In Sewing

Leafy Greens


Today William and I went out for lunch and iced frappuccinos so I could wear my latest sewing project. It’s a classic 1940’s style Dirndl skirt made from a cotton print by Denyse Schmidt for Jo-Ann Fabrics. (If I’m ever M.I.A, check the Denyse Schmidt isle of Jo-Anns first. I practically live there. LOVE her fabrics!)



Lunch was delicious but slightly upsetting because I managed to spill salad dressing all over this new skirt of mine. Figures!


If you haven’t made a Dirndl skirt before, I think you should give it a try. They’re super easy to sew (just two giant squares gathered together at the waist) and very flattering.


Mine has a lapped zipper and a button tab closure at the side, as well as a lovely spot of citrus vinaigrette on the front. I think skirts look especially cute paired with a skinny belt like the one I found at a thrift store recently. Pennsylvania has all the best Salvation Armies, FYI.


I’m still on a quest to find the best 1940’s style skirt for me. Maybe I’ll try a swing style skirt next? I get a bit envious when fellow sewists talk about their favorite go-to patterns that they sew over and over again. Alas, I do not have a favorite go-to pattern yet. Guess I just need to sew more!


Whatever I sew next, I’ll remember to take photos of it before embarking on the salad. Some dressings are not meant to be worn.


What’s your favorite “go-to” pattern?



  • Juliana

    I just checked out that line of fabric, and oh, man, I’m in trouble. 🙂 What a great vintage-y line of fabric! (And I’m totally making a dirndl skirt now; you are a complete sewing enabler, by the way–I’ve been recreating your outfits left and right).

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  • I am VERY new to the vintage sewing… ok I haven’t been brave enough to try, but this skirt has def caught me eye… where could I find a pattern for it?

    • Rochelle

      Dirndl skirts are very easy to make because they’re essentially just a large square of fabric that you gather at the waist to get the shaping, so many times you don’t even need a pattern. Megan Nielsen has a free tutorial here that might be a good start: (this skirt looks much shorter than mine, though)

      In the past, I’ve taken the skirt piece to the Colette Hazel dress (since that’s a dirndl shape) and used the waist band of another pattern to make my own pattern. You’ve just given me the idea to make my own dirndl skirt tutorial so I’ll have to work on that now 🙂

      In the mean time, I hope this helps!

  • Rochelle, that skirt suits you so perfectly, with or without salad dressing 😉

    My go to patterns are Renfrew and Laurel. I’ve only made Laurel twice, but I am obsessed! And I have made a ton of Renfrews.

  • First of all – you look adorable. I love the way you wore your hair with a scarf and styled the outfit with sneakers. JUST TOO CUTE.

    As for a favorite pattern – I’m getting ready to do Gertie’s B5882 again! I’ve made the dress twice and have used the skirt pattern as a stand along skirt once.

    But I love a dirndl too… I seem to fall back on them a lot because they take way less yardage than a circle skirt, but still have that pretty, girly fullness to them.

  • Rochelle, I LOVE this skirt on you! The fabric is so pretty and the length is v. cute! I think I am going to have to take my drindl skirt apart and lengthen it. Methinks that may be why I don’t wear it nearly enough.

  • So, so cute on you! I love the fabric, too, even if you got dressing on it (something I would totally do). Sadly my most local JoAnn’s is dinky (compared to my old local one which was ginormous), and the cotton section is pretty small and kid-oriented.

    I have a go-to 6-gore skirt pattern (which took some doing to get to ‘go-to’ status) and a 4-gore skirt pattern, and I think after my dirndl skirt that, too. It dawned on me lately that I don’t really feel the need to sew 1,000 different patterns, I’d kind of be happy with mostly a handful that I really love and sew differing versions over and over. Even if that sounds boring. 🙂

  • I am so confused. I *know* I commented on here… I even got the comments coming into my email as a result… but, the comment is not here! Oh well.
    I do not have a tried and trusted go-to pattern. There are several patterns I have made more than once. A shorts pattern (they look almost like a skirt), a skirt pattern (the one which makes a dirndl, or pretty close to a dirndl anyway), a blouse pattern (I made two views) and a repro pattern that I have made one of each view LOL
    By the way, loving your new blond ‘do, and your ‘real’ hair is looking great! How fun, you can have all kinds of hair days… blonde or brunette, short shingle or long locks!

