Two Swing Dresses

I started an etsy shop almost a year ago, and it’s really been a fun little venture for me. It’s really a good way for me to justify buying more fabric, and it’s also really cool to sell some random person a handmade garment. I don’t have it stocked at all times or anything, but when the holidays settled down, I got motivated to sew for the shop.  I also started listening to the Serial podcast while I sew and I am hooked!

(Jay did it.)

Anyway, here are a couple of dresses I made using Dana’s First Day Dress pattern, size 7. I lengthened the bodice by an inch and a half or so, and also cut the front neckline about 3/4″ wider.  I really like the fit on my girl.

This color-blocked version is made with 4 different Cotton Couture solids: Cream, Watermelon, Gold, and Confection (for the lining).

I top-stitched the hem with metallic gold thread, and added a little gold tag for fun.  Oh, and a gold button at the back too. :)

I like that this dress could come off as a little fancy for a special occasion, but also it could be casual with a pair of flip flops in the Summertime.

With the dress fully-lined, It feels a little more substantial and it’s fun to see the pink popping out when she twirls around.

This next one is a favorite- Remember when I gushed about the Handcrafted line by Alison Glass?  I was so torn between choosing that Bouquet in Duck Egg print, and this one- Geese in Storm.  Actually, I wrote back to Alison and had changed my mind about the Bouquet print and wanted to try this one, but she didn’t have enough yardage for me.

So I snatched some up at Hawthorne Threads.

It’s just such a cool print.  So modern, and I love how all of the colors look together.

l lined this one cotton couture in Mist- a favorite shade as of late.

And a cute little orange button at the back.

I love the shape of this dress, and it moves so nicely!

As always, thanks for reading!


Charlie Dress

This little ditty is the Charlie dress pattern by Mingo & Grace.

I love the shape of a drop-waisted dress, and now that I’ve made one, I think I’m smitten.

It’s just so cool, swingy, and casual.

I used this darling-as-ever Princess in the Pea print by Heather Ross.  I don’t sew a whole lot with the cutesier prints out there, but there’s something I just love about this one- Heather’s style is so unique.  The colors pop against the cream background, and I just love that little princess and her red cheeks atop those beds.

So, the Charlie dress is a sweet pattern, but I didn’t totally follow the instructions here.  Mostly, because the armholes, neckline and back slit, are finished with bias tape.  I realized that the fact that bias tape was involved was probably what was keeping me from being motivated to sew this one (I’d had my pattern cut out and sitting on my desk for a month but inside would hem and haw about using the bias tape for some reason.  I guess I hate sewing with it?).  So, I decided to sort of “mash-up” this pattern with Dana’s First Day Dress pattern.  I love the look of a fully lined dress, so I basically followed Dana’s instructions so I could do that here.   I really love Dana’s pattern, by the way- it’s become a steadfast favorite, and I’ve got a few more versions coming down the pipe soon.

Of course, I used Rae’s sausage step to line my bodice because you now it’s all the rage now. (<—that’s for you, Rachel! hee hee.) Heidi has a good tutorial as well that shows how to do this as well.  You should try it sometime if you haven’t.

I think the weight of a lined dress is so nice- it’s not heavy at all, but it just hangs so nicely (better in person).  I’m just really happy that I went that route.  Not to mention, the mint lining peeking out is pretty sweet.  These are the things I live for, people.  Add Americanos and raw cookie dough to that list too.

The Charlie closes with a simple button and loop, but of course I forgot to slip my elastic loop in before sewing, so I just made a buttonhole.  It works.

Her face in this next shot kills me.  It’s so her.  She makes the best faces.

So I’m all, “Coco, guess what?”

Coco: “what?”

“That dress is going in my etsy shop.  So… that means you don’t get to keep it.  Okay?”

Hahahaha… mean mommy.

Nah, she loves me.


