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!!


Chalk & Notch Farrah

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know that I love pattern testing.  The behind the scenes process of bringing a pattern designer’s vision to life is thrilling. Add to that a community of women testing together, supporting each other, and creating genuine friendships, and you get one of the most rewarding things I’ve found in the sewing world.


That’s why I was so excited to be a part of the testing for Chalk & Notch‘s latest pattern, the Farrah!



An inevitable part of the pattern testing process, of course, is that as the pattern is made by and for numerous people with various body shapes and sizes, the pattern itself may get refined and changed in order to work well for everyone.  These changes are generally small, but make a big impact and, in the end, create a better pattern.



One of those changes for this pattern was the front ruffle on view b, the view that I made.  The ruffle changed a bit before my version, and again for the final version.  The ruffle you see on me here is a little shorter and straighter than the final.  It works for me and my (very) small bust, but the final version is so, so great and flattering for everyone who made it.  You can see a bunch of tester photos of the final version on Instagram; just search #farrahpattern to check it out!


While you’re checking out those other pictures, you’ll notice that there is a second view with ruffled sleeves instead of the front ruffle, and that both views can be either blouse or dress length.  I’m usually not a super ruffle-y person, but I’m crushing hard on so many of the other view versions that I think I need to make one for myself very soon!


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There are so many fun details on this pattern!  It was the first time I had made something with a gusset under the arm, and also the first time I had done a mitered hem.  Let me tell you, I’m a little obsessed with that hem!  It’s so clean and pretty!


The pattern released yesterday, exclusively through UpCraft Club, and releases tomorrow on Chalk & Notch’s site and on Etsy.  It’s on sale – 25% off! – through next Monday.


The fabric I used here is a rayon challis, which is quickly becoming one of my favorites, but as you can see, is also quick to wrinkle. 😉  I do love the drape, though, and the fact that it’s not polyester… so I think I’ll be sticking with it!

Thanks for reading!

Trevi Top and Dress

Hi friends!  Thanks for putting up with the long silences between my posts.  If you want to see more, check out my Instagram or Facebook page… I’m much better about posting on those!

But since I’m posting here, you might be guessing that Hey June is releasing a new pattern… and you would be right!  Take a look at the new Trevi Top and Dress!


This woven top is perfect for the light and drapey fabrics you’ll want to be wearing all summer long.  This one is made from some royal blue rayon challis from

One of the things I love the most about Adrianna’s patterns is that she walks you through creating such a clean finish on the inside of the garment.  The end result is so beautiful and professional looking, with no raw edges anywhere.  With her patterns, I always know I’m creating a quality piece of clothing that I’ll be wearing with pride.



I’ve already started incorporating it into my work wardrobe, too!  Layered with a cardigan, this top is ideal for wearing to the office.




And, of course, I couldn’t pass up the chance for a dress length version as well!  This rayon challis is from Joann Fabrics.


I find that some of the lighter rayons can be a bit shear and might need to be layered over a cami, but the darker ones can be worn alone without a problem.  This dress is going to be my go-to summer dress.


Thanks for reading!  Until next time… 😉


Sweater Weather

After all my Christmas sewing was over, I got into a bit of a funk.  I lost my “sew-jo,” as some of my fellow sewists put it… but I pulled right out of that funk the minute I got an email from the ever amazing Adrianna with a new pattern test opportunity!  Fabric was purchased during my lunch break the same day, and the pattern was printed and assembled that very night.  All this because I know when Hey June has a new pattern, it’s going to be a winner – something I’ll love and wear in constant rotation.


This new pattern, the Tallinn Sweater, definitely didn’t disappoint.


The asymmetrical front, the dropped shoulder, and the turtleneck make this more than just your basic sweater.  And… if you aren’t a turtleneck fan (or if your desired fabric doesn’t have quite as much stretch as the smaller turtleneck opening requires), there’s a cowl version as well.


It’s also a really quick sew!  No hemming… my favorite.  🙂


This fabric is from Joann Fabrics.  It’s pretty heavenly and perfect for this pattern, in my opinion!  I don’t see it listed online, but there are a few similar sweater knits there.



Once I started sewing again, you know I wasn’t able to stop… so I grabbed this fabric I’d had in my stash for a while and the Cocoon Cardigan pattern from Patterns for Pirates.


I usually love me some pockets, but I skipped them on here because I didn’t have enough fabric.  Foregoing the pockets just meant that I was able to whip this up really quickly.


And I mean quick like put the kids to bed, cut your fabric, sew, and have a new cardigan before you start to feel that [admittedly large] glass of wine quick. 😉


I have another cardigan in the works… if you follow me on instagram you’ve seen a sneak peek or two… but to be honest it’s been a series of unfortunate events with that one, so who knows when or if it will see the light of day.  All my fingers and toes are crossed that I can still salvage it.  Leave me a comment with some encouraging words, because I sure need them for this project!


Thanks for reading!

