sure if it’s obvious, but this rick rack is about three inches wide from rick to rack and it’s more thin and flexible like grosgrain ribbon rather than thick with an obvious weave like traditional rick rack. I serged the hem using the rolled hem setting and then I attached the rick rack with a 4mm twin needle. I just eyeballed it and lined up the rick rack while I was sewing. I also used the twin needle at the waistline when I turned the elastic casing and stitched.

I used Butterick 4685 for the shirt pattern for the black and the pink shirts – the same I used for my Tahitian Treat and Summer of 1980 shirt – with my new-favorite midriff band (here’s my tutorial on the midriff band.) Here’s the pink version. For this version I added elastic to the sleeve hems. I may go back and do that for the black polka dotted shirt as well – I don’t like how the wrong side shows so much when the sleeves flip up on that version.

What else? Oh! A back and side view? Ok, I’ve got some of those!

OK, now a few more looks, mixing the Holly Hobby Lobby wardrobe with stuff already in my closet. First the black dots with a white pencil skirt and nice yellow shoes. I love, love, love black and white and yellow together!

The pink and green dots match perfectly with my Tahitian Treat skirt! I’m getting the hang of this non-orphan sewing! Perhaps it has something to do with my recent obsession with pink and green.

And here’s my above-referenced lime green three dollar tank top. It’s probably more citron than lime, but I have an aversion to overly elaborate color names. As far as I’m concerned the 8 pack of Crayola crayons pretty much covers all the major color groups… Nevertheless, lovely color, isn’t it?? And more black and white polka dots!

Reveal’s over, but before we check out, let’s talk about A-line skirts, shall we? One of my pet peeves of recent times (ahem, Stacy and Clinton) is the all-encompassing love of A-line skirts and repeated assertions that they are universally flattering. I think A-line skirts are flattering for a lot of body types, but if you’ve got some hip action going on, they can be a bit of a bear and they are absolutely NOT the most flattering on me! This Kwik Sew pattern is an A-line and needs to be paired with a shirt with waist definition. The reason I don’t love A-line skirts is that I have the high hip fluff going on (ewwww…  hate that phrase) and A-lines start at my widest point and veer out. Not great. (note… I do have high hopes for the Colette Ginger pattern! The wide waistband may make all the difference!)

I had quite a few different skirt styles out while I was taking pictures today and thought it’d be fun to do a comparison. I like to have pictures on my blog for me to stare at, absentmindedly from a few feet away to analyze what styles I like best, first up…

A-line skirt, longer length absolute least favorite look! It just looks like I’ve got a big piece of fabric wrapped around me! One of the problems I have with A-line skirts is that the flare just isn’t exaggerated enough to get that swingy triangle shape. On me, a lot of A-line skirts just look like frumpy straight skirts.


A-line skirt, shorter length I like this a bit more. I tugged it up a bit which enhanced the triangular A-line shape. This actually looks pretty good in the picture, but from the side there’s just all sorts of FABRIC all over the place!


White straight skirt This pattern is more straight than the bias-cut A line skirt, actually a bit pegged if you look at the paper pattern pieces. This is a favorite skirt style of mine! This particular skirt has a bit more fabric in the hem than I love, but I’ve worn it to death, so it’s obviously one I like!

Pencil skirt, serious shaping Another skirt style I love! Since I don’t like all the width in the hem, this is exactly what’s most comfortable to me.

Side by side!

The last word – Kwik Sew 3003, bias cut skirt

fabric: quilt weight cotton from the Hobby Lobby

pattern: Kwik Sew 3003

notions: 1 yard 3/4 inch elastic, 2 yards wide rick rack

time to complete: 30 minutes to cut, 30 minutes to sew, 10 minutes to finish elastic casing. 24 hours to hang before hemming, 20 minutes to serge hem and attach rick rack

likelihood to make another?: Probably! After a slow start, I’ve come around to this pattern for a simple, quick summer skirt.

curvy girl score – 6 If you’re got a bit of the hippiness going on, elastic waists are difficult to deal with in general. That, plus the A-line being a so-so cut for my body type make this a bit-better than midrange pattern for me. But, it’s super easy to sew, comfy and with all these elastic midriff band T’s I’ve been doing, very workable! Also, it’s a great design for quilt-weight cotton- the bias cut gives it a bit of flexibility and it’s simple lines don’t require a really flowing fabric.


