Want me to make you a skirt?

Since there was such positive response to the skirt I made this week, and since I’m trying to earn some extra money for summer travel, and since I’m finally getting tired of selfish sewing and would like to tentatively test the waters of sewing for others, I’m going create a pop-up shop right here and see what happens…

1. $50 for a custom-made pencil/straight skirt.
2. Orders must be placed by noon on April 30th. Payment to be arranged after order accepted. Delivery by end of May. (instructions for placing order below)
3. Only available to my friends or acquaintances (defined below) and preference will be given to Charlottesville customers if there is overwhelming demand.


1. Knit skirt to be made to your specifications based on your body measurements, with a custom-drafted pattern. Skirt has a 1″ wide elastic waistband that sits at high waist, widens slightly to fit hip, then hangs straight to finished hem.

(If you’re thinking, “That sounds simple! I could make this myself…” DO IT!! Pattern/fabric details are here.)

Fabric options are limited for this pop-up shop, so please see the choices below.

a. magenta watercolor
This is a lightweight poly/rayon/lycra blend that has a slight heathered appearance (as shown in close-up). I have a skirt from another colorway, and it’s soft to the touch and thickness is somewhere between a t-shirt and a lightweight sweatshirt.
magenta-watercolor magenta-watercolor-zoom

b. rust watercolor
Same content and appearance as option a. Might be more sheer in person, due to lighter colors.
rust-watercolor rust-watercolor-zoom

c. red paint splatter
Another lightweight poly/rayon/lycra blend, with heathered appearance. Slightly different print means it could come from a different supplier, and might have different weight/feel in person.
red-paint-splatter red-paint-splatter-zoom

2. To place an order, complete this Google Form. On April 30th or May 1st, I will contact you with an order confirmation and instructions for payment.

If you have any additional questions about the form or the process, you can email me or leave a comment.

3. You may be my friend or acquaintance if:
-We regularly eat meals together, or email each other, or talk on the phone. (Duh.)
-If you’re directly related to one of my close friends.
-If I have taken photos of you, and knew you well enough to share them with you via email or social media.
-We follow each other on twitter, instagram, flickr, facebook…
-I would recognize your name, your face, or your social media handle.


“I want a Maggie-made skirt, but I don’t like any of those fabrics! Can you make something else?”
-Probably, but not now! This pop-up blog shop will hopefully keep me busy sewing for the next month, I’m considering a more customized process in the future where you choose/purchase the fabric and I set a price for drafting and sewing a skirt.

“Have you considered selling these in a local shop?”
-Yes, but I’d rather make clothes in response to direct demand. I can make custom pieces for each client. Also, it eases the pressure of deciding in advance what will sell, and in what sizes – and ensures that I don’t have wasted inventory.
-However, if you own a local shop and want to share these risks with me, or have creative ideas for ways I can make custom pieces for your clients, I’d love to talk about it!

“Do you make/sell any other things?”
-I’M GLAD YOU ASKED! I also make quilts, which is why I understand some of the realities of inventory. Fortunately for me (and my housemates), it’s not a burden to be surrounded by beautiful, handmade blankets.

“Why are you being so restrictive? My money is as good as anyone’s. I hate in-crowd cliques! UGH!”
(Okay, maybe those are sample objections that I don’t expect to hear, but I wanted to address this anyway.)
-I’ll be making these during my free time, and it’s going to detract from social activities or selfish sewing projects, so it’s appropriate that I set limits on it.
-Sewing for friends and acquaintances brings a personal tone to the process, despite my internet announcement and electronic data gathering. If one of us has a question or concern, we’re more likely to treat each other with respect and honesty since there is a long-standing relationship, albeit to varying degrees.
-It’s not so difficult to become my friend or acquaintance. Seriously. I’m an extrovert. If we share a community (IRL or online), and you introduce yourself, I won’t run away!

skirt news

I finally figured out how to take a full-body selfie with my iphone! (It only took 4 months. And the KeyCam app, which I downloaded in the first month, but hadn’t tested.)

image image

This skirt is a longer length than the last one (at the bottom of this post). A few inspiration photos are on my pencil skirt board. I think the length looks slightly more intentional with heels, but I didn’t FEEL like wearing heels to work today!

The pattern (M6654) doesn’t taper, but falls straight from the hip.

Obviously, it’s a KILLER fabric, and though I feel a bit ostentatious wearing it, I can’t stop smiling every time I look at my skirt. (You can’t tell from the photo, but the darker areas are a mix of black and purple spotches.)

