As a new fixture on the Cali & Co Blogging Network,

this post has been featured on the Cali Fabrics Blog!

Hello Sew Family!

I can’t tell you how long I’ve wanted a floral print pencil skirt.  The journey to this skirt has been a long one, but rewarding nonetheless.

Now, I have to be honest, finding the right floral print fabric was tough!  Although I really admire those that can rock such a statement piece, such a vibrant fabric is not my first choice in fabric selection…  But then I came across this middleweight 4-way stretch cotton fabric from Cali Fabrics and knew right away that I needed it!

DIY floral-pencil-skirt1

Sidenote:  This was my first time ordering from Cali Fabrics, so like most of you that buy fabric online, I didn’t know what to expect.  When I received my fabric in the mail, I was so impressed with how fast the delivery was made & the packaging was very professional.  I like attention to detail and I love getting my fabric order quickly EVEN MORE! 

The Fabric

This vibrant knit fabric is perfect for cooler weather.  It’s a mid-weight fabric that has a good amount of stretch and you’ve got options for what you can make!   The fabric description online is very accurate.

I don’t have the greatest track record for sewing with knit fabrics, you can see at least one of my disaster stories HERE!  Luckily, I smartened up this time, did my research and found a few helpful tools to help me out so I wouldn’t mess up this awesome fabric!!

3 Helpful Techniques – Sewing Stretchy Knits:

  • Invest in a good stabilizer!  You can use this on either end of your fabric as you’re feeding into your machine, so that the ends of your fabric don’t get caught in the bobbin feed.  That can be a mess!
  • Use a Stretch Needle.  As opposed to the trusty Universal Needle, stretch needles are equipped to handle the fabric and you won’t need to tug your fabric as it works through your machine!  You can simply sew with ease.
  • Use the Lightning Bolt Stitch!  Straight stitches on stretch fabric make it extremely easy for your stitches to snap on stretchy fabric!  One little snug and there goes your perfect stitch.  The lightning bolt stitch allows the fabric to stretch and holds everything in place!  Can you hear the angels sing?!

DIY floral-pencil-skirt

To Make This Skirt:

  • 1 yard of THIS FABRIC
  • I used a skirt block that I made, using a Craftsy Class.
  • Based on my skirt block, I added 2 darts on the front + 2 darts in the back – I love how it fits!
  • Instead of the usual 5/8′ seam allowance, I used 1′ to account for the stretch in the fabric
  • Added a facing, with interfacing
  • Added an 18′ zipper
  • Opted for a double-folded hem with a straight stitch – I will use the lightning bolt stitch if I do this again!
  • Top-stitched the waistband using a straight stitch – again, I will be using the lightning bolt stitch next time

DIY floral-pencil-skirt

Overall Thoughts

This fabric made this so easy to make.  The fabric just glides through and with my stabilizer, this came together so quickly!  The fit is great; the stretch is perfect, making this skirt SO COMFORTABLE!   There’s no excuse for me not to wear this  skirt.

Until Next Time….



nikki knows best

The Exit Strategy.

All great things must come to an end.” – Geoffrey Chaucer

This is ever so relevant for a working relationship with your job, too!  Loyalty to a company is a good thing.  Staying employed in an unknown job market is GREAT!

But what happens when it’s time to remove your safety blanket & leave for greener pastures?  I’ve mapped out 5 seemingly simple steps to planning your exit strategy.   View Post


nikki knows best

Hola Chicas,

Am I the only one that’s happy that Summer is over??  Summer means endless days of non-stop Texas heat, lots of family gatherings, the end of Game of Thrones’ & new episodes of POWER.  Needless to say – I get absolutely NO SEWING DONE in the Summer months.  #TGI Pre-Fall!  The weather changes, football is back and so is my sewing time.  Can we say ‘peace of mind’, please?

Remember that podcast that I started some time ago?

Well, I can’t sit back and say that I wasn’t struggling with topics to share with you.  I love sewing, but it’s a hard topic to talk about (by yourself).  View Post


V8840 DIY Dress with Pleated Bell Sleeves

Hola Chicas,

I have been extremely absent lately.  Absent from sewing, posting and all things in between.

I think I go through periods of time where I obsess about different things and then when I’m done, I obsess about something new… my recent obsession consists of catching back up on old Game of Thrones seasons.  Over the last few weeks, I’ve watched seasons 1 -3 and I’m so into it, I plan on re-watching all other seasons.  It’s pretty bad.

I come home from work, eat dinner with my family, catch up on other projects that I’m working on & then I watch GOT, sleep and do it all over again.  I’ve even cut out my reality shows!!

v8840 DIY Dress with Pleated Bell Sleeve


Today’s post is all about sewing on trend.

The Bell Sleeve Obsession.

V8840 DIY Dress with Pleated Bell Sleeves

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Easy DIY Maxi Dress

Sew Sisters

Today’s post is special for my new sewists!  If you’ve been struggling to get your start with learning how to read sewing patterns or you may get frustrated with all of the steps in preparation… maybe it’s time to try something a bit easier!

This has to be the easiest dress I’ve ever made.

This DIY maxi dress is something I made this time last year and at the time, I felt like it was just too simple to add to the blog.

Not that all sewing projects have to take hours to prep and construct… and let’s face it, not all DIY projects are extravagant with massive amounts of details.

2016-05-25 16.33.54

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