  1. Jarod Lafromboise says:

    In 1928, John W. Nordstrom retired and sold his shares to two of his sons, Everett and Elmer. In 1929, Wallin also retired and sold his shares to them. The 1930 grand opening of the remodeled Second Avenue store marked the change of name to Nordstrom. ^:^*

    My own, personal website

  2. […] – Lane Bryant a few years old shirt – handmade, blogged here cardigan & shoes – […]

  3. […] handmade, blogged here skirt: handmade, blogged here card: Nordstrom Rack necklace: handmade, not blogged bracelet: […]

  4. Deb says:

    I've been reading your blog for a couple of months and this is my favorite outfit you've made yet. I really love the pink rick-rock! And I appreciate the way you always show your separates warn and styled multiple ways. It inspires me to re-mix some of my own pieces.

  5. [patty the snug bug] says:

    Sweet Alchemy – Thanks! I'm glad you like the blog! When I switched from mostly RTW to mostly sewn clothing, my style really evolved. There are some styles that off the rack don't work for me (pencil skirts and sheath dresses) but when tailored are perfect!

    Debi-Eugenia-Alessa! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Andrea – polka dot jersey! These were NOT nice jerseys – they're the thin, cheap kind that roll at the edges and are almost stiff and take pressing REALLY well. But who can resist, right? We have some teeny polka dot interlock at our shop if you like teeny dots – I think we have green, pink, orange and yellow.

    oona! You rock the skirts – in fact, I'm not sure I've seen you in many trousers!!

    Karen – I know, right? I found that I was sewing stuff that didn't match and STILL didn't have anything to wear! I'm finding my recent sewing sort of boring – all skirts and shirts – but with me-made-june coming up I have to whip myself into shape!

    Debbi – I totally agree on the proportions of the longer skirts, but this summer I'll be wanting those short ones. And strangely, blogging has made me realize that my legs and ANKLES aren't as bad as I thought they were… looking down at them they look like TREETRUNKS!! In the pics… not so bad (if pasty white…)

    Girly – I was totally impressed, actually. For some reason, I thought Hobby L was lower end and sort of junky – I don't know why, maybe the name struck me as fuddy duddy. It's WAY nicer than Joanne's/Hancock – at least the one I was at!! Not as much fabric, of course, but nice!

    Laura – as usual, you crack me up. Rick-rock, indeed. Hm. I thought this skirt was totally walking the line of shabby chic and crafty style. But I'm a sucker for that sort of stuff!

    Montana – I know! I'm so excited about that dotty fabric – the black and white shirt could use a pair of white jeans like yours!!

    Crystal! Welcome – what a great way to get here! I {heart} Tasia!! I think that skirt is one of the favorite things I've made!!

    Rebecca – thanks!

    Trisha – I like to keep ALL fabric sources on my rotation – you never know what you're going to find. Particularly with knits – Usually stores have such limited selections!

    Sherry – it was fun to do the mix and match. I felt very efficient!

    Casey – ah well, it helps that I work at a fabric shop…. I hesitated to go on my A-line offensive, PARTICULARLY because all my favorite experts :-) are singing the A-line praises right now over on Sunni's blog!! I think A-line probably IS the most flattering for the most people off the rack, so the style experts can be forgiven… like I said above, I actually think PENCIL skirts are the most universally flattering, but only if they are tailored specifically for the wearer! I look like a stuffed sausage in most RTW pencil skirts!! I really have high hopes for the ginger with the wide waistband. It's a different sort of a-line!! And the shoes are Born (so they're all cushy!) and I got at DSW, so they're not new, new releases. I've seen them at nordstrom rack too, if you have one of those by you!

    LynneB! Thanks!

    LM – That's EXACTLY what I was thinking – I don't mind showing off my arms, but this sleeve would be great for a work environment where you want to be cool, but not show off your underoos!

    Whistlepea! Yay! Like I mentioned to Casey, I think the A-line is the MOST flattering to the MOST people off the rack, so we hear it again and again from style-types who are giving one-size-fits all tips. I DO love how little fabric A line skirts take!! Minneapolis trip! Oh my, recommendations – there's lots here – send me an email and we can chat!

  6. whistlepeaknits says:

    Super cute! I, too, love the shoes. And thank you for pointing out that A-lines are not so friendly to us padded-of-hip. I always wondered what was wrong with me that the skirt that flattered the whole universe looked like a beach towel tucked around my hips.

    I'm so glad Casey linked to your blog a few weeks ago because it's my new fave. We are similarly shaped and it's so nice to read your posts and be able to relate to them. You've inspired me so much that when my husband and I were deciding on summer plans that were baby-compatible we settled on Minneapolis! You make it sound so fun! If you have any recommendations for must-see attractions let me know!

