throwback thursday {beginnings of typography stitching}

On Thursdays I pull from my years of archives and take a look back and where I’ve come as a stitcher and just reflect a little. Today’s look back is one of my first typography embroideries. Stitching words harkens back to the old samplers that women and children stitched back in the 1800’s and I like to think that my style of typography is continuing in that tradition…with a little modern twist.

from 2011: a little space themed typography:

the latest “typography” coming from my hands…

to the moon embroidery

and a closer look
to the moon close up


throwback thursday {my favorite ever}

On Thursdays, I take a look back in my archives. After blogging for almost 8 years I find it’s refreshing to take a look back.

If there is one outfit that is top of my favorites that I’ve ever sewn for my daughter it is this one. I remember the day I bought this orange Japanese fabric (at my first ever visit to Textile Fabrics in Nashville) and this was also one of the first times I had sewn from Oliver + S (which I count as the one pattern company that has truly grown and stretched my sewing skills). It is the one outfit that I will never get rid of an she didn’t wear nearly enough. I love it from all the tiny frustrations and errors to the sweet little covered buttons on the back. Enjoy this post back from 2009.


O+S Outfit

This outfit has caused me to bang my head on the wall more than once…but now that it is complete I totally love it!

O+S shirt back

I showed off the shirt a few days ago, so here is the completed back.

O+S button

I’m in love with the buttons. This is why I just loved this fabric, those little frogs peeking out!

O+S Skirt

Here is the skirt. The placket part is a bit messed up (not sure what happened there) but other than that it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

Don’t you know what this little chick is wearing to church on Sunday!

Oh, the important stuff…the fabric is a Japanese print and the green is just something I splurged on at the local quilt shop. The pattern is Oliver + S: 2+2 Blouse and Skirt

And the quilt…next on the agenda now that I’ve whittled down my sewing pile (only to have it fill back up again after my girl’s weekend, but that’s another story!)

an ice cream shirt

One of my favorite patterns to sew is the Ice Cream Dress by Oliver + S. Primarily because it is such an easy pattern to put together. I recently got my hands on a yard of Sarah Jane’s Wee Wander fabric and the chick and I decided a shirt was in order. I searched for a few patterns to purchase and then remembered that I could do a shirt out of the Ice Cream dress pattern. Win-win for me. Super easy to put together and I already had the pattern!

Oliver + S ice cream top Sarah Jane wee wander fabric

I ended up not having enough of my Sarah Jane to do the yoke for the top so I grabbed some fabric on a Hobby Lobby run and hoped it would work. It’s not a perfect color match, but I think it works just fine.

Oliver + S ice cream top Sarah Jane wee wander fabric

I decided to try this shirt without the little “V” in the front and I left off the fabric button loop mainly because I couldn’t find that piece of my pattern and didn’t want to mess with how long to cut it etc. I opted for a thin piece of elastic. I added some piping I had in the stash and I really LOVE how that turned out!

Oliver + S ice cream top Sarah Jane wee wander fabric

The only hiccup I continue to have with this pattern is how to do the seam on the back with the button part of the yoke. I always end up having to cut the fabric and I know I’m doing something wrong and I’m sure it’s an obvious mistake but I can’t seem to figure it out.

Oliver + S ice cream top Sarah Jane wee wander fabric

I let my chickadee search through the vintage button stash to find just the right button for the back… and she even sewed it on herself!

Oliver + S ice cream top Sarah Jane wee wander fabric

Here’s hoping a little ownership will encourage her to actual wear the shirt!

spring top sewalong


Nothing like the last minute! I’ve been slowly trying to join in on the Spring Top Sewalong over at Made by Rae and was bound and determined to finish at least one project before the end.

I have had this stash of vintage fabric for almost 2 years now that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with. It came with a couple of quilt tops from my aunt. I’m guessing that she bought it to use for the back and/or the binding, but never got around to it. I knew I wasn’t going to back the quilt that I had (it ended up as our shower curtain) and I’ve been longing to make something with it.

Simplicity 1692: spring top sewalong

Simplicity 1692: spring top sewalong

I came across Simplicity 1692 on one of my Joann’s runs and grabbed it while it was on sale for $2. It’s a vintage reprint and I love it. I was worried about a few fitting issues since it was an older pattern and they all were valid concerns. While the shoulders fit perfectly, the waist is a little more snug than I prefer and I also would love it to be a little bit longer too.

