Out and About Dress

It’s been (purple) raining for weeks here now.

I usually love rainy days at home, but this week Coco has been sick with crazy fevers, thus hanging on me like a baby orangutan 24/7.  Like, if I move my face .07 cm away from hers while we’re sleeping together, she will sit straight up, right out her deep sweaty slumber and whine/cry/moan until I press my cheek back to hers.

Sweet thing.


The perks are high for a sewing person when you’re stuck at home.  When Coco isn’t noticing, I’ve been sneaking back to my machine and get several things made or patterns cut out.

This is the Out and About Dress, by Sew Caroline.


Sometimes, I’ll sit on a pattern for a long time (in this case, a year) looking at other people’s versions on a regular basis- like I’m just not ready to  “go there” for some reason.  Not that this pattern is challenging at all- in fact, it’s a great beginner pattern.  But, There was something about this dress that I didn’t love, and after spending lots of time looking around, I finally realized what it was.

The front and back necklines both just seemed to high for me.   I’m definitely not a flashy dresser, but a lot of the ones I saw just seemed… too covered up around the neck?


Once I came across Kelli’s beautiful version, where she opened the back up more, I knew that’s what it needed.  I could’ve gone with a bit of a deeper neckline for the back actually, and I’d probably like it even more.  But, I am really happy with how this turned out for the most part.  I scooped out about 3/4″ from the front neckline, and probably about 1 1/2 inches away from the back.


(I swear the pigeon-toed pose is accidental up there, but I know sister Caroline is loving it… right, Caro?)

Elbow length sleeves are my favorite, but I don’t own any garments that have them!  Need to fix that, stat.  They’re comfy, and I think they make everybody’s arms look good no matter what.


I used a drapey rayon blend knit, and added several inches of length- maybe 4?  I also sewed clear elastic into the waistband when I was attaching the skirt to the bodice.  It seems to have been a smart move so far.  It just feels nice and stable.


I’m happy with this pattern- I would probably make some minor tweaks the second time around, but I would definitely recommend this.

So far I have worn my Out and About dress out and about to several places.  One being jury duty.  Which I’ll be serving (every other wednesday) for a YEAR!!!

I know, I know.

Feel bad for me now.


Spring Hemlock Sweater

April showers bring bad hair days for curly girls like me!   When the rain finally paused and  I found myself with a moment to take pics of my new Hemlock Tee, the frizz mop was just not behaving.  It was pretty much bee-hiving.  Ha! Good one, Caroline!

So, today’s styling is brought to you by rain and baseball.  Which works since we are at the baseball field about 3 days a week for my big boy, Jet.  He’s a Yankee this year.  (Sorry Bops and Gramma, we don’t get to choose!)


This sweater knit comes from Girl Charlee.  I found it in the bargain lots section, which sells slightly imperfect yardage for super cheap.  I bought 3 yards of it and didn’t find a single flaw!  I must have bought most of it, because it is now only offered in that half-yard section.


After all these years, I just now figured out how to use my camera remote.  Stoked!


Also, pretty stoked about my stripe matching skills!


About the Hemlock pattern, I really like it!  It’s free from Grainline Studio and kind of a one-size-fits-all guideline pattern.  I chose a length I liked, and kept the other dimensions as-is.  I did add my own band at the bottom, just to bring the width in a little bit and to polish it all up.


  The dog is my shadow.  All day long.

You won’t be seeing the second Hemlock I made, a short sleeve version with a stretchy tissue knit.  I ruined it with my new iron- a $10 yard sale score Rowenta.  I’m so bummed!  I cut the pattern to be more narrow, and I added a half inch to the neckline.  It came out great, so I’ll be trying it again soon.  I guess should’ve paid attention to the heat settings which never really mattered with my old piece of junk iron.  The fabric melted as soon as the iron touched it.  #dammit #madeinGermany

Thanks for stopping by!



Eleena Dress

I love to make dresses for my girls.  It’s my sewing comfort zone.  But, I really haven’t sewn many (besides a few basic knit ones) in the last several months.  So, I was excited to participate Olga Becker’s (Coffee + Thread) Eleena dress tour, and hoped it would get me right back into the dress-sewing swing of things!

