May 13, 2011


Readers, its been a rough week around here for me. Haven't been sick or had any sort of physical ailment to complain of. No, its worse. I've been in the process of moving my domain around, educating myself on 301 redirects, manually downloading and uploading all of my image files to my new domain, reconfiguring all of my links. What a peach of a thing it is to do a virtual move! Sigh..... Sigh again....

OK! Enough about that! Its time we moved onto the most important subject at hand. The Ginger Sewalong. Oh Ladies, you are in for such a real treat! I can't even begin to tell you just how excited I am. And I'm even more excited that so many of you are joining in because you are a beginning sewist. I can't tell you how happy that makes me! I've been receiving so much feedback about it, so I thought I would give you a teaser today and give you a run down of how I envision this happening and what actually will be happening. OK? Ok.

The Beginner's First Ginger Sewalong starts this coming Monday, May 16. The perspectives, inspiration and tutorials will last for two weeks. Does that mean that you have to have your skirt done in two weeks? No, it doesn't.  I'm just trying to give you quick little blasts of information that will be there for you when/while you are sewing. You are welcome to join along anytime you wish - even if that includes 3 or 6 or 9 months from now too. Here's a more detailed look at what will be going on come Monday:

Week One

  • May 16 - Opening post

  • May 17 - Tasia, the Sewaholic, gives us a dish on the best fabrics for an A-line skirt of this sort

  • May 18 - Sarai, from Colette Patterns (the Ginger's pattern drafting company) gives us a look at the modern history of the A-line skirt

  • May 19 - Casey, from Elegant Musings, shares some of her authentic inspiration and style for A-line skirts

  • May 20 - pre-laundering tips

Week Two

  • May 23 - picking your size, pattern adjustments and muslin fitting

  • May 24 - cutting the final fabric, working with stripes & bias cut sewing tips

  • May 25 - inserting an invisible zipper

  • May 26 - a special couture technique from Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing & finishing off the waistband area

  • May 27 - hemming and finishing

The next two weeks will be littered with tips geared just for beginners too. They'll look like the tip pictured here for you not to forget to buy the pattern, if you haven't already. At the end of the two weeks of sewing, I'll let you guys finish up things before we have a little Ginger Party where I'll be showing you the Gingers I made and let you guys show off yours as well. That date will be set for June 2, which is about a week after the sewalong finishes which should give you plenty of time to finish things up. Now, how does that all sound?

In addition, I've created a flickr group. Jump on over and become a member. You'll have the chance to post your fabric selections, muslins, questions, discussions and finished projects there. Only Ginger skirt stuff OK? Alright.

Let me also state, because I've been asked a few times, you don't need a blog to participate. I think you'll benefit more from the sewalong though, if you have a flickr account and post photos to the group. We're all here to help each other out too! So chime in with tips and ideas too.

OK! That wraps it up. Get ready for next week! Be there or be square!




  1. I can't commit to a sewalong right now, but I look forward to all the inspiring photos!

  2. i think it is so wonderful that in addition to your own planning, you have lined up other ladies of the blog to chime in--what a real treat that will be! outstanding work, and it will provide great inspiration for the beginners and the more advanced among us.

  3. I'm excited to participate in my first sew-along; and very impressed that you will be getting input from so many great sewing ladies! I've purchased Violet too. Any chance of a sew-along for this Collette Pattern in the not too distant future?

  4. Sunni,

    I'm so excited about this sewalong. Over the past couple of days I’ve been agonizing about the type of fabric to buy - I’ve had some bad calls in that department before and it’s never fun to realize after the fact that your project is all wrong because your fabric is so wrong. So I’m very happy to see you’re bringing in some experts to talk precisely about this topic – yippee! Thanks so much for organizing this.


  5. I just got my pattern yesterday- it is so cute in it's envelope. I am so excited about this sewalong, but I do have a question. You have only allocated one day to fitting and muslin! Fitting is the hardest part for me. My hips are about 2 sizes smaller than my waist. I am never quite sure what to do with a pattern so that I don't get those vertical lines from excess fabric. Will you cover general questions like that? Thanks for doing this!

  6. Yes! The pattern itself is very very very easy to fit and so I'll be giving a few tips on what to do if its too big or too small in the waist and hips. I think that's the beauty of having this be a Beginner's First pattern. Easy to fit and easy to sew.

  7. No problem! I've noticed in Sewalongs past that it generally tends to get a little boring with just me doing all the talking. So Tasia will definitely be giving us some great tips on good fabric selections, plus I'll show you what I've selected for the 2 Gingers that I'll be sewing along with.

