Cotton + Steel Clothesline Floral Wrap Dress

Well hellooooo!  And happy summer to you, if you are, in fact, enjoying summer at the moment.  I’ve been having a lovely month of camping and beaches and swimming and sun.  But August is here which means I’m back to work gearing up for back to school, and honestly, I’m already behind.  How can that be possible!?

Anyways, I’m here with my latest Miss Matatabi Makers project, but since I ended up making two dresses, I’m sharing one here and the other on the Miss Matatabi blog!  So check out Kaya’s wrap dress here and then head over there to see Yuki’s dress.

Clothesline Floral Wrap Dress by you & mie

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Yorokobi Summer Set

Yorokobi Summer Set // you & mie

It’s nani IRO month!  I’ve already proclaimed my love of nani IRO fabrics before, so I won’t bore you with my gushing about how wonderfully beautiful, intricate, bold yet delicate, and one-of-a-kind each of Naomi Ito’s designs are and what great quality the fabric is and how lovely it is to sew and how it’s even lovelier to wear.  No, I don’t need to mention all of the many things I love about nani IRO fabric again, right?

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Let’s Have A Party Skirt

Hey!  It’s Kids Clothes Week!  It’s been awhile since I’ve fully jumped into Kids Clothes Week, but I was feeling motivated to make some new duds for the 4 year old.  I had completely stopped making clothes for her at some point because she was rejecting all the stuff that I was making.  But now she’s really into dresses, skirts and tank tops and all those things that I made 1-2 years ago!  Lately, she’s been grabbing this skirt a lot (which makes me super happy), so I thought I should add another to the closet.

Let's Have a Party Skirt by you & mie

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Watermelon Dress

Watermelon Week!  All watermelon!  All the time!

So yesterday I shared the watercolor watermelon invites that Yuki and I made for her party.  But what would a watermelon party be without a special watermelon dress?  I was having a hard time deciding between a color blocked dress that mimicked a watermelon slice like this one, or a solid fabric with watermelon printed all over like this one.  I was leaning toward the color blocked dress since that seemed easier, but finally I just asked Yuki and she said, without hesitation, the all over print dress.

Watermelon Dress // you & mie

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Suspender Skirt Tutorial

I just spent the most amazing weekend up in Portland at Quilt Market hanging out with talented, fun and inspirational seamstresses, fabric designers and shop owners from all over the country!  I really want to tell you more about my experiences soon, but since I’m still recovering from my busy weekend, I thought I’d repost this tutorial I did a year ago for the fabulous series, Vintage May, which is running again right now!  The hosts, Jessica of Craftiness is Not Optional and Kristin of skirt as top, have rounded up some fabulous guests to showcase some vintage and vintage inspired looks, so be sure to check it out!  I was part of the fun last year and I never reposted the tutorial here, so in honor of Vintage May II, here ya go!


Hello vintage lovers!  It’s amazing what Kristin and Jess have put together here and I’m so honored to be a part of it!  I must have run through 50 ideas for what vintage-inspired creation I wanted to share with you before deciding on something – the possibilities are endless!  I decided to go through some old family photos to see if I could find some inspiration there and I saw a particular style pop up a few times in my mom’s childhood photos.

(Left photo: My mom, standing in front, with her two brothers and mother
Right photo: My mom, center, my grandmother, upper left and their neighbors)

(My mom, lower right, with her brothers and uncle)

I loved the simple and classic style of the jumpers my mom and her neighbor are wearing in these pictures.  So I created a suspender skirt for my daughter and I’ve got a tutorial so you can make one too!

(Did I mention this was from a year ago?  Check out these old pics of Yuki!!)

It’s got a bit of a school uniform vibe, but it’s still cute enough to be worn anywhere.  It’s a simple high waisted pleated skirt with a flat front and elastic in the back.  The buttons in the front are just for fun and completely optional.  The suspender straps are sewn in the front and adjustable in the back for longer wear.  You could easily use this technique to attach straps to any style skirt, pair of shorts or pants.  If you want to make the straps completely removable, you can follow the directions for the back of the skirt in the front, and then the skirt can be worn alone or with the suspenders.  So many options!