    • And now I see both comments. I’m sorry for the double!

      • Rochelle

        Sorry about that! Sometimes comments need to be pre-approved by me, but don’t worry, they’re here 😉

  • I am absolutely loving you with blonde hair! It looks fantastic. And the new skirt goes perfectly with it. I love a quick dirndl skirt bit I’m also a fan of a button front circle skirt. I haven’t myself many though. I need to get onto that before summer!

    • Rochelle

      Thank you, I’m loving the blonde too! 🙂 A button front circle skirt sounds really pretty and perfect for summer!

  • vanginmi

    My go-to pattern is the Sorbetto top. Easy and fast. Love the skirt and your green fabric!

  • What a cute skirt and what a cute outfit. I’m horribly at spilling on myself – my dad says I’m trying to save it for later. lol

  • Love the color and the print! So pretty.Green is my fav color and it looks awesome with the pink belt! I don’t have a go to skirt pattern (or dress pattern for that matter) yet, and I’m all about the skirts this summer.

  • Gorgeous fabric and the pink belt goes perfectly! For a swingy skirt I love the cake patterns pavlova. In fact I have made all of steph’s patterns twice and about to cut out hummingbird tonight!

  • Cute skirt! The print is lovely and you look gorgeous 🙂

  • Very cute, ill have to get on the drindle bandwagon

  • It’s a beautiful skirt. I must try something like that one day. My fave go-to pattern is a self-drafted A-line skirt pattern. Very easy and very flattering for pear-shaped gals like me 😉

    I also wore one of my me-made skirts for the first time on Friday and I spilled part of my mojito on it. The chiffon got sticky. I had to run to the bathroom to spill some water 🙁

  • I love your new skirt and the fabric! Looks lovely with the pink belt.

    I sew a lot lot lot, but I don’t really have any go-to patterns either. I always want to try something new 🙂

  • My favorite shirt pattern is from 1940. I think I’ve made 8 shirts from it and will continue making more because I wear them ALL the time : ) Is there such a thing as too many shirts? I don’t know but I’m willing to find out for the good of all sewcialists out there.

  • Pat

    No go to pattern, but my TNT stain remover is shampoo. My son is a chef and the stains on his white chef’s jacket are a true challenge to get rid of. I put shampoo on the stain, gently blot it in and rinse it from the inside out. It has to be rinsed inside out because you don’t want to spread the stain even worse on the outside. Hope this helps.

    • Rochelle

      Thanks, Pat! I’ll give that a try 🙂

  • I love your new pretty skirt 🙂 So sorry about the salad dressing! You’re not alone – I am a notorious spiller!

  • Oh no, that’s really rough about the spill, honey – do you think it’s save-able? I sure hope so, because you look cute as a million buttons in this delightful new creation.

    ♥ Jessica

    • Rochelle

      The skirt is definitely washable since it’s cotton, so I’m not overly worried about the stain. We’ll see I guess! And thank you 🙂

  • I love that print! I must get myself to Joann. I don’t really have any go-to patterns either. Sometimes when I make something I love I think that the pattern will be used again and again, but somehow that just hasn’t happened yet!

  • I don’t have a ‘go-to’ pattern. I have a couple of patterns I have made more than once- one is a shorts pattern (the shorts are flared and pleated and super cute!), another is a blouse pattern and the third is the ‘almost dirndl’ skirt pattern I used to make what I am wearing today. (I am really glad I did not spill my peanut soup on it 😉 ). Hope you get the dressing stain out… I wonder if DH will drive me to JoAnn’s to check out Denyse Schmidt? 😀
    (BTW, I had been wondering if that was “your” hair when you first instagrammed it- it looks really good 🙂 – how cool is it that you can do both the shingle AND the fab longer styles out ther?! 😉 )

    • Rochelle

      Thanks Rachel 🙂 I need to find a good blouse pattern, too. I make a lot of dresses but not enough separates. I’ll have to change that!