tank dress


You've maybe seen this fabric before, right?  Well, I saved what remains I had figuring it would be a cute top for my youngest someday.  But I decided to make it into a tank dress for my oldest instead! 

With all the shirring madness going around lately, I had just had to make another project.  I ended up sewing 8 lines of shirring to get the waist part of the dress and just tucked the store bought tank inside and sewed a line of stitching (also using elastic thread in the bobbin) on the top and bottom of the shirring rows. 

Nice and stretchy, and comfortable, we're all about comfortable around here.

Finally, I finished it off by hand sewing on a little bit of blue trim to the neckline.  I should note here that it's already made its way through the wash and well, I guess I need to refine my hand sewing skills because I had to re-tack down one end.  Nothing that couldn't be fixed though. 

Perfect for kickin' back on a nice summery day. 

car pillow tutorial


A special thanks to Jess of Craftiness is Not Optional for letting me hang out today.

Gotta car lover on your hands?  Here's a fun little project for you to try out! 

I had to make something a little fun for my soon to be nephew, so besides all that necessary stuff, I wanted to make him a little car pillow for his nursery.  After all, his father is a car lover and autocross specialist, so hopefully he'll get a kick out of it, too, even though it's not a Porsche.

Materials needed:

  • 1/2 yard focus fabric
  • 1 yard lightweight fusible interfacing
  • scraps for windows/wheels
  • 1/2 yard twill tape
  • 7/16" grommets (two)
  • poly fiber fill
  • heat n bond
  • thread, etc.
  • car pattern piece  (I set it up to print on an 11x17 paper, but you can select 'tile all pages' if you're printing on a regular home printer - just butt pieces together, tape, and cut out shape.  The dotted lines are your cutting lines for the main car shape, but if that gets cut off in your printer's margins just make a line 1/4" around the solid car shape to give you room for a seam allowance.)
Cut and prepare fabrics:
Cut two car shapes from your main fabric.  Cut one long strip of fabric 2 1/4" wide by 50" (piece together if necessary, or why not try and do some patchwork with your scraps?!).
Fuse interfacing to the two car shaped pieces and the long strip.

Decorate pillow front:

Take one of the car shapes.  Pin on the twill tape and sew in place, stitching on either side of the tape.  Apply heat n bond to the scraps for the windows/wheels and cut to shape using the pattern pieces as your guide.

Install the grommets in the center of each wheel piece.  I used a piece of larger twill tape as reinforcement, but you could also use a layer of interfacing or batting to keep it stable.  There are instructions on each grommet kit, so definitely check those out.  What I do is trace the inner circle of the grommet (with a water soluble pen) and cut a hole in the fabric as well as your twill tape bits or whatever reinforcement material you're using.  Put the piece of the grommet that has the stem on it through the hole on the RIGHT side of the fabric.  Slip the remaining 'ring' piece of the grommet over the stem of the other grommet piece and hammer into place using the tool kit that comes with the grommets.

Fuse the windows/wheels into place using manufacturer's instructions while using the pattern as a positioning guide.  Sew two lines of stitching around each piece in a contrasting color.   Here it might also be fun to add in the child's name just above the twill tape for that extra personal touch. 

Sew the pillow together:

Take the one car shape piece and long strip piece and put them RIGHT sides together at the front of the car (I just found it easier to keep track of what I was doing if I put it at the front).  Starting about a 1/4" in from the edge, stitch all along the perimeter of the car using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

Being sure to stop and lift the presser foot with the needle down and pivot the material so that they align.  Take your time here, just go slow and make sure the raw edges align.  Now you should have this:

Repeat for other side of car, leaving a small opening in the front of the car for stuffing. 

It is a small hole, but I find the less time and effort I have to put into hand sewing an opening closed - the better. 

Turn right side out.  Stuff the pillow. Tuck the unfinished ends of fabric into the pillow and hand stitch the opening shut.  And tada, a fun car pillow for your favorite car enthusiast!

Terms of use:  for personal use only please.

quick fix


Here's a quick fix that I just had to make.  I had gotten some plain tank tops from Old Navy earlier this summer with the intention of making something cool with them.  So grab some of your cutest scraps and make patches!  And if you think you don't have enough cute scraps, do what I did and order some.  I broke down and got some of the sought after Heather Ross munki munki prints from a shop on etsy (which is all out as of now), but you can still find some here and here

Now if I could only prevent ice cream and popsicles from spilling all over these puppies we'd be in business!

{I also added a smaller patch at the back of shirt, just for fun!}

I have one more tank top refashion coming up for next week, so I'll just keep you on your toes for that one. 

p.s. i love my hydrangeas, wish they would stay this way forever...

summer fun


just had a few of these to share...

wishing you a bright sunshiny day

summer vacation dress - numero dos


I don't think words can do justice to the beauty I see here.

that's good 'ol lock and dam #7 on the Mississippi to Emily's right just in case you're wondering

summer vacation dress for my noodlehead


Here's the first of the girls' wardrobe for this summer.  I couldn't resist!  I've been collecting fabrics here and there for things I wanted to make for them, but am just now getting to sew them up. 

This pattern is really great, I love how Dana gives you so many options and different variations on this dress, plus the shortie (can't wait to try that one out). 

We're ready for summer, bring on the clothes...

Natalie loves her new dress, it's so HER!!!

{Willow Grove by Alexander Henry, Kei Honeycomb in white/orange both from fabricworm}

boy stuff - quilt edition


Here's the quilt I finished yesterday to go with the crib bedding.  I felt so much better after writing this post, and after getting this quilt from the dryer, I realized how much I love making things.  Maybe it's not something extraordinary, but I made it with lots of love and happiness. 

