Geranium Dresses For All And The Baby

Actually, I made 4 Geranium dresses for 3.  My oldest daughter got two, my youngest got one and my niece got one.  It felt like a whole lot of geranium dresses though.  All this sewing occurred around Easter.  I know it’s been a while since then, but I didn’t get a chance to blog about it because I was very pregnant and tired and then I had a baby!  He has been taking up every bit of my free time and I love it!  Check him out:

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Gus at 2 weeks old, yes that’s an Orla Kiely boppy cover.  It’s not the most masculine print, but more so than the pink floral one I had before, and I really wanted it!  He got the Orla Kiely bibs too!

In the picture to the right he is a week older and being held by his oldest sister.  And he has on the exact same outfit in both pictures.  The girls love that dinosaur onsie and constantly request that he wear it.  Both girls are so sweet to him, it melts my heart.

So, I made my oldest a Geranium dress a few weeks before Easter and she wore it to the Easter egg hunt at our church.  I had already decided to make them Easter dresses this year and chose to use the same pattern.  Since there are several variations, I don’t think the dresses look that much alike.  For the first one I used the cap sleeves, the yoke neckline and pleats at the waist.  The Easter dresses both have flutter sleeves because I feel like they look a little more fancy.  They both have a gathered waist, but I tried the v-neck version on one.  As for the necklines, I am not going to make another v-neck until I read some more about the construction, or I talk to my mom about it.  The fabric bunched a lot a the point, but I was too scared to cut it any closer than I did.  It looks just fine from a distance and still decent up close, but I know the struggle I went through with that v-neck (it was real).  The yoke neck was easy enough too, but better for the non-Easter dress because it is a more casual look I think.  Here are some quick pictures I snapped on my phone:

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Then somewhere in there, I squeezed out another coordinating Geranium dress for my niece, but I never did get a picture of the two of them together with the matching dresses on.  I was running short on the both the patterned fabric and the solid pink, but I think I made it work well enough.

The only thing I didn’t love about the pattern is the way the skirt attaches in the back.  I sewed the lining down by hand and by doing it that way I could cover up the seam at the waist very neatly.  But if I had needed to do that part on the machine, which is an option per the pattern, there is no way it would look as good.  I marked the problem area with a blue circle in the picture below.


But, that is my only very minor complaint about this pattern and its not like I came up with any better way of attaching the skirt or anything.  I really love this pattern.  I found it to be very versatile and the instructions were great.  Even though I’ve already made four of these dresses, I think there are more Geranium dresses in my future.

Here are some more photos of my girls in their Geranium dress.  The first one is just my girls playing outside in our back yard with a stuffed animal.


Geranium dresses are good for twirling too!


Happy sewing!





A New Bicycle Dress

I bought an inexpensive dress at Target last spring for my oldest daughter and it turned into her favorite dress by the end of the summer.  So much so that she continued to try to wear it long after it was no longer appropriate for the weather.  The dress in question was a gray jersey on top and purple bicycle print on the bottom in a quilting weight cotton, a.k.a. the bicycle dress.  In order to appease her love for this dress, I had to promise her that I would make her a new bicycle dress.  There were a few bicycle fabrics in print last year and I chose the Michael Miller print called Bicycles from the collection Mod Prints in the color Bloom.

Although I chose a fabric with a similar color palette to the dress my daughter loved from last year, I did not choose a sewing pattern similar to that dress.  I really love all of Mouse House Creations children’s clothing patterns and picked one of my favorites to use for this dress, the Norah Dress.  I wanted something that wasn’t too fancy to wear to school, but with a pair of dress shoes she certainly can wear it to church on Sundays.  This is a really versatile dress.

I have a few thoughts about constructing the dress.

I really like the collar and I wanted to make the cincher for it when I saw the pictures of that version in pattern instructions.  But, I also needed to make the cincher.  Maybe I was just sloppy when I cut the collar out but it didn’t look great when it was all sewn together and pressed.  The cincher added an element of interest to the look of the dress and solved for me an appearance problem with the collar.


