Long Distance Sewing and My Commitment to Reducing my Stash


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I have done quite a bit of sewing in the few months or so- but no blogging. I seriously need to take stock and decide what direction I am going to go in 2017! Well, I have pretty much decided which direction… I have to stop sewing for everyone else and get into some selfish sewing – because what is a sewing blog without pictures? And long distance sewing isn’t cutting it for me! Especially when they don’t take pictures!

Regardless of all that I decided I would share some of things I have made and some of the fun things I have coming up. One of the main things I have been sewing this year is men’s shirts. All short sleeve button downs in fun prints. I use McCalls 6044 and don’t even need to read the directions anymore! I need to take a new count but I am pretty sure I have now made over 30 men’s shirts. My son is a lucky young man, as is my brother! I have also made a few for friends that have asked. Star Wars seems to be a popular choice since I recently made two “Darkside” shirts!

Star Wars Darkside Mens Shirt

I also recently finished up a Superman shirt for a work friend.


And this last weekend I made my son a JAWS shirt and a Deadpool shirt. I am off to California next weekend for a wedding and wanted to bring him some new additions to his wardrobe. (Just a sneaky peak of these since I plan on taking pics next weekend and doing a men’s shirt post!)


I made a Blue Hawaiian dress for Holly from Simplicity 1607- a Cynthia Rowley pattern… This dress is for my middle daughter Holly and she has it in hand but never sent a picture of her in it so here it is on Dolores!


And boy was I SUPER thrilled when I posted it on Instagram and Cynthia Rowley HERSELF liked my photo.😀 I even got proof since I happened to be holding my phone at that moment and took a screenshot of the alert!


A few weeks back I whipped up 2 skirts – red for Daughter #1 and blue for Daughter #2.


Again, NO pics were sent to me… sniffle… so here they are AGAIN on Dolores.

McCalls 7439 Blue

Shoot- just realized that pic is buttonless but I did eventually find some to match and added them…

McCalls 7439

I could not find any buttons for this one so made some. I remember back in the day JoAnns had an amazing button selection- now I think it is greatly lacking (my nice way of saying the button selection at JoAnns sucks!)


One of my FAVORITE makes of the last few months was a vintage dress I made out of a floral rayon challis. I used an old Advance pattern I picked up from Etsy…

advance 4858

I LOVE this dress and wish I had spectacular pics to share with you… Instead I have these tiny ones.:/

Advance 4858

Advance 4858

It is a truly beautiful dress and I am very pleased with how it turned out. I even made a belt but unfortunately was afraid to put in the grommets so it is still in my possession!


I am adjusting to Texas summers and actually enjoying the thunder and lightning storms, humidity, and mosquitoes. OK- NOT the mosquitoes but I really DO enjoy the huge storms. I am taking Spin classes twice a week and walking every evening even if it is still 90 degrees F out. I have witnessed quite a few amazing sunsets on my walks!

sunset1 sunset2 sunset3 sunset4 sunset5

When the time changes I am not sure what I will do since it will be dark long before I even get home from work!

I have some pretty exciting upcoming plans.😀

I have a pair of Dr. Who Carolyn PJ’s on the deck for me, and Harry Potter PJ’s for Daughter #2.

I have been invited to TWO Halloween parties and plan on making a costume. I will be Regina, the Evil Queen from Once Upon A Time and plan to use McCalls 6818.


And my Christmas dress is also in the early planning stages. I am thinking about making this dress from Vogue (#1502) in either a navy or emerald.


On a final note, I thought I would share my latest commitment to lightening up my fabric stash. I made a year long deal with my cousin who also has quite the stash. We have to sew FOUR items for every piece of fabric we want to buy. I just finished my 4th item so am entitled to one piece of fabric. I am thinking that will cut down on the stash in record time! Hope I can keep to it!

Happy sewing my friends!


Edgar Allen Poe Nevermore Purse- Be Still My Beating Heart!


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Edgar Allen Poe, writer of mystery and the macabre. Born 1809 and died too young in 1849 under mysterious circumstances. His death certificate disappeared! He is considered the inventor of detective fiction and credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. His short stories and poems caught my attention as a teen. The Raven, The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell Tale Heart. I remember my son reading The Tell Tale Heart in 8th grade and being creeped out! But it held his attention!