Simplicity 1692: spring top sewalong

Simplicity 1692: spring top sewalong

It has an invisible zipper in the side and I’m so crazy rusty with putting in zippers. Overall it went in pretty well considering. I kind of wish that I hadn’t used interfacing on the facing pieces because this fabric is so thin that it really makes it too stiff. I also wish that I would have made either the lower neckline or the gathered one. I kind of feel a little “nursey” in it as it is. I guess that means I need to find a fancy, chunky necklace to wear!

It was a pretty good pattern to sew and not too complicated. I will definitely make more and would love to try some of the other views.

pattern review {go to patterns – anywhere dress}

I recently traded my Viking serger for Juki one and knew that this dress was going to be my first test of it’s capabilities. It’s just their simplest serger, but it’s amazing compared to the one I had before.


I pinned this little knit dress a while back and I’ve wanted to try something from Go To Patterns for a while too. I thought their Anywhere Dress would be the perfect pattern to try out first. The chick picked out some knit fabric online and I set to working on it…the night before Easter. Yep, that seems to be the way things roll around here lately. Nothing like last minute.


This pattern is completely customizable from the type of sleeves, to the waist and of course the length. We opted for a long “maxi-style” length and I ended up doing the waist elastic just to give it some shape. I would have rather used the same fabric for the neckline and the sleeves, but I ended up not having enough so I had to find some coordinating knit via JoAnns in order to salvage the dress. I opted for little flare sleeves, which in the end probably weren’t the best choice.


I will say this knit feels divine. We bought it via and I can’t remember who the maker is but it’s heavenly. The pattern as a whole is pretty simple and it has directions for sewing knits on a sewing machine if you don’t have a serger. It comes together simply, but I won’t give their pattern directions 5 stars at all for clarity. It’s another pattern I wouldn’t really recommend unless you’ve done some other garment sewing. Their sleeve instructions alone frustrated me a bit. It’s also one of the biggest printable patterns I’ve ever put together and it wasn’t for the faint of heart. They do provide a good template for you to use when taping all the sheets together, but still it’s a bit overwhelming….don’t attempt to put this pattern together AND sew it on the same day. Just trust me.


I realized after the chick put it on that she is going to have the same narrow shoulders issue that I have. That’s what made me think that these flutter sleeves weren’t the best option for her petite little frame.

I will definitely make this again and hope to try a shorter version without the waist sometime soon to help grow the chick diminishing dress collection.

pattern review times 2 {the honey blouse & meadow spirit skirt)

Today I decided to finish up some projects. It’s stupidly cold outside and blustery and not even a drop of sunshine. A great day to stay inside and sew.

I started out with a skirt using the Meadow Spirit Skirt by Joel Dewberry. I can’t remember who the fabric is by, but it’s a lovely (and groovy) corduroy that I bought the last time I ventured to Textile Fabrics in Nashville.

Joel Dewberry/Meadow Spirit Skirt

It’s the first time I’ve sewn a zipper in I can’t remember when and I don’t miss putting them in! Although I did do something a little different this time. Instead of slip-stitching by hand the facing down, I added a second round of stitches by machine. I’ve been doing this with hems for a while and it gives it a little something rather than just one simple seam (and hides mistakes).

Joel Dewberry/Meadow Spirit Skirt

There’s nothing more fun than sewing pleats though. It’s like a super easy, yet fancy looking treat.

Joel Dewberry/Meadow Spirit Skirt

Overall, this is a great pattern. I opted not to do the pleated hem at the bottom because it was honestly going to make the skirt way longer than I wanted it to. It’s an easy pattern (minus the hem pleats that looked a little tricky) and probably would be a great first zipper skirt for someone.


I closed off my day of sewing by finishing up this horrible shirt I started a while ago. I have to say that this is one of the worst patterns I have sewn from in a long time. More sad is that I love this shirt pattern and I love the look of all her patterns. Boo. The pattern is The Honey Blouse by Make It Perfect.