Secondly, I had to rip out the hem of the skirt.  Olivia was a being a bit wiggly when I had her try the dress on to confirm the length prior to hemming and it ended up slightly higher in the back than the front.  It was noticeable to me, so I had to fix it.  Since I had the hem out, I decided to take the sides in a little bit.  Before hemming the dress it seemed to hang well on her, but afterward the added weight and stiffness of the hem caused the fabric to point out in the middle front of the dress instead of the volume being spread evenly across the front.  You can see this effect in the picture above.   Not that it didn’t look acceptable before, but it does look better after this alteration.



She looks happy wearing it!  I think this dress will get a lot of wear over the summer.

Happy sewing,


3 “Sew Together” Bags Completed!

I finally finished my Sew Together Bags last week! I went on the Movers And Makers Summit retreat this past weekend (a topic for another blog post), so I’m just now getting around to writing about the bags.

I felt well rested both Saturday and Sunday of weekend before last because my husband was so kind to let me take a mid-morning nap both days after the kids had been fed and gotten going for the day.  I added it up and I think I need about 11 hours of sleep before the bags under my eyes go away! That’s not going to happen very often though, as I’d have to got to bed before my girls do to get that much sleep every night!  Anyway, since I felt so good that weekend, due to the amount of sleep I got, I was able to make the most out of the rest of the time when I was awake.  I finished up those bags and even photographed them!

I have some comments about the sewing pattern that may be useful to others.  I do love this pattern, the bag is totally awesome and I was super excited to take it to Charleston for the Movers and Makers Summit last weekend.  However, since I’ve never made a zipper pouch of any kind before, I was a little bit lost with the directions provided in the pattern.  I think they were definitely adequate and written out well, but I needed more visual help than they provided.  I have started using mainly indie sewing patterns lately because the designs are so much more modern and on trend.  An added bonus is that the instructions are almost always very detailed and contain a lot of pictures.  Indie sewing pattern designers really make it easy for beginning sewers to make a garment or a bag with very little sewing experience.  In the past, all the additional descriptions and photos were just nice to have for me since I’ve been sewing for so long.  However, with the Sew Together Bag, I needed the extra help.  And of course, the internet was there to provide that for me! I found an awesome tutorial through browsing the hashtag #sewtogetherbag on Instagram. The Quilt Barn put together an absolutely fantastic sew along that was published almost a year ago. Heather, from The Quilt Barn, literally took a picture of every single step in the process of making this bag. Every picture is clear and taken from the best angle to show that step. It is an amazing tutorial that I am sure took a lot of work. And I am so thankful for it because these bags would have ended up as UFOs if I hadn’t had her tutorial to follow.

A few extra tips that weren’t mentioned in the sew along tutorial:
1. Use a sewing machine needle that is at least a 90/14 size or larger.  Anything smaller will cause problems such as skipping stitches due to the thickness of the fabric layers, especially when sewing on the binding.

2. To make sure that the stitching on the binding was straight, I used the blind hem foot for the binding that goes on the side of the bag.  I was not able to use it for the top zipper binding because the zipper teeth got in the way.  For that I adjusted my needle position to the far left and sewed slowly, trying to keep the edge of the fabric lined up on the same place on the foot.  The blind hem foot is not just for sewing blind hems, I prefer to use the this foot whenever possible to make a straight stitch.  This method worked well when top stitching the interior zipper pouches. I also use it a lot when I am sewing a garment and it calls for an understitch, usually for a dress bodice.  See this picture to show how I used the blind hem foot.

3. When attaching the top zipper and binding the sew along step makes a sandwich with the bag, zipper and binding.  But, I sewed the zipper in place first and then sewed the binding on. I was worried about the zipper sliding around if it was just sandwiched between the bag and the binding. The extra step only took a minute and the stitching didn’t show because it was all covered by the binding.  Tacking down that zipper was worth the extra step in my opinion, especially since I did not care to unpick anymore stitches for this project!