Cropped Nevermore

Anyway, when I spotted the Edgar Allen Poe Nevermore fabric by Michael Miller from Fabric.com, I knew I had to have some and I didn’t want it to just be added to my stash, or another quilt. (Nevermore is the title of an Edgar Allen Poe musical that I have not had the opportunity to see yet but hope to!) I could not see myself wearing a Nevermore dress- that’s just not me, so, I decided to make a purse. I am not usually a big handmade purse fan. I want my purse,for lack of better words- looking NOT handmade! Haha. Which meant challenging myself to use hardware and leather like accents. Because this was a first venture into purse making I decided against the cost of leather just in case it looked like crap!

I spent several hours deciding on the right pattern and went with the Harriet purse by Swoon. (af link) Some of them still looked a little “handmade” to me but after perusing all the pictures I decided I needed to use a real clasp on the front and rivets.😀


Best way to make a purse is to gather everything together and cut it all out at once. As a non-purse sewist I also had to do some hardware (ETSY) and Pellon shopping. After a big debate on IG whether to use silver or gold hardware, I went with antique bronze.

Making a purse is not hard. You just follow the directions step by step, keep your seams even, and you can make yourself a pretty cool purse.

WP_20160605_003 InstagramCapture_7ef7e928-6dd6-48ea-910f-7d9705ca9363

One of my favorite features of this purse is the two side zips. If I need more space in my purse I just unzip the side zips and it becomes more of a tote! For this reason I made certain I had a good coordinate. (Which is also my lining.)


I was impatient and kept putting the clasp on incorrectly but finally managed on the 3rd try. So, I advise avoiding being too excited and practicing patience! And reading the directions if you have never put a clasp on a purse before!

WP_20160605_009(1)One of my biggest concerns was whether my little machine would be able to handle the “pleather.” Single and double folded it actually did! When I made my handles though I needed to use a leather needle and adjust my tension. In my dreams I have an industrial machine- one day!


Another new “skill” for me was adding rivets. Heck, I had trouble BUYING rivets because I had NO CLUE what size to buy and despite combing the interwebs for information on other sewing blogs no one really mentioned what SIZES were good. So, I guessed. I went with 6 mm and bought the tool. I had to buy 100 rivets, but, well, I guess I can make a lot of purses now! I highly recommend you practice!! I broke a few in the beginning and finally figured out exactly how much pressure to put on the hammer. Those rivets help make my purse look less homemade. Fortunately, the 6 mm worked perfectly. Unfortunately, I won’t always be using antique bronze so I just ordered a batch of silver!


I LOVE my purse. Have you ever made or done something that just makes you proud? This did! It is not perfect. I have one issue I need to fix for my next one, but sewing is a learning process right?! The biggest thing that bothers me is I failed to get the Nevermore centered. I was using a paper pattern on the fold- so for future I traced that piece on to see through interfacing as one full piece. That should help me center better next time, and will hopefully help you if you decide to make a purse. Other than that, well… It is pretty perfect and I am pretty pleased. I am searching high and low for an antique bronze raven charm to add to the side zipper but have only found silver so far.


Check out the sides! Isn’t it fantastic? In reality I will probably never need a bigger sized purse. I have been carrying a small cross body style purse for the last two and a half years. It barely fits my sunglasses, cell phone and a case for my ID and cards. I like having a tiny purse! But I still like the contrast of my new one and suppose I can carry my Kindle in this one now! WP_20160605_012

Here is a peek at the insides. There is one small zipper pocket. I think I would like to add an extra panel inside to separate and add another section. But this will do!


After this successful purse project I have decided that I am going to become a Bag Lady… I have already planned out a Batman, Minnie Mouse, and Snow White purse. And that is just the beginning! I also have an 80’s style leather coat my mom gave me (those 80’s shoulders make it unwearable!) that I can re-purpose the leather for. (Once I get it out of storage!)

Nevermore Purse

If you are in the mood for a short, dark story here is a link to the Tell Tale Heart. I finished up this purse watching the latest episode of Wayward Pines! LOVE that show. The first season was pretty creepy. I hope they can keep up the creep factor!


~Listening to Jimi Hendrix

I sewed on a Patch… Snoop Dogg…Carolyn PJS and other random things…

I sewed on a patch! And I thought I should share because I have neglected to share much of anything lately! Not that I have not been sewing but decent pictures are lacking and without the pictures, my heart isn’t into it. But… I did sew on a patch!😀 A Bakfish Brewing patch on to a shirt for my brother. This is not the first one and it won’t be the last since he is an investor and Bakfish is now our local hang out. Speaking of beer, I got to pour beer for the customers one Saturday which was on my bucket list. Check!


