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.


Sewing to Sell Blog Tour {& giveaway}

When Erin and I were invited to join the book tour for Virginia Lindsay’s Sewing to Sell, we were totally pumped.  Virginia has been selling her adorable handmade goods and patterns long enough to have learned a thing or two about the process.  You should check out her blog, Gingercake if you haven’t!  In her newly released book, she gathers what she has learned from experiences and hands it to you.  Here ya go future-Etsy-store-owner, or wanna-be-craftshow-vendor, its all right here!  In Sewing to Sell, you will learn about knowing your market, maximizing your time, pricing your product, and packaging, so that your hardwork and love (because there is always love in handmades) can actually PAY off.


Oh and there’s one more thing, actually 16 more things- this book includes 16 PATTERNS (copyright free- to help you get your shop ready)!  Lunch bags, pot holders, tablet covers, and so much more.  I mean, even if you are not ready to put your goods out there for sale, this book is still worth the purchase!

Check out what I made!!!!!!!!! Can you tell I’m excited?


When I looked through the patterns in my eBook copy of Sewing to Sell, I kept coming back to the Great Big Tote.

Can you believe I have never sewn a bag of any type?  I have no idea why.  I love making useful items, and also showing off my handmade work, so it was high time that MAMA GOT A BRAND NEW BAG.

 Make that two brand new bags!

One for the market, and one for the beach!

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I took Virginia’s advice about taking an assembly-line approach when sewing multiple products.  The repetition of each step helped me to keep my head in the game and to sew more conscientiously.  There was zero seam ripping, and zero curse-words with this approach!  I truly enjoyed the bag making process, and watching it literally unfold (through a four inch hole that you will later topstich close ;)) was fascinating!

Bag making is so cool!  I’m hooked!

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Here I am pretending that I just plucked a bunch of green onion out of my winter garden.  Tee hee.

Erin was helping me with the photo shoot.  She had to put her foot down when I told her to take my picture while I pull a carrot out and feed it to her neighbor’s horse.  What?  Too contrived?  Fine.

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We sure had fun styling the bags for the shoot.  I am shocked how much stuff can fit into these things!  The mommy-market would be all over this tote.

Look out L.L. Bean!

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Virginia suggested using painter’s drop cloth canvas for a sturdy bottom and lining (It’s super economical).  I still had a bunch left over from when I made 3 bedskirts out of this stuff, so that worked out!  It actually sews really nicely through the machine.

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The coordinating fabric was handed down to me by a friend who is just an occasional sewer (Mermaid Play by Michael Miller).  The chicken fabric was purchased for a different project, and the pockets were scrap.  So, both bags, cost me nothing to make! Okay, wait, I bought some interfacing for a few dollars.  It’s a little hard for me to clock my hours when they are all just stolen moments in the midst of parenting, but I’d guess roughly 6 hours was put in to make both.  I am a very slow sewer.

Sewing to Sell offers advice on pricing your items so that your hourly wage doesn’t become peanuts.  Or in my case, Skinny Pop.  I’m so addicted, they’re gonna have to change the name to Chubby Pop.

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I still can’t get over the fact that I made a really nice, durable tote bag!   The pattern instructions were clear and uncomplicated.  The only tough part for me was at the very end, sewing up those corners.  There was a good bit of fabric to get through at that point.

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But hey, we are humans, not machines.   I’m pretty sure I’ll still be turning heads at the kiddie pool next summer!  Heads of moms…who want my bag.

See ya there!

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Virginia is graciously offering a free hardcopy of Sewing to Sell to one of our readers (within the continental U.S.).

Just leave a comment below!  The giveaway will close Sunday 12/7.  And if you don’t win, follow the blog tour for more opportunities!

Thank you for entering!  A winner has been chosen at random, congratulations lisacrafty!  Enjoy your copy of Sewing to Sell!


Blog Tour

Back-to-School Babydoll

School starts on the 20th.  So soon, so soon!! Ellery will be a big first grader this year.

I wonder if she’ll be brave enough to buy lunch sometime.  Last year, she asked if she could buy lunch one day and I said, “Of course! What would you want to buy?”  Thinking she’d say, “pizza!” or “tacos!”


“Trout Treasures.”

My kid wants trout.  In treasure form.

 Let’s talk about this dress.

Once again, it’s the Bohemian Babydoll pattern from Elegance & Elephants.

The fabric is an organic cotton designed by Carolyn Gavin for Windham.  It’s Petite Fleur in Navy, and the contrasting Citron solid for the hem is from the same line.  I kept checking out this print in my fabric closet, imagining it as a dress for the fall, layered with a cardigan and over tights… or, knee socks.  KNEE socks people.  Can we get a straight-up revival?

This is my 5th boho baby dress.

I’ve had a few custom etsy orders since my first, and I can say that I love this pattern now that I’ve decided how I like it.

This is how I like it: I cut my 6 year old a size 6 with the 7 length for the skirt… But, I still felt that this dress was a leeetle too short.  So, when I was sewing the hem facing, I decided not to fold it all the way under, and just stitched in the ditch on the front.  It probably added another 3/4″.  I love this length on Ellery and I will probably make this dress in this way again!  Oh, you know I did the “sausage step” again for the bodice- once you get the hang of it, it’s so much faster and so much cleaner!!

I am really a fan of not having to make buttonholes.  This dress is sweet and simple, and just has an ease about it that I like a whole lot.

I think Ellery will rock this all school-year long… We both love it!

I hope she rocks those knee socks too.

WHILE tearing up some trout treasures.


Kids in Hats

Last month I stayed up way too late making a bucket hat for Ellery.  The next day at school was “H” day- they were counting down the days of school with each letter of the alphabet- and I was damned if she was going to wear the ratty purple dollar store witch hat that she layed out before going to bed.

  She loved the hat, but wouldn’t ya know… she wore the goofy purple witch hat to school.  OF COURSE.

This pattern is a free download from the Oliver + S website, though you can also find it in Liesl’s book, Little Things to Sew.  Luckily I had this pattern cut out in every size (thanks again, old self!).  A couple of easy modifications were done: I widened the brim AND skipped the hand-stitching a la Jessica.

I used some Echino mochi dot linen in charcoal for the outer layer, and mint cotton for the lining.  I also made one for little sister using some more Echino linen.  BIRDS y’all.  Ellery got a size large, and I made Coco the medium… I recommend that you go a size up with this pattern.

This was not a day for bucket hats…

Look at that sky!

Ellery always dresses for the weather.  She looked outside before going out and decided a corduroy jacket was in order- even though it was in the mid-80’s.  Silly girl.

Oh look!  It’s my semi-annual Hungie Gungie photo of Grant!

 He was so cute trying to sneak into their pictures.  Remember the first bucket hat I made? It was for this boy when he was just a squishy little 1 year old…

This hat is technically reversible, but I gotta say, the inside is not super pretty.  I’m not very good at sewing around curves and this pattern has plenty to fit together and sew.  Plus, I maybe should’ve interfaced my lining pieces instead of the linen, because the linen was then extra thick and the lining was very thin, and it just took a lot of fiddling around to fit them together nicely without tons of puckering.

These hats are just so cute and so practical- my girls wear them outside playing all the time!

Hope you are all enjoying the beginning of Summer!

(oh, and thank you all for your nice comments about my etsy shop! XO)