Ok, let’s get started.  You’ll need:

Fabric (about a yard, depending on the size)
Contrasting fabric for pockets (optional)
Buttons 2-4
1″ wide elastic and safety pin
Sewing essentials

*I used a 1/2 seam allowance, unless stated otherwise.

Measure your kid’s “waist.”  I say “waist” because it depends on where you want the skirt to sit.  My skirt is so high up it’s practically her chest measurement!  Your skirt pieces will be the “waist” measurement by the desired length of the skirt and you’ll need two.  So I cut 2 rectangles that were 18 x 12 inches.

You’ll also need 4 pocket pieces.  I just drew a pattern freehand in what I thought was a “pocket-like” shape.  Make sure to cut two and then flip the pattern over for the other two.

For the waistband, cut a long rectangle that is the “waist” measurement times 1.5, then add a few inches for good measure.  So I multiplied 18 x 1.5 = 27, plus a few inches – I probably cut mine at 32 inches (I always cut waaay more than I need then trim later).  The height is 4 inches.

For the suspenders, you’ll need to measure your child from the “waist,” up over the shoulder across the back (remember the straps will criss-cross in the back) and then add about 6 inches to this measurement.  The height is 3 inches and you’ll need 2.  So I had two strips that were 3 x 20.

I hope I haven’t lost you already!  Here are my cut pieces, note that the waistband and straps are folded up in this picture.

Working on the right side of one of your skirt pieces, we’ll make some pleats.  We basically want to get this piece of fabric to be half of the waist measurement, plus one inch.  So I need my 18 inch wide fabric down to 10 inches.  The size and amount of pleats will depend on the size of your skirt and how you want it to look.  Mark the center of the fabric and then two equidistant marks on either side of the center.

Fold the fabric on the marks toward the center and pin.

Add more pleats on either side, playing around with the size until your skirt piece the right size.  Press your pleats, pin, sew them down using a 1/4 inch seam allowance and press again.

Place your pocket pieces right sides together on your skirt front and back.  Sew down the straight edge of the pocket.

Press the pocket pieces open.  Lay the skirt pieces down right sides together lining up one side and pocket piece.  The back skirt piece will be much larger than the front still, so just do one side at a time.  Sew them together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, then trim and finish the edges by serging or zig zag stitching.

Flip the skirt right side out and press.

Put the skirt aside while we prepare the suspenders.  Fold the strips in half lengthwise with right sides together and press.  Sew down the length of the strip and down one end.  This will give you one closed end, but leave the other open.  Trim the corner.

Turn the strip right side out using a pointy object to poke the corners out.  Press the strap flat and top stitch around 3 sides, leave one end open still.  Repeat with the other strap.

Now for the waistband.  You’ll want it to be the same measurement around as your skirt.  Lay your skirt down (the front and back will not line up, but that’s ok), and lay your waistband down folded in half (right sides together) with one side lined up and mark the other edge of the skirt.  Add 1/2 an inch to that and mark again.

Cut the extra fabric off, pin and sew along the line to create a loop.

Press the seam open and fold the bottom of the band to meet the top.  One edge of the loop should be raw and the other folded.  Press the fold.

Open up the waistband and pin one raw edge to the top of the skirt, lining up the seam with the one of the side seams of the skirt.  Sew the skirt and waistband together all the way around with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Make sure the pleats are laying nice and flat.

Flip the waistband up and press.  Fold the top of the waistband down towards the wrong side 1/2 inch.  When the waistband is folded down it should just barely cover the stitching at the bottom of the waistband.

Fold the waistband down and pin in place.  We’re going to make the casing for the back of the skirt first, so starting at one side seam top stitch along the back of the skirt just above the seam.  Make sure the inside of the waistband is being caught in your stitching.  Stop at the other side seam.

Cut a piece of elastic that is half of the “waist” measurement.  My waist measurement was 18, so I cut a piece of elastic 9 inches long.  I don’t add more for seam allowance because I like my elastic to have a bit of pull.

Using a safety pin, thread your elastic through the casing.  Before the end of the elastic is about to be pulled completely into the casing, sew up the waistband along the same line as the skirt’s side seam catching about a 1/2 inch of the elastic.  Continue pulling the elastic through until it’s about 1/2 an inch past the other side seam.  Top stitch the waist band vertically along the skirt side seam.