I made 5 shirts for my cousins boys the last few months. But apparently I forgot to take a pic of the Batman shirt I made for #4. But here are 4 of them! I love making fun mens/ boys shirts. I am up to 19 and have a new one on the deck- special request from someone at the brewery.😀

Boys Shirts

I made my eldest daughter a new vintage dress in a pretty challis.

Vintage Rose dress

My two eldest jumped out of a plane! YIKES!


I went to California for Stagecoach (three days of country music in Coachella) and not only did I see Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, The Doobie Brothers and a whole slew of other musicians and bands, but I also saw SNOOP DOGG… in da house! I had VIP tix so I was right up front in the pit!😀


I made my eldest some SUPER CUTE Pikachu Carolyn PJ’s for her birthday. I have made three pairs of these now- someday I will make some for myself!

Carolyn Pajamas

I survived my first Houston Flood! On that Monday morning did this Cali girl know to check the news? Nope. Even though it had rained ALL night long and she was nervous to drive in the rain did she still head to work? Yes… But Alas I only made it 20 minutes down the road. I just want to say when they say “Turn around don’t drown” they mean it. From experience, now that it has happened to me, you have NO clue how deep that puddle covering the road goes. It may start out just an inch or 2 high but can get deeper. The “puddle” i went through kept rising until it nearly stalled out my car- Thankfully I veered off and up the side of the road onto higher ground. Hyperventilated… called my brother who was going to be NO help since he drives a mini cooper. And lived to talk about it. The scary thing is THIS is a picture of the exit I take to get to work. SO thankful I never made it that day! That is a CRAZY amount of water! And yes- that is a street light that must be at least 20 feet in the air.:/

Houston Flood_ All The Pics You Need To See(1)

My cousin has chickens and they like to come in and visit.


I made 5 new Lane Raglans! Three for me!


I ran my first 5K!!!!! And did not walk ANY of it!


And because I ran my first 5K and decided I needed to work towards a half marathon I got a 2nd pair of running shoes. NEXT, I am going to start making myself some running clothes. There are some NICE patterns out there for that!


I got a new hat with LOTS of sparkle… That would be a delicious 10 Barrel Brew I am enjoying at Stagecoach.


Next on my list of sewing – some work tops… simple with a drapey neckline- from these PRETTY jersey knits I got from Fabric Mart. I needed to add some color into my generally black and black work wardrobe!


I think that’s enough updating for now… But seriously guys! I sewed on a patch!


Laurie xo

~Reading The Law of Five by Robin Mahle




Star Wars Emery Dress


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There are a few things pretty obvious based on my sewing choices and blogged posts.

#1- I love sewing for others… namely my kids. Mostly because they look really cute in the clothes I like to make! Way cuter than I would look!

#2- I love sewing vintage… and the challenge of making a vintage pattern wearable today.

#3- I love sewing with character fabric…

I have made a Pac Man dress… Walking Dead and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle button downs… Marvel comic dresses… Pikachu PJs (not blogged yet) and more. I LOVE themed fabric and enjoy using it in my garment making. And the choices we have! At this moment I have Batman, Batgirl, Dr. Who, Marvel, BB-8, Superman, Wonder Woman and more lurking around in my stash waiting to be made in to something cool.

The biggest challenge is taking that fabric and turning it into something wearable. I don’t want to make a crazy Dr. Who dress that gets worn once (COULD be fun though?) which means I pick wearable patterns when I sew!

Star Wars Dress Star Wars Shirt

Last year I made my eldest daughter a Star Wars dress and my son a button down. They both get worn a lot! But my middle daughter truly wanted a Star Wars dress too so in January I finally got busy making one for her.


Holly is a size 2. I do NOT enjoy using the Big 4 Patterns (McCalls, Simplicity, Butterick and Vogue) when I make her clothes because there is too much to alter. If you look at the B ig 4 patterns many of them don’t have anything smaller than an 8. Why? Indie patterns on the other hand usually go to a 0… YAY! This means I have the general measurements at least and just need to make some minor changes (like a sway back adjustment.)

I made an Emery dress by Christine Haynes for Kadi several years back in red linen. She wanted a dress with buttons up the back and it worked beautifully. (You can see it here.) I love the simplicity of the dress and knew it would be perfect for what I had in mind. PLUS, the sizing fit my needs with very little changes!