Plaid Raglan

There’s a great thing over at the blog, Crafterhours called the Friday Fiver.  Every Friday, they offer a $5 deal on an indie sewing pattern, good only for that day. I’ve taken advantage of a few of the deals over the past few months- Noodlehead’s divided basket, LBG Studio’s Aster Cardigan, and most recently the Lane Raglan by Hey June.

All are patterns that I’ve had floating around in my mental “patterns-to-get” list– I just needed a reminder about them (in the form of a one-day only $5 deal).  ;)

Oh, and I apologize to Lane Raglans everywhere for being awkward.  It’s not the shirt’s fault.

Do I look like I’m going on a camping trip?  Cool.  That’s what I was going for.  Someone give me a thermos and a stick with a hot dog on it!

So, anyway I cut my pattern right between the M and L lines, but followed the L for length on all the pieces, and the fit seems great.

Hey June designer, Adrianna (who also happens to be one half of the Crafterhours duo) has great tips for sewing the neckband and mine seemed to come out pretty good, BUT… I totally messed up and started sewing it at the wrong point- which means my neckband seam is on the front of my shirt- not the back.  My bad.  Luckily, you people can’t tell in these pics… but in real life, if you look close enough, I’m totally the girl with the homemade shirt.  Trust me. It’s kinda obvious.

My main fabric is this vintage tartan plaid knit from Girl Charlee, It’s so fun- I *might* have enough to make a matchy matchy one for a kiddo or two.  The cream knit is really great stuff, bought locally from Les Fabriques, and the Navy spandex knit for the cuffs (also from Girl Charlee).

 I decided not to add the waistband piece, and instead lengthened the shirt a couple of inches- I had intended to hem this, but once I tried it on it seemed just right so I left it raw.  Tall Girl Problems, as usual!

I think this is a really great pattern to have in your stash- it comes together so fast!  You could change it up by making it in all one fabric, or playing around by mixing some prints together.

I really love Sabra’s version made from French terry- so cozy!  And this one from Ashleigh…Love!

Alrighty y’all, thanks for reading!

I’m off to pitch my tent now.


Rowan Tee

 Want the best kids T-shirt pattern your money can buy?

Well, here ya go!

The Rowan tee is designed by the fabulous Laura of Craftstorming and Titchy Threads.  If you’ve ever sewn with one of Laura’s patterns, I’m sure you’d agree that they are some of THE best out there.  I honestly do not think any other indie patterns that I own are as thoughtful or precise as Laura’s.  It is obvious, the amount of work she puts into creating her designs.  Her Small Fry Skinny Jeans would probably win the sewing blog equivalent of the Grammy’s ‘song of the year’.

She’s a smart cookie, and it shows in her work.

The Rowan tee is awesome.

It offers plenty options.  And by plenty, I mean 144 different ways to change up your Rowan.  From hood, short sleeves, long sleeves, cuffs, hems, stripes, patch pocket, kangaroo pocket…It’s like ordering a coffee drink at Starbucks.  All about the customization, y’all.

Oh, and it’s sized from 6 months-12 years.  Holy size range!

Laura asked the tour participants to each choose a different variation.  I went simple, and chose the short sleeve, hemmed, full-stripe option.

 I made Coco (she’s 2 1/2) a size 3.

 The fit is EXACTLY what I want in a tee for my kiddo.  It’s somewhat relaxed, but it’s not a baggy fit.  It’s just the right length, just the right width.

I used a lovely cream-colored cotton/lycra knit from my local fabric shop, Les Fabriques.  I bended the rules here by using a woven print (Geos in Deep Marina by Leah Duncan) instead of knit for my stripe, and I loooove it.

Great way to use up some favorite fabric scraps, no?

p.s. I love kids in jeans. Coco became a slouchy teenager as soon as she put them on.