4. The zipper tabs are supposed to be made with the strips cut at a width of 1 3/4 inches. However this was not wide enough to cover the ends of my zippers. Luckily I had some binding strips leftover and used those, so I didn’t have to re-cut any fabric.  So, I would recommend waiting until you get to that step in the process before you cut the strips for the zipper tabs and just measure the appropriate width that you will need.  Here’s a picture illustrating that issue:


Lastly, some photos of my finished Sew Together Bags.




By |March 5th, 2015|Bag Sewing|0 Comments

Progress on Sew Together Bags

I originally started this project as Christmas gifts for a friend and my sister and then one for me. Of course I didn’t start on them well enough in advance, but I took several days off of work before Christmas to get the house ready and thought I could finish up the bags during that time. I have read that it takes most people about 3 or 4 hours to complete one bag. I thought that since I was making a batch of them that I would save some time and I still maintain that assumption, although I did not record the actual time it took me to complete the bags, but I am sure it was over 4 hours though. I ripped out a lot of stitches on these bags, which is time consuming, but I will do it in a heartbeat if it is going to effect the quality of whatever I’m sewing. One nice thing about doing 3 bags at a time was that for each new step in the process, I would try it out first on the bag I was going to keep, then once I moved on to the other two, they looked much better than the first try and I didn’t have to rip any stitches out of the 2nd and 3rd bag.

I just love the fabric I used for these bags. It is from Hawthorne Threads in house collection called Calliope. I specifically wanted to use this fabric because it is produced with a digital printer! It was my first purchase of digitally printed fabric and I was very pleased with it overall. There are a lot of other fabric companies whose fabric has a better hand than this; Art Gallery being the best of course. This fabric was stiff when it arrived in the mail, but after one washing it softened tremendously. It is on the thinner side, but certainly adequate. The weave seemed tight though, and I tried to use a fine needle on the sewing machine because the larger needle was leaving behind noticable holes, as were the pins. But, with this project, a fine needle is not a good option. The quality of the printed design was excellent though. The navy color washed well and the designs were sharp, not blurry at all. So, I would rate the fabric quality as good and the print quality as great. Since I bought this fabric Hawthorne Threads has released even more collections and they are all delightful! I only hope I can produce such good work when I start printing fabric.

I posted several mid-project photos of my Sew Together Bags in my Instagram feed and follow me for more mid-project photos of my current sewing project (and pictures of my adorable girls). Here are the pictures I posted on Instagram; they were taken with my mobile phone, so they aren’t the best.

I had just finished the guts of the bag in this photo and found some extra zippers in my drawer.  I can make another bag sometime soon I hope!IMG_20150101_173615

I finally bought some wonder clips.  I am hoping these come in handy when I get to the binding.IMG_20150107_193624

So, why is it taking me so long to complete these bags? Well, I got the flu the week before Christmas, so that prevented me from doing any of the Christmas preparations (or sewing) I had planned on and I ended up spending my vacation days in bed.  Being pregnant with the flu was a pretty miserable combination, but I made it to the Christmas Eve service at church and we still managed to have about a dozen family members over on Christmas day. Everything worked out for the holidays except for my sewing plans.  I didn’t do much sewing right after Christmas but I tried to get started on this project again in January. And then I got depressed.  I will just be brutally honest and tell you that my prenatal hormones went totally haywire in January and all I accomplished that month was a bunch of crying and feeling sorry for myself.  After a month of nearly driving my husband out of his mind, I started taking an antidepressant.  It made a world of difference and made me feel better immediately.  My husband called it a miracle of modern medicine!  However the medicine does make me really tired, but hopefully I’ll get adjusted to that quickly and not want to sleep so much on the weekends.  I’m sure that won’t take much longer and I’ll be able to finish this project up soon.