Emery Dress

As you can see the Star Wars fabric I chose this time around was the Millennium Falcon fabric. It was a tough decision since there is Star Wars fabric galore to choose from but I liked this one because the color would look great on Holly AND it was old school Star Wars.😀

I widened the neckline slightly on this version. I like the neckline to be a little more “boat like.” I also wanted to make her something with sleeves. She has quite a few sleeveless dresses now.


Unfortunately I only have mediocre pictures of the dress- Candids taken with a phone by my friend… Which I appreciate since they are better than nothing! If only I could fly to California with every dress I make and do a photo shoot. Sigh…

The Emery dress is a simple make. Bodice with darts and a gathered skirt with added pockets. I made very few changes- the wider neckline, a sway back adjustment, and I always line the bodice versus facings. I prefer it that way! My biggest challenge is making a dress without the “body” being present! I like to be able to try it on through out the process. But I think I managed a pretty good dress without having Holly near by.

Emery Dress


While I was at it I made Holly’s BF a matching shirt… There is nothing better than matchy matchy right?😀

Holly Earl

He was pleased to get a new shirt! I used McCalls 6044. I have made 15 men’s shirts with this pattern and feel like a pro now.😉

Lots of sewing going on at my house. And Craft Beer drinking. A new brewery opened here in town and since my brother is an investor and his best friend is one of the owners it is becoming a good place to hang out and finally meet people here! I even got to pour beer one day right after opening since they needed help. That was a fun experience!

Hope you all had a nice Spring Break… And maybe you are well into your Spring sewing? I have my LIST all prepared! I will have to share what I am up to next time.



~Listening to Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl

All Things Kadi…



Today my daughter Kadi turns 24. I have to say it isn’t just a celebration for her… it is also a celebration for me. I mean I deserve to take SOME credit for the wonderful young lady she has turned into, right??

To celebrate I thought I would post some of the things I have made for her. I wish her albums weren’t in storage because I have actually been sewing for her since she was a baby. Confession- my first baby dresses I was afraid to do button holes so I used VELCRO… And I still have them as proof. Another confession- the 90’s were the heyday of Daisy Kingdom dresses… and my daughters had quite a few- fluffy skirts and all!

Warning…Picture heavy!!

I have made Kadi more than three costumes over the years but here are the ones I have access to!

Spanish Guitar

Spanish Guitar Solo

Your Idea

Another solo costume. This one was very modern and danced on stage to NO music. She told the story with the “word scarves.”

2 beds

Two Beds and a Coffee Machine… Earned many awards and 1st places on the competition circuit. NOT because of the costume but because of the choreography (Thanks Heather Dale) and dancer.


Hip Hop Pants

I made Kadi at least a half dozen of these “Hip Hop Hammer Pants.” Animal print pants outta control…


Downton Abbey Inspired Nightgown

Hudson Pants by True Bias

Hudson Pants by True Bias

Sew Exhausted

Vintage Mail Order Pattern

Sunflower Skirt

Sunflower Skirt and Burda Top

Simplicity 1200 and Cynthia Rowley top

Skirt Simplicity 1200 and Cynthia Rowley top

Star Wars Dress

Star Wars Dress

Emery Dress

Emery Dress by Christine Haynes

McCalls 6834

McCalls 6834


Vintage Simplicity 7895

I do enjoy sewing for Kadi… however now that we are 1600 plus miles away I don’t get to do fun photo shoots.😥

Pokemon Closet Case Files Carolyn PJ's WP_20160221_16_50_09_Pro

I made her a pair of Carolyn PJS for her birthday… she should be opening it in a few hours! Here is a sneaky peek! She is a child of the 90’s hence the Pokemon theme!

Happy Birthday sweet daughter of mine!❤

If you are interested here are some of the items I made that have a corresponding post…


Links to POSTS:

Animal Print Pants Outta Control

Downton Abbey Inspired Nightgown

Hudson Pants by True Bias

Vintage Mail Order Pattern

Simplicity Sunflower Skirt and Burda Top

Star Wars Dress

Emery Dress by Christine Haynes

McCalls 6834

Vintage Simplicity 7895

Batman Sunglass Case-Free Sewing Pattern EP. 2

Last August I started something that I decided to pick back up now that I am settled in to my new state and blogging again. I have a Pinterest board where I pin FREE sewing patterns and instead of just pinning I decided to MAKE one every month. Well, as you know life got away from me and I ended up moving which sidetracked me a bit, but never fear… Episode 2 is here!

If you missed “Episode 1” you can go here– I made 2 super cute Travel Cases for me and my middle daughter. They were fun to make and I love how they turned out. And when Holly traveled to Texas to see me at Christmas time she brought hers with her- so useful!!

