the Merry-Christmas skirt. {tutorial}

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We dreamed up this fun Christmas-inspired emerson skirt while browsing the special occasion fabrics in our local JoAnn's.  There's something about those floaty, sheer fabrics that demands attention!  At this time of year, anyway.  (But this same technique would work remarkably well next spring, using lace instead.  Can't you imagine this skirt being part of a great flower-girl ensemble, too?)  We can also see adding a velvet ribbon bow or silk flower along the yoke/skirt seam line.  We chose purple as our punchy color, instead of red… because we love purple, and it seemed like a fun thing to do!  And the sequins-y cardigan?  Target.  (Where we also found matching purple tights, with just enough sparkle.)

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what you'll need…

emerson skirts pattern (we're showing the gathered version here)

– materials listed on back of pattern (basically fabric, thread, and elastic)

– "special occasion" sheer fabric for overlay (slightly less than yardage amount for skirt – be sure to check the washing instructions)

1. Choose your fabrics.  We chose this simple black and white paisley piece for our skirt, along with a slightly gray sheer fabric with black velvet dots.  There's just enough contrast between the two pieces to keep things interesting, but not enough to scream "look at me!"  Cut out your emerson skirt according to directions given in the pattern

2. Cut two more skirt pieces out of the overlay fabric, but shorten the length by 2".

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3. Complete the yoke as instructed in the emerson skirts pattern (steps 1 & 2).  Stitch the side seams of your skirt and hem it, also according to the emerson instructions for the gathered skirt (steps 3 & 8).  (We'll run our gathering stitch later.)

4. Prepare overlay.  Start off by sewing the side seams in a French seam… with wrong sides together, stitch side seams at 1/4".  Trim off close to stitching.  Turn skirt outside-in (right sides together) and stitch sides seams again at 1/4".  This will neatly enclose your raw edges and keep them from unravelling.

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5.Hem overlay with a teensy-tiny hem.  Start by carefully pressing your hem under 5/8".  Stitch right along the crease.  Trim off raw edge close to stitching.  Now, turn the raw edge under again, stitching it down as you go.  (This is much easier than it sounds!)

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6. Pin the upper raw edge of your overlay (wrong side of overlay over right side of skirt) to the upper raw edge of your skirt.  Run a large zigzag stitch along edge of skirt directly over a piece of cotton crochet thread, leaving tails at both ends.  Be careful not to catch the crochet thread.  Now, gathering the skirt + overlay as one by pulling the ends of your thread gently, follow step 5 of the emerson instructions and attach your skirt to the yoke.  Press seam towards yoke.

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And, looky here!  This skirt has lots of twirling power.

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Have fun, and stay warm~

lots of love~

xxx, the Long ladies

Ps. Do you think this would work for grown-ups, too?  Because we were just thinking…

A lesson to learn when you have a fabric shop in your home

 New Flower Sugar 3                        Flower Sugar 3

Okay.  So, we've encountered this "problem" when it comes to having a fabric store in your home.  It's not a huge problem (most of the time anyway) and it's not necessarily a bad problem, but still it can be difficult.  You see, everytime a new line (alright, bolt) of fabric arrives at your house, you think, "This is fantastic!  My new favorite piece!  I've got to make a dress with it!"  You say the same thing everytime, except you occasionally change the "dress" part of the sentence to some other sewn goodie.

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However, as time goes on, and more new fabrics come in, there just isn't enough hours in the day to accomplish– aka make– everything.  Other things need done before the new dress, or the new quilt, or the new bag.  Thus, the problem.  But, to make it all worthwhile, when you do get to do that special project its just that much sweeter.  So, it seems once it's all said and done, the benefits definately outweight the "problem".

