A Dress a Month: January


sewing school skirt

I never got around to talking about my goals for the year on here, but most of them involve improving on some basic skills I have. I have really wanted to get better at sewing and go beyond simple alterations and aprons, and I figured by setting a goal for the year would help keep me on track. My plan is to sew one clothing item per month- which will mostly be dresses, and “A Dress a Month” just sounds better than “A Piece of Clothing a Month”, don’t you think?

When I first learn to sew about 8 years ago, I made a few pieces of clothing, but I haven’t made more than a simple elastic waist skirt in years. Even though I mostly want to make dresses, I thought I’d kick of January with a skirt- something a little simpler, but still challenging me with details. This pattern is called the Sewing School Skirt, because you get comfortable with pleats, buttonholes, and a fitted waistband. I hadn’t made buttonholes in years and these are pretty terrible, but at least they improved by the time I finished.


This vintage fabric came from a friend’s grandmother, a huge collection I inherited a few years ago. There are some great patterns in the collection and she bought a few yards of everything, so I’ll have enough to make some clothing pieces out of them. I was definitely nervous cutting into it, but figured it’s time to get over that or it’ll never be put to good use.

The pattern runs vertically on the front and horizontally on the back, which I wish I could say was my original plan. As I was cutting I realized I didn’t have enough length for it to all go the same direction, and after some swear words, thought it may actually lend itself as a design element. I actually really like it now!

pattern: Sewing School Skirt from Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara
fabric: vintage, gift
top: F21 (old)
shoes: vintage, thrifted


It took me quite a few hours this weekend but I feel really good about getting it finished before the end of January so I can stay on track with this goal!

This entry was posted in diy, outfits and tagged , , , , , , , .

30 Responses to A Dress a Month: January

  1. Jessica says:

    This is absolutely beautiful and perfect.

  2. Kate says:

    That fabric is beautiful. Great work! Loving the buttons and pleats. I too am hoping to do more sewing this year. I got an awesome, brand new sewing machine for Christmas from my mother-in-law, but it’s still in the box! I think you just motivated me to break it out get started. :)

  3. Sarah says:

    What a cool idea! I can’t wait to see what else you come up with.

  4. Kimmy says:

    I want to get back at my sewing skills as well. I would love to branch off into clothing. I enjoy making bags and whatnot. This skirt is too cute. >.< Look forward to seeing your skills grow.

  5. Kristian says:

    I’m very impressed you made this-especially with the pleating detail. Good luck with your project!

  6. char says:

    I’m trying to do the same – a dress a month. I have already made three this month, but tbh I will probably struggle with finding time for a while now, so it’s good to have a head start.
    I have the same fear about cutting up some of the pretty fabric I’ve collected, but you just have to be brave and go for it. This skirt is lovely.

  7. kelsey says:

    that skirt is fabulous! love love love your blog! andddd I am your newest follower! hey-o!

    xo, Kelsey Belle | Happie Reading Blog

    [also, there is a little giveaway up on my blog at the moment]

  8. Jess says:

    Well done on finishing your skirt! One of my resolutions is also to sew more, so maybe I’ll try and make an item of clothing a month! It’s really pretty, I love the fabric and the silhouette :) xx

  9. andrea says:

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I love your resolution and can’t wait to see the rest.
    Just yesterday at a garage sale I bought this vintage book ‘Vogues new book for better sewing’ and I am so excited to try some of the patterns (hopefully I can get some great vintage fabric like that too!)

  10. Elana says:

    So, uh, how do I get you to turn this into “Sew Elana a dress a month?” This skirt is way too cute!

  11. Wow, Lisa! It looks awesome! It really turned out great! That vintage pattern is amazing! I really like how the stripes are vertical in the front and horizontal in the back. It really adds an extra element and I love that!

  12. October says:

    Wow! Looks like you’re off to a great start! That vintage fabric is awesome!

  13. Marisa says:

    I’m so impressed by this Lisa! I cannot believe that fabric…how gorgeous! I used to take sewing lessons as a kid and I wish I would have kept it up. Doing anything beyond basic hemming scares me now. I really just need to take the plunge!

  14. Angela says:

    this looks gorgeous! i’ve been wanting to learn to sew–when i finally do, i’ll look to you for inspiration!

  15. You rock Lisa! that is a beautiful pattern and i’m so impressed you made that! i have never even sewn button holes so everything sounds complicated and super impressive. and i love how the pattern ended up the opposite direction too. what a great goal for the year!

  16. Becca says:

    THAT FABRIC!!!!! They really don’t make it like they used to, do they? You did a great job on this skirt. It looks great!

    Becca | Ladyface Blog

  17. Laura says:

    Ooo, that fabric sure is lovely! You did a fantastic job!


  18. Marlen says:

    what an awesome goal, and you did a awesome job with the detailing on this skirt (i love the pleasts). and that fabric is beautiful, i love how structured it is! i can only handle shortening hems, and poorly at that haha. i bet it’s really handy that you can make your own pieces :)

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  19. Angie says:

    Soo nice to here about other Arizonans sewing up a storm! Let me know if you ever want a sewing partner or need any help! Love the fabric choice!

  20. Miki says:

    Wow! What a wonderful job you’ve done! One of my goals this year is to try to sew something. I suck so bad at it, I don’t even know if I’m threading the thread correctly :/.

    Your skirt looks amazing! :p

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