This month I decided to make a sunglass case. I had a pair of sunglasses and they were all scratched up from being tossed in the glove box of my car, thrown into my purse, and all the other places my sunglasses inevitably end up. I bought two new pairs and when I didn’t find a sunglass case I liked I figured I would make my own!

Of course I went to Pinterest to find a free pattern. It’s a sunglass case and I didn’t feel like spending money on one! I found two, but one needed plastic canvas and I had already decided I was using what I had so I went with the 2nd one. (Here is a link to the first one in case you are interested- It has nice shaping due to the canvas. It would make a good looking case!)

I used this pattern for mine. Simple and quick! I had this made up in less than an hour!

The nice thing about this pattern is it all fits on one sheet of paper. The not so nice thing was no matter how hard I looked I could not find the directions and had to wing it!

Sunglass case layout

I cut one of each piece from my main fabric (which happens to be Batman!), lining and fusible batting. After ironing on the batting I was ready to sew!


I sewed the bottom seams, right sides together, on both the lining and the main fabric.


I sewed the flap to the base piece (right sides together) on both the main piece and the lining. After that I just put the main sunglass case piece to the lining piece (right sides together!) and sewed them up leaving about a 2 inch opening so I could turn it right side out.🙂

I hand stitched up the “hole” and then added a button and button hole. Boom! Completed. Simple, easy and useful! I have 2 pairs of sunglasses so I am going to make a second one with my Dr. Who fabric. And while I am at it I will probably make a few extras for gifts.


I have used it every day this week now that I am working away from home. I am pretty darn sure I have the BEST sunglass case ever!🙂 Thanks Pattern Pile and Diane’s Vintage Zest!


In other sewing news, I did not have much time to sew this week. I am adjusting to my new job and being away from home for close to 12 hours! I am sewing today though! I’m working on my Jungle January Cardigan. I have a Pinterest board where I pin sewing inspirations and always loved this sweater from Chicos. I decided to take my animal print sweater knit (from my stash YAY!) and try to make one similar. Hopefully I will be able to blog about it next week!

Phototastic-1_20_2016_e8b9bd28-c357-4a78-8175-0ddfac49f8d5I am using the Lark pattern but obviously I have had to make changes to it. Fingers crossed I succeed!

I also finished a Star Wars dress for Holly and a matching button down for her BF. They are winging their way to California and those kids better take some good photos so I can tell you all about them! Here is a sneaky peek!


Hope you all are sewing up great stuff in 2016! Have a stellar week and let me know what you are working on right now!

~Laurie xox

~Watching The Mysteries of Laura

Sunflower Skirts and Stash


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We are just about 2 weeks into 2016 and I hope they have been productive weeks for you. I have 5 1/2 things made already, and 3 all cut out waiting in the wings.😀 I decided to cut out 5 things at a time this week and see how it went. I am well into 2016 but the outfit I am about to show you was made in 2015. I never really had the chance to write about it but it is one of my favorite makes from last year. (As evidenced by my banner!)

Simplicity 1200

I made this outfit for my eldest daughter Kadi for Easter.  I never got any other pictures but here is the skirt (shown with Cynthia Rowley’s 0574).

Simplicity 1200 and Cynthia Rowley top

Originally  I was supposed to make a sunflower skirt but when I went to lay out the pieces on the fabric I realized I did not order enough fabric and had to put it aside. Kadi waited not so patiently – and I eventually got to it! (I am sure you know how that is!)

Simplicity 1200 Sunflower Skirt

The skirt is super simple. 2 pieces and a waistband. The trick is in ensuring you have the correct size waistband and cut the skirt based on that. I tried to go by the sizing but you know how that is with the Big 4. I ended up measuring her waist and the waistband piece and allowed for seam allowances and went from there.

SF Side Zipper

On the first skirt I put in the zipper and overlapped the waistband with hooks and eyes. Kadi did not like that feature so in the sunflower version I put in an invisible zipper. As you can see I had a tiny bit of trouble at the top but she likes it much better.

Burda 6795

For the top I used Burda 6795 and a polyester knit. If you ever make this pattern watch the armholes! They were quite large and I had to make some changes to avoid the dreaded underarm bra visibility. Other than that, this pattern is another simple make!

Simplicity 1200

Simple and wearable! Kadi has asked for a few more of these skirts. I guess I can work them in to the rotation!