Innocent Crush velveteen

We wanted to let you all know about some fun marie-madeline giveaways going on right now!  First, stop by Kelly-Jo's blog and enter to win a fat quarter bundle of all the Red Rose Farm prints!  The fabric is so pretty and vibrant.  Next, you MUST go visit our dear friends, the Coghlans, and sign up for a $50 gift certificate to

Are any of you going out to shop today?  We're staying warm and toasty inside.  Tonight we'll finish off our Friday with a homemade pizza and movies.  Time to break out the Christmas movies too!  We finished off our Thanksgiving last night with Charlie Brown Christmas (a family tradition since Mom and Dad were little) and It's a Wonderful Life.   More on that later!

lots of hugs!

the Long ladies

PS… Cyber Monday Sale details coming soon!

Happy Thanksgiving!

"…It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…" {George Washington, 1789}

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"O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever…. O that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!  For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." {Psalm 107:1,8-9}
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And so, we give thanks.  There is so much to be thankful for.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, with lots of love from the Long family!

With warmth and joy from our home to yours~

xoxo, the Long ladies

’tis the season…

for corduroy!!!

Now we've got some to share!  These gorgeous fine-wale cords were manufactured by the much-loved Nashville Cotton Company.  And we had to have some.  They're a fabulous 58" wide, with the softest hand you can imagine.  You want to know the bonus?  The red and periwinkle pieces match Dolly Dresses to a tee!  The sea shell pink and aqua are lovely, too.  (The pink works perfectly with the Dream On collection.)  Our pictures can't begin to do them justice.


We've had so many of you ladies ask about corduroy… we're so excited to be carrying it now!  We can see these fabrics making cozy emerson skirts.  Or tessa bloomers.  Or anaclaire jumpers.  As a matter of fact, we can imagine making ourselves some red corduroy skirts to wear this Christmas.  (To go with the black sequins-y cardigan we bought on clearance at Kohl's.)

We've had literally dozens of new bolts arrive in the studio this week!  More on that soon, Lord willing.

And we hope you're staying cozy.  It's getting chilly around here.

love, the Long ladies


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We've been wanting to share this tutorial with all of you ever since Elizabeth Scott's gorgeous Red Rose Farm fabrics made their way into our studio.  Have fun!

Step 1::  Choose your fabrics and tee.  (We would suggest using scraps of fabric for your flower petals.)  Fuse lightweight interfacing onto the wrong side of your scraps.

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Step 2::  Draw a petal shape onto a piece of thin cardboard and cut it out carefully.  Using a soft pencil, trace around your template onto the interfaced side of your petal fabric.  You may have as many petals as you like!  (We made a very simple 7-petal version.)  Cut out your petals.

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Step 3::  Arrange the petals on the front of your tee.  Pin in place.

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Step 4::  Using coordinating embroidery floss, an embroidery needle, and a blanket stitch - stitch around each petal.  (Enlarge the pictures to see the stitching method!)

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Step 5::  Make a yo-yo for your flower center.  Start by cutting out a circle using another coordinating fabric.  (Use the mouth of a large glass or a small bowl to trace out your circle.)  Turn the raw edge of your circle under about 1/4".  Using a long running stitch, stitch along the crease.  Pull stitches up tightly and knot off.  Stitch your yo-yo to the center of your flower.

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Now, pop on a pretty button for your flower center, and make a matching skirt! 006 002 

XOXO, the Long ladies

our lovely little Eleanor

Isn't Ellie beautiful?  And looking all ready for this chilly fall weather!

We really did go to Houston for International Quilt Market at the end of October.  It was an amazing five days.  Sadly, our camera chip thing-y has decided not to let us upload any pictures.  So we'll have to be a little bit late sharing our Market stories!  (Which is disappointing, since we're really excited to show you everything.)

Anyway, we wanted to drop in this morning just to say a little hello.  We have so many posts in mind – projects, pictures, recipes – but this week has flown by too quickly!  Hopefully we'll be back soon.

Oh!  And there's a chic sisters apron pattern giveaway going on over at our friend Toria's blog.  Be sure to sign up!  (After all, what could make a better Christmas present than a handy-dandy apron?)

Lots of love and hugs!

the Long ladies

Ps. Ellie's emerson skirt was made out of Lecien's Old New 30s fabric.  We love that stuff!