  8. I was sorely tempted to do Violet in conjunction with the Ginger pattern, but in the end just picked one so that it didn't overwhelm. I might consider doing the Violet later on down the road - would be fun for beginners and informative at least for the fitting part. Thanks for asking and the idea!

  9. I'm so excited about it too! I think it will really add to the atmosphere and everyone will get to hear different points of view and not just my point of view.

  10. This is my first sew-along, and I'm so excited! Thank you for choosing a beginner pattern, and such a useful one - I have all the tools and materials to sew, I just need the know-how. Sewing is my mother's passion, she gave me my first sewing machine, and she is delighted that I'm doing this. I'm delighted that I will have a pretty skirt that fits properly.
    I've also bought the Violet blouse pattern, so anytime you want to do a sew-along for that, I'm in.
    Thanks, Sunni!

  11. May be we can catch ya next time!

  12. Oh I'm so glad! I'm totally proud of you! And what a treat that your mom sews too and gave you your first sewing machine! I'm completely convinced that you'll have a grand old time!

  13. I bought the pattern for this sew along and got it yesterday. Well, I was so excited and pleased by the easy to understand directions that I dove right in and made a muslin yesterday. It actually fit so I made my very first skirt today out of some pique. I even sewed my first zipper! It was so cool to make something in one day. I couldn't believe how easy it was! (Usually I quilt and it takes yonks for me to finish anything!) There were a couple of steps I didn't quite understand that I just kind of muddled through though, so I am definitely going to participate in this sew-along and hope that my questions will be answered. Thank you so much for organizing this sew along, and thanks to Sarai for making such a fun and easy to make pattern!

    I'm in for a Violet sew along if you ever do that, for sure! I'm so intimidated by shirts and button plackets. Eek!

  14. Yay! Angelina! I'm so glad you've made up the pattern! Don't be afraid to share it in the flickr group either! Isn't it great? When I first tried this skirt I was so giddy about how easy it was and completely over the moon about how darling the final version is. I was dying to hold a sewalong for it! I'll have three versions by the time I'm finished with the sewalong - just in time for summer!

  15. When I manage to get a photo of it I will post it to the group! And this really IS a cute skirt! Mine is just plain black pique with the straight waistband and it's still freaking cute. How did they do that?! I think for the sew along I want to do the curved waistband. I can see myself making a lot of these skirts! Eek!

    I was wondering if you might cover how to add a lining to this skirt, or if you know of a good tutorial online with lots of photos. I'm a very visual learner so photos really help. I can't quite wrap my head around how the lining attaches at the zipper area. I know it's probably really simple, but I'm a beginner! Like I said, 1st skirt maker here! haha

  16. I was actually still debating whether or not to do a tutorial with a lining. You've hit the nail on the head I'm afraid with how it attaches at the zipper area. Its a very common problem and not one that really has the prettiest solution. I ran into that problem when I lined my pants for the trouser sewalong I ran in January. Here's a post on how I handled where the lining attaches at the zipper:

  17. Ooh lawd. It looks like I might want to wait a bit before attempting to put a lining in. It's funny because I've seen people mention in a couple of places that this skirt is unlined but that it would be simple to put one in. If I can remember where I saw those comments I might just have to ask them how they do it! Is it easier to put a lining in something with a regular zipper?

    And thank you for being so helpful and replying to my questions!

  18. I think so, yes. Because instead of trying to fold the lining over to look RTW, you can attach the lining to the skirt at the center back seam and then put in a zipper. My personal feeling is that invisible zippers are not sturdy enough to handle both the lining and the fabric, so I think it would be better with a regular zipper and possibly do a lapped insertion. Also, instead of a lining you could go with an underlining - use a lining and attach the lining to the fabric pieces before sewing them all together.

  19. OOOh I'm with you, I keep measuring my hips and waist wishing it would add up to one size on a pattern!

  20. I'm keen on a lining, I use many recycled fabrics and they could do with something extra

  21. It's a common problem, I think. I'm not on the sizing chart either. Sigh.... We'll be entering the fun world of fitting next week!

  22. I believe I'll be doing a short post on underlining instead. I think keeping it simple - especially for the beginners - is best. To do the lining with the faced waistband and invisible zip is oddly quite tricky. I've got a fabric I'm using for the striped/bias version that needs to be underlined.

  23. A little late to join but I think I will catch up. How exciting, I have never done a sew along before. Thanks for this opportunity.

  24. So glad you are joining us! I think you'll find that these last few posts go really quickly for you. I'm just trying not to throw too much information at you all at once, but still trying to keep a fast pace, because the skirt whips up extra fast.

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