Petticoat Junction! {a tutorial}


Here it is at last!!  The tutorial for this fun tulle petticoat.  The nice thing about this project is the fact that it's pretty quick to whip up.  Because, you see, it's one of those lovely things that's really better when done quite imperfectly. So let's get started!

Petticoat Junction!

What you will need…
-a soft cotton for the slip, like voile or batiste (yardage will depend on the size of your slip – you can use the measurements figured in the first few steps to decide)
-½” elastic (based on waist measurement)
-lots of tulle, in two coordinating colors (approximately 3 ¼ yds. of each – you can use much more if you'd like your petticoat to be really, really full)

First, we’ll take a few measurements to create a custom slip – then we’ll add the layers of tulle to the lower edge for a fun, fluffy petticoat. But of course, feel free to use these easy instructions to make everyday slips, too. Or add a long piece of lace to the hem in place of tulle for a vintage feel. Please read through all the instructions before getting started!

To find measurement A:
1. Measure fullest part around body (usually hipline)
2. Add 10” to this measurement
3. Divide this number in half
For example – if your little girl’s hip measurement is 28”, you’d add 10” for step 2, making it 38”. And dividing that in half gives you measurement A: 18”.

To find measurement B:
1. Measure from waist down to hem of skirt
2. Subtract 3” from this measurement
For example – skirt length is 23 ½”, making measurement B 20 ½”.

Step 1
Stitch slip front to back at side seams, using ½” seam allowance. Finish seams using a zigzag or serge stitch. (French seams are also an excellent option for this step.)
Step 2
Hem lower edge of slip by pressing raw edge under 5/8”, then tucking in the raw edge to meet the crease. Stitch close to folded edge.
Step 3
Make casing for elastic in top edge of slip. Press upper raw edge under 7/8”. Turn raw edge under to form a 5/8” casing. Press again. Stitch close to lower folded edge leaving a small 2” gap for inserting elastic. (We’ll insert elastic last.)
Casing Casing2
Step 4
From hem of slip, measure up 1 ½”. Mark all the way around the bottom using a soft pencil or water soluble pen (even washable markers work well!). Stitch along this line using a basting stitch. This will mark the tulle ruffle placement. Repeat this step three more times, marking each line 1 ½” above the previous one.  (You may remove markings now, if you prefer.)
Lines Lines2
Step 5
Cut your tulle into 12” strips from selvage to selvage – four strips per ruffle. You should end up with eight 12” strips of each color.
Step 6
Fold strips in half lengthwise and run a large machine stitch ¼” from the folded edge, leaving thread ends free. As you get to the end of your first strip, overlap the second and continue stitching till you’ve added on all four strips of the first ruffle. You should end up with one long “chain” of tulle.
Step 7
Pull gathering stitches on “chain” to create puckers. Line up on right side of slip, with fold of ruffle along first stitching line. Evenly distribute fullness and pin in place, overlapping ends of chain an inch or two at the end. Stitch on top of gathering stitches using a zigzag stitch.
Layer1 Layer1.2
Repeat steps 6 and 7 for remaining three layers of tulle, alternating colors as you go up the slip. We only have four rows of tulle on our petticoat, but there’s really no reason to stop there if you don’t want to! Just have fun with it!
Layer2 Layer3
Step 8
Cut ½” elastic length of waist measurement, minus 1”. Using a bodkin or safety pin, insert elastic through gap left in casing. Overlap ends of elastic and stitch securely (we usually use a zigzag stitch). Try on for size and adjust to fit. Stitch gap in casing closed. Distribute gathers around waistband evenly and stitch in the ditch at side seams. This will prevent your elastic from rolling around on the inside of your waistband.

And there you have it!  Enjoy!
Happy sewing to you~
xo, the Long ladies

1 skirt | 3 days | Day 3 ~ Navy + Green (+ Miss Kitty)



Skirt – Made by me | Blouse – Talbot's | Belt – Macy's (borrowed from Apphia) | Flats – Macy's



Miss Kitty joined me in the pictures today.  I just think she is the cutest thing ever!  She has a sweet little brother too.  He's gray and blue eyed and adorable. 

There really isn't a lot to say about today's outfit, except that I really like navy and this bright green together.  Those two French in-out braids Absie did for me didn't hurt either.  I was determined to try and make each of my outfits the past three days look as different and varied as possible.  It was lots of fun, Ash (and Natasha and Olivia)!  Thanks so much for hosting it!