 I’ve been sewing a lot with knits lately, and I wanted to share what works for me.  I find a walking foot helps me immensely! I use a ball point needle, and I really like using the stretch stitch on my machine.  Ever since I started using that stitch (as opposed to a small zig zag or using just the serger), the garments have held up great- no snapping stitches at all.  The stretch stitch sort of locks back and forth 3 times, enforcing the seam as you sew.  It takes  a smidge longer than it would if you used a serger or zig zag stitch- but for me, the clothes have turned out so much more professional looking. I’ve also used spray starch on the hem before pressing it up and sewing and it really helps to get a clean finish.

Don’t let that pocket deceive you- it’s gold paint!  The one I used is by Martha Stewart and it’s sort of an all-in-one craft paint.  I’ve used it before on fabric and it holds up really nicely in the wash.  I made a simple pocket shape on freezer paper (you could probably even trace the pocket pattern piece supplied in the Rowan pattern), ironed it on, and used a sponge brush to dab on the paint.  So easy.

One thing I love that some PDF pattern makers are doing now, is offering the sizes in layers- meaning, you can just print out the size you need, instead of printing all of them and then having to decipher which line to cut out for your particular size- which we all know, can be a pain in the ass sometimes.  I appreciate that Laura offers this in the Rowan.

I cannot recommend this pattern enough.  It is chock-full of helpful tips, great photos, and very extensive instructions.  This would be great for a beginner who is ready to try sewing knits, or for the seasoned sewer looking for a legit tee pattern.

Rowan Tee Pattern Tour1

Get your Rowan in the Titchy Threads shop!  If you subscribe to the newsletter, you’ll receive a discount code.  Sweet! And check out the other Rowans on the tour today over at Chelise Patterson and Begin with B.

Thanks for reading!


Sunday Picnic Dress

Well, hey there!

I’m so happy that Suz invited me along on the Sunday Picnic dress blog tour– she is one of the sweetest gals I’ve never met, and I’m such a fan of everything she does!


I fell in love with her Little Debbie dress pattern long ago (both of the ones I made were heavy rotators in my girls’ wardrobes), it’s a great pattern so I knew her newest baby would likely be as well.


The Sunday Picnic Dress is a clean design, with clever details like the crossover neckline and the curved pockets, and an optional pointed collar.

 I chose the most basic options here- sleeveless and collar-less.  I wanted to make something for Corinne that could be layered over a tee for extra comfort and warmth now that it’s getting chilly.

I followed Suz’s chart to determine which size to make 2 1/2 year old Coco- she’s long and lean.  A size 2 was the perfect choice.  Fits like a glove.

(p.s. this pattern goes from size 12 months to 10 years! patterns with a wide size range always win me over.)

The fabric is yarn-dyed Essex linen in black, I got all technical and made my own piping using this lovely stuff, and added some leather buttons.  The sweet trim is from Joann’s.

It had me at, “Hey, girl. Buy me, STAT!”

I was originally going to sew it to the bottom of the dress, but decided it’d sort of break it up a bit if I put it at the bodice/skirt seam.

Coco would like to take this party outside.  Cool?

Our new neighbors just put up a big wooden fence.  Soon, they’re bringing their horses in and a couple of cows, including a new calf!  I love animals and have already asked if it’s okay that we visit them with carrots and apples.  Maybe I can bribe them to be in my next blog photoshoot?

My only problem with sewing this dress was the zipper.  I failed to read in detail about which type of zipper to buy, so I just grabbed a couple at the store.  Not the invisible kind.  Whoops.  So unfortunately, I was unable to follow Suz’s (clear and detailed from what I could tell) invisible zip instructions.  Instead, I made my way through a few random regular zipper installation tutorials online.  It’s functional, but not perfect-looking on the inside.

(fact: this is a my first zipper EVER.  so, I shan’t be too hard on meeself.)

Those pockets… my fave!  Hers too.

I hope you’ll check out this adorable pattern.  Like the other Sewpony Vintage patterns, each step contains a photo which is why I love most PDF patterns.  Good for people like me who do better with a visual.

Thank you, Suz for sending it my way!


For the duration of the tour, you can buy the Sunday Picnic Dress pattern at a discounted price in the Sewpony Vintage shop– use code SUNDAYTOUR15 for 15% off.