    Amy in Manitoba

  7. Anonymous says:

    Love the waistband on the tee. I agree that the elastic on the sleeve hem is so cute–almost like a tank while still covering the shoulders.

  8. Lynneb says:

    That red rickrack is FABULOUS!

  9. Casey says:

    I love that floral print you used for the skirt–and that giant rick rack trim is so fun! I'm actually getting ready to tackle the Ginger skirt myself in the next week or so… I think it'll look really beautiful on you, Patty! (Plus you'll probably use some gorgeous fabric that I'll drool over… You seem to have a knack for that! ;)

    It's funny because after you mentioned that a-lines aren't universally flattering (as some *coughcough* "experts" have led us to believe!), I realized I have a grand total of two true a-line skirts in my closet. And I have a lot of skirts. Although once I make the Ginger skirt (which will hopefully change this a-line drought in my closet? I dunno… I'm pretty stuck on pencil and half-circle skirts right now!), that may change. But then again, I feel like this particular pattern is a bit more sophisticated and potentially flattering because of the high waistband…

    Oh, and not to be nosy–but can you tell me where you got those green bow flats?! They are so cute!

  10. Sherry says:

    Love the pink and green together, and the polka dot and rose combo, and the fact that they all mix and match!

  11. Trisha says:

    LOVE the combo of the B&W polka dot top with the B&W rose skirt. Makes me want to try out Hobby Lobby again.

  12. Rebecca says:

    The skirt is super cute. The rick rack hem is a nice touch.

  13. Crystal says:

    I stumbled across your blog last week via Tasia's blog. I love your content and photos…and your awesome pencil skirt with the scalloping!

  14. montanachic says:

    Man do I love me some polka-dots!!!!!

  15. LAP says:

    I think the waistband on the ginger is going to make a huge difference and you'll be able to enjoy an a-line skirt with a tucked in shirt as well! This mini-wardrobe action is a delight. I love how this T-Rex size rick-rack (the term just doesn't suffice,should it be rick-rock? Should we say it three times like a truck pull? Could we spell it 80's heavy metal style? (RIK-RAX)makes a scalloped hem too. Most of all I love that this simple embellished skirt doesn't look crafty, it just looks high-style whimsical.

  16. Girly Muse says:

    I adore Hobby Lobby!!! Love what you did with the fabric, such cute things! Great work.

  17. Debbie Cook says:

    I love all the looks, but the two polka-dot tops with the rose skirt are my favorites. I bet you wear that skirt to DEATH this summer. And that wide ric-rac is so cool!

    I also like the longer skirt lengths on you – the new rose and the white pencil. They aren't cutting you in exactly half, which I think is more flattering. But maybe that's just *my* preference peeking through cuz you certainly rock the short skirts too. :-)

  18. Karen in VA says:

    Damn girl, you sew fast!!!! I LOVE the new outfits!!! Also love the way you've put all those different outfits together….I need to start doing this – I have lots of separates that don't match anything else……

  19. oonaballoona says:

    your outfit combinations are works of art. ART, i tell you.

    and seeing the skirts side by side is really eye opening— i run from skirts because it's so hard to find a flattering one, but you really get it. i'm excited to see you make up the ginger, i have high hopes for that waistband!

  20. Andrea says:

    I am so jealous of your polka dotty jerseys! I can't seem to find nice jersey locally. I love your new pieces and how they work with pieces already in your wardrobe.

  21. Alessa says:

    That polka dot and rose print combination looks absolutely awesome! I really need some nice polka dot jersey…

  22. Eugenia says:

    What a fabulous wardrobe you have built there – these garments mix and match into wonderful looking outfits. Your print skirt with the rick rack trim is gorgeous!

  23. Debi says:

    Wow! Fabulous!!

  24. ashley0107 says:

    Cute! I love the fabrics :)
    Ashley x

  25. sweetalchemy says:

    I just recently stumbled across your blog, and I love it. I want to build on the rudimentary sewing skills I picked up as a kid and start sewing some of my own clothes, so I've been scouring sewing blogs for tips and tricks. Your tips on grading patterns and doing full bust adjustments are really helpful and have helped me feel more confident as I break out my machine again. So thank you. :)

    I've been having a lot of the same thoughts about the ubiquitous A-line skirt. My body type is similar to yours, so I love your comparison photos of the way the three different skirt shapes look on you. It's a good reminder to sew what I'm drawn to and to keep experimenting to find styles that I love and feel good in.

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