Art & Design Magazine

What i Made: Ava Geraldine

By Mmadalynne @mmadalynne


Confession. This was supposed to be my holiday skirt. Oops! Time flies and so does the holidays. So, new year, new you, new skirt. No one mention that it’s February, okay?

Before I get to the details, I’ll preface with this is an exciting post. It’s my first me-made as a Bernina Ambassador! So, I’ll give you an overview of the skirt, but if you want to learn the particular details, like how I constructed the waistband, you’ll have to head on over to their blog for the tutorial.

In December, I went on a quest to live a semi-handmade holiday by crafting at least a portion of my gifts. Not all gifts because the holidays are chaotic and crafting everything from scratch was unrealistic for my schedule. I believe that gifts don’t have to be tangible. An experience such as a trip to Europe as well as knowledge such as a sewing lesson can be gifts too. For two women I work with, this was my gift to them. Sara and Ashley always wanted to learn to sew, and after work on two occasions, I helped them cut and sew a skirt to wear to our company’s holiday party. I was originally part of that equation, but I dropped out when 85% of the way through it, I tried it on and it didn’t fit over my hips. At some point, I did something that I still can’t remember, which made it too tight for my lower half. Oh well! You live, you learn, and you make more garments!


Going into this project, my goal was to sew the best waistband. About a year ago, I watched a video by Susan Khalje where she demonstrated how to “build a better waistband.” Around that same time, Heather commented that a proper waistband acts like a belt – anchoring a garment in place. And because I make so many garments with waistbands, why not try to perfect the technique?

The exterior waistband – which is also the fabric for the skirt – is a wool knit from Emmaonesock. As with any waistband, but especially this one because it is a knit and therefore stretches, the outer piece was stabilized with a lightweight fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supplies. The inner waistband is a novelty trim from a local sewing store. Although the trim is rigid, the grosgrain ribbon that was inserted between the inner and the outer waistband was how it really became stable. Grosgrain is great to use as an interior waistband in thick fabrics because it reduces bulk. If the interior waistband was the self fabric, the seam allowances would be thick and if you’re not careful when pressing, could cause an unsightly ridge. Also to note, I chose grosgrain as opposed to petersham because the latter has a scalloped edge, softer touch, and is slightly pliable. With its straight, bound edge, grosgrain has no give, which is exactly what I wanted. Side note: Sunni featured a fantastic post on the difference between petersham and grosgrain.

As I was working on the waistband, I added a few fun additions I didn’t originally intend – a light pink lining, which had a shirred bottom ruffle. Where the ruffle meets the lining, I also added a jacquard ribbon gifted to me from a sewing friend. I used this same ribbon to add hanger loops at the sides.


Surprisingly, I have found many ways to where the skirt. I initially made a sleeveless chambray top to the same tune as Jasper Lee to go with it. I modeled the sleeveless one outside in 30 degree weather and the sweater one inside with the heat on. Smart!



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