spring top week entry 3


This is my last and final entry for Made by Rae's Spring Top Week.  I do have one more top lurking on my sewing desk right now, but it's just not going to happen for the contest.  I thought I could squeeze it out because I've made a dress from the same pattern before, but I realized this morning it's requiring too much seam ripping, argh!

So this is the top I did finish last night. 

I used Joel Dewberry's latest line: Modern Meadow.  I think this top will be a good one to wear with khaki pants or shorts.  I usually don't pick navy blue in any of my fabrics, so the one fabric I did pair it with was some scraps of chambray.

I do recommend this top for beginners, it's very easy to understand and comes together pretty quickly.  I had made a version of this top last year and it was way too big and so this time I went with a size 8 even though according to my measurements, I should have made a size 14. 

spring top week entry 2


This was the only pattern I bought for Spring Top Week, and at 99 cents, not too shabby.  I was really afraid of having the top too big, so I went with a size 6 (even though I think it would be better in a size 8 or so - it's pretty tight across the chest area). 

I used a lightweight interfacing like the patterns calls for, but it still feels too stiff, I think I would use it without if I ever made the top again. 

Of course the fabric is Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks voile.  It was nice to work with and very light weight, which is nice for spring/summer.  It was so hard to choose which fabric from her line that I wanted to use, they're all so pretty.

spring top week entry


Here's my first crack at a spring top.  The tutorial I used was actually for a dress, but I made a shirt obviously.  I just can't wear a v-neck, so I opted to do a boatneck style instead.

I really like how it turned out.  The fabric (Kawaii Springtime Jacks Natural from fabricworm.com) is really soft and the shirring was fun to do!

my bathroom


I had gotten spring fever big time a few weeks ago now and decided to rip off some old shelving in our bathroom and spruce it up a bit.  I ended up repainting the walls (with the same paint) because the paint had gotten streaky when I had originally painted it a few years ago. 

I picked up some little floating shelves at Target, the picture frame, and new towels and washcloths.  yay! 

Of course I couldn't redo the bathroom without a little sewing involved.  I had picked up a few fat quarters of the Arcadia fabric collection a while back knowing that it would end up being something in our bathroom.  I ended up making a couple fabric baskets. 

I love these round baskets, they came together pretty quickly.  I pieced in some linen and tried to make one shorter than the other, but only by a little over an inch.  I guess it's okay, but if I make more I'll know to make the size difference more noticeable so it doesn't look like a mistake. 

The one is perfect for a roll of toilet paper and the other had some odds and ends in it.  I might even try and make a mini version to sit on one of the wall shelves.

I'd also like to note that these pictures were taken with me standing in our bathtub smooshed up against the corner with the camera above my head.  We have a SMALL bathroom.

Update: The blue paint color is Glidden Evermore: Overcast.



This is a creative adventure my husband took on recently.  He did it all on his own, how cute is that?  Anyway, his goal for the summer is to teach our almost 4 year old to count to 100.  Pretty ambitious, but I think it'll be a great opportunity for them to hang out and learn together.  Apparently, and I have yet to verify this from my mother-in-law and sister-in-laws, my husband learned to count to 100 when he was five. 

Back to the creativeness of this project.  He took an old broken ladder of ours and turned it into this abacus!  He cut and sanded down each of these little 'pebbles' as he likes to call them and painted them and rearranged them by 10 onto the ladder.  Pretty cool I'd say.  Now sure, you can buy an abacus for pretty reasonable at just about any toy store, but this is just too sweet.

Also, I just want to also say thank you for all of you who left such sweet comments on my gathered clutch tutorial.  It's nice to feel such awesome support!  Can't wait for more fun stuff to come...

gathered clutch tutorial


A huge thanks to Dana and Disney for doing such a great job of rounding up all sorts of wonderful mother's day projects! 

Materials needed:

  • 1/4 yard each of three coordinating fabrics (you'll definitely have scraps leftover)
  • 8" zipper (you can always purchase a longer zipper and shorten it, just follow the directions on the package
  • scraps of medium weight fusible interfacing

Cutting the pieces:
For the main exterior, cut two pieces, one 5.5" tall by 9" wide, and one 5.5" tall by 13" wide (this will be the gathered front)
Pieces of medium weight fusible interfacing for exterior pieces of clutch: (2) 5.5" tall by 9" wide
For the front band, cut one piece 4" tall by 9" wide.
For the lining, cut two pieces 5.5" tall by 9" wide
For the zipper end covers: two pieces 1.5" tall by 2.5" wide.
Optional Parts:
For the divider pocket, cut one piece 8" tall by 9" wide (apply interfacing to half, you'll need at 4" x 9" piece)
For the card holders, cut one piece 7" tall by 9" wide (apply interfacing to half, you'll need at 3.5" x 9" piece)

Seriously, the most time consuming part for me is always picking out my fabrics and cutting them, the rest goes together pretty easy, so let's go!