Additionally, since I have been sewing at such a slow pace lately, I am thinking that I will not get to the pajama pants that were next on my 2015 sewing list before the weather turns warm. I’ll just save the fabric until next fall. So after I finish these bags I can start on the Norah dress for my oldest daughter. I am looking forward to that project a lot more than PJ pants anyway.

Until next time,

Happy Sewing!

By |February 15th, 2015|Bag Sewing, Fabric|1 Comment

Here Comes 2015! My Project List For The New Year

I am excited for 2015.  My baby boy will be born in May; that’s #1 on my list of awesome things that are to come in 2015.  #2 is that I am actually going to buy the printer I need to digitally print fabric and sell it to all you lovely people who love to sew.  There will be so much more that goes into that venture than just purchasing a printer, but I’ll get into all that as it’s happening.  #3, my oldest daughter is going to kindergarten next fall!  I can’t believe she’s already that old.

I could talk about that printer and the business for days, but right now I want to talk about all the projects I on my “To Sew” list for the coming year.  I have bought so much fabric recently and I intend to sew it up!


Not in order of the picture arrangement, but by when each item will be sewn:

My oldest daughter got a few pajama sets this fall that came with flannel pants.  Both of my girls love the soft pants and want to wear them a lot.  So, I think they would like to have a few more.  I need to get going on these since it will be too hot for them to sleep in once weather changes, which happens earlier here than in other parts of the country.

Last summer, my oldest daughter had a dress from Target that had bicycles on it.  She LOVED it.  She continued to try to wear it long after it was too cold for short sleeves.  I eventually ended up having to hide the dress from her, but I told her I’d make her another bicycle dress and I found this super cute bicycle print by Michael Miller to use.  I love the color palette of the print; the bikes are pink and white and the background is gray.  I am using the Norah Dress pattern by Mouse House Creations, which has a retro vibe to it, so I think it will look great using that fabric!

Each year I buy cover ups for my girls to wear to the beach and the pool.  I came across this pattern for a children’s robe from Dana Made It and just loved it.  I bought a bunch of hot pink terry cloth at Mary Jo’s recently for this project.  Of course, I already had plenty of cotton fabric with pink in it to use for the hood lining and all the binding.   So, I let each girl pick out their favorite cotton fabric and they chose the two in the picture above.  I think they will really like wearing these.  Since they are taking swim lessons throughout the rest of winter, I also need to go ahead and get this project completed so they can wear the robes to the aquatic center.

I will probably make the sundresses before my due date, which is May 5th, just because I want them ready for summer and I may be not be sewing for the month or so after the baby is born.  I bought several yards of Wee Wanderer last fall (who doesn’t adore that fabric line?  I sure do!)  and saved it to make sundresses for my two girls and my oldest niece.  If I have any extra fabric left I will try to make some baby clothes for my younger nieces, but I find sewing tiny arm/leg holes to be very tedious and difficult to get the seams straight.  So aside from baby clothes made for a specific event that required a special outfit, I waited until my girls and niece were are at least a size 2T before I started making clothes for them.  However, I may have to suck it up for the baby boy and sew him some john-johns and other things.  Boy clothes are so boring and drab, I will probably need to make some especially cute outfits for him.

After I have the baby, I know I am going to want some new clothes that are figure flattering.  Both the Staple Dress by April Rhodes and the Washi Dress by Made By Rae should be perfect to mask my post-baby body shape since they are both high-waisted.  I have a new love for Art Gallery Voile and have bought quite a few yards that I intend to use for these sewing projects.  Additionally, I want some tunics to wear after I have the baby.  Stretch pants are a “go to” for me postpartum, but I don’t have any summer tunics to go with them.  The Washi Dress offers a tunic length, so am going to make another one of those.  I bought the expansion pack for the Washi Dress so the tunic should look quite different from the Washi Dress.  I am still searching for another tunic pattern for the second tunic I intend to sew.  However, as labeled above, I do already have fabric for it.  The other one will be made from the cotton voile that looks like it is a watercolor, which is from Cloud 9.  I love organic cotton , but it’s not nearly as soft as the Art Gallery voile and the hand of the fabric is more stiff.  I still love the print though and I am looking forward to wearing it.  Side comment; I love this idea of an expansion pack!  I usually embellish any pattern that I use, but rarely go so far as to change the neckline or add a different type of sleeve.  I will probably make several Washi dresses because I love the shape and it looks comfortable to wear, but by using the expansion pack, I won’t have six of the same dress in my closet!  I love it!