Flip your skirt inside out and slide your suspenders into the waistband by about 1/2 an inch.  Pin in place.

Carefully turn the skirt right-side out.  Top stitch just above the seam where the skirt meets the waistband.  Flip the suspenders up and top stitch along the front of the waistband just below the top.

Almost done!  Hand sew buttons into the back of the skirt catching only the inside of the waist band (not the elastic or the outside of the skirt).

Mark on the straps where you want the button holes to be.  I made a few on each strap so I could adjust the length of the suspenders.

Hem the bottom, sew buttons on the front if you want and you’re done!

I played around with two different lengths in these pictures.  High waisted and HIGHER waisted.

Maybe too high?

Thank you so much for letting me share this tutorial with you today!  If you have any questions or think a part needs some clarification, please let me know – I’d be happy to help!  If you’re interested in the pink top my daughter is wearing, stop by my blog for a little how-to on this remix of Oliver + S’s Jump Rope Dress.

If you make a suspender skirt using this tutorial, please add it to the you & mie flickr group!  I LOVE seeing your creations!


I’ll be back with some fun photos from Quilt Market later this week.  Seriously, it was SO. MUCH. FUN.  Can’t wait to share it with you 🙂


Have you seen the Roly Poly Pinafore pattern by Imagine Gnats?  It’s a super cute, simple and versatile piece that is perfect for layering, adding fun details and showcasing awesome fabrics.  Rachael of Imagine Gnats and the creator of this pattern has rounded up some of her friends to help show off all their versions of this fun pinafore!  I decided to make one for Yuki to use as an apron/art smock!

RolyPolyPinafore1(Rachael was so kind as to gift this pattern to me, but all opinions are 100% my own)

The pattern range is size 6 mo-10!  That means it’ll basically last me forever!  I made it in size 2 which was the perfect fit her Yuki now, though if I had thought about it more, I probably shoulda made a 3 since this is meant to be an smock worn over clothes.  Oh well, guess that means I’ll have to make another one soon 😉

The pinafore is fully reversible, and one of the best parts is begin able to mix and match and pair fabrics together.  I chose a bright reddish-orange to go with this cute raindrop fabric.  Somehow when I saw the fabric, it reminded me of painting.  The large pouch pocket is not part of the pattern, but something I added myself for Yuki to hold paintbrushes, chalk, pens or other art supplies in.

RolyPolyPinafore2The pattern comes with in seam pockets, which I omitted for this version, but is definitely a great option if you’re making this as a tunic.

For the other side, I used a cream linen for the main fabric and some cute Japanese print that I got at Daiso (the Japanese equivalent to a dollar store) for the pocket and fabric covered buttons.  I love the little pleat in the middle and the sweet criss crossed back.


The pattern is labeled “beginner” and I definitely think that if you are just starting out, this is a great project for you.  It was very fast and simple to sew and the results are just so cute.  Even though I had always intended for this to be used as an apron/smock, I had a hard time letting Yuki get too messy in it!  😛

Unfortunately, I only got a few pictures of Yuki in the smock so far, but the fit is great and she loves having a special apron like mama!


And it kept her shirt clean while being stylish!  Score!


*Edit:  HEY!  More pics!  We did a little morning painting and got more shots of the Roly Poly Art Smock in action :)*




(Someone needs a hair cut!)

I know she’ll get a lot of use out of this and I look forward to whipping up a few more!  If you’re interested, you can buy the PDF pattern here.  And be sure to check out all the other stops on the Roly-Poly-Along blog tour.  It started yesterday and will continue for three weeks!  My current favorite is this adorable raindrop pinafore by Stephanie of The Crafty Kitty.  TOO CUTE!  And looking at the other bloggers joining the tour, I know there is bound to be a lot of other awesome and creative pinafores.  OH and many of them are giving away copies of the pattern too (like the link above), so be sure to check out details on the blogs for your chance to win!

Thanks Rachael for the awesome pattern!!