I had a job interview on Monday. I am 99.9% sure I will get it. The job itself is going to be great but I am very depressed about the drive and it keeps me from being excited about it. I will be spending an hour on the road to get to work and an hour to get home. I know LOTS of people do this, but I have not had to ever drive that far for work. I wonder what it is going to do to my sewing life because I will be working, driving and sleeping during the week! Does anyone here drive that far? I am afraid I will hate my job because I dread spending 2 hours in the car!!
Stash Step 1

Anyway, because I figured I would be going back to work soon I needed to get organized. My brother was out of town and my youngest is back in CA right now so I had the house to myself! Woohoo!! I pulled all my stash out of the garage and took over the family room.

Step 1- bring stash inside. 

Stash Step 2

Step 2- dump it all out and organize by fabric type.

Step 3- Count the pieces. I am so impressed by everyone that actually measures all their yardage but that bored me before I had even reached 17 yards and decided to just count the pieces. I have 231 pieces of fabric. Ooops.

Irish Quilt

I also found I had several quilts in progress I never finished. Like this “Lucky Quilt” I started a long while back!

Star Quilt 90s

And this Star Quilt I started in the 90’s!! I was not sure if I should keep it but decided some day I may want to finish it!

Challis Pile

I learned I must have a thing for Rayon Challis…

Knit Pile

And I have PILES of knits. Two containers are filled- one with solids and one with prints.

Stash Organized

I am not sure what kind of a “stash goal” I want to make this year. I think I better wait to see how much sewing time I am going to have once I start my new job. But it is all organized and I am ready to “rock and sew!” The unmarked container at the top is the fabric I pulled out that I will keep in my sewing room and hope to use sooner rather than later. The rest went back to the garage.

Do you have any stash busting goals for this year?


~Listening to Brothers Osborne




Cherry Bomb for Christmas


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For the week of Christmas my 3 California kids came to visit. (Youngest was here in Texas.) It almost didn’t happen! Between them they have ONE safe car that would make it 1600 miles. The day before they were set to leave my eldest daughter was stopped behind a lot of traffic trying to get off the freeway at the mall. (Who goes to the mall at Christmas time?) Anyway, an SUV did not see the stopped traffic soon enough and slammed into her which pushed her into the car ahead of her. Thankfully she was ok- sore muscles and back and shocky but the hospital checked her out and said she would be ok. The car though- totaled. I was relieved she was wasn’t hurt but heartbroken because there was no way we could afford airfare the week of Christmas for three people. But my brother, who travels weekly for work, very kindly used his points and flew them out here last minute so Christmas was back on! (Without the stress of me worrying as my kidlets drove those 1600 miles!)

Christmas was GREAT and I was able to get a little sewing done for them while they were here. I have found it is much harder without their bodies for fittings but while they visited I took measurements and made a good fitting bodice for each to use. My son is easy- I just use the same shirt pattern! (Guess I should get a little more creative!)

That was a long intro! Now for the fun! I made middle daughter a cherry dress while she was here using the Violette Fields Ginger Dress. I love the vintage feel and Holly can totally carry off these styles. Plus, she wears every dress I make her! Heck, she loves every dress I make her and wants a closet full! Easy to sew for, easy to please. I am down with that! I named this dress Cherry Bomb… Yep, after the John Mellencamp song and well, it’s covered in cherries!

Cherry Dress2

Violette Fields Ginger Dress

I actually got this cherry fabric at Walmart. It is a fun cotton print and fairly decent quality. Initially I was going to use solid red as the accent but found the green mini polka dot on a Joanns visit and changed my mind.


Seam in skirt

The dress was simple to make and I completed the sewing part in one day. The skirt is a circle skirt in 2 pieces. My fabric was not wide enough so I actually sewed two pieces together. I did my best to match up those cherries but it is slightly off. On a positive note I doubt very much ANYONE will notice.🙂

Cherry Dress Insides

The bodice is fully lined and I used my trusty serger to finish all of the inside seams. I debated on the zipper, but decided to go with a regular zip vs. invisible because I had one in my stash that would work. I have a shoe box crammed full of zippers and need to use one when I can instead of buy. Does anyone else have zipper stash?

Cherry Dress pockets


I put pockets into everything now because Holly loves them. Sometimes I think she is more excited about the pockets then the dress!😉 The pattern comes with pockets so it wasn’t any extra work really.

Cherry Dress Side2

One of the things I love about Indie patterns is the sizing. Holly is a tiny girl and whenever I make her a Big 4 pattern I have to do quite a lot of fitting. They don’t even make her size it seems! Many of them start at an 8, some at 4. She is a 0-2. This bodice fit her PERFECT right out of the envelope.