My youngest daughter has a Bitty Baby that she plays with quite a bit.  Bitty Baby also has a matching set of furntiture which we got at Costco that includes a crib and high chair.  The crib came with a mat, a pillow and a blanket.  And the high chair has a fabric insert as well.  Though the set is super cute and nothing is really wrong with it, I have noticed some things I would change with the design of these accessories, plus the fabric used for these items reminds me of an outdoor upholstery fabric, but it’s slick and cheap feeling.  I’m sure it’s water resistant, which is good, but I’ll take pretty over utilitarian.  So, I’m going to use my stash of Dena Designs Tangier Ikat collection that I have been hording.  I have a charm pack, which I will use for the crib’s quilt and a bunch of yardage that I will use for the rest of the items.  I should still have plenty of fabric left over to make something for myself too.  Brynn should love it because she loves purple and that fabric line is heavy on the lavender.  I need to finish this project before her birthday in October. Love a handmade gift!

And then there is this (sigh), which I also intend on finishing this year (I have a long way to go on this project).   I am nuts about Carolyn Friedlander’s Facing East Quilt which is a pattern included in her book Savor Each Stitch.  I love the simplicity of the pattern.  Though it’s a simple shape, I find the design interesting and appealing.  The inspiration is clear and expressed well in the design.  It is my first attempt at paper piecing, but the first section went very well and as long as the circles are easy to sew in, I think this project will go pretty quickly once I start to pay it some attention.  Despite my disappointment at what very little amount of sewing I have done on this quilt, I can’t wait to have the finished product draped across the arm of my couch in the winter (or wrapped around my body)…  I guess that will be winter 2016 unfortunately.


This list of upcoming sewing projects is long, and I even have a few ideas in my head of projects for which I don’t have a pattern or fabric yet, so I excluded them from this list.  Additionally, I am currently working on 3 Sew Together bags and a mug rug that I will have to finish before I can even start on any of the projects listed above.  I am concerned that I have put too much on my plate considering I am having a baby this year, but at it’s least something to strive for.  I am going to make a project calender to help keep me on track during the year.  If I stay focused and motivated I think I can accomplish all this sewing plus meet the goals I’ve set for my small business launch this year.  Wish me luck and check back often because I am going to write about all of this sewing, plus what’s going on with my business plan on this blog.

What all is on your “To Sew” list for this year?  I know there are a ton of washi dresses and staple dresses out there.  Is there another new awesome dress pattern that has been released recently that I should check out?  Also, do other people make a calendar and project plan for their sewing and crafting projects, or am I the only dorky one?  (I doubt I am, wink wink, …well, I hope I’m not the only one at least).  Also, please comment and let me know if you have a favorite tunic pattern that I might want to use for my postpartum wardrobe.  I’d really appreciate any suggestions.

Happy New Year!


Watermelon Birthday Party

For six months prior to her birthday, my now 3 year old, Brynn, told me she wanted a watermelon birthday party.  You may be wondering what constitutes a watermelon party?  I wasn’t sure either.  It turned out to be a regular backyard party with watermelon decorations.  Since her birthday was a month ago, watermelons weren’t really in season anymore.  But, I did find some at the deli counter, pre-cut.  So, I made a fruit tray featuring the watermelon wedges.  I also found a pin on Pintrest that inspired me to make some Rice Krispie treats to look like watermelon slices.  Actually, I made a whole board on Pintrest if you have interest in this party theme.


