Have you ever bought a fabric knowing you needed to do something really cool with it, something a little beyond the routine sewing? This was my feeling about Gnomeville by Michael Miller. I can’t tell you how many times I fondled that bolt of fabric in the shop, trying to picture what it wanted to be. I eventually succumbed and bought 1 1/3 yards of it, thinking I’d make the On the Border skirt from my book.

A year later, I finally got around to making that skirt — and possibly one of the cutest outfits I’ve ever made.

Gnome outfit

It’s a Little Girls, Big Style/Sewing ModKid Style outfit mashup. The skirt is a modified version of the No-Hem Skirt, cut wider, longer and with a hem. I had to change plans on the fly because I didn’t have enough width for the lower portion of the skirt. I made the skirt a little longer than I normally would to ensure Miss L gets extra wearability out of it.

The tee and leggings are both from Patty’s book. I changed things up a little from my previous takes on these pieces. I used some stretch lace from Riley Blake on the sleeves and cuffs (Sarah ordered some for the shop and I can already tell I need more). I have no idea where I bought the red-and-white stripe legging fabric but it has so little stretch that L could barely pull up the pants. Seriously. I’m going to have to find a different fabric and make another pair because these just don’t work. But they sure are cute for the picture. :)

I am so utterly tickled with how the tee turned out. It was one of those “in my head this seems cool” kind of things but you just never know until it all comes together. The neck ruffle is a 1 1/2″ bias cut strip of woven fabric (Michael Miller’s Mini Mikes). I gathered the top edge then basted it to the neckline. I then followed the directions for sewing, capturing the short end of the ruffle in the shoulder seams. FOE wraps around the neckline and I used a contrasting thread to stitch it down (perhaps because I was too lazy to walk across the room too look for red thread).

tee detail
The embroidery design is from SWAK Embroidery and I thought it was a good match for the whimsical feel of the skirt. I really need to wash the shirt to get the rest of the stabilizer out but I was too eager to have L try it on. I am happy with the results but the design did not stitch out like the breakdown that came with the embroidery file so some of the colors are not where I’d originally planned. I finished it off with a reverse coverstitch hem, using red thread in the looper to add a pop of color and design. It’s only taken four years but I think I’m finally getting the hang of that machine.

Ever since I helped Mer with her costume, I’ve really been trying to make a concerted effort to use the plethora of tools at my disposal. I’m not in the habit of using either my coverstitch nor embroidery machine when I sew and it’s a shame because they both can really add something to the creations I make. I’ve definitely been happy with the results thus far and that really encourages me to keep it up.

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3 thoughts on “Gnome Love

  1. pam

    Couldn’t be cuter. I especially love the embroidered details on the shirt that coordinate. I rarely use my embroidery module but there are so many creative ways to put it to use that just aren’t ‘the same old thing’. Darling outfit, I really enjoyed sewing for my daughter when she was young, so much sewing fun. Will miss seeing you at market, hopefully Houston! xo

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