Holiday Dress 2017

For a while now, I haven’t been able to get the thought of a green velvet holiday dress out of my head.  I had one of those classic mid-90’s crushed velvet Christmas dresses when I was little, and it was my absolute favorite!  Welcome to the grown-up version of my favorite dress!  IMG_2506

I started by simply knowing I wanted a velvet dress, and found this one on pinterest to use as inspiration.  I knew the Charleston Dress from Hey June Handmade would be the perfect place to start, so I quickly snatched up the last 2 yards of green stretch velvet that Raspberry Creek had in stock right before black Friday (looks like they have a little back in stock right now!).


Since I had never made View B before, I started by making a muslin to make sure the waist and hip locations were in the right spot (and they were, right from the start!).  I modified the muslin pattern pieces to have a boatneck in the front and a scoop in the back to begin with, but then adjusted them more by gradually by changing my muslin to give the affect I was looking for (i.e. scoop out only low enough that I can still wear a normal bra!).  I also made a swayback adjustment, altered the hip curve a bit, and added 3″ of length to the bottom of the skirt.



When I was happy with the muslin, I combined the bodice and skirt pattern pieces to remove the waist seam, and then I was ready to cut into my good fabric.




When making the dress, I blatantly disregarded Adrianna’s very sound advice to use a sewing machine and went straight for the serger.  I would normally listen to every word of the instructions (there’s a reason that #adriannaisagenius is a real thing!), but my machine hates velvet, while my serger handles it with no issues.  Thankfully it worked out!




Unfortunately the velvet didn’t behave as similarly to the ponte I used as a muslin fabric as I had hoped, and it turns out I probably could have sized down for the velvet.  I ended up taking in the side seams a bit in both the arms and body, which pushed my princess seams out a bit farther to the sides than if I had sized down, but I’m still calling this dress a win.


I finished the neckline by using my stable ponte muslin fabric as a single fold bias tape (understitching and all!), and it holds the shape perfectly.


I left an 8″ slit in the back.  I don’t need it for mobility because the fabric has plenty of stretch – I just like how it looks!



The belt was also a little DIY project – it’s literally just rhinestones hot glued to fold over elastic!  But hey – it works!


I added some shoes from Payless (and some shapewear, of course!)  to complete the look!

I’ll leave you with my red carpet pose… on my front sidewalk… hiding from my neighbors by staying behind a tree. 😉


Thanks for reading!!


Handmade Christmas, 2016 Edition

Okay, guys… buckle up, because this post is a long one.  I may have gone a LITTLE CRAZY with the handmade gift giving this year.  All but one were done in time for Christmas, and all it took was staying up until 11 or 12 every night in December! 🙂

First up on my list: Christmas pj’s for Ella and Luke.  Luke was desperately in need of more winter pj’s anyway, so I made some trial versions for him before cutting into my Christmas fabric.  I started with the Bonne Nuit winter pajamas pattern, which I had gotten with my subscription to the Sew What Club about a year ago.  I loved that the pants were made of 3 main pieces instead of two, so they have that cute wedge shape over those kid bottoms.


I wasn’t too thrilled with that pattern, though – the sleeves were too tight and the body too loose on Luke, and the pants were too long and legs too tight.  He still wears this pair, but it’s a bit of a struggle to get his arms and legs in.  I picked up this fabric from Fields Fabric in Michigan when I was out there this past fall.

For the second pair I swapped out the shirt for a Pistachio Tee, hacked to add bands on the sleeves.  This shirt was a perfect fit for Luke, which is what I have come to expect when using a Sew Like My Mom pattern.  I used the same pants pattern as the first time, but widened the legs.


These fit him well, but the legs were still pretty long.  The fabric was from Raspberry Creek, and it’s much softer and stretchier than the first pair.