Spoiler alert: it did!


The Eleena dress is a vintage-inspired dress with sleeve options as well as an optional collar, with sizes ranging from 2-12.  You must take a look at all the variations here on Olga’s blog, because they are all so unique!  I was so so tempted to go the long sleeve + collar route because I just love the look, but I knew this simpler version would get more wear in our house.


I made Ellery a size 7, with an 8 in length.  The fit is perfect, but I probably should’ve just gone with a straight 8 to give her some more growing room.

For the main fabric of my dress, I used a subtle print by Cotton + Steel (sprinkle in peaches) If you look closely, you can see the tiny white dots.  I love the inverted pleat down the front, and chose a very pale pink solid for that panel for an understated contrast, and Ellery was actually pretty interested in it- she kept asking me how I did that.  😉

Skillz, kid.


I’ve always been a fan of flutter sleeves, and I’m so happy with the way these ones turned out.  Perfect amount of flutter, which i accented with some tiny ivory pom-pom trim.




This is the first invisible zipper that I have ever sewn!  And it looks alright!  Please ignore the wrinkles- but do not ignore those little back shoulder darts up there!  i love smart fit details like that.  I found Olga’s overall instructions to be really great and thorough- you can certainly tell she’s experienced.   I checked out a youtube video for a visual for the zip because I tend to do better that way.

 Thanks again, internet.


I added a little ribbon rosebud at the center of the neckline, and I think it’s pretty sweet and dainty.


Easter dress. BOOM.


The Eleena dress pattern is on sale for $7 until March 7th.  I hope you’ll check it out!

Olga is giving away 2 of her sewing patterns and a yard of  Sarah Jane fabric, and you can enter that HERE.



 And, you can also check out all of the other gals and their Eleena dresses in the links below!
Thanks for reading, and many thanks to the lovely Olga for hosting this tour!
– Erin

Snow dayz

Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve blogged, that I don’t even recognize this place.  Props WordPress.

It’s not that I haven’t been sewing, every now and then I need a fix,  its just that I haven’t really sewn anything very interesting or new.  And photographing and blogging takes effort.  And also, we have a puppy.   Nuff’ said, right?  I’ll stop whining…

I loved Ellery’s stripy cocoon dress so much, that I had to make one for Avery-girl!  I think its such a cool modern pattern, by Groovybaby…and mama.  The styling, by the way, was all Avery!  02-January 2016 083

I sewed this dress during a gigantic snowstorm that dumped almost 2 feet and kept the kids out of school for 4 days in a row.  It also proved to be a real set back for puppy potty training :/.  But, with 60 degree days following, we had a fast melt and some super dangerous sledding.

01-January 2016 079

I love how the cupid ears mirror her fang teeth.  Oh, Happy Valentine’s day by the way!

This fabric came from Girl Charlee quite a while ago.  It’s a medium weight knit that worked well for this project.  Derrrr!  Just got the call that school is cancelled tomorrow!  Snow and ice storm this time.

09-January 2016 142

Love this girl.  She’s growing up so fast.

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Who wants to see some puppy pics?  Avery was in model mode on this particular day, and wanted to do a shoot with Bodhi.  This is a simple skater dress is made from some heavy red knit that I picked up in Philly’s fabric district.  (When Wes was up there for radiation treatments we would explore the city on the weekends.  I’m so glad to have some fond memories of that time.  The update on Wes is that he is doing excellent and still in remission! Woot!)

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Isn’t he cute?  We are really enjoying this new furry addition to the family!

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Again, styled by Avery.  Can’t beat the classic combo of black, white, and red!  I think my current sewing inspiration is coming from all those Facebook ads for Primary.com.  For parents who can’t be bothered with prints.  Actually I really like the concept of this shop.  Its just that I look at it all, and I’m like, “Well, I can just make that.”

14-January 2016 171

This is LOVE!