The blog post in the pin for the Rice Krispie treats contains some directions, but I’ll give you the process I used as well.  I made two batches of Rice Krispie treats using the Kellogg’s recipe.  The only alteration to the recipe is to add food coloring to the marshmallow and butter mixture prior to adding the Rice Krispies.  I first made a green batch.  I pressed them into the edge of a cake pan, making a ring around the edge.  Then I made the red batch and pressed that into the middle.  The blog post I found through Pintrest suggested using chocolate covered sunflower seeds, but I decided to use mini chocolate chips instead.  It looked good and tasted good as well.

My sister and her girls came in town for the party.  Of course I was so happy to see her and spend time with all of them, but I am SO THANKFUL for her help as well.  At the time of the party I was still in my first trimester of pregnancy and I was still super tired all the time.  I only halfway finished almost of the the party preparations.  My sister, Kate, helped me with several things.  One of those was the other themed food item.  I made the cupcakes, but she iced them.  Half had green frosting with darker green stripes going across.  The other half were red with more of the mini chocolate chips scattered on top.  I forgot to take a picture of those, so I decided to give myself an exercise to practice using Illustrator and digitally draw what they looked like to share instead.

Cupcakes-01One lesson learned from the cupcakes was when adding food coloring to cream cheese icing, it is best to prepare the icing the day before then allow it to sit in the refrigerator for a day because the food coloring thins out the icing.  My sister iced the cupcakes a few hours before the party and though they looked good, the icing was runny and rather messy.  The kids didn’t mind of course!

The decorations consisted of red, green and black balloons, two enormous Mylar balloons that looked like watermelon slices, the banners of which I shared the digital version in my previous blog post and tissue paper pom poms that my sister made (again, she totally saved my pregnant, tired rear end!)  And again, I found a Pintrest pin that was used as inspiration.  This particular post was just an image of an item that is for sale on Etsy, so Kate had to figure out how to make the pom poms herself.  She layered the tissue paper with the greens on the bottom and pinks and reds on the top in a gradient fashion.  Instead of including a sheet of black tissue paper in the middle (as I had incorrectly suggested), she cut a few strips of the black tissue paper and taped them in place.  That way the black did not look overwhemling and the strips were placed so they looked more scattered.  The pom poms turned out great!

WatermelonParty2The HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRYNN banner was strung across those french doors in the picture.  But, it rained during the party and they got wet.  I saved the pom poms to photograph later, but didn’t save the banner.  And I certainly wasn’t going to print it all out again, because I’d probably have to buy a new ink cartridge if I did!

And of course, I made Brynn a special dress to wear to the party.  I took a different approach to a watermelon dress than the usual watermelon slice as the bodice and green seersucker for the skirt.  I used the Sunki dress pattern by Figgy’s.  I got it in the 5th Perfect Pattern Parcel sale.  It is a super cute shift dress with pockets and an interesting detail on the sleeves where the fabric overlaps.  The sleeve part was easy.  I spent some extra time on the pockets.  I didn’t have to pick out stitches or anything, but I really had to think about how the pockets are constructed, be very careful sewing the seam where the dress ends and the pocket interior begins, and hold my mouth right.  It turned out great!  I’ll definitely use that pattern again to make more dresses for my girls, especially since it goes up to size XL girls.

Four pictures of my little girl in her watermelon dress may be overboard, but that’s what moms do, right?  Also, try to disregard that I did not clean up the party aftermath in the backyard.  The kids did get a little play time before it started to rain and they made the most of it.





Happy sewing and crafting!