Cherry Dress Back1

I did change one thing on the dress. The actual pattern is halter style with the straps tied behind the neck. When she tried it on I decided to make them into straps for 2 reasons. #1- Stability- this bodice isn’t going anywhere! #2- I could place them exactly to hide her bra straps.

Cherry Dress Main

All in all I would say this is a highly successful dress. I can’t wait to make her another! Too bad it is rainy and cold in CA right now though. It will be a while before she can wear it!

I also made her a quick pair of PJ bottoms while she was here. And I added pockets! Holly is a girl after my own heart- we both love Dr. Who so I used Tardis flannel.


I did not tell her but I have JUST enough left to make a pair of jammie shorts too. I am going to make a knit top to go with them and mail them to her for her bday. Shhhhh….

PicMonkey Baby Dress Collage

McCalls 5791 with a few changes

I have completed 4 items in 2016 already. All baby dresses for family members. I miss making baby dresses so these were pretty fun! I used McCalls 5791 but added the ruffles and waistbands.

By the way, I have added a little “scorecard” on the left side of my blog so I can keep track of how many items I sew, how much stash I use, and how many miles I run for 2016. I am actually not sure yet if I am going to count yards or pieces on the stash count though. I started to measure my stash fabrics but got tired after 17 yards so I may just go by piece!

Hope your first week of 2016 has been good! Now I think I will get back to sewing!


~Listening to Big Star #1 Record- (Thanks Leila!)

9 Things for 2016- #2016makenine

I am way better at keeping up with things on Instagram and about a week ago I saw quite a lot of people posting their top nine photos for the year. I jumped right on that and enjoyed seeing what my top 9 photos were and seeing what other Sewists shared. Mine consisted of family, sewing and me! (Oh, and my messy stash pile- guess I got a lot of likes on that one!)


My nine most like IG photos for 2015

Then Rochelle from Lucky Lucille started the #2016makenine hashtag and well, I had to join in on that too! It gave me a chance to mull over some of the items I would like to make for myself during the year and am quite pleased with what I came up with!

As you know most of my sewing usually tends to be for my girls. I have also spent the last month making men’s shirts for my son and brother and a few friends (2 Walking Dead, One Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1 StarWars and 1 Minions shirt,) but I would really like to add to my own wardrobe and here is what I came up with!


The Closet Case Files Carolyn Pj’s… These are a MUST for me this year. I made my cousin a pair for her birthday last year and loved making them. I used bright pink minnie mouse  cotton with black piping. They turned out perfect if I do say so myself and I intended to make myself a pair or two but did not get to them. This year- I will. I already have a creamy pink striped stain charmuese fabric for one pair and some Dr. Who fabric for a second pair. Can I just say I am thrilled I can find Dr Who fabric now? A year ago there was nothing out there! Now I have enough to make Holly a dress, myself a pair of PJ’s and Holly and I both a quilt. Tardis Jammies? Need I say more?


Minnie Mouse Carolyn Pjs

The Sewaholic Thurlows– I have had these on my list for a few years but have not felt up to the pants challenge. I saw these were on quite a few Sewists #2016makenine list so maybe we can all get together virtually and struggle through it together? I am all up for a Thurlow-Thon.😉

For some odd reason I have a thing for outerwear. I have many jacket and coat patterns I want to make! But I don’t live where there is snow so how many jackets do I need? I thought this would fit the bill though so I plan to make the George and Ginger Keeping it Classy cape. A cape! I have wanted a cape for years. I once had a long grey wool one half finished- way back in the mid 90’s. I wish I still had that UFO (for the grey wool) but ah well. I will have to choose my fabric and timing wisely. Living in Texas means at least half the year is hot and humid so I will have no use for a cape more during those months. Right now we are in the 40’s and 50’s though and I sure could use a little warmth!

The McCalls pattern in the middle row is one of my favorite new patterns from the Big 4. I love everything about it! I figure one in a lighter weight Khaki or Chambray with those 3/4 sleeves will be a perfect addition to my wardrobe and one I can wear more often thanks to those shorter sleeves and the use of a cotton fabric. Take a look- there is also a gorgeous one in lace! Pretty cool how you can make two totally different garments just by using a different fabric!