For the final pair, I took an inch (maybe two? I don’t remember) off the length in addition to the wider legs, and these fit him perfectly!  I used a Pistachio Tee and a widened leg  Bonne Nuit pants for Ella’s pj’s as well, and I love how they turned out.  This fabric was from Raspberry Creek as well.


They wore them for our own gift opening on Christmas Eve morning, and then, since we had to get the kids out of bed around 3am for our flight the day after Christmas, they wore them all the way from California to Michigan.  🙂



The next project was Ella’s Christmas dress.  I used the Waterfall Raglan pattern from Chalk & Notch, and a plum colored stretch velvet from  I LOVE this dress on her, and she loves it too – in fact, she just wore it again for most of the day yesterday.


Once I made this one, I knew I wanted to make more… so I made four more, one for each of my nieces.  I didn’t get a picture of my niece Annalise in her red velvet dress (you may remember her as the other flower girl in the post on those dresses), but we were able to get all the nieces on my side of the family to pose in their dresses!



In the midst of this, Tim’s sister wanted to make some Christmas pillows for her living room, and once I started making pillows with her, I definitely needed some for me too…


Tim’s mom had requested a bathrobe, but the fabric I ordered didn’t arrive until until two days before Christmas, so I made it after… here’s a really bad late-night pic of me modeling it in my super dirty mirror… sorry!  I used the Riverside Robe pattern by Peek-a-boo Patterns in a navy terry cloth, and lengthened to floor length per her request.


For Tim’s dad, I picked up a wine bag from Target and added a design I made on my Silhouette Cameo using heat transfer vinyl (HTV).


For my sister-in-law Abbie, I made a Cocoon Cardigan from Patterns for Pirates in a striped french terry from Raspberry Creek.  She’s expecting a little boy in March, so a cardigan was a safe bet as to what would work for her right now.  Here’s another dirty mirror shot of that one…


For the new baby she’s expecting, I made a Bimaa sweater and some modified Baby Go-To Leggings (widened and cuffs added to look more like joggers).  The fabric is all from (surprise!) Raspberry Creek.


I then also “needed” to make a Bimaa for Luke and one for my nephew Ezra, who is basically the same size as Luke…



For Tim’s sister Megan, I made some Sloan leggings in a super soft brushed poly from Raspberry Creek, but I apparently didn’t take a picture of them… so you’ll just have to trust me that they’re great and I will be making more of them in the future!  I also made her a fold-over clutch using the LBG Studio pattern.


The top and bottom bags here are for Megan and my sister Katie.  The middle one is a little Christmas gift I made for myself.  🙂  These fabric for their clutches is from Joann, the fabric on mine is from Hobby Lobby (I also used it for this bag), and the “leather” accents are from a piece I picked up at FabMo.

Katie had sent me a pin of a black and white striped cardigan with elbow patches a while back, so guess what she got for Christmas!  🙂  <insert dirty mirror disclaimer once again… don’t look at the smudges… look at those cute, cuddly kitties on the bed!>  I used the Patterns for Pirates Grandpa Cardi, but doubled the width and rotated the grainline direction of the regular collar to mimic the pin Katie had sent me.  The fabric is from an Etsy shop that will remain un-named, since I had a really bad customer service experience.  It was my first and last purchase from them.



For my sister-in-law Sheryl, I made a Zip Top Tote from Noodlehead’s Handmade Style book.  I use mine literally every day as my carry-all for my kids’ stuff.  Since Sheryl has twice as many kids as I do, I figured she might be able to use one of these amazing bags as well!  The floral fabric is one I’ve had in my stash for a while from, and the purple is from Joann.  The leather (real leather this time!) is from FabMo.


Somewhere in the middle of all of this, I realized that Luke was constantly running out of clean pants, so I spent one night making him 5 new pairs of Boxwood Joggers.  The fit of these is perfect for Luke.  For the sake of time, I combined the pattern pieces to have just one piece for each leg of the pants.  It made these super quick, but I love the added detail of the triangular piece so much that I don’t think I’ll take it out again.  Also, I was out of the correct size of elastic for the waistband, so these have a narrower waistband than is typical of the pattern.  These are all made from Raspberry Creek french terry.