By |November 13th, 2014|Garment sewing, Party|0 Comments

Design Surface Patterns from Scratch Blog Tour


I follow Going Home To Roost on Instagram because I love fabric and especially Art Gallery Fabrics, for whom Bonnie Christine is a designer.  When I saw her post on Instagram that she was going to be teaching a Creative Live class on surface pattern design in August, I decided I needed to attend.  I signed up right away and took the 3 days off of work when the course was taking place.  Some people say that they watch and/or listen to courses while at work, but I wanted to really focus and try to learn something from the class, not just have it as background noise to my SAS coding at work.  And, as it turns out, I did learned a lot of things actually.  I think it was time well spent.

Prior to taking the Creative Live course, I had completed a few Illustrator  courses on, so I had a base knowledge about the program which made it easy to follow along.  I wouldn’t say that this course is for a complete beginner, but also not for someone who uses Illustrator regularly.  It was just right for me!

I think the most helpful part of the class for me was about using the Live Trace function on photographs.  I am always taking pictures of things that look interesting to me or pretty flowers for inspiration.  And I have tried to Live Trace some of them, but always give up and end up using the pen tool to create an outline instead.  Bonnie went over some of the options that are available with this tool and I think I’ll have better success with it next time I try using it.

The goal for the class was to create a mini collection.  I started working on that but I haven’t finished it yet.  My inspiration was based on my last post about my daughter’s Rainbow Day at her school.  I have a lot of sketches and illustrator files that I have begun working on, but I only finished one design.  Here it is.  And I am still having an issue with the a line that shows up in the repeat, but I think I can fix that by rechecking all the X and Y axis points of the objects.


However, I did finish several things for my daughter’s birthday party this weekend.  I made the invitation myself.  Obviously I changed the address, email and phone number.



I also made some banners to print out and decorate the house with.  I made them so that two will fit on an 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper and I then I can print them out on card stock paper that you can get from any craft store.  I’ll punch holes in the corners and string them on twine so that I can hang them around the house and outside.


Here is a closer view of one printable sheet.


I am certain that without taking Bonnie’s Design Surface Patterns From Scratch class, I would not have been able to finish the birthday party decorations and definitely not as quickly as I did.  She went over a lot of short cuts that made me feel a lot more comfortable using the program.

You can follow along the blog hop and see what other attendees thought about the class and the work they have made since by visiting the blog hop’s webpage on Going Home To Roost:

Or you can visit these sites that wrote blog posts this week:

Tuesday October 7th
emily leggett |
Twitter: or @studioemdesigns
Instagram: @studio_em_interiors

Thursday October 9th
Nerissa Alford |
instagram: nerissaalford

Friday October 10th
heidi ahmed |

Monday October 13th
Allison Sews |
instagram: allisonsews
flickr: allison sews

I purchased the course so that I could go back and watch it for reference and I can say that have done that, so money well spent.  You can purchase it too here:

I also signed up for the Roost Tribe, which I would describe as a surface pattern design community that Bonnie hosts.  Go check it out, its pretty cool.  It’s only $5 per month, but you can get the first month free here:

roost tribe 2



Happy designing!


By |October 8th, 2014|Design|3 Comments

Rainbow Day

Over the last month, the children in my oldest daughter’s class each got to pick a theme and the activities on an assigned day revolved around that theme.  My daughter chose rainbows.  Not a big surprise to me since she draws a lot of rainbows, like every time she get’s hold of a piece of paper and crayons.

I pulled together a few things for the day’s activities.

First, I created a rainbow template, which I found on Pintrest, but was only a picture, so I had brought it into Illustrator so that I could turn it into a vector and scale it up to fit an 8.5 X 11 size.


Then I used a punch that I found at Michaels to make raindrops from construction paper.  The punch is obviously to make a flower, but I just threw away the center and kept the raindrop shape.  I could have just cut squares of paper, like I saw used in other crafts online, but I wanted the kids to try to grasp the concept that a rainbow is created from light passing through rain droplets.  Let alone concepts of refraction of the light or that it is an optical illusion ( try explaining that to a four year old), but at least the water droplet I thought they could understand.  It was a lot of work to punch out all those raindrops, but it was worth it.  I love the way the activity turned out.


