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March 3, 2016

True Bias - Mandy sweater-5808


Since my kids are no longer small enough to sew cute little rompers for, I have to live vicariously through my friends who are still having babies. I made a couple of these as baby gifts for dear friends and I’m a little smitten with them. I love this Summer Romper by Brindille and Twig. It’s just the right combination between modern and classic. No ruffles, clean lines etc…


True Bias - Mandy sweater-5813

The pattern is drafted for knit fabrics, but I really wanted to use this loominous fabric by Anna Maria Horner. I bought it when it was on sale awhile back at Imagine Gnats. Im in love with this fabric. I just wish I had bought more. It’s thinner than quilting cotton – more of a cotton lawn – and has that 1970s meets South America vibe that is so popular right now. I think it would be awesome in a gathered or pleated skirt for the summer. Because the pattern was drafted for knits I did have to make some adjustments.  Mainly just adding seam allowances and hiding them since I didn’t want them visible on the inside. It also made the elastic casing in the leg really hard to sew because I didn’t have any stretch. Next time I would just add bias tape to make a casing on the inside of each leg.

I also decided to do buttons and buttonholes instead of snaps, just because I hate how fiddly adding snaps can me. I’ve ruined a few garments in the past this way.

The only thing I didn’t love about the pattern was the way that it had you attach the straps to the waistband as seen above. Next time I will add some length to the straps and hide the ends under the waistband casing seam. Otherwise, great little pattern with awesome results. Will use many more times for baby gifts. She has so many great patterns for newborns and toddlers.



January 26, 2016

I found these amazing vintage curtains at a thrift store awhile back and couldn’t pass them up. I fell in love with the print and colors. I was a little scared that using them would end up like a bad remake of the Sound of Music, and well, it did kinda end up that way, but I love it anyways. I wasn’t confident enough to make myself something out of it, but I thought that my daughter could pull it off better than I could.

The pattern that I used was from the burda magazine #152. I love that it’s such a classic little girls dress. I made it up once before in a ponte which worked great too.  I made a few changes this time around. I lined the entire dress with a brown cotton lawn. I liked that it made it a little nicer and also that it added a bit more fullness to the skirt. I also rotated out the waist darts this. Because honestly, little girls don’t need darts and seeing them on a little dress weirds me out a bit.

My daughter is obsessed with the dress. I love that the fabric is definitely winter and fall appropriate. It was perfect for both Thanksgiving and Christmas parties (yes, I’ve been sitting on these photos for almost two months).

Now I’ve just got to figure out what to do with the rest of the curtains. I probably still have four yards. I am thinking that maybe a duffle bag or backpack might be cool.



November 25, 2015

The Cocoon Dress is the first pattern released by Groovy Baby Mama. Originally it was part of the Sew What Club, but now it is available to purchase on it’s own. I love pretty much everything that Trine of Groovy Baby Mama makes for herself- she has such a simple, modern, and chic style, and her kids clothes are no different.

As I mentioned before, my daughter is not so big on pants. This becomes a little tricky in the winter months. I got her a few pairs of nice, thick, ponte leggings and some knee high boots so that we could pair them with some winter dresses this season. This is the perfect dress for this.

I’ve made up two so far and I have already bought some quilted jersey to make a third. It’s a really simple pattern that sews up very fast. For me, the hardest part is just getting your twin needle stretch stitching nice and flat.

The first version with the ruffle sleeve is made out of some french terry knit from Imagine Ghats. I love this deep plum color and the stiffness of the fabric was perfect to hold the cocoon shape.

For my next version I used some acid wash knit from my stash that I bought from Wanderlust fabrics last year. I love this fabric! I thought that the ruffle would be too “sweet” for the acid wash so I went a little rogue. I added this little cap insert to add some interest and structure to the shoulder. My intention was to have it stick out a bit more for a more angled look, but it didn’t go as planned. I still love the way it turned out, but maybe next time I will play with it a bit more.

My daughter and I both love this pattern. It’s comfy and roomy for her and I love that the shape is really modern. I sewed up the size 5T for her according to the measurement chart and it fit well. I could maybe take a bit of width out of the neckline if I wanted to be picky. It looks really great with leggings. If I were to make a version for warmer weather I would probably lengthen the front by a bit just because it gets a bit short in front when she lifts her arms. Perfect for leggings – but maybe short if not.