I'm so in love with quilts.  I love looking at quilting blogs and groups like Fresh Modern Quilts on flickr.  I surely cannot make quilts all the time.  For me they're just too time consuming, and I like quick projects that I can fling out of my machine in a couple of hours.  But there's just something so lovely about a quilt, even just the idea of one. 

I used a solid piece of flannel for the backing.  I wanted it to be soft and snuggly, and it is.  Can't wait to wrap it up and give it away. 

{this quilt measures about 40" by 57"}

have a great weekend and an early happy father's day to my dad and my husband!
been doing a bit of this...

...am questioning a few things about myself and why I blog...

I feel like I'm coming out of the trenches of motherhood and find myself wondering what I'm doing, why I'm doing it.  What is my style, do I have one?  Am I earthy? Am I modern?  A mix?  I find myself appreciating so many different styles. Where do I go from here?  And it's more than just sewing and blogging.  I find myself wanting different things, is the blog world setting us up for wanting?  Do we just read blogs thinking: I wish I had that, or I wish I could be more like that?  Deep thoughts, for sure, ha. 

How about you?  Do you know your style?  What makes you, YOU?  Are you defined by the people around you?  Does blogging make you a better person (or maybe worse)?

Those are the questions that keep tumbling through my head day after day recently.

baby boy crib set


Whoa there!  Don't get all hyped up, it's not for me.  I'm so loving how this project turned out and that it's finished.  I totally forgot how much fabric and how much time a innocent little crib set could take up.  But this was made with pure joy for my brother and his wife who are expecting a baby boy in early September.

I was so happy when I heard the good news and one of the first things that popped into my head was: "yay, I get to make all kinds of fun baby stuff!".

Their nursery is too cute already, the walls are a really fun green and some of the furniture is already set up (from the lovely Ikea of course).  I can't wait to see it with the crib and bedding in it!!  Their shower isn't until the 26th, so I'm excited about the big reveal.

Of course I have a few other items to make and I'll just have to keep you posted as those get finished.

| Crib Bedding Set Pattern by Amy Butler (little stitches for little ones book) |

I didn't use Amy's crib sheet instructions, but rather used the quicker and much less fabric option of MADE's crib sheet tutorial.  Yay for that.

The fabrics are Robert Kaufmann's Monaluna, Robert Kaufmann basic stripes, some Heather Bailey Nicey Jane, and three prints from the Freebird collection by Moda!  Dots and stripes were the request so dots and stripes it was. 

As a side note:  I had a fun time on this photo shoot.  You really can't appreciate crib bedding unless it's actually on a crib.  So with that in mind, I had to set up the crib again, luckily we still had it stashed away in our attic.  The room the pics were taken is actually my living room, but doesn't it seem like a nice cozy nursery?!  :)

And another random bit of info.  I woke up Monday morning to a great sight, my stuff on
Thanks again Jessica for such a nice post, and of course a big welcome to some new readers!  Hello out there!

kidlets for the kidlets


Trying to tidy up the joint bit by bit.  I've loved looking at everyone's kidlets in JCasa's flickr pool.  Yes, I love all of JCasa's creations and it's been fun seeing her on Sew, Mama, Sew each month!  Anyways, I had wanted to make two for the girls for their hats and mittens during the winter, but for now they'll just hold some sunglasses and maybe a pair of crocs. 

My dad helped me out big time with the coat racks.  He helped make and install them a while back and it has been so nice!  Adults get the upper rack and kiddos get the lower one - perfect.  No more coats dangling off of every chair in our house.

I made the blue/yellow version for Emily since she is so obsessed with kitties (probably because we don't have one).  She'll crawl around like a kitty, meow like a kitty, and of course be the first to point out a kitty in a book or at the store.  The kitty was actually part of a vintage hankie I picked up at an estate sale, I got lucky that time. 

Also just wanted to say a special thank you to everyone who bought my first ever pattern!  Your kindness and encouragement is overwhelming.  And just to let you know the free tutorial is still over on my tutorials list. 

gathered clutch - the pattern!


I'm really excited to share this with everyone today.  I've finished putting the final touches on my first ever pattern for sale.  I couldn't be happier about everyone's responses on my gathered clutch tutorial and wanted to take it one step further by making it into a pattern. 

Don't worry, I'll still be sharing lots of free tutorials, but I wanted to accomplish a few things with the pattern:
  • I wanted fellow sewists to be able to make the clutches and sell them either online or at local craft fairs or farmer's markets (of course on a home-based production scale only). 
  • I wanted to share a few additions/alterations to the clutch for those of you who want to mix things up a bit and maybe don't want to figure it out on your own or don't know how to. 
  • I added a few tips on sewing with zippers and how to shorten them and a few other suggestions on the pattern that I just couldn't squeeze into the original tutorial. 

The pattern is a 18 page PDF with full color photographs, step-by-step instructions and lots of helpful tips.  To purchase the pattern, please go HERE! {there is also a link just under the header in the patterns tab}

I hope to put together a post of links to shops that will be selling them online. {just send me an email if you'd like to be included in the list}

Thanks everyone for your support and all your nice comments.  And I want to send out a HUGE thank you to my mom (and dad) and my husband who allowed me extra time to finish this project by entertaining the girls.  And of course a shout out to Dana of MADE for giving me the opportunity to share my tutorial as part of her Celebrate Mom series, sometimes you just need a deadline, you know?!

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