talitha’s sketchbook and swingset, with bonus buttonhole success

Talitha sewed up a Sketchbook Shirt and two Swingset Skirts for her niece and nephew, and conquered her fear of buttonholes while she was at it. 

Last summer, my sister and I took a road trip up the California coast with our three kids (my 6-year-old nephew, 5-year-old niece, and 3-year-old daughter). On the way back down, we stopped in Santa Rosa for lunch and happened to park across the street from a fabric shop that I commonly buy fabric from online. I had no idea they had a storefront, and convinced the kids to give me time to browse by allowing each of them to pick out a fabric for themselves. I had plans to sew them up as soon as we got back, but, as with many of my plans over the last year, they got a bit delayed.

Fast-forward to this holiday season, and those adorable fabrics that the kids had picked out were just sitting there on the shelf staring at me (if fabric could stare, that is).

Talitha got over her fear of making buttonholes by sewing up these patterns.

With the sushi fabric, I made my nephew a Sketchbook Shirt (View A with short sleeves) in a size 7. I loved making this shirt. It has such nice little details like the pleat on the back and the curved hem that looks great even when it’s untucked (which I’m sure it will be 99% of the time).

Talitha got over her fear of making buttonholes by sewing up these patterns.

The shirt also has six buttons, which meant that I had to make six buttonholes. If I’m being honest, the fact that this shirt required buttonholes was probably a big contributing factor to me making it a year and a half after I promised! But, it was actually pretty easy after I read the instructions in my sewing machine manual and did a couple of test buttonholes. (I felt pretty sheepish afterwards that I had let silly buttonholes get in the way of my sewing progress!)

Talitha got over her fear of making buttonholes by sewing up these patterns.

I also had the perfect buttons for the shirt. I had recently made my mom a memory quilt from a number of button-down shirts that had belonged to my aunt, and had kept all of the buttons to reuse in future projects. The buttons from one of those shirts made it into my nephew’s shirt, making it extra precious to me. (Also, before I sewed on the buttons, I looked up how to sew on buttons, because I knew there had to be a better way than I had been sewing them. Lo and behold, Liesl has a video tutorial on just that, which made it A LOT easier!)

For my daughter and niece, I sewed up two Swingset Skirts: my niece’s in a size 5 and my daughter’s in a size 3T with 18-24 month waist. My niece had picked out a fabric with a large unicorn motif, so I wanted a pattern that would show off the design of the fabric. The Swingset Skirt was perfect, since it doesn’t have a lot of intersecting seams and I wouldn’t have to worry about pattern matching. My daughter also got a Swingset Skirt because I always make the two of them matching outfits.

Talitha got over her fear of making buttonholes by sewing up these patterns.

This was a fun sew, and so fast! There are only three pattern pieces, so taping the pattern pieces and cutting out the fabric went super quick. And, these skirts also had buttonholes, but thankfully I had already conquered that fear. If you’re a beginning sewist (or a more intermediate one like I am, but who has an irrational fear of the buttonhole attachment), don’t let those buttonholes deter you from trying this pattern. Both my niece and daughter love their skirts.


Labels: , ,


  1. Great little outfits and I love the addition of the KATM labels!

  2. Elizabeth Vancura

    Absolutely beautiful and wonderful fabric choices! Could you share the name of your Santa Rosa fabric store please, I’m going to need some of that sushi fabric!

    1. Talitha Matlin

      Hi Elizabeth! The shop is called Birch Fabrics, and their online store is Fabricworm.

Post a comment