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Mini Mem Rose Skirt Tutorial

Today’s guest post is by Michelle from The Toffee Tree.  When she agreed to do a holiday tutorial for the One Thimble blog I was pretty excited.  Then when she came back with this mini Mem Rose Tutorial I was just over the moon!!!  It’s just so darn cute!  So it’s over to Michelle for her Mini Mem Rose Tutorial!

Mini Mem Rose Skirt Header









A Mini Mem-Rose Skirt

If you have kids on school holidays, whip up some of these simple skirts for them to play with. Aand… you would definitely win Mum of the Year (or Nan or Aunt) if you made the matching Mem Rose skirt from Issue 4 plus a Barbie Capelet from issue 7!

The order of construction of tiny doll clothes is sometimes a little bit different than what you tend to do with children’s and adult garments, so bear with me if something doesn’t quite make sense with what you’d normally do. For doll’s clothes, particularly tops and pants, I will often finish all of the edges (either overlock or zig zag) and do all the hems first, before putting the garment together, but for this particular skirt, I did actually save the hems until last.

Familiarise yourself with the terms right, left, horizontal and vertical!


Fabric – 1 piece 12” x 4.5” (30cm x 11cm) for the main skirt (shorter if you’d like your doll to have a shorter skirt, up to 1” shorter would work fine)

Fabric – 1 piece 2.25” x 5” (5.5cm x 13cm) for the waistband

Small skinny ribbon approx. 3mm wide (optional) – the ribbon that holds your tops (the bit in the shoulder seams) on the coat hangers in shops is the perfect width

Velcro 5mm x 30mm long

Pins, erasable fabric pen or tailor’s chalk

To make the skirt

  1. Fold main skirt piece in half and mark centre with a crease, pin or erasable fabric pen.
  1. Fold waistband in half lengthways and iron to crease (this will be the horizontal crease). Fold in half across the width and crease (this becomes the vertical crease).

Mini Mem Rose Skirt Step 2










3.  Place your waistband fabric, right side down. Take your fabric pen (or tailor’s chalk) and make a mark on the waistband, 5mm to the LEFT of the vertical centre crease. Make another mark on the waistband on the RIGHT side, 5mm above the horizontal crease.

Mini Mem Rose Skirt Step 3










4.  Fold the fabric on an angle from the vertical mark to the horizontal mark on one side. Press.

Mini Mem Rose Step 4










5.  Make a mark on the LEFT side, 5mm above the horizontal crease. Fold the LEFT side of the fabric in the same manner, making sure that your top point is in the centre of the waistband (in line with the vertical crease).

Mini Mem Rose Step 5










6.  Turn your fabric around and repeat for the other edge, so that you have a shape that now looks like a long skinny diamond. The bottom tip is folded under by 3-4mm but should still make a sharp tip. If you have a unidirectional pattern, decide which side is the front with your pattern up the right way!

7.  Take your main skirt piece and gather along the top edge by running a long basting stitch (longest stitch length your machine will do) about 3mm from the edge. Secure one end with a pin. Gather the fabric so that it is the same length as the waistband. Secure the other end with a pin or knot the ends of thread together.

Mini Mem Rose Step 7










8.  Lay the main skirt piece face up. Place the waistband on top, so right sides are together. Pin the centre of the waistband to the centre of the skirt. Unfold the waistband’s angled creases and line up the bottom edge of the waistband with the top edges of the skirt. Adjust the gathers so that it equals the length of the waistband. Pin in place matching centre crease of waistband with centre crease on skirt.

9.  Trace over the angled creases with the fabric pen.

Mini Mem Rose Step 9










10.  Sew along the lines. Backstitch at the start and end of these lines and be sure to come to a point in the centre. To make a crisp ‘V’, stop at the top of the V with the needle down, lift the presser foot and turn your fabrics together to line up the other angled line. Place the presser foot down and continue sewing. (You can see here I have unpicked mine and re-stitched it because I wasn’t happy with the point and the gathers had bunched up on the right side)

Mini Mem Rose Step 10










11.  Trim the seam allowance on this edge to 5mm.

Mini Mem Rose Step 11










12.  Trim the seam allowance on the unsewn edge of the waistband to 1cm.

Mini Mem Rose Step 12










13. Fold the waistband along the horizontal crease and pin in place on the inside of the skirt, enclosing the raw edges.

Mini Mem Rose Step 13










14.  Press front of skirt and front waistband and topstitch 3mm in from the seam on the front of the waistband.

15.  Machine finish the three edges of the skirt with overlock or zigzag. Hem all 3 the edges by folding under 5mm ( ¼”) (alternatively, fold under 5mm, press and fold under another 5mm, press, pin and stitch as I have done for the teal skirt). If I can find a fabrics with a very neat selvedge, I quite often leave the edge unfinished for dolls clothes. Call me lazy, but I don’t think my daughter minds!

