Gathering Fabric with Elastic

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m slightly obsessed with sewing clothes right now.  One of my favorite things to sew is dresses.  I love my circle skirt dress, my tank dress is so comfy, and who doesn’t love a polka dot dress?  I used the same pattern as the polka dot dress, the Out and About Dress by Sew Caroline and made a sleeveless dress for summer. 

Sleeveless Out and About Dress #sewingI love this dress! It’s so lightweight and perfect for summer!  I love it so much I’ve since made another one!  And I can look fashionable and be comfortable at the same time!  The pattern doesn’t include instructions for a sleeveless option, but it’s a quick modification of trimming the shoulders and adding bands to the arms. 

Another modification I made was to make a narrower skirt and to gather the skirt with elastic!  Instead of using the pattern piece for the skirt I used the width of the fabric and cut it in half to make a front and back skirt. This was super helpful for lining up my stripes!  And it was perfect for the elastic gathering method.  So, let me show you how I did it, so you can, too.

Gathering fabric with elastic #sewingSo here’s my bodice and my skirt.  I needed to make the skirt the same width of the bodice.

Gathering fabric with elastic #sewingI grabbed some 1/4″ elastic and pulled it a few times to loosen it up, then cut it to the same length as the bodice piece.

Gathering fabric with elastic #sewingI folded my skirt in half and marked the center.

Gathering fabric with elastic #sewingAnd folded it in half again to mark the quarters.

Gathering fabric with elastic #sewingI did the same to the elastic, then matched up the marked spots on the skirt with the elastic and pinned in place on the wrong side of the fabric.

Gathering fabric with elastic #sewingTake it over the sewing machine and stitch the elastic to the skirt stretching the elastic as you sew, using a zig zag stitch.

Gathering fabric with elastic #sewingYour skirt is now the same length as your bodice!  Now you can sew/serge the two together! 

Gathering fabric with elastic #sewingNow you have a beautifully gathered skirt!  This makes for a very even gather and you don’t have to worry about pulling threads and adjusting. 

After wearing this the other day and being so comfortable, and stylish and getting several compliments on the dress I had to whip up another one. And I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more ended up in my closet. Cute, comfy, everyday dresses are a summer wardrobe staple! 


 I really wish I had another picture to show you again how cute this dress is, but I took the pictures with my remote shutter and I’m out of focus on the other 30 pictures I took.  😉 

Kid Craft: Cardboard Kazoos

Hello, Monday!  How was your weekend?  We had some cooler weather this weekend so I spent a lot of time in the yard making it pretty and getting quite dirty!  We’ve really had a hard time keeping up with yard maintenance since Cupcake was born and now that the girls are a little older I can get out there and get some work done!  Hubby and I also had a much needed date night and had a great time chatting with some friends!  It was a busy weekend!

We’re having a busy summer so far, too, but not just because we’re running around town.  We like to get crafty, too!  Some days we color, some days we watercolor, some days we get messy.  This time we got messy while making cardboard kazoos!

Kid Craft: Cardboard KazoosThis is such a simple and fun craft. And you just need a few things you probably already have around the house to get started!  So save your toilet paper and paper towel rolls and get crafting!

Kid Craft: Cardboard Kazoos We started by painting our tubes.  You can definitely skip this step, but everything is more fun when it’s decorated.  And well, it was our chance to get messy! We got funky and used some neon paint

Kid Craft: Cardboard KazoosOnce the paint was dry we punched a hole in one end of our tubes.  Use a hole punch if you have it, or just stick a pen in it.  Use what you’ve got! 

Kid Craft: Cardboard KazoosCut a square of wax paper and attach it to the end of the tube (the end with the hole) with a rubberband.  And your kazoo is done. Just hum in the open end and make beautiful music! 


How are you and your kids filling your summer days?  Trips to the pool, the park, playing at home?


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Friday Fitness: Mother Runner

It’s been a fun week!  The girls started swim lessons this week.  They’ve been having a lot of fun.  Cupcake is getting a lot more comfortable in the water, so I think she’ll be ready to move up to the next level.  Pumpkin is having so much fun!  The instructor said there is no question she can move up. She might have moved her up this session except she’s not tall enough to stand in that section of the pool by herself.  😉  It’s made it a lot more fun for me, too, since I don’t have a crying child the whole time! 