A Beatrix and a Barney


I’ve been in a definite sewing slump the last couple of months.  I’ve had the time to sew, but just cannot get my creative vibes going strong enough to start something.  I’ve made a few random knit things, and I’ve been helping Ellery get to know her new machine, but I have really been feeling out of touch!  Can’t find a fabric line that I love lately (which is usually the source of inspiration for a project for me).  You know, just feeling kind of… MEH about it all.

 Anyway, I basically forced myself last week to JUST SEW SOMETHING.  So I picked some fabric from my stash, and a new pattern, and got a crackin’.


This is the Beatrix top– a Made by Rae pattern.

I sewed a L, but added 1″ in length.  Remember, I’m 5’11”.  NOTHING is ever long enough on me!  Also, most of my close friends are shorties.  Isn’t that something?  They’re all short and adorable and always asking me to reach stuff.


I think the fit is pretty great.  It’s comfy.  There are bust darts to help give the top a nice fit, and the curved hem is a nice detail.

Want to meet my awesome dog, Barney?


He’s quite debonaire (hee hee. I’ve been binge-watching Mad Men), I washed him and blow-dried him this morning so I think he deserves a little screen time.

Obviously, I did not wash or blow-dry myself this morning.

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?


Not this guy.

So, my fabric is a double cloth cotton purchased from Imagine Gnats.  It’s two soft layers, basically stuck together- similar to double gauze, but maybe not quite as billowy or light?  It’s nice.  The party-in-the-back placket was a random spontaneous move.  I grabbed some chartreuse-y and watermelon-y cottons and just went for it.

Kinda weird, kinda fun, eh?


I’ll end this post with a shot of me and my Coco-girl.  I love having her home with me during the day.  She loves to watch Home Alone (“the part where he wakes up!”), play picnic, and take her shirt off so her baby dolls have easy access. 😉

  She’s kind of like my button placket.  Kinda weird, but mostly fun.


Thanks for reading!


Stripey Cocoon

It’s that time of year again, when 90% of Ellery’s clothes seem to be suddenly too small.  I’m hoping to make a few basic knit dresses/tunics that she can throw on over leggings for school.


 This is the new Cocoon dress pattern by Trine of Groovybaby…and mama.  A very simple design with a cozy cocoon shape and sweet (optional flutter) 3/4 sleeves.  It’s very Trine-like!  Have you ever read her blog, or taken a look at her Instagram feed?  She has such a clear style, and always chooses really neat fabrics.  She spews cool.


Anyway, I made a straight size 8 for 7 1/2  year old Ell.  The fit seems just right, though I think next time around I’d cut the length to a size 7 since it’s a tad long at the back.


The striped fabric is a poly/cotton/rayon knit purchased locally at Les Fabriques.  It’s a nice medium weight- sturdy enough to keep the cocoon shape looking cocoon-y!


The ruffles and neckband are from an old shirt of my husband’s that matched perfectly.  Thank you Dean-o!


The neckband is not part of the pattern (the pattern suggests you fold the neckline under once and topstitch, but I loved Kristi’s versions and decided to add the band like she did.  I like the added contrast.


 This is a very quick sew!  Just like sewing a t-shirt.  Embrace the cocoon, friends. 🙂


– Erin

Bubble Skirts


I added a few little bubble skirts to my etsy shop recently and thought I’d share here in case you sewing mamas want to make your own.


I used the (free) bubble skirt pattern/tutorial by Straightgrain, which is featured on Sew Mama Sew.


I love how they came out!


The separate waistband is great, and really helps to add to the overall shape of the skirt.  (note: I did make my waistband pieces a little wider- cut them 4″ instead of 3″, and I used some wider elastic.)


The pattern is spot on- An is pretty brilliant.  I would not know where to start if I tried to figure out how to do this on my own!  All you need to do is take a few measurements, and do some simple math to come up with the perfectly fitted pattern for your kiddo.


These skirts are fully lined- basically, the lining is cut thinner and shorter than the main fabric, which once you attach them at the hem, is what creates the bubble.




Such a cute skirt to throw on over some tights or leggings.

You can find these three skirts (along with some other handmade garments) in my etsy shop, here.