Well, I just finished eating tacos and am hoping to work some more on an Anthro-inspired dress that I'm sewing up.  Which is probably a good idea to do tonight, as tomorrow means more Market booth sewing!

I'll say 'Good-Night' since it's bedtime somewhere.  I probably won't be going to bed for about 7 more hours.

Good night!

xo! Achaia

1 skirt | 3 days | Day 2 ~ The Wearing of the Green



Skirt – Made by me | Tank – American Eagle | Cardigan – Anthropologie (via eBay) | Boots – Lazy S Western Wear (Fredericksburg, Tx) | Bag – Zappos (gift)



Well, today Apphia, Abiah, and I had to run into town to mail some packages and do a little grocery shopping for the coming week, so we decided to stop off and take outfit photos while we were there. When I was deciding what to wear with my skirt today, what would you know but I pulled out this Anthro cardigan and the greens matched PERFECTLY!  I was so excited.  And, it's always fun to have an opportunity to wear my cowboy boots.  Currently they're my shoe of choice!

Oh, and everything I planned last night happened.  I ate pepperoni pizza, watched this, this, and this, and stitched on a pillow that I started a few months back.  I can't wait to show you the finished product!

Have a lovely day! xoAchaiaxox

1 skirt | 3 days | Day 1 ~ J.Crew in Honduras



Skirt – Made by me | Tee – Gap | Flats – TJMaxx



My best friend (Ashley!), along with two other bloggers is hosting a 1 skirt – 3 days event, where you wear the same skirt for three days in a row, and try your hand at styling it different ways.  I chose this bright green skirt that I made a few months ago.  The fabric is denim so it holds it's shape very well, but the poppy color is a great unexpected part.  Especially since I've lately been having a great love for all things green!

I was inspired to make up an outfit that was a good combination of brights.  The combinations in J.Crew always inspire me — they seamlessly weave happy colors together for great outfits (take a look at this combo!  I love it!).  Oh, and the flats remind me of something that would have come home from a Honduras mission trip when I was a child.

Happy Friday to you all!  In a few hours I plan to sit on the couch, watch some good movies, eat yummy pizza, and maybe stitch a little.  Hugs! xox Achaia

A very happy birthday to Apphia!


We'll say the obvious — we love our Apphia!  She's a wonderful, Godly, sweet, talented woman.  We can't imagine life without her.  Thank you for being you, Phi!  We wish you the most beautiful 24th year that anyone has ever seen!!

Here are 24 things you might not know about Apphia….

-She loves to read

-Was the first granddaughter born into the family (on both sides!)

-Is a perfectionist

-She's the only one of us kids that has had her tonsils out (oh, and we have to mention that she would hardly eat anything for weeks after they were taken out!  We finally talked her into a PopTart.)

-Designs and hand-drafts all of marie-madeline studio's sewing patterns (shameless plug)

-Loves shades of taupe, blush, and pink

-J.Crew is one of her favorite stores

-Won 4-H Grand Champion in fashion review (jr. division) when she was in 5th grade

-Wore braces and headgear (that headgear wasn't always pleasant)

-She feels things very deeply

-She loves to stay up late

-But hates to get up early

-Has a scar on her knee from cutting herself with a pocket knife when she was a little girl

-She never does anything half way

-Practically collects sewing patterns (we're not kidding!)

-She loves a good blonde joke

-Classic Coke is her very favorite

-She likes to eat cold pizza for breakfast

-She encourages her younger siblings to always do and be their best

-Loves to wear cowboy boots

-She laughs easily

-She irons more than anyone else in the family (we are all impressed)

-Was somewhat of a tomboy when she was younger (she grew out of that quite some time ago!)

-She's very loving


Happy, happy birthday, Apphia Jade!  We pray The Lord's richest blessings on you in the year ahead.

love always~ xox Mom, Kay, Absie, & Bug

Hello, Kitty

Awww… isn't she sweet???!  Here's one of our new kittens.  We haven't named her yet though, so she's just answering to Kitty.


Titanic 100


The Titanic 100 was a perfectly wonderful experience in every way!  We still haven't stopped talking about it yet.  We gathered with a little under 600 people in Branson, Missouri, to remember and honor the heroism displayed on Titanic's decks as she went down.