You can also visit the other lovely dresses on the tour today by clicking on their links below.  They’re all so great!

A Jennuine Life:

 Sunday Picnic Dress Title

Made by Sara:


Gracie Oliver:


Thanks for stopping by!


Birthday Dress (a little late)

Avery turned 5 a couple weeks ago!  She is such a dynamic girl.  There are many dimensions to my girl Avery: smart, determined, tenacious, dramatic, hilarious, honest, sweet, loving, mysterious and wild (good luck future boyfriends).  This face kind of says it all…

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She recently started watching the runway portion of Project Runway with me. I know she has craftiness in her future, its in her DNA, so I thought I’d jumpstart her interest in sewing by letting her watch the show.  She really likes it.  She asks me, “Mom, which girl do you want to win?”  I explained that those girls are just wearing the clothes that the people made, they are not the ones who will win.  “Oh…I want to be one of those girls,” she says.  “A girl who wears the clothes and walks in them,” I ask?  “YES,” declares Avery!  Great.  I just helped my daughter aspire to be a walking mannequin.  Fabulous.  She will have to work at that modelling career, because this was about the least awkward pose she was offered me during our shoot.

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We headed to the playground to try for some candids.

DSC_7734 (2)She was dying to show me how she learned to use the monkey bars!

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DSC_7726 (2)That’s my girl!  She is really athletic, and she loves to wear DRESSES!  I knew that the skater dress would be an instant hit in the comfort department.  I sewed a size 5Y/6Y and I am so glad that it is roomy enough for her grow into it.  I increased the width of the skirt pattern piece and gathered it before it was attached.  Avery really appreciates a dress that she can twirl in.  What 5 year old girl doesn’t?

photo (3)If you’ve seen this dress before, its because Rachel from Stitched Together made an almost identical one before I got to it.  Ha!  I didn’t mean to be a copy-cat (even though I’d copy what Rachel makes all day long if I could)!  When I bought this knit months and months ago from Girl Charlee, the skater dress was on my agenda.  But, alas, my sewing productivity is very low these days! DSC_7737

Thank you for stopping by!



Peacock Feather Skater Dress

Behold!  This is the skater dress pattern by Amanda of Kitschy Coo.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen this pattern circulate all over blogland many moons ago.  I have admired the simple, practical style of this pattern- it just seems like the perfect dress for a busy young girl.  It’s comfy, it’s a little swingy, and cute to boot!

I’m so happy I finally made one.

So, this pattern is sized in 2 year increments… 3Y/4Y. 5Y/6Y. 7/Y/8Y, etc… My kid is 6 and almost a half and pretty average, so I drew my pattern lines right between the 5Y/6Y and 7Y/8Y.  I think it’s just perfect- she will be able to wear it next year too.

The peacock feather fabric is from Girl Charlee, though it looks like it’s out of stock. Sorry peacock feather lovers (Caroline)!

The crazy-blinding-coma-inducing-neon pink binding is from a mistake purchase never-worn tank of mine (yikes.  what was I thinking?!?!), and I think it completely overshadows compliments the feathers fabric.  Am I right?

I sewed this entire dress on my regular machine, a pretty basic Kenmore from Sears that I’ve had for 4 years and not ONCE had an issue with (LOVE you, Kenny!! mwah!). I used a jersey needle using my stretch stitch, and I’m really happy with the result. I haven’t had the best luck with my serger for knits because the seams just don’t feel as sturdy. I haven’t found my serger groove yet I guess.

Oh, and using a little spray starch helped immensely when it came time to sewing the hem.  I spritzed a little on, ironed up 1″, and then sewed 2 rows of regular stitches.

I’m happy to report that this dress really is a quick sew.  The pattern is clear and really easy to understand.  I can’t wait to make more.

Ellery loves anything knit, so she immediately put it on and goofed around in her room.

Want to be hilarious?

Lose your two front teeth at once.

I can’t even look at her with a straight face.