The last gift I’m sharing is one of the first I made – I think it was right after Thanksgiving.  All of the nieces on my side of the family have an “Our Generation” doll that looks like them, and it’s fun to have matching outfits with your doll, right?  Lexi thinks so!  She and “Kendra” got matching pj’s.  Lexi’s top is a Coconut Summer PJs top, and her pants are the Perfect PJ Pants, which I found as a free pattern on Craftsy.  Kendra’s top is self drafted (using Megan’s old Kirsten American Girl doll as a model), and has a velcro closure on the back.   Her pants are the Night Before PJ Pants by Cole’s Corner and Creations.  I added some HTV hearts to both shirts to make it coordinate even more. 🙂



Oh, and one more thing I forgot to photograph… I also made 8 infinity scarves and gave away 7 of them to various family members, keeping one for myself.  🙂

And I did make my mother-in-law some of those “if you can read this, bring me a glass of wine” socks that were so popular this year, just adding HTV to some warms socks I purchased…

And I helped Megan make pajama pants for her and her husband with the free 5 out of 4 pajama pants pattern… and… I think that’s it?  It was all a bit of a blur, but it was fun and I actually really looked forward to my sewing time each evening.

I hope you all had wonderful holidays!  Here’s my little family, 3/4 of which are wearing handmades… sorry, Tim!  Maybe next Christmas. 😉


Whew!  If you made it this far, congratulations!

Thanks for reading!


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!

Handmade Christmas Gifts – 2015 Edition

Okay… it’s been awhile since my last post!  There was so much chaos in December and over the holidays, and then sickness after… I feel like I’m just starting to get my feet back under me again.  Of course, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t sewing.  It’s just the picture taking and blogging that has suffered. 🙂

I debated whether or not to post about the handmade gifts I gave for Christmas this year, mostly since the photo quality is pretty poor, including a bunch of poorly lit mirror selfies… yikes!  In the end, I decided that I had spent enough time on the gifts that they deserved a post, even if the photos don’t do them justice.  So here you go… a handmade Christmas gift roundup.

First up, a Hey June Lane Raglan for my sister.


Next, a Patterns for Pirates (P4P) Women’s Raglan in tunic length with the cowl add-on for my sister in law.


And a matching Bimaa for my niece.


Mother-daughter matching goodness!


I couldn’t resist making myself a new Christmas shirt, too.  Mine is a P4P Women’s Raglan with an attached flannel cowl.




My nephew Ezra got a Brindille & Twig Raglan Hoodie and three pairs of modified Baby Go To Leggings.  He’s a skinny little guy, so ready-to-wear pants are too big in the waist.  Custom made pants were in order!



Ella and her BFF cousin Annalise got matching cozy dresses.  I used the Bimaa pattern again, but made the bodice 4″ shorter and added a circle skirt, since Annalise likes twirly dresses. 🙂








For my other sister-in-law (Annalise’s mom), a P4P Grandpa Cardi.  I was tempted to keep this one for myself, and when I showed it to my mom, she said she wanted an identical one. 🙂



And little Luke got another sweatshirt to match his cousin’s.  Turns out it’s a great sweatshirt for wearing during cuddle naps!



All of the fabrics I used were from Raspberry Creek Fabric, except for the cowl fabric on Ella and Annalise’s dresses, which was from Girl Charlee (purchased probably 18 months ago).  I’m really loving buying fabric from Raspberry Creek lately, and I’ve probably been buying more than I should, but the fabrics are so great and the prices are so reasonable that I just can’t resist!  I may have just placed another order this morning… it’s an addiction!  But an addiction that provides super cute and comfy clothes for me and my kiddos, so I’m not too upset.  😉

Thanks for reading!