Have a great Thanksgiving!  Eat all the stuffing!  Drink all the wine!


a goodall + some hudsons

I realized after my last post (that was a downer, eh?), I needed something fun to sew.  My littlest nephew, Brady turned two this week, so I made him a couple handsome wardrobe staples.  A pair of mini Hudsons, and a Goodall cardigan.  Two patterns you can count on.  Hallelujah!

(Things you cannot count on: Me getting your birthday present mailed to you on time.  Sorry B, on it’s way!)

Brady is the cutest little kid.  He’s got gigantic blue eyes that just suck you in the instant you lock eyes.  Here’s a picture I took of him when he was just a babe.

Brady1I KNOW.  I’m melting.

Here he is looking all big-kid at the Outerbanks this past Summer…

IMG_6797He’s just so sweet!  I wish he didn’t live so far away from us.  Anyway, I don’t think I’ve made him anything before, so it’s about time.

Have you heard of the Goodall cardigan yet?  It’s great!  Celina offers this as a free pattern when you join the Petit a Petit patterns FB page.  I made one for Ellery a couple weeks ago (if you follow me on IG, you can see it) and I fell in love with it.  Super easy, fast, and just so so cute.

And, I’m sure I don’t have to introduce you to the Mini Hudson pants from True Bias… They are everyone’s favorite.

I sewed a size 3 for each of these patterns.  My sister says Brady mostly wears 3T, so I hope these fit.  He’s not a teeny guy. 😉  Luckily I have Coco around to show you the fit.  FYI, she is a tall 3 1/2 year old, and wears a size 4T.  So, the cardi is a little short on her.  The pants are a pretty great fit though!

I love finishing the Hudson pants by just sewing a little strip of knit for a faux tie.  I just haven’t been bothered to add an actual drawstring like the pattern instructs.  I like the ease of the knit tie, and as long as you cut the elastic in the waistband the right length, it makes them fit perfectly anyway without needing to bother with the drawstring (which requires a couple of buttonholes.  So, you know…lazy).

We love pockets ’round here.

The crazy plaid is a French terry from Girl Charlee, and it’s awesome.  I had no idea that the size of the plaid would be huge, but that’s what you get with online shopping.  It’s okay though, because I love it.

The Goodall is like the cardigan pattern I’ve been looking for.  I wish there were an adult-sized version.  It’s just a really easy construction, and I think there is so much opportunity here for color-blocking, and upcycling.

I used Kaufman Laguna knits in navy and charcoal for this Goodall.  I really like the weight and the stretch, and they are easy to sew with.  Perfect if you are new to working with knits.

We hope you like your new outfit, Brady.  We love you to bits!


Nituna jacket


I’m back after my little hiatus, and we are settling in to our new home quite nicely.  We really love our new neighborhood and school!

The dog got fleas the second we got here, so when I’m not bathing him, washing sheets and blankets, vacuuming, or teaching Ellery how to squeeze the life out of the little jerks with a pair of tweezers, I have been sneaking some time in at the machine.

It seriously saves me, friends.

I’ve had the Nituna jacket pattern for a couple of years now, and it seemed like it could be the perfect Fall coat for Ell.  It’s a swing coat, so it’s sort of shorter and wider than I’m used to, but I think it’s a cool look.

I think I was channeling some Carhartt vibes with this project.

The last coats I made E (Uptown jackets) were both hits, nice-fitting, cute, and the pattern was a breeze.

I’m half-wishing I’d just stuck to that one again.

I was pretty frustrated with the instructions here and there.  I felt like I was missing one key word in every step that would’ve made everything make sense for me.  I mean, I understood how it was probably supposed to go together, but I don’t want to spend time trying to decipher a vague sentence.

I skeptically sewed a size 8/9, and assumed it would be large on E because everyone says this pattern runs huge.  Yes, it’s wide but I don’t mind that- but, I feel like this jacket needs to be an inch longer for her- the hem and the sleeves.

The main fabric is a rust colored linen-blend from Joann’s, double cloth cotton from Imagine Gnats for the lining, and some incredibly soft faux fur (by Shannon the minky people) for the hood.  Oh, and there’s a layer of fusible fleece in there too.

So, hella cozy.

Gosh, I love her.