I also brought in my girls’ Rainbow In My Room.  I actually had to buy a new one right before the “Rainbow Day” because the one we had for several years broke literally right after we got the assignment.  They are no longer allowed to pick it up off the dresser or play with it at all, only look at the rainbow across their ceiling at night.


My girls go to daycare at our church, so I’m sure there’s a Noah’s Ark book floating around there somewhere, but I also provided a book of children’s bible stories with the story of Noah’s Ark.

Lastly, I made a special dress for Olivia to wear that day.  I picked up some cute Michael Miller fabric that had rainbows AND unicorns on it.  Both rainbows and unicorns are kinda popular in my house lately, so I couldn’t help myself when I found the fabric.  I also bought a perfectly coordinating solid from Michael Miller’s new line of solids, Cotton Couture.  I loved this solid fabric, it is so soft and is the ideal weight for sewing children’s clothes.  I used the bodice from a pattern that I have used several times, then I just took the one yard of fabric of the print, gathered it and attached it to the bottom of the bodice.  I also made some pockets for the front of the skirt using the pattern piece and instructions from the Geranium dress pattern I have from MadeByRae.  Finally, I sewed on some rick rack around the waist and at the top of the pockets to add some interest.  I really love how it turned out.

Here are some pictures of Olivia modeling her new favorite dress.


I consider Rainbow Day a success!

Happy sewing and crafting!


By |August 25th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Quick Tip: Blade Sharpener

My favorite tool in my sewing room is my rotary cutter (though my seam ripper might get more use, haha).  However I have a beef with my 45 mm rotary cutter, the blade always seems dull and skips little sections of fabric.  So, eventually I bought new pack of blades but dulled both of them rather quickly as well.

During one of my late night sew-a-thons, I got frustrated with the dull blade.  I had, what I thought at the time, was a stroke of genius.  I decided to try to sharpen my rotary blade using our kitchen knife sharpener.


It worked okay for that evening, but was dull again the next time I wanted to use it.

After much frustration with the dull blades, I finally broke down and bought this tool.  I got it at Joann’s when they were on sale, which is about every other week.  The two sides of the handle screw together with the blade in between and then you twist it around both sides of the sharpener, a rough side then a smooth side.  It works great so far.  I’ve used my rotary cutter several times since sharpening it with this tool.


I feel like I must mention that my first attempt at sharpening my rotary blade with my kitchen knife sharpener was a little dangerous.  Just pinching the edge of the blade while running through the sharpening groove provided very little stability and my fingers could easily slip.  But I also have to be careful using the blade sharpening tool that I bought.  Getting the blade between the two handles and then screwing them together is a little precarious.  Then once it’s attached, there is still a quarter of an inch of blade sticking out, just ready to slice a finger.  So, be careful!

Happy sewing!

By |July 28th, 2014|Quick tips|0 Comments

Cork Board For The Playroom

My kids create massive quantities of art work, a lot of which I feel compelled to keep.  I put quite a bit in my cubicle at work.  I have a name for my cubicle, kinda cheesy, but I call it the COMA, like the MOMA but Cubicle Of Modern Art, because children’s art work definitely has a modern vibe to it.

I also wanted some place to display some of their artwork at home, so I decided to make a cork board for our play room.  When I was at Michaels one day, I noticed they had rolls of cork so I bought oneand also a poster size frame.  I chose a white frame because the toy bins I bought for the room are also white.

Post er frame  & cork roll

The cork roll is a little longer than the poster frame, so it will need to be cut down.  I used an X-Acto knife.


Then I simply glued the cork to the inside of the back of the picture frame and discarded the clear plastic sheet that would have protected a poster.


I decided the best place to hang the cork board would be above my girls’ art table.  Here’s the finished product.


I would recommend using thumb tacks instead of push pins.  The cork isn’t as thick as the length of the pin and the thumb tacks have a slightly shorter pin.



Happy crafting!