I bought the fabric online at Fabric Mart – the price keeps dropping (I paid $4 a week ago, and it’s down to $3/yard). This color is nearly sold out, but they have other colors available. The fabric weight is on the lighter side – might be better suited to a loose shirt or drapey cardigan.



10 books finished in 2014: The Bronze Bow

10 books finished in 2014


I borrowed this book from a housemate, who recommended it when I was looking for something short and uplifting to read before bed. (I’ve been slogging through a lot of long or serious books lately – the type of books that require me to take notes!)

It was historical fiction for children, set in Judea during the time of Jesus. (wikipedia)

Do you have any historical fiction recommendations? I tend to enjoy books I’ve read in that genre, but don’t have a source for tracking down new ones.



spring wardrobe planning

A lot of things have been happening in my brain/sewing space lately.

I’ve been thinking through a clear, simple capsule wardrobe for spring. It was introduced to me (at least this time around) by Colette’s Wardrobe Architect series, but TRULY clicked once I stumbled on the INTO MIND website. (Warning! You can quickly get overwhelmed by the amount of great content at both of those sites!)

First, I made a secret pin board (which is now un-secret) where I only posted outfits that were both appealing to my aesthetic and spring-weather appropriate. I posted things that either matched clothes I already have OR represented styles I’ve always admired but never attempted.

A few things I noticed:

-For dresses, I’ve got a good handle on what I like, what I look good in, and what I can make for myself.

I’m always going to love a fitted waist dress.

(How convenient that I’ve already made myself a similar version of this!)

I’m intrigued by a shorter knit sheath, but don’t know if it’s going to work for me.

My dress wardrobe is fairly extensive at this point – I wear dresses year-round, and a good number of them are handmade. So…basically I will make due with what I have on-hand, unless inspiration strikes.

-My separates wardrobe is a LOT messier, and I realized that one thing I want to do is continue wearing my black skinny jeans into the spring. How do I do that without a flannel shirt or a heavy cardigan?

Maybe with a lightweight button-up shirt?

I really want to make a button-up shirt one of these days (it’s a 2014 resolution), but I continue to be intimidated. AND, I don’t know how often I’ll want to wear one in the spring.. This might turn into more of a fall transition piece.

This is a cute top option:

I know I’m NOT going to have much luck finding a loose tank that’s long enough for my torso (in my price range), so this is on my short list of items to make. I’ve already failed one attempt, but it was merely a sizing failure, which can be remedied.

The other fun option is a peplum:

I’m still unsure whether this is a flattering option for me, but might shorten a favorite dress pattern to see if it works.

Finally (there are so many options here because my shirt wardrobe is the most pitiful), I’d love to figure out how to make a looser tent-like shirt that works for me.

After lots of studying, I think the best option with this type of shirt is to have something that fits very snug on my shoulders and arms, to balance the volume.

It still might not work, so my other solution is to just make a million versions of something I’ve already shared with you – the shape is interesting, but it’s still a slim silhouette.

Oh hey! While I’m talking about this shirt, here are the two newest versions.

Untitled I was cutting two shirts last night, and decided to finish the green instead of the blue!

-So what about the bottom half? Obviously, I’ll be wearing my skinny jeans a lot.

I’m always drawn to a full skirt with a wild print, but it’s not really something I want to wear more than once.

A better option is a neutral wrap skirt:

I already have one that I love and wear during transitional seasons. It might be time to make another.

I’m also going to give shorts another try – if I pair them with more interesting shirts, they might not be so boring to me. RIGHT? (Also, now that I’m running, I like my legs more than I used to.)

What my wardrobe REALLY needs are some straight/pencil skirts.

This is partly because I realized that the two skirts I wear constantly to work are 10+ years old (I bought them with a suit jacket for interviews WHILE I WAS I COLLEGE). They’re falling apart, and need to be replaced.

(Believe it or not, this is what I set out to talk about when I started this blog post.)

I won’t get into too much detail, but I’ve been evaluating all of the pencil/straight skirt silhouettes here:

I’m slowly trying to integrate a few more into my wardrobe.

So far, I’ve made an above-the-knee navy version:


And I’m probably going to make a crazy patterned one soon! What length should I make it?


9 books finished in 2014: The Beautiful and Damned

9 books finished in 2014


The title was Not Kidding! This book was bleak and depressing and a great example of How Not To Live Your Life.

Why did I read this?
-free kindle library
-it’s a “classic”
-Gossip Girl referenced this book (really)
-unconsciously trying to read everyone who shows up Midnight in Paris to discern how well their characters match their books




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