I do have to say that I had one major issue while attaching the raglan sleeves to the front and back pieces.  My sleeve pieces were about 1 inch too short at the top neckline edge, and just did not match up with the front and back.  So I had to shave an inch off of those pieces to even it all up.  I’m not even sure how that happened, but it did screw up my sewing when it came to attaching the hood. I guess that’s where I lost an inch in length?

I tried to press the lining out to the front a bit more so it would look like piping.  There is always room for cheater techniques in my opinion.  😉

The Nituna calls for 4 buttons, sewn in a square to close the front.  I kept thinking it looked toddler-ish that way (my buddy Monica confirmed that for me), so I went a little cuckoo and did my own thing.  I used 5 brass snaps, and just sort of followed that curve at the top.  I think I like it…

Ellery is on the fence.  She kept trying to pull it down longer- I think the fit maybe just feels awkward.  I don’t know how I feel about it… I like the look, but I wish it were a better fitting coat that she could wear to school every day.  Sadly, I don’t think it’s going to be the one she grabs on her way out the door.  Time will tell.

Really, I’m just glad I got around to sewing something.

Happy November!


Black Alice Top

Hi friends!

This might be my last post for a little while, because we are moving!

To Alaska!

Juuuuust kidding… We are moving across town into a bigger house, closer to my parents and my sis.  Very excited!  There is a nice big random room off of the master bedroom that will become my sewing room.  High-fives!  Currently, that room boasts a large heart-shaped Jacuzzi tub in one corner.  Believe me, it will be the first thing to go- I don’t care what my kids say.  Lord knows what kind of parties happened in that thing.

The new yard has a great large fenced off area with a small barn.  I’m not sure we are farm animal people, but I did text my husband some of these pictures as soon as our offer was accepted.  If he knew how to use emojis, I’m pretty sure he would’ve responded with the angry orange face, followed up with the happy turd face.

I dunno, maybe we’ll just start with a bunny.

The first thing I did when I found out that we got the house, was to start packing up my fabric.  Because, I will not be able to complete all of the projects I must do at our current house before we sell it if there is fabric staring at me.

I organized all of my sewing patterns as well, but kept my Tessuti Alice pattern out just in case I had a little time to sew it- I have wanted to make this one all Summer!  I snuck in some time this week to get it done.

I had a terrible time deciding on fabric for this one.  Which is probably why the pattern sat there for months.  I pulled out this double gauze last minute and just got working.  It was a spontaneous move, but I’m pretty happy with it.

(Coco thought it was sooo funny that Mommy’s new shirt is named Alice- just like her favorite baby doll!)

I made a medium and there is a bit of wiggle room in the chest area- but it’s easily the most comfortable thing I’ve ever made myself!  It does dip a little lower at the arm pits than I’d like (see below), but it’s not horrible. Though, if you are shorter than me (5’11”)- and 90% of you probably are, just keep that in mind.

Usually with PDF’s, I find that cutting between the M and L lines works for me.  I also always add length(I added about an inch to the bottom pieces here).  I did a lot of research on this pattern, and found that most people found that sizing down was a great decision.  I second that.

One review that really helped me was Mie’s.  She has lots of great tips, including a little underarm adjustment that make the sleeve piece less “wingy”, that I may try on my next one.

The only change I made to this, was removing 3-4″ of the width on the back bottom piece.  I remember when making my Voila tops, that the back and front shirt pieces were cut from the same pattern piece.  I love my Voilas, but I don’t love that there is the same amount of swingy fabric at the back as there is at the front.  I think it worked well here.

After I finished sewing this, I popped it into the dryer with a bunch of wet clothes.  It came out covered in white fuzzies!  Whoops.  My lint brush is MIA, so I had tried taking it off with some painters tape wrapped around my hand.  It didn’t work so well…


Also, I did not finish any of my seams on the serger because my Mom often has her serger set up with black thread- and I really didn’t want to take the time to change all 4 spools on mine!  I will have to wear this to her house soon and fix it up. 😉

All in all, I am happy with my Alice.  Hell, I might even name my first Pygmy goat Alice.  Alice all the things!