Holiday Style


I don’t have a lot of excuses to get dressed up every year, but Tim’s work holiday party is one of them, and I always look forward to it.  The party is nothing too elaborate – it’s around 40 people gathering at a steakhouse for a nice dinner and then a white elephant ornament exchange.  It’s not super formal, and it’s always a fun time.


For the last four years – no joke – I have worn the same black wrap dress (with a different scarf) every year.  And I was 16-17 weeks pregnant two of those years.  It was definitely time for a change!


This look is a combination of two easy to sew and actually really comfortable patterns – just because I’m getting dressed up doesn’t mean I need to be uncomfortable all night!


The top is the Lane Raglan by Hey June.  I’m all about raglans right now, and I figured why not use one here too?  I used a sequined fabric from Joann (I can’t find it online – sorry!) to give it a little holiday sparkle, and I like the mix of the casual style of the shirt and glitz of the fabric.


I made it a size smaller than normal and still took it in at the sides a bit so that it would be a more fitted look.  I also made the sleeves shorter because sequins down to my wrists just felt like too much.  Oh, and I promise the sleeves are the same length – one is just pushed up a bit in these pictures.  🙂


The skirt is from the recently released Sybil Illusion Skirt Collection by Love Notions.  Have you seen all of the options in this skirt pattern?  You basically have every knit skirt covered if you have this one pattern.  Plus, it has pockets (love!) and an option for a tummy control panel.  I used just the regular yoga waistband for this skirt, mostly because I ran out of time to get the right fabric for the control panel.  🙂  The regular waistband works well for this box-pleated version, but I think if I were to make a more fitted style (like the pencil skirt, which is what I want to try next!), I would want the panel.  Because, you know, two kids.  Yeah.


The fabric for this skirt is also from Joann – it’s this jegging material.  I like how the weight of this fabric works with the pleats on the skirt to give it a little volume – it reminds me of this dress that I made for Ella.


I finished the outfit with some tights (I think this makes three years in a row for these tights – I know, I have a problem), heels, and a chunky necklace… good to go!


Thanks for reading!

Cozy Bimaa Dress


Hi everyone!  I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.  We did, despite some sickness going around our family earlier in the week (and mine has been going on for over two weeks now – ugh!)  On Friday morning we carried out our annual tradition of going to the Santa Cruz mountains to cut down our Christmas tree.  This is the first year that Ella really understood what was going on, and she LOVED it.  She was Daddy’s big helper, as usual.  🙂


I’ve actually been doing a lot of sewing lately, but with some for pattern testing, some for a future blog tour, and some for Christmas presents, there’s not much to show you yet… but it’s coming!

Anyway, since it’s been pretty cold (for California) during the nights lately, I decided that Ella needed a new, cozy dress to wear to church this morning.  When did I decide this?  During dinner last night, of course.  🙂



I received both of these fabrics in a french terry mystery box I bought from Raspberry Creek Fabric in early October, and I knew immediately that they would be something for Ella, and most likely a Bimaa.


Then, when Tami posted about making the Bimaa into a dress for her daughter, I knew that’s what this was going to be, too.


I’ve had the Bimaa pattern printed out and put together for a while now (and I’ve used it for some of those secret things I’ve been doing!).  So… last night after the kids were in bed (roughly 7:42pm), I traced out the size I needed (3T), adding some length and a bit of a flare out for the dress modification, and cut my fabric.


By 8:05pm, I was ready to go, and by 8:50pm this dress was complete!  I received a serger from my mother-in-law as an early Christmas gift this year, and it has been a game-changer in terms of sewing with knits.  I LOVE it! (It’s *this one* if you’re interested.)


Can I tell you about these fabrics for a minute?  Because they’re just about my favorite thing ever.  Tim laughs at me every time I sew with french terry because I keep hugging the fabric, rubbing it against my cheek, and forcing him to “feel how soft it is!”  And then, to try and throw the scraps away… I mean… talk about torture.


