Too Big For My Doll House


This is my latest sewing project made using the Sewaholic Cambie pattern. Instead of making the full dress, I just left off the top and made a skirt version! This skirt is the best thing I’ve ever sewn to date. Not because it was challenging to make, but because of cleanliness and execution on my part.


I used bias tape to bind all of the raw inside seams (my first time doing so) and I love the way it looks. It’s so sharp and neat.




After taking Sunni’s Free Zipper class on Craftsy I learned the proper way to install a lapped zipper and it just so happens to be the best zipper I’ve ever done. EVER. It was because of this skirt that I got cocky and rushed my next sewing project (my Peggy skirt) and ended up throwing it away. It was an unsalvageable failure. But every failure is a lesson! I learned this time that it is rarely my sewing skill that makes a project a disaster, but rather my lack of attention. More specifically, in this case, my math.

I was feeling such a sense of heightened accomplishment after making the Cambie skirt that I got overzealous and tried to alter another skirt pattern to get a better fit. I didn’t even trace the pattern pieces before “doing the math” and hacking off inches at the waist to correct too much ease. I was so sure the math was right and would give me the perfect fit for my size. And technically it was… I had forgotten to add a bit of ease back in to the pattern which made my attempted Peggy skirt, quite literally, skin tight. I was crushed! I needed to finish that skirt before traveling back to New York to visit my mom. I didn’t finish it and I won’t finish it. I have no sewing machine with me and therefore no hope of completing Julia’s Mad Men challenge. I messed up.

I’m bummed, but it’s not the end of the world. I’ll tell you what though, after that fitting disaster I can’t explain how excited I am for Erin’s 1920′s challenge! That unfitted flapper silhouette is just the kind of pep talk my sewjo needs!


This is what I would have worn (different skirt obviously) for the Mad Men challenge had I finished it. I suppose this could still pass as Peggy inspired, but it’s just not the same. Anyways, enough with that sad story…


Let me introduce you to my old cat and my old room! I’ve been helping my mom re-do the upstairs bedrooms of her house in preparation for some new tenants. Did you see the original wallpaper we discovered under the baseboards? Amazing!

My little friend here is Miss Tabby Mae. I adopted her when she was 6 months old and I was in 3rd grade. She was my first ever shelter rescue (I couldn’t resist her stubby tail and permanent owl face)! She’s about 18 years old now and still as spry as ever, minus some arthritis in her back legs. I’ve missed her so much since I’ve been in Vermont and can’t wait to spend some more time with her again. She means so much to me… she and the other 4 rescued cats that still live with my mom in New York. My mom isn’t a crazy cat lady lol. I am!!




The weather in my mom’s neck of the woods is incredible! It had been so cold in Vermont for so long that I swear I forgot what it felt like to be warm while outside haha! Lucille really loves having her own deck and her own yard again. Sharing with other neighbors and their obnoxious dogs is no fun.


And for the record: Lucille and the kitties get along swell. They always have, though I don’t think the cats were overly impressed when she waltzed back through the door.


“Oh. It’s you again. …dog”

O.G. Tabby is impressed by nothing.

*edited for those who asked*
hair, shoes, sweater (thrift store), skirt fabric


p.s. I forgot how hard it is to take photos of yourself all by yourself. Wil! Get here soon!

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65 Responses to Too Big For My Doll House

  1. Sandra May 4, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    I love what you have done with the skirt. I think I might need to be a bit of a copy cat – I’ve made the Cambie dress and really like the skirt and pockets and can see how it would make a fab skirt. Bias finish is like the icing on the cake.

    • Rochelle New May 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      You should definitely make one of these skirts! They’re so easy to sew, and very classic looking :)

  2. Carlee McTavish April 25, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    I know I am over a week behind in commenting on this (I am behind on everything good lawrd!), but I love the skirt! There is something to be said for taking your time with something and really thinking it though, and ending up with a fab finished product! Having said that, I totally get the rushing through stuff thing. I do it ALL THE TIME and usually think “meh” and don’t rip it out, but rather keep going. I just finished my first “well thought out and used the seam ripper to fix something” project and dang it feels good! Pretty topstitching makes me very happy. :)

  3. Jenni Murdison April 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Wore my Cambie (2nd finished item since back to sewing after a 10 year or so gap!) to the London Meet Up but kept the top covered as it was a hot mess but the skirt part is good so I’m in the process of changing the bodice for a proper waistband, so kudos to your idea, which I am shamelessly copying!! ;o)

  4. modechocolat April 21, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    This skirt is a success! Congratulations to you it goes really well!