Happy sewing 🙂

Sora and the Cloud (and more painted fabric)

So speaking of old projects, here’s one that is loooooooooong overdue.  Do you remember Katy’s Once Upon a Thread Chapter 3?  Back in May?  Like 4 months ago?  So this project is from then.  And I’m not quite sure why I haven’t blogged about it yet – because I like it a lot.  I made this hat and backpack in May, photographed them in July and now I’m blogging about them in September.  Yikes.  I was tempted to just save them for the next chapter of OUT, but I probably would have completely forgotten about them by then.

Anyways!  If you don’t know what Once Upon a Thread is, it’s this amazing series that is hosted by Katy of No Big Dill, where she and her awesome guests take their favorite children’s books and make literature inspired sewn creations.  Well she has an OUT flickr pool where anyone can sew along and add their creations, so I thought I’d join in.  Of course, the last “chapter” of the series has long come and gone, but I’m going to post my submission anyways.

The book I chose was Sora and the Cloud by Felicia Hoshino.  The book is written in both Japanese and English and it has the most AMAZING illustrations.  It immediately drew me in, with the warm, soft, dreamy pictures that looks like a combination of drawing and watercolor.

The story is about a curious boy named Sora, who loves to climb.  “Sora” means sky in Japanese.

“Little Sora loves to climb.  As he grows, he climbs over everything in his path.”

“He even climbs people!”  (Hmmm . . . sounds like someone I know . . .)


“Then one day Sora climbs a tree.  Up he climbs, higher and higher, as if there is no end.  Peeking through the branches at the top, what does he find?”

Sora finds a napping cloud and cannot resist climbing aboard and they embark on an amazing adventure together.

They travel above the city discovering new and old things together from a magical perspective.  I won’t give away all of their adventures, but I’ll tell you, it’s like this story is straight from my dreams!

The character Sora, reminds me of my daughter, Yuki, because she LOVES to climb just like him.  As Yuki grows up and her personality starts to really show, I definitely see her as a curious, adventure seeking girl.

When I first saw the book, I wanted to recreate Sora’s entire outfit from the cover – I think it’s adorable.  But at the time that I was working on this, it was spring, and the outfit was too “fall.”  So I opted for just the bucket hat and a little drawstring bag that Yuki could tote around as she set off on her adventures.

I am really into the Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paint that I used for the Painted Purple Cardigan and the idea of painting my own fabric.  I wanted to try to recreate the soft and warm, watercolory look of the book illustrations.  I was particularly drawn to this page and all the colorful dots that were part of the amusement park.

So I decided to paint dots in similar colors on muslin.

It took me quite a bit of experimenting to get the right colors and the right amount of water (you can see a lot of bleeding with some of the dots, but I decided to just go with it).

I used the Oliver + S Bucket Hat pattern to make a reversible bucket hat with the colorful dots on one side and a tan home decor fabric on the other.

I used A Little Gray’s tutorial for making the hat without hand stitching.

For the drawstring backpack fabric, I was inspired by the inside cover of the book.  It is based on a traditional Japanese sashiko embroidery pattern, but with a touch of soft color.

(The author is local and was at a fair selling these books, so my sister bought the book and had the author/illustrator sign it for Yuki!  Cute huh?)

I was considering trying my hand at actual sashiko embroidery, but I thought sticking with stamping and painting fabric was more up my alley.  It was so much fun and turned out looking exactly how I wanted it to!  So here is how I created my faux sashiko.

First I saturated my fabric with water (I used two pieces of muslin – one for the front of the bag and one for the back).  Then I used some watered down blue and green and painted all over so the colors blended together.

When it was dry, I heat set it by ironing it.  I set one piece aside for the back and only did the sashiko print on the front.

I created the “embroidery” print with a handcarved stamp.  You’ll need a carving block and a carving tool.

1. Draw a circle on your carving block (trace something circular if you’ve got it).
2. Carve away everything except for a thin outline of the circle.
3. Create a dotted line look by carving away small, evenly spaced pieces of the circle.  Trim the block as close to the edge of the circle as possible.
4. Using a ruler, stamp a row across the bottom of your fabric using fabric paint with the edges of the circles touching each other.  Place the ruler along the center of the first row of circles and add your second row of circles staggered from the first row.

Your first three rows should look like this.

Repeat until the entire fabric is filled.  (Oooh, the difference between natural and artificial light!!)