Check out this post if you want more details on buying the Cocoon dress pattern.



November 23, 2015

The toddler backpack pattern from Made by Rae has become a bit of a rite of passage item in our home. My daughter has had two of them, and my two year old son was finally ready for his own for going on playdates and such.

The zebra fabric was some that I designed awhile back when By Hand London was still doing custom printed fabric. I love the fabric and the way it turned out, but had no idea what to do with it so it just sat in the stash for a long time. I’m glad that I finally decided to use it for the backpack. It’s a bit heavier than a quilting cotton so it was perfect.

The straps, bottom and sides are made with a blue duck cloth and I added a lining to the whole bag in this really fun batik quilting cotton. Just for functionality I also added an inside zipper pocket and an elastic pocket to fit his water bottle. I used an ivory metal zipper for the top as well as ivory piping for accents.

I have tried multiple things to add stiffness and shape to the backpack. On my last version I used some heavyweight interfacing fused to the outside fabric which ended up being a bit of a disaster. With wear it separated and bubbled and I could never get it to look great again. This time I read up on recommendations and decided to give Pellon Thermolam a try. So far so good. I only added it to the outside fabric. It did make it a bit tricky to sew through all of the layers though, especially when adding the piping. Next time I think I would trim off the seam allowances of the fusible fleece before adhering it.

I see this backpack getting a lot of love and use over the next couple of years before he needs a full sized one. Love this little pattern and all of the times I have made it for my kids.



August 19, 2015

As I mentioned before, I will not be doing a full sewalong for the Mini Sutton Blouse.  Most of the directions are the same as the adult Sutton Blouse and you can follow along with that sewalong by clicking here.

I did, however, want to do a little tutorial for the instructions for the button band as it is an added item to the Mini version and I know that it can get a little confusing.


First, fuse your buttonband interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric, on the wearer’s left shoulder, of both the front and back. Place it 1/4” from both the neckline and armhole edges and 1/2” from the top edge. (Note that this is the shoulder that has been left longer and not the one that was trimmed.)

On this same shoulder of the back piece, fold the shoulder edge down by 1/2” (along the top edge of the interfacing) with wrong sides touching and press.

Now take this newly pressed edge and fold it back, right sides touching, at 5/8” (along the bottom edge of the interfacing). Press the edge lightly with your finger and pin at both outside edges. (Notice that in the photo below it has been flipped over so that the main area is right side up.) Repeat this process for the left shoulder on the front piece.

Unfold one side of your bias tape. Starting at the back left shoulder, pin the open edge of your bias tape to the neckline edge with right sides together. Continue until you reach the front left shoulder for view B (shown here) or center front for View A. If doing view A continue to follow the instructions in the pattern for center front and attaching the bias tape to the rest of the front neckline until you reach the front left shoulder. Trim your bias tape to be flush with the folded edge. Stitch at 1/4” seam allowance.

On all neckline edges, press the the bias tape up and away from the neckline edge and over the seam allowance.

With the right side facing up, understitch by carefully stitching 1/16” inside of the bias tape, catching the seam allowance underneath.

Using the same process that you did for the neckline, attach the bias tape to all armhole edges. Trim the ends of the bias tape flush with the armhole edges.

On the top edge of the back left shoulder, clip both corners within the seam allowance.

Flip the button band right side out, adjusting the corners so that they have a nice point. This will cause the bias tape to start flipping in towards the inside of the neckline and armhole. Press the fold of the buttonband. Pin and edgestitch along the open, folded edge from neckline edge to armhole opening, catching all layers underneath. Repeat for front left shoulder.

On the neckline edge, continue to turn the bias tape to the wrong side of the blouse while rolling the seam slightly to the inside. Using a curved surface such as a tailor’s ham, press and pin in place. Starting and ending at the button band stitching, edgestitch the open side of the bias tape to the neckline. Sew down the bias tape on both armholes in the same manner.

OK, I think that is it for the buttonband. Let me know if you have any questions.  If you want a little extra help with the hem and slits you can check out this tutorial that I did for SewMamaSew awhile back which walks you through it.

I hope this helps!