* There are a number of links in this post, but none of them are affiliate links… they’re just there to help you get to anything you want to see a little quicker.  😉

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!


Santa Fe Top

No surprise here, folks.  Adrianna hit it out of the park again with her latest pattern, the Santa Fe Top.




With six different views, this top is so versatile… it can easily make your favorite going out top, and also make your go-to shirt for everyday.




And even though it didn’t photograph especially well, this third version might actually be my favorite, because, you know… french terry all the things.




Pattern: Santa Fe Top, Hey June Handmade

Black and White Version: View B, fabric is a rayon spandex from Joann

Gray Version: View F, fabric is a rayon spandex jersey from Raspberry Creek Fabric

Navy/Gray Version: View F, fabrics are textured french terry from Raspberry Creek Fabric

Thanks for reading!

Pattern Emporium Blog Tour

blog-tour logo

I am so very excited to be the next stop on the Pattern Emporium blog tour!

I was contacted to be a part of this tour just a few weeks before we had a vacation planned for Hawaii – and some new shorts were definitely in order for both me and Ella!


I had never used a Pattern Emporium pattern before, and I was so impressed by how well the patterns and instructions were put together.  Kate has past experience in the fashion industry, and it definitely shows in her patterns.  The instructions are super clear, and there are a bunch of little tips scattered throughout that help give a professional finish.  Plus, the patterns INCLUDE “glorious little pattern hacks” to add even more options to some already option-packed patterns.


I ended up making three pairs of shorts for myself using the Ladies Hepburn pattern, and other than one pair of quick-dry athletic shorts, these shorts are the only ones I wore during our whole vacation.  I LOVE them, and I love that they are all different even though they are all from the same pattern.  All of these are in the “play” length, and there is also an “urban” length if you’re looking for a longer short.


Everyone told me to size down on this pattern, and they were right.  I measured in a size 10, made a size 8 muslin, and still ended up taking things in a bit.  I also lowered the back rise by about an inch.  Special thanks goes to the amazing Becca Duval for walking me through my own personal alterations on this pattern – she has such a talent for knowing exactly what adjustments to make!



The gray pair was made using the pull-on option (elastic waistband on the back only), and the combination of that waistband and the fabric on these (I think some sort of rayon-blend chambray???  I scored it second hand at FabMo for $1/yd!) make them SUPER comfy.  I think these are going to be my go-to shorts for everyday wear, which is a step up from the last few summers of wearing those athletic shorts!



The black and white shorts were made using the side zip option, and the fit on these is just great.  This fabric is from the apparel section at Joann.  It was on clearance for $7/yd – win!



The floral shorts are also the side-zip option, but I took out the front pleats on this pair.  A couple of helpful ladies in the Pattern Emporium facebook group told me they had done this before and gave me their tips on how to do it.  Once again, the sewing community proves to be full of the best people!



Ella’s shorts are from the Little Honeybuns pattern, in the “play” length.  There are also “sporty” (shorter) and bermuda lengths.  They are super cute on her and she loves matching with Mommy (I’m going to soak that in as long as possible – I know it won’t last forever!).  I made her a straight size 4 because I hate making things that she will grow out of too quickly, but I think I made them a little too big.  Oh, well!  If she ends up being able to wear them for two summers, that’s even better!


I can’t believe this girl is almost 3!  She’s so full of spunk and sweetness.





Thanks for including me on the tour, Kate and Marnie!

Make sure to check out all the other tour stops:

5/2 Sew Sophie Lynn
5/3 Handcrafted By Red
5/4 Sprouting JubeJube
5/5 That’s Sew Kari
5/6 Simple Blessed
5/9 Wally And Grace
5/10 Free Notion
5/11 Horris And Deedle


Thanks for reading!

Charleston Dress

I was lucky enough to be part of another pattern test recently, for the new Charleston Dress by the amazing Adrianna of Hey June.

My first version was in cotton lycra, and I played around with the stripe directions a bit and added a bottom band of color. Both of these were inspired by a dress I borrowed from a friend a couple of years ago for Ella’s baptism.


This is view A of the pattern, which includes an a-line skirt with pockets.  I chose short sleeves for this version, one of seven (!) different sleeve options.


I did some bad math when cutting out the bottom color band and ended up needing to add a second band in the same color, which is why there is a funny seam in the middle of that colored portion – not a fault of the pattern, just my mistake.


The back has a semi-exposed zipper for a fun design feature.


The way the dress is designed provides perfect mommy-tummy camouflage.  Thank you, Adrianna!


For my second version, I chose the long sleeves and used french terry fabric, so this is basically like wearing a sweatshirt.  I LOVE this version and wear it probably more than I should.


All of the fabrics for both of these dresses are from Raspberry Creek  again.  🙂


The view B skirt is more of a pencil skirt option, and the side panels from the bodice continue all the way down the skirt on that view.  There are a ton of great tester versions of that view too, which you should definitely go check out.  I just had a hard time saying no to pockets.  😉

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!