Branson Belle



Inside the belle

There were lots of wonderful events that we were so happy to be a part of including a special trip to the amazing Titanic Museum, visiting with many reenactors, wonderful lectures by some of our favorite speakers, a screening of A Night to Remember (which you really need to see!), a special children's play  commemorating 'women and children first', music by Charlie Zahm, the San Antonio Darlings, Paddy Walsh and the Boilermakers & the boys from Third Class, and many more!


The Darlings



The Boilermakers

The wonderful event culminated in a fabulous White Star dinner on the Branson Belle showboat as we cruised around Tablerock Lake, at the exact moment Titanic struck the iceberg that sent her down.  Most of us in early 1900s-inspired clothing, naturally.  We girls were so happy to have the opportunity to make our dresses for the occasion, and pull out some of our vintage rhinestone jewelry.  And, Mom got to wear her paternal grandmother's haircomb and maternal grandmother's rhinestone pin.  Dressing for the occasion was just icing on the cake!

As we said earlier, the whole experience was beyond wonderful, and we are so thankful for the opportunity to have joined in.  It was definitely a few days to remember always!

Hope you enjoyed a peek at it! Hugs– xoUs

setting sail…

We will be taking a break for the next several days, remembering the heroism aboard Titanic.  If any of you are attending the Titanic 100 in Branson this weekend, we hope to meet you there!


Oh, happy skirt!


Personally, we were tempted to title this post "Our Mommy is insanely cute", but we opted for more of a descriptive term about that fabulous skirt she's sporting.

If we had to choose simple words to describe what Mom likes to wear best it would be happy colors.  Oh, yes.  And she just likes what she likes, regardless if anyone else is wearing it (we love that about her).  We have already previously mentioned that Mom wore a red and white checked skirt to her high school graduation.  See what we mean?  Happy and unique.



Mom's first idea for this skirt came to life after seeing jeans done up in a similar patchy way.  (There are instructions in the ePattern about making skirts too.)  When Nan came down last fall they put together a darling patchy denim skirt out of reds and navys, that is just perfect for fall.  Well, of course, spring and summer call for something more bright and fun.  And, who's fabric can be described like that better than our friend Jennifer Paganelli's?

It goes without saying that we can't just follow the directions to the letter.  Oh no.  So, Mom and Nan added specialty "cut out" pieces, and a gorgeous swath of vintage lace from Mom's fabulous stash.  It was originally a table runner, so Nan meticulously cut around and about to make it that neat shape.  Our those two great or what??


Happy and bright.  Yep.  That's our Mom!!


new fabric, greige goods, and a sale.


You know we're always telling you that it really is possible to go crazy over fabric.  And this new collection from Lecien proves it!  We were absolutely smitten the minute these bolts arrived on our doorstep.  But the fun thing about Old New 30s is that these gorgeous prints are printed on three different types of greige goods (pronounced "gray" – which basically means unfinished fabrics prior to printing).  We thought we'd take a few minutes to show you the difference…


Okay, so this is our personal favorite.  These fabrics are 100% cotton, so they're easy to sew with and wash up like a dream.  (As a matter of fact, these only get better wash after wash!)  BUT instead of being printed on the typical sheeting of quilting cottons, this fabric is woven more loosely, with much larger threads.  So it feels a whole lot like a soft cotton-linen blend.  Very substantial.  And it makes the most beautiful garments!  (Pictures coming soon…)

Here's an up-close shot of the weave —


Onto fabric #2.  These prints also 100% cotton, and heavier weight to boot.  There's a pretty slub running through the weave of the fabrics that gives them great texture.  (Also perfect for clothing!)  And how adorable is that little tulip print?!  


Click on these pictures to see them up closer…

Close-up4 Close-up2

And finally, the good old stuff we're all used to.  Quilting-weight cottons!


We are so excited about that little deer print – cutest thing ever!  All printed on the smooth 100% cotton sheeting that you expect from Lecien.  We can't wait to show you the projects we've been working on this week.


So, what do you think of Old New 30s?!

This week all Lecien fabrics in the studio are 25% off, including new collections!!  And sewing patterns are 15% off.  (You'll find some marked down as low as $5.10!)  The Lecien sale includes Folk Heart, Color Basics, Flower Sugar spring, Flower Sugar fall, and Garden by Hokkoh.