Swim lessons have kept me from going to Stroller Strength this week (along with the rain!).  Much like Safety Town last week.  But it’s all a part of our summer adventure!  The girls enjoyed swim lessons so much on Monday and it was such a beautiful day (after a week straight of rain last week!) that we decided to stay and play for another 3 hours after lessons!!!  Pumpkin set the new pool record of most consecutive trips down the frog slide!

I’ve had to find the time to get my sweat on with having both girls home all day.  I’m getting used to that early alarm clock again.

Saturday – 9 miles on the rolling hills of eastern Ohio (10:25 min/mile) plus tearing up the dance floor at a wedding reception later that night!

Sunday – rest (travel day)

Monday – 2 miles on the step machine and a HIIT workout

Tuesday – 2.26 miles on the step machine

Wednesday – 3.29 mile trail run (12:00 min/mile) – after all the rain we’ve had it was a muddy fun adventure!



A photo posted by Heather Hawkins (@mrshawkins03) on

Thursday – 3.1 miles (9:08 min/mile) after the girls went to bed

Today’s plan is to make sure I get my 10,000 steps in for the day, which will probably include some time on the step machine (I love that thing!).  And work on my guns.  I need to save my legs for tomorrow’s long run. 

Next week’s plan is not really planned.  We have swim lessons again, so no Stroller Strength again.  Hubby’s work schedule is also going to make “me time” difficult.  And then there’s a holiday.  But, I’ll make the time

Have a great weekend!!!

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Kids in the Kitchen: Watermelon Lemonade Ice Pops

It rained every day last week.  Thank goodness Cupcake had Safety Town every morning to get us out of the house for a little bit.  Otherwise we were getting a bit antsy.  We found a few projects and activities to keep us busy.  One of those fun activities was making watermelon lemonade ice pops! 

Kids in the Kitchen: Watermelon Lemonade Ice Pops

Thank goodness for summer!  The second day of summer brought us some gorgeous weather just in time for the start of swim lessons!  (more…)

5 Reasons You Need a Circle Skirt Dress

Today I have decided I’m a fashion blogger.  Despite the fact that I don’t follow fashion trends, I don’t particularly like all the “out there” fashion, and apparently I’m the only adult that thinks rompers are just for kids.  I really like to sew clothes, though.  And I really like the new circle skirt dress I made.  And I think you need one, too.

Reasons Why You Need a Circle Skirt Dress #sewing #sewingwithknitsSo I have made 4 “twirly dresses” for Pumpkin and she is obsessed with them.  I sort of am, too.  She looks so cute in them!  They’re all she wants to wear and now I can see why!  I am in love with this circle skirt dress!  I want to wear one everyday, too! 

Here are 5 reasons why you need a circle skirt dress:

1. The twirl factor.  I don’t care if you are 2 years old, 32 years old or 52 years old, who doesn’t love to twirl?

Reasons Why You Need a Circle Skirt Dress #sewing #sewingwithknits2. You don’t have to squeeze into Spanx to wear it!  I don’t know about you, but I’m a little more comfortable when I’m not being squished!

3. It’s flattering on any size! 

4.  It feels fancy!  My dress is made out of knit fabric, which you know is the comfiest fabric.  But it was fancy enough to wear to a wedding with the right shoes and accessories.  Though if you follow me on Instagram you’ll see I didn’t wear the shoes to the wedding reception. 

5. The twirl factor!!!  I think it bears repeating.  Twirling is fun!

5 Reasons Why You Need a Circle Skirt Dress #sewing #sewingwithknitsMan, I love this dress!  I would say that a downside to my job as a stay at home mom is I don’t have enough opportunity to wear this dress more often! 

Have I convinced you?  OK, so now that I have you’ll need to know the details!  This is the Penelope Peplum with Circle Skirt Add On by See Kate Sew.  The fabric is a gorgeous cotton spandex from Girl Charlee.  I received it in my May KnitFix bundle.  It is a fabric I probably wouldn’t have picked out on my own and even when it arrived in my KnitFix package I was unsure about it.  Lots of other KnitFixers loved it, though, so I gave it a shot.  And now I’m in love!

Be honest.  You want to twirl now, don’t you?

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