16.  Optional – sew a short length of ribbon to each end of the skirt’s waistband. Heat seal both ends (I use a lighter) of each ribbon to prevent fraying.

17.  Add Velcro to the back of the skirt and you are finished.

Mini Mem Rose Back 1










Mini Mem Rose Finished Front










Mini Mem Rose Back 2



























The Mem Rose Skirt Pattern is available in Issue 4 here, or as a single PDF here.

The Barbie Capelet pattern is available in Issue 7 here, or the single PDF here.

Feel free to grab a cuppa and head over to my blog to look for inspiration for crafty sewing projects, family holiday destinations and the occasional recipe, including this delicious chocolate beetroot cake.


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Interview with Michelle from The Toffee Tree

I first “met” Michelle from The Toffee Tree when she entered our Fat Quarter Competition last year.  It was so great to be able to get her onboard for Issue 7.

She contributed the “Li’l Red Capelet & Furry Friends Hoods” pattern to Issue 7 …. and a little birdie told me she’s got a super dolly skirt to share with us sometime soon!


Michelle Hall - The Toffee Tree - website

Michelle began The Toffee Tree as a personal blog in 2012.

She loves making practical and playful things with a storytale spin that encourage young imaginations.

She also loves anything chocolate, the colour green and works as a Women’s Health Physiotherapist.



Can you tell me a little about how you got into sewing / blogging?

I’ve been into sewing since forever. My Mum made a lot of our clothes and she always encouraged me to sew. I was always making things for my dolls on my Mum’s sewing machine and even made up my own pattern for a backpack for my cousin when she started daycare. She was only 3, so I would have been about 11 or 12. Mum bought me a Husquvarna for my 23rd birthday, because that’s what her Mum bought her (and it still works) and because that’s what Grandma’s machine was (and that still works too!!). I used it sporadically, then my love for sewing was rekindled only a few years ago after a couple of my good friends gave me a kids clothes sewing book for my birthday. That was the deciding moment to begin blogging- I just wanted to share what I make and hopefully inspire some others along the way to have a go at sewing.

What is your favourite haby item that you couldn’t live without?

Apart from the essential scissors and rotary cutter, I’d have to say my super sharp quick unpick! I would be LOST without it! A blunt one is a potential deadly weapon for your beautiful garment.

What inspires you?

I am always completely enarmoured with the beautiful creations that the handmade world fills up Pinterest and Instagram with! That and the amazing photography that goes along with them. These are dangerous places to browse but are filled with so many fabulous things! When I came across Sanae Ishida’s blog I loved the simplicity of her style and fabric combinations. And the fact that she makes so much of her own wardrobe! I have collected a few Japanese pattern books over the past couple of years, that I often look wistfully at. I love fabrics that are natural and sustainable. I am also inspired by storybooks and toys that encourage creative play and encourage children to use their imagination.

What’s something people might not know about you (that you’d like to share)?

I love going camping. I have driven across Australia’s Longest Shortcut, from Laverton in WA to Winton in QLD. It’s not until you drive for 3 days non-stop that you realise just how big Western Australia is, let alone the rest of the country! It was 10 days from Perth to Cairns (with 2 small kids) and our boys still talk about going back to Cape York, even though one of them was a baby at the time! You’d think I would have learnt to knit or crochet for this trip but I didn’t! The crafty impulse didn’t come til a couple of years later!

What is your biggest challenge and do you have any advice for someone else in a similar situation?

My biggest challenge is keeping to the one task and not getting sidetracked with Pinterest or Facebook and the myriad of other things to look at! I’m always finding something else to try, have three projects on the go at once and float between them. I work better when I write a list and have a set timeframe, usually 15 minutes, to check social media, to give myself a bit of a buffer before moving on to what I’m supposed to be doing.


Lil Red Capelet & Furry Friends Hoods PDF Pattern Cover You can purchase Michelle’s pattern as a single PDF HERE or visit her blog to see more of her sewing adventures HERE or purchase Issue 7 which contains this pattern HERE.


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Self Care Sewing

Have you ever thought how “ugh”, “blerg” or “eeek” you look and then a few years down the track you look back and think how good you actually did look, even though you couldn’t see it at the time?