We trust you all have a lovely, joy-filled Easter, celebrating the love of Christ!

xoxo, the Long ladies

our spring break!


Our spring break a couple weeks ago can surely be labeled as "refreshing".  Although we absolutely LOVE what we do (and, naturally, there's always so much to do), it's always great to get to step away from everything and just laugh, chat, see family and friends, eat yummy food, stare at beautiful wildflowers (evidence: above), snap pictures, shop, play Mexican Train Dominos, watch a movie with friends, relax, stay up late, eat donuts and coke for "brunch", and swim in the hotel pool. (Which we did precisely twice, because once was just not enough.)












Oh, and we got to make pizza with this little sweetheart! A very happy break indeed.

hugs! xo US

P.S.~ Oh, oh, oh!  We almost forgot to mention here on the blog that you'll find all marie-madeline studio fabrics 20% off through April 6th…. happy sewing! xox

Piece by Piece


Wow!  Thank you so much for all the sweet comments about my Gina dress!  You are just too kind.  I will say that on our recent spring break I had the happy opportunity to wear it officially, and loved it! (And I did wear it with those bright blue flats I was telling you about….)

Several of you asked if this was going to become part of our ladies pattern line.  Sadly, we don't plan on it.  However, I'm going to give you all a blow by blow (or piece by piece— Get it!?) account of how I made it.  I will give you one small warning… some of it is semi free-handing, free-flowing, so it will take maybe a bit more work than another dress.  But, trust me, it's absolutely completely worth it!

Now, let's jump in!

The Gina Dress ~


::I started out with these two Retro Butterick patterns — the one on the left (B5209) for the skirt, and the right pattern (B4790) for the bodice.  And, of course, I used this fabric.


::The Bodice — Technically, the pattern is designed to be a wrap-around bodice (remember this darling dress of Abigail's??), but, I just didn't want to "settle" with that, as I really wanted it to be very, very similar to Gina's.  However, the bodice did seem to be the right shape.  So!  I placed the back pattern piece 5/8" in from the fold of the fabric to allow for a zipper.  Then, once I'd cut the piece out I just sliced the piece into two for the zipper space.  I cut out the front piece all the way down past the long dart.  Obviously, it ended up considerably longer than the back piece, and had to be trimmed up at the end to match up with the back, but I wanted to make sure that the dart laid down properly.

I piped out the sleeves and neckline with this Stella dot.  And, I used this fabulous tutorial from friend Jona to make one fat quarter into 5 yards of bias binding.  When it was time to "draw the lines" in the tutorial I chose to make the pencil marks only 1 1/4" apart (vs. the 1 3/4" it calls for).  Gina's dress piping seemed to be on the smallish side, so I opted to make mine smaller too.

Once I'd sewn the darts, sewn up the shoulder seams, and placed the piping around the neck and down quite bit on the sides, it's time for the slightly more 'free-flowing' part.  I had my lovely assitants – aka sisters (whichever one was free at the moment) – help me pin up the back seam at approx. 5/8" (zipper space), and then pin up the sides to fit me correctly.  Once I took it off, I used a quilt marking water-soluble pen to make lines up the sides, and basted it.  After trying it on again, chopping off some of the extra fabric, and fixing any other things that needed done, I sewed it regularly and finished the seams.  Zipper up the back.  Bodice done!


::The Skirt –  Really easy peasy.  I used the pattern for the skirt exactly as they say to (it's four pieces… a seam up the front, back, and both sides).  The only thing I changed was that I added about 6" to the skirt to give it the length I wanted.  (Oh, and I didn't pre-wash my fabric, so the length did shrink up a bit.)  When I attached the skirt to the bodice the first time, it really was missing some of the shaping I was wanting.  Once we pulled it up to the more proper area – read in my natural waist – and I restitched it, and it was just perfect!


There you have it!  I do hope some of you will give it a whirl.  It really is a very fun dress!  And, of course, I would love to see pictures of your very own Gina dress if you decide to make it!

Oh, oh, oh!  And several of you asked about the hairstyle I was sporting in my Gina pictures.  Abiah gets the credit for that one.  Lord willing we'll have up some sort of how-to for it later on this week!

Have a beautiful night! xox Achaia