Sewing Tool Recommendations

Hi guys!  Just a quick post today, and this one contains affiliate links, so if you purchase after clicking through here, I’ll get a little extra fabric spending money. 😉 😉

I’ve been asked a bunch of times for a sewing machine recommendation, so I decided to just put it here so that it’s easy to refer to.  The machine I recommend is this Brother CS6000i.  It’s great for beginners or for someone looking to get back into sewing who doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a new machine.  I don’t have this exact model (mine is a similar Brother machine), but this is the one I encouraged my mom to buy a couple of summers ago and therefore the one I use when I’m visiting her (because who can stop sewing for 2 whole weeks?  Impossible).

I recommend this one because it comes with so many extras, including a walking foot (great for sewing knits or quilting things with layers).  I may have stolen the walking foot that came with my mom’s machine, since my machine didn’t come with one… thanks, Mom!  It also comes with a hardcover case, which is great for protecting the machine if you want to store it in a closet.

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Also, just throwing this out there in case anyone wants to start sewing with knit fabric more… a serger changed my life in that department.  I got this Brother 1034D serger about a year ago, and I have zero complaints.  There are definitely models that have more bells and whistles, but this one is a workhorse and I love it.

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And, since Christmas is coming, here are a few things I own that I use all the time… just in case you were looking for things to ask for. 🙂

  1. Rotary cutter and mat: I have this cutter and this mat.  But this smaller cutter is on my wish list for Christmas this year!  Smaller cutters are better for cutting curves.  If you do a lot of straight lines, a clear ruler is nice.  I have this one.
  2. Magnetic pin cushion:  I have this one and love it!
  3. Retractable tape measure:  I have this one.  No more winding up my tape measure every time I use it… or every time one of the kids uses it as a cat toy… sigh…
  4. My Gingher scissors… these things cut like a dream, folks.
  5. These wonder clips… amazing.  I use them instead of pins when I’m serging to make sure that I don’t accidentally serge a pin and kill my serger blade.  They’re also great for holding thick layers together.

I have a bunch of other things, too, but these are the ones I use for almost every project, and the ones that I always like to have close by while I’m working.  I hope this is helpful for some of you!

Thanks for reading!

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Flower Girl Dresses

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You may remember a post from a long time ago where I showed you my trial run of the flower girl dresses for my sister in law’s wedding… well, now I’m here to show you the real deal!

We were super busy the day of the wedding, of course, so I can’t take credit for any of these photos.  These are all from the wedding photographer (Worden Photography), and used with permission.  🙂

First of all, this was hands-down the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to, and yes, I’m definitely including my own in there.  I mean, my wedding is definitely still my favorite, but mostly because of the result where I end up spending my life with THE best guy ever. 😉  This wedding was so beautiful that you’re required to pronounce every syllable of the word.  Yup, you got it, BEA-U-TI-FUL!  I am now going to spam you with a bunch of pictures to prove it to you.

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See?  I told you.

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But, now on to the flower girl dresses!  I made them basically the same way that I made the trial version, except I stepped it up a notch with some of the finishes.  All of the fabric is from Joann Fabrics.  I started with the Blake dress by Mingo and Grace, but modified it quite a bit.  I created the sweetheart neckline on the top, used binding on the arm and neck holes, gathered and lengthened the skirt, and omitted the pockets.

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I also bought enough yardage of the lace so that I could make the front and back of the skirt as one piece with no side seam, which made it so I didn’t have to match up the scalloped bottom on the sides.  I did a blind hem on the faux-satin under layer and used an invisible zipper foot (game changer!) to install the zippers.

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Ella and her cousin Annalise were the cutest little flower girls…

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Even if Ella looked slightly terrified to be walking down the aisle!

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But they made it!  And settled in next to Grandma to try and sit still for the ceremony.

See how innocent she looks here?  Yeah, this is just moments before she bopped her cousin on the head with her bouquet and had to be taken away…

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I had planned to make Luke’s outfit too, but ran out of motivation to make a plain white shirt and gray pants that he would grow out of so quickly.  Therefore, his outfit is mostly courtesy of Old Navy.  The adorable bowtie and suspenders are from Bow Tie Fun on Etsy.

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We had such a fabulous time, and I felt honored to have contributed a small piece to what was a pretty amazing wedding.

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Thanks for reading!

Zip Top Tote(s)

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As promised, here is the bridal shower gift I made for my cute sister in law!  I love love love this bag, guys.  This is the zip top tote from Anna Graham’s Handmade Style book.  I had had her book on my Amazon wishlist since before it was released, but then I was lucky enough to win a copy when she gave a few away!

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For my newlywed sister in law, this is the perfect size for a day trip or to use as a carry on.  I also made one for myself (I’ll get to that in a minute), and for me it’s my everyday bag because it fits all the stuff I need for the kiddos.  There are also two hidden outside pockets, perfect for throwing your keys and phone into when you head into a store.

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This was my first time using Soft and Stable on a project.  It’s what Anna recommended in the pattern, and I love how it makes the bag stand up on its own.

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For the shower gift, I made a coordinating pouch from my favorite pattern, which is also from Noodlehead as a free tutorial on her blog (check out the open wide pouch here!).  I love how wide it opens, so that you can easily find whatever you’re looking for.

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The stripe canvas fabric is from Hobby Lobby, and the rest are from Joann.  The metal zippers are from Zipit.  The leather is from a FabMo special selection event, so I’m pretty sure it cost me about $0.75.  Love that place.  🙂

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I always like to make myself a tester version before I make a gift for someone else, in case I need to make any adjustments.  For this pattern, the only change I made was to double up the leather on the straps and sew the edges together.  The straps on mine stretch a bit and feel a little thin, but the straps on her version are perfect.

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All of the fabric for my bag is from Joann (except the FabMo leather).

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Here’s a shot of one of the hidden pockets in action.

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I kind of love her simple stripe version more than mine… I think I might need to make myself another one.  😉

Thanks for reading!

Bridal Shower Brunch

Earlier this summer, my husband’s little sister got married to her high school sweetheart, and I was lucky enough to be her matron of honor!  Ugh, that sounds old… okay, moving past it… 🙂

That meant it was time for me to play hostess.  I don’t do it a lot, so I borrowed a bunch of things from my friends and spent a lot of time with my other good friend, Pinterest. 😉

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While people were arriving, there was time for people to write a memory, a blessing, or a word of advice for the bride-to-be.  I had asked for people to send me pictures ahead of time and had a bunch of flower and jewel stickers for them to use to decorate their pages.

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For food we had quiche, mini pancakes, mini chicken apple sausages, and fruit.

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And cake, of course!

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For drinks we had coffee, water, and orange or mango mimosas…mmm…

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The champagne glasses were the party favor.  I got these glasses and dipped the bottom in chalkboard paint.  Guests could write their name on the bottom to keep from losing their glass.

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I kept the decorations fairly simple – the garland was cut from heavyweight paper.  I got this circle cutter and spent a few nights cutting circles while watching TV, and then just stitched them together with my sewing machine.  And you were worried there wouldn’t be any sewing in this post… 😉

The succulents were a pretty little addition to the tables (and only $6 each at Home Depot!), and they served as the prize for the game too.  Add some (borrowed) tablecloths and some balloons and you have a party!

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We had such a great time celebrating the beautiful bride-to-be!

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Stay tuned… the next post will be back to sewing, with the shower gift I made for her.  Here’s a hint… it’s a pattern from this sewing book! 😉

Thanks for reading!