Even after I started sewing and could make clothes to suit all my lumps and bumps, I used to think .  .  . . “oh I don’t want to “waste” the fabric” . . . .  “I’ll wait until I’m happy how I look to sew for me, I want to make sure I get enough wear out of it”.  

Well inspired by the recent “Beautiful Campaign” over at Pattern Revolution, I’ve decided I’m not going to do that anymore! If you’re not convinced that sewing for yourself is something you NEED to embrace, you definitely need to go check out those blog posts . . . actually even if you are onboard with self-care sewing you’ll get so much out of reading/re-reading those blog posts!

Sewing for me flyer

I decided to kick things off with the Tahlia Skirt (by Little Moo Designs from Issue 7).

I’m 152cm (5′ nothing) and store brought maxi skirts are never going to work for me, but with the Tahlia skirt you can use your own measurements to get it just right.

Tahlia long skirt

The last time I wore a maxi skirt was when I was at high school and back then it was my Mum making them for me! I’ve got to admit I was dubious whether a maxi skirt was ever going to work for me again but I think this will be perfect for cooler weather.

My usual everyday outfit is a skirt and a tee-shirt so I wanted to have a go making a short skirt using the measurements for the Tahlia Skirt.  I kept all the measurements the same except the length …. I really should’ve thought this through a bit more though as all the flare is at the sides, but despite that it’s ok for comfy sewing wear.

Tahlia Short Skirt hack

I really like the fold over waist on this, so I decided to “mash” the Tahlia Skirt and the Festival Skirt (by Make it Perfect from Issue 5).  I used the Festival skirt pattern piece (with length taken off) and used the Tahlia Skirt measurements for the waistband.  The Festival Skirt is meant for wovens but I used knit for this skirt and it worked fine.  I’m really happy with the result and will make more of these for summer.

Tahlia Festival mash skirt

The next thing I sewed is the Daisychain Dress (by Make it Perfect from issue 3 – now called the Skippy Dress).  I’ve been wanting to sew this since last year but was a bit worried about altering the pattern to fit me or rather my height and bust.

I ended up making it without alterations (well apart from leaving the pocket off the front) and amazingly it fit right first time – I joked to Mr Fox that it proves I’m not short I just have 6″ of my height in my bust!

Daisychain Dress

I’ve got a number of other patterns I’m keen to sew.  I want to sew an Amentity Top (by Addie K Designs from issue 7) and also a Julia Cardigan (by Mousehouse Creations) before I go down south next week…. though I might be cutting things a little fine!

These are the blog posts that convinced me these are patterns I need to sew : the Amenity Top (blogged about by Michelle from The Toffee Tree) and the Julia Cardigan (blogged about by Lisa from Mabey She Made it) check them out and you might decide you need to make these too.

I’d love to know what you like to sew for yourself, please leave a comment below.  I’m always keen for some more self-care sewing inspiration!


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Subscriber Promotion

Do you look forward to purchasing your Quarterly Issues of One Thimble?  Want to be sure you’ll get the next issues? Did you know you can purchase a 6 or 12 month subscription to One Thimble?  Each issue is jam-packed with PDF sewing patterns, general interest sewing articles and tips and techniques for enthusiastic home sewists and those running a handmade business & subscription purchases come with a discount off the cover price!

Subscribe to get your luggage tag kit


As a special EOFY Bonus if you purchase a subscription that covers Issue 8 (or have an existing subscription that covers Issue 8) you’ll receive a kit in the mail to make this luggage tag!  I LOVE getting sew-mail and thought you might too!

These kits have been put together by Sarah from Hunting for Ladybugs.  I loved working with her to come up with an idea for an exclusive OT sewing kit.  There’s an extra pocket at the back so you could even use this “luggage tag” to store business cards in your purse, even if you’re not heading off on a big trip!

You can buy subscriptions HERE

If you already have a subscription covering Issue 8 you should’ve received an email from me to confirm your postal address.  Kits will ship mid-late July 2015.  If you haven’t heard from me or have any other questions about subscriptions or the kits please don’t hesitate to get in touch.








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Seeking PATTERN Contributors for Issue 9

Are you keen to submit a pattern to Issue 9 (13th November 2015 release date) of One Thimble Digital Sewing Magazine?

One Thimble Issue 9 Moodboard cover
Submissions are now open!

To make a “pitch” email me for a copy of the “Pitch Inspiration Kit” and then send through your pitch no later than 4th July 2015.

Some patterns can be made to “fit” the theme by fabric choice – so if your idea is independent to a theme please don’t be put off applying.  It easier to choose patterns that will work well together, when I’m looking at all the submission at the same time.

For further details about contributing a pattern to One Thimble check out this page -> HERE

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.


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