The Honey Blouse/Make it Perfect

To begin with you have to trace all the pieces. Maybe I am lazy or old fashioned, but if I am going to pay for a boutique pattern then I don’t want to have to run around finding paper and tracing and cutting. Next was sizing. My measurements were in between a small and a medium so I opted to go larger with the idea that it’s typically easier to take something in rather than try and add some fabric back. Um…the sizing is all wacky on this shirt. It is ginormous and there was no way that I knew how to take it in, mostly because it was the neckline that was just huge.

The Honey Blouse/Make it Perfect

The directions were so-so and honestly not well understandable to a veteran seamstress…let alone a newbie. I have to say I was pretty bummed by the whole thing. This Amy Butler fabric has been in my stash for a while now and it was so disappointing to make something with it and not even be able to wear it. Although! I have a sweet friend for whom this shirt fits well enough. If I can’t wear this lovely fabric, at least I can share it with a friend!

a few pattern reviews…

I went into vacation mode on etsy this past weekend which meant I went into sewing-like-mad mode this week. I had 3 days with the kids left in school to get a whole host of secret projects completed. I’m on day 3 right now and it’s looking grim that project 4 will get finished today…I digress.

Here’s a wrap up of this week’s projects so far and some pattern reviews to boot.

First up was a holiday/winter skirt for the chick. It’s the skirt part of the Gracie pattern by Portabellopixie.


The pattern I’ve had in my stash before and I’ve made this particular skirt before and a couple of the dress versions too. Overall it’s a super easy pattern to follow. The pictures and directions are well done and easy enough for a seasoned beginner.

I tried something different this go around with making the gathers. I don’t have a ruffle foot so I’m always trying these tactics I see around the web for making perfect gathers. Alas, I’m still struggling.


This time I took some cotton pearl thread that I had and sewed a zig zag stitch on top of it and pulled it to make the gathers. Actually I did prefer this method, until I put it on my serger to sew it and it all fell apart. For the second layer I attempted to do this again and instead of going straight to the serger I decided to sew a basting stitch on top of the gathers and then serge it. That helped some, but it still wasn’t perfect. For the top layer I just went back to sewing a basting stitch and pulling it. I do think for really long strips of ruffles I would totally do the string and zig zag because you don’t have to worry about your basting threads stripping out.

Here’s the finished skirt:



The next project was a kindle case for the chick’s Christmas gift. I followed this tutorial on Riley Blake’s site and it was pretty darn simple.


I used some zebra corduroy I had in my stash and some purple cotton for the inside. The button closure was from my stash of vintage buttons and it makes the whole case awesome. It did turn out just a little bit wider than I would have preferred. I would have rather had a more snug fit, but that’s something that could easily be rectified if I decided to make another case later. And honestly this is such a simple tutorial that even a young beginner could put it together with a little guidance.



Yesterday I put the pedal to the metal and finished a pair of pajamas for the chick’s birthday. Today is pajama day and I knew she would want to wear them to school if I could get them done. The pattern was Oliver and S’ Sleepover pajamas. I’ve had this one marked for a while and bought it over Thanksgiving. I love it mostly because it’s pretty versatile as far as boys v. girls etc.


The fabric is a flannel from Joanns that I bought like 6 yards of a while back. Some of it I used for the chick’s woodland party and then I knew I would do some pajamas out of it too. It’s super cute and they scored big with this print.

Oliver + S sleepover pjs

I love Oliver + S and Liesl writes what I think are truly the best patterns out there. I’ve grown as a seamstress and garment maker mostly because of how she puts a garment together. This is a very easy to read and follow pattern and honestly they go together really well. There were a few moments where I had to reread the directions and figure out how she was wanting the seams to be, but so much of that could be because I’m so rusty with garment making lately.

Oliver + S sleepover pjs

This is the first time I’ve done buttonholes on my new machine and man oh man; those buttonholes were well worth the debt I’m still paying off for it. Dang they are lovely.

My only complaint about this pattern is the sizing is way off. I did make a size up just because I would rather make them too big than too small. But I had to cut off like 5 inches on the length of the pants and they were still crazy long and my chick isn’t really that short. The same thing with the sleeves. They were crazy long. I could have totally gotten away with making a 6 instead of a 7. There was that much of a difference in sizing. But who cares…because they are totally cute and now she can wear them for longer anyhow!!