Take the front band piece and fold it in half the long way (right sides together) and sew together using a 1/2" seam allowance. 

Turn tube right side out and press with seam in the middle.  Set aside.

Grab the 13" wide main exterior piece.  Sew two lines of gathering stitches down the middle, about 1" apart. 

Pull the top threads to gather, pull until the length is 9" long.  Press the gathers in place. 

Take the front band and pin it in the middle of the exterior piece you just finished. 

Top stitch along each side of the band.  Take the 5.5" tall by 9" interfacing piece and iron it to the WRONG side of the gathered piece.  This makes all the gathering and stitching stay in place nicely.  Set aside.

Make the divider pocket: 

Fuse interfacing to half of the piece. 

Fold fabric in half with WRONG sides together, press.  Topstitch along folded edge and then add another line of topstitching about 1/4" below the first line of topstitching.  Set aside.

Make the card holders:

Fuse interfacing to half of the piece.  Fold fabric in half with WRONG sides together, press.

Topstitch along folded edge and then add another line of topstitching about 1/8" below the first line of topstitching. 

Take one piece of the lining fabric and line up the card holder with raw edges together, one on top of the other baste along side and bottom edged of card holder (the plaid fabric). 

Grab your credit card or driver's license and mark with a pin how far you want your card to stick up from the slot.  Sew a line across the lining/card holder piece where you marked with the pin.  Sew one line of stitching down the center of the card holder. 

Take your card again and mark with a pin where the edge of your card is (you can leave a little wiggle room, but it's nice to keep it pretty snug to hold your cards in place).  Sew a line for the side of the card, repeat for other side.  Now you should have two card holders!  Set aside.

Making the end tabs for the zipper:

Fold the piece of fabric in half width wise, turn down each raw edge to the center crease and press (the pic above doesn't show it pressed in far enough).  Repeat for other end tab. 

Take your zipper and sandwich the fabric around the zipper, just covering the little metal bits.

Topstitch a line straight across the zipper end tab with a very small seam allowance being careful not to hit the metal parts!  Repeat for other end.  Trim the fabric tabs to the width of the zipper. 

IMPORTANT!  The length of the zipper with the tabs on should measure 8.5" end to end. 

Baste the card holders to one piece of lining and the divider pocket to the other piece of  lining, aligning the raw edges at the bottom.

Almost done! 

Assembling the clutch:

Place your gathered exterior piece RIGHT side up (whoops!, had it wrong in the pic, don't worry, just get out your seam ripper and start again).  Put the zipper teeth side down with the pull tab to the LEFT.  Then put the lining piece WRONG side up.  Pin in place. 

Using your zipper foot sew along the edge of this zipper sandwich.  Flip pieces so the WRONG sides are together.

***Please note that in a few of these shots the zipper with end tabs sewn on is longer than the clutch exteriors and linings, it was the first one I made and have since made adjustments to the measurements, all updates are included here in the tutorial.

Grab the other exterior piece, place RIGHT side up.  Put the zipper teeth side down with the pull tab on the RIGHT this time. Place the remaining lining piece WRONG side up on top of the zipper.  Pin in place, sew.  Flip pieces so the WRONG side are facing each other.  Press! 

Put your regular sewing foot back on and sew a line of topstitching on either side of the zipper.

Now open your zipper about halfway, don't forget this!  I actually forgot to do this on all three clutches, don't worry, you can still wiggle the zipper open if you carefully pull at it through the fabric.

Place the exterior pieces RIGHT sides together and the lining pieces RIGHT sides together.  

Sew all around the edge using a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 3-4" opening in the lining for turning.  Make sure you try to sew right next to the zipper end tabs and not actually throught them, click here for a visual.  Clip corners.  It also helps to sew with a slightly larger seam allowance when you sew around the lining pieces.

Turn the clutch right side out.  Push corners out.  Stitch the opening in the lining closed using a small seam allowance.  Tuck the lining into the clutch.  Press again and your DONE!!!   Phew.  It does seam like a lengthy process, but it really does sew up pretty quickly.  For the biggest time saver, just skip the divider pocket and card holders! Or add a handle!  The one below I just put in a mini pocket!

**Update**  If you don't add the divider or card pockets, I would recommend adding a layer of fusible fleece or even canvas as interfacing, it will make the clutch more sturdy.

Terms of use: For personal use only.  Thank you for respecting that. 

Have fun with it and give that mom in your life a big hug!

Have a great Mother's Day!

** UPDATE**  Interior shots
interior card holders (2 - side by side)

interior pocket divider (it's the green polka dot fabric)
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