  5. Jessica Cangiano April 20, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    Marvelously lovely, elegant ensemble. These classic lines and gentle colours look superb on you, dear Rochelle, and the photos themselves couldn’t be any lovelier either.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Thank you so tremendously much for all of your caring sweetness this week. ♥

  6. Ready Ruthie April 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    I hate taking photos of myself, but I think the awkwardness of being photographed might be worse. I love your cat. The skirt looks great!

  7. bubiknits April 19, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Rochelle!! I LLOVE love love this outfit! It seems as you pop up from a ’40 film, you seems like Rita Hayworth, just beautiful!

  8. misscrayolacreepy April 19, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    I love Tabby Mae! And the zipper! And the skirt!

    I need to add that class to my to do list…

  9. the Garment Farmer April 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    awe, your kitty looks so sweet!! Her little bobbed tail only adds to her adorableness. Nice job on the skirt–it looks impeccable!

  10. Becca April 19, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    The skirt is beautiful inside and out. It has such a nice shape, and the lapped zipper is impeccable. I love your hair, too. What a fun photo shoot. Tabby Mae looks like such a sweet kitty, and Lucille looks adorable, as usual. I miss having kitties around. We always had two or three in the house while I was growing up.

  11. Tasha @ By gum, by golly! April 19, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Oh I love your skirt so much! The insides are perfection. I bound the inside seams of my first pair of pants and I am not sure I will ever muster up the energy to do it again. lol But I’m tempted, it just looks so nice. I’m sorry your Peggy skirt didn’t work out, but sometimes a fail does help make other areas clear… I just had that happen with a blouse myself. :P

    I haven’t gotten a chance to take Sunni’s class yet but I -did- change up my lapped zipper technique by trying out the tutorial she has on her blog after seeing your zipper on Instagram, and assuming it’s about what she teaches in the class– you’re totally right, best lapped zipper evah!

    (And Miss Tabby Mae is sooo cute!)

  12. Rosy Rosy April 19, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    Congratulations on your new skirt and zipper learning, which is very useful, I’m sad because you can not finish Mad Men challenge, but I’m sure that next year you will be in … love all these photos, so inspiring, make the most of your family and pets, so beautiful!

  13. DrapedinCloudlets April 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Hello to Miss Tabby Mae (-: And congratulations on your skirt, it’s fabulous!

  14. ShanniLoves... April 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    It’s perfect and looks so well made!

  15. RachaelLynn Munson April 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    Love the skirt!!!! At some point in need to buy the Cambie dress pattern…

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Thank you! You should definitely get the pattern :)

  16. Stephanie April 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Lovely skirt. It’s very classic and I bet you’ll get a lot of wear out of it. I wouldn’t have thought to make a skirt from the cambie :) cool idea!

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

      Thank you! I’d like to make another one since, you’re right, it’s very classic :)

  17. Ginger April 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Cute skirt! And your animal pics are ultra adorable! Li’l Tabby Mae is awfully sweet!

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      Aww thanks! Yeah I’m lucky to have such sweet kids ;)

  18. Lauren April 18, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    Gah, it just slays me how pretty you are. SLAYSSSSS ME.

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

      Aww shucks, don’t make me blush! I could say the same about you ;)

  19. Rebekah Fox April 18, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Looks wonderful! Where did you get the fabric for this skirt?

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Thank you! It’s a cheap cotton twill from Joann Fabrics (from their classic bottom weights collection I think).

  20. Bridget Mahoney April 18, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Love the label in the skirt! Mind if I ask where you get them? I’d love to have some similar ones made for insertion in my garments.

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

      I had them made by Custom Couture Label Co on Etsy :)

  21. Sabs April 18, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Your cambie skirt is beautiful. I have some similar coloured fabric which I was going to make into a skirt and now I think I’ve found the perfect type to make! Tabby is very cute (I’m another crazy cat lady!)