The last touch that I added was some color to try and resemble the page in the book.  I watered down the paint quite a bit so that the color would be subtle.

Here, the paint is still wet.

And dry!

Then I used this Drawstring Backpack tutorial from Prudent Baby to make the small backpack.

And there’s my little climber – ready for adventures!!

Phew!  Feels good to finally have that posted!  These pieces were super fun to create and I love that they are completely original because I created my own fabric prints.  I really can’t recommend these watercolor fabric paints enough.  The possibilities are absolutely endless!

Thanks for letting me share this out-of-date project.  I’ve got lots of old and new ones to share over the coming weeks, so please bear with the back-and-forth time jumps, season switching and hair style changes you may be seeing a lot of 🙂

Happy Hump Day!

(Hey!  You know what tomorrow is?)

Guest Posting at Project Run & Play!

Doing a bit of blog hopping this week.  Today I’m over at Project Run & Play sharing my Summer Breezes Top.

The pleated placket was a fun and easy way to jazz up an otherwise very simple top.  Check out the full tutorial HERE.

It is really exciting to be sharing over on PR&P today because their sew-along was really what started it all for me, in a way.  They are having tutorials from sew-alongers all month and then skirt tutorials all next month, so go check it out!

Later this week I’ll be popping over on another great blog with another summery tutorial.  I hope you don’t mind traveling a bit with me 🙂

KCWC S12: Day 1 – Shirt to Skirt Refashion

Made it through Day 1 of Kid Clothes Week Challenge Spring 2012!  Did you know that there are 550 640 people participating!?!  You should check out the flickr pool to see all the amazing clothes being churned out this week.

I’m really excited to be getting around to some projects I’ve had floating around my head for awhile.  I’m MOST excited about the Jump Rope Dress!  I decided to get this pattern because it was available as a downloadable PDF pattern from the Oliver + S site and I have a minor obsession with PDF patterns.  Plus I’ve heard so many amazing things about O+S patterns that I thought I should try one.  Then I saw Gail’s Jump Rope Dress and it is perfection!!  The thing I love most about it, is that I would never have picked that fabric for this dress, but Gail did, and I LOVE the way that it came out.

So I made myself a little schedule for KCWC, especially for the Jump Rope Dress.  Gail pointed out that they did a sewalong for the dress on Sew, Mama, Sew, awhile back so I looked at their schedule and they broke it up into 7 days.  The first day was tracing your pattern and cutting your fabric, which I’ve already done, so I figured I could just do the other 6 parts over the next 6 days and have a pretty little dress at the end of the week!  Well that’s the PLAN anyways.

I still have about 3-4 little projects that I’ll work on each day on top of the Jump Rope Dress and we’ll just see how much I can get done.

I’ll just say upfront though, that I plan on spending more than an hour each day sewing.  Even today’s project which was supposed to be a super simple refashion took me about 2 hours.

I bought this shirt at the thrift store because I really liked the fabric.  From far away, it probably just looks grayish, but it’s actually got super colorful and super tiny stripes.

At first I was just going to cut out a rectangle over the pocket section of the shirt, hem it and make an elastic waistband and call it a day.  But of course, I like to complicate things.  I couldn’t use the section with the pocket because the sleeves started right there.  So I removed the pocket and sewed it back on right above the bottom of the shirt (yay, no hemming!).  Then came the idea for the pleats in the front, which I thought would look better with a flat front waistband and I didn’t want to fold over the pleated fabric, so I made a separate waistband.  A few mistakes and some ripped out and resewn seams (isn’t that the WORST?) and 2 hours later and I have this little skirt.  AND it somehow turned out too big!  I had to pin it for these photos, but I’m sure it’ll look great on her when she’s a bit bigger (like when she’s 4) 😛

I really do love it though.

Today’s task for the Jump Rope Dress was to make the placket.  Pretty intense, but following the sewalong post was really helpful.  I’m proud to say that I did not totally screw it up!  Plus, I have the hard part done and hopefully the rest will come together pretty smoothly.

I’ll try post an “in progress” pic of the dress every day that I work on it so you can see it come together.

Day one.  DONE.  Hope we can keep this up . . .

(it’s a joint effort, you know)