Ella loves it too, and why not?  It’s like wearing your favorite, cozy sweatshirt, but looking good and ready for church!


Aside from a couple of random pieces, I’ve gotten all of my french terry from Raspberry Creek Fabric.  It’s a small, independently run fabric shop on Etsy.  There’s also a Facebook group run by the owner, where everyone can share what they’ve made with the fabrics from that shop.  It’s pretty inspiring!  That facebook group has also somehow attracted the most supportive group of people – so if you’re into sewing, go check it out!  As someone who doesn’t have any family or friends that are as crazy about sewing as I am, it’s a place that I can “hang out” with my sewing community, and it’s pretty fun.  Note – I’m not financially associated with them in any way  (other than when I spend my entire fabric budget there sometimes!) – I just wanted to share in case you’re like me and want to find a great online sewing community!

Okay – tangent over – now just a couple more pics of this crazy cute girl!



Thanks for reading!

*Marked items are affiliate links, and I will receive a small amount of compensation if you buy something after clicking on that link.  Thanks for your support!

Flower Girl Dress – Trial Run!

My sister-in-law Megan is getting married next summer (to her high school sweetheart!), and we are all so excited!  We are also all going to be in the wedding!  Ella and her cousin Annalise are going to be flower girls together.  These two girls LOVE each other, and it’s going to be sooooo cute to see them in the wedding together.IMG_4524I volunteered to make dresses for the girls, and Megan showed me some pics of what she liked.  The final dresses will be ivory like Megan’s, but for the trial run I wanted to pick a color that Ella would want to wear for other occasions… guess what color? 😉


I searched for a pattern to use for this style, but couldn’t find anything that was exactly what I was looking for, so I ended up hacking the Blake pattern by Mingo & Grace.  This is the same pattern that I used for Ella’s two-year picture dress, and it’s one of my favorites.


For the skirt, I skipped the side seam pockets and gathered instead of pleating it.  I also included a layer of tulle in between the lining and the satin top layer, just to give it a little more fullness.  I also made sure the lace top layer was long enough that the scallop detail fell below the hem of the other layers.


The top took a little more effort.  I drafted a sweetheart neckline for the lining and top satin (it’s not real satin, by the way) and only cut the lace layer per the pattern’s bodice piece, but without the seam allowances on the neckline and arm holes because I knew I would be binding the edges instead of having a lining for the lace part.

IMG_7114 I sewed the lining and satin pieces together for each of the front and back bodice pieces, then basted the lace layer to each satin piece at the side seams.  Then, after I sewed the shoulders and sides together, I bound the arm holes with some narrow bias tape I made from the satin fabrics… this was pretty slippery/tricky, but it actually turned out better than I was expecting!IMG_7113For the neckline, I used the same bias binding, but started it at the top of the inner layers in the back, brought it up and around the neckline, and then brought it back down to the top of the inner layers on the other side of the back.  I also made a keyhole-type effect on the back by trimming the lace out in a semi-circle shape above the other layers.IMG_7110Overall, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, but there are some lessons learned and things I’ll do differently for the real flower girl dresses.  First, I want to learn how to use the blind hem feature on my sewing machine for the satin layer so that you can’t see the hem line at the bottom.IMG_7109 I also want to bring the sweetheart neckline up a bit higher.IMG_7106 I also need to work on my invisible zipper installation skills, since this one is far from invisible.  I don’t currently have a sewing machine foot specifically for invisible zippers, but I think I’m going to get one and see if that helps.  I also just picked a button from my stash that was the right size, but it happened to be dark purple… 😛  The real dresses will have matching buttons.  🙂IMG_7087

Oh, and all of the fabrics for this were from my local Joann Fabric – I was actually pretty impressed with their lace selection, and I plan to buy the fabric for the real dresses from there too.IMG_7097IMG_7091IMG_7089Thanks for reading!