  22. Paunnet April 18, 2013 at 7:31 am #

    It shows that this skirt was made with a lot of extra attention. It looks great on you and I love the clever use of the pattern! :)

  23. dokucug April 18, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    Wow! It never occurred to me to make a skirt out of the Cambie dress! Brilliant! Yours looks fantastic – I love the yellow tape against the khaki. And that sweater is to die for!

  24. Tone Vegsund April 18, 2013 at 3:04 am #

    Love the skirt and what You did with the seams! It looks so professional! I saw this for the first time at “sleek Silhouette” on a dress she had made, and it was so wonderfully done! I feel inspired! Allso, I am looking for the perfect skirt pattern, maybe this is it? And I will definately try the bias-thing:) Please, check out my blog as well at: (Stitches & Pearls) I am a intriged follower of you`rs:)

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

      Thank you :) Since this is technically a dress pattern, it might be easier to find a similar skirt pattern to work from. But the Cambie Dress is a great pattern to have regardless!

  25. Tempest Devyne April 18, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    Ooh that finishing looks beautiful. And thanks for the linking to the craftsy zipper course and The Gatsby Sew Along….very tempted on both.

  26. Scruffy Badger April 18, 2013 at 2:23 am #

    Neat idea !! I love the fabric you’ve chosen too and that you’ve bound the seams makes it as good looking inside as out ( well, nearly! ) Looks great with the sweater too.

  27. Debi_myhappysewingplace April 18, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    Kitty!! New skirt!! Adorable Lucille!! Cute sweaters!! Squeeeee! A post of all my favourite things! Have fun visiting your family!

  28. Esz April 18, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Bias binding rocks! How good are these skirts to make up? I havent made any from the Cambie pattern but all the 40′s suit patterns I have each have a slightly different skirt. They are so flattering and easy!

    I hear ya re: the lapped zipper. Also very easy! I wouldn’t put one in the side seam of a dress (like so many 40′s patterns instruct) as I definitely prefer snaps there but they are great for skirts.

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      I thought this skirt had a bit of a military look to it which is why I made it, but my favorite silhouette is the 40s six gore skirt! I need to invest in some rayon seam binding and get to making some more classic separates :)

      • Esz April 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

        I bought my bias tape through Zipperstop on Etsy. Invested in a big pack of 10×100 yards of the stuff. It’s gonna last me ages! Highly recommend them they are quite good. Though I’m not sure if you could find Hug Snug cheaper elsewhere since you are in the US. I found them to be the most economical even with international shipping factored in.

        • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

          I found some on! 100 yards for 9 dollars. Pretty awesome :)

  29. niema quick April 18, 2013 at 12:06 am #

    I was thinking of doing the exact same thing with the Cambie pattern! Awesome. You did a great job, it looks fantastic.

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Thanks! The skirt was a great, quick project with just a small tweak with the waist band. You should try it :)

  30. Rachel Proffitt April 17, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    I love Tabby- she is so cute! Almost as cute as Lucille ;)
    And your skirt- fabulous! Sorry your Peggy skirt didn’t work out, that always bums me out to the point where I want to throw the whole pattern away even :(
    Glad you are getting to enjoy some warmth again ;)

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      It’s hard to match Lucille’s cuteness ;) I might have to throw those pattern pieces away because I cut into them without tracing backups. Uhg! Oh well. Live and learn.

  31. Sara Jolie April 17, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    way cute idea….it’s good to know I’m not the only one who messes up sometimes! I love your blog and you’ve totally inspired me!-

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      I mess up all the time! I’m just usually pretty good at fixing the mistake. Not this time though. Oh well. It happens :)

  32. Sarah April 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    OMG, Miss Tabby Mae is so adorable!! I am such a crazy cat lady, too! LOL! I really love your skirt – well done!! Lapped zips are the only ones I sew :)

    • Rochelle New April 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

      Thanks! Yeah I’m sold on lapped zippers now, too. They’re the only ones I want to do from now on!

  33. Paige April 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    This is so beautifully put together! You’re finishes really make the skirt.

  34. Kelly April 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    Such sweet pets! Your skirt looks great, and I that color yellow is perfect on you. Enjoy your time in New York!

  35. Christi April 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    You look GREAT. Love the skirt, nicely finished.


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