The Jasper sweatshirt by Paprika Patterns. Love this sweatshirt/ sweater/ sweater dress! I tested one when it was released but failed on the pockets. Despite that failure I wear my pocketless one all the time. It is SO comfy and since it is already traced and fitted I feel like I need a second ASAP. I have fabric for a new one and this time I WILL succeed on those welt pockets!

The Burda suit in silver– There is something about this suit that calls to me. Do I have use for a suit? Well, I do not know yet! Possibly? I just know I love the lines of the jacket and the slacks. I guess when the time comes I will decide on the type of fabric and whether or not the jacket is necessary!


Greenstyle Sundance Jacket


The Greenstyle Sundance jacket. OMG… I LOVE this jacket. If you have never seen it the lines are amazing and it is definitely worth checking out. I have a purple Scuba knit I bought a long while back because I wanted to see what all the excitement was about! I got it on a super sale at Fabric Mart Fabrics not really knowing what I was going to do with it. Well, now I know!

The Megan Nielsen Culottes is another pattern I have had for a while. I like the idea of culottes! I will probably go super simple and make myself a black pair from a nice challis. I love the flow of challis!

Last but not least (and these are in NO specific order) is the Sewaholic Cordova jacket. Yeah- another jacket. But I really do not have ANY in my closet and every girl needs a few right? I will hopefully be able to find something in my stash for this. I am trying not to buy any fabric for two reasons. One- I have 7 containers of fabric and I would like to narrow it down to 3 by the end of the year (I am well aware this is a HUGE goal!) and Two- well I AM unemployed at the moment!

That concludes my Nine for 2016. And in between all these great makes I will be making myself a few more Renfrews (I have 7 so far), my daughters some dresses and PJ’s, my son a shirt or two (pacman and craft beer shirts) and a few quilts. Oh, and whatever else I fall in love with during 2016! I can pretty much guarantee that will happen!

What kind of sewing plans do you have for the coming year? Do you like to make plans or just wing it as the year goes along?! I have to confess I like to do both. Plans are good- and I will  be interested to see how many of these I complete during the year. But the one thing I DO know is… “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray…” (Robert Burns) and I am no exception to that!

Cheers to a productive year. Let’s sew like the wind!!


~Watching Murdoch Mysteries

PS. Just completed my first make of 2016… A SWEET baby dress for one of my fave cousins and his baby. He is a Seahawks fan. I am NOT… but for him I allowed some Seahawk fabric in my home!



Ch Ch Ch Changes…


2015 is almost over. I am not going to say it was the worst year ever (because it wasn’t) and I can’t say it was my best year ever either. What I WILL say is it is a year that encompassed a lot of changes in my life and whether they are good or bad remains to be seen!

First off- I was a terrible blogger. I thought about apologizing but I decided that it was nothing to be sorry for! Not blogging much just happened… And my “sewist” friends are also on Instagram and can pretty much keep up with me there. That said, I like to blog and now that my Year of Many Changes is coming to a close, I hope I can manage to do a bit better! We shall see!


I turned 50 this year. I don’t feel 50. But I AM 50. I do not really like that number. Half a century. Sheesh. How did that happen? I confess I am not really happy about it. Youth has a lot to be said for it! Of course I wish I knew then what I know now. But life does not work that way.


One of the biggest changes in my life is a move. I moved from sunny California to Texas. It was a BIG move for a variety of reasons. The hardest part of my move was leaving 3 of my children behind. It does not matter that they are 27,23 and 20. I miss them dreadfully. I love being a mom and needed and now, well I am a long distance mom and not needed so much any more. I moved because I AM 50, and living in CA on your own was tough. I lived paycheck to paycheck and started getting concerned about MY future. I spent the last 28 years worried about my kids and forgot to plan for me. The opportunity arose to come and live with my big brother and damn I took it. The move will give me an opportunity to start saving towards retirement. I do not want to work at Walmart when I am 75. I want to be sewing, drinking martinis with my friends, volunteering, and doing other cool things! So I packed up a 4 x 8 trailer and headed to a new state.

Things have been pretty good in Texas. I have been here 2 months. (I have to confess it feels like longer!) My youngest came with me. I was able to bring my job with me. 9 years at the same job although we were bought last year by a new company! Which brings me to my next change. 4 days before Christmas I got laid off.😦 Boy was that a slap in the face. I guess I should be happy I made it through 15 months with the new company. But I am not…What I AM is realistic and should have known it was coming. But Christmas?? Well, that kinda sucked. (Although it has given me some extra time off to visit with my kids while they were here, sew lots and take up running.)

So, I go into 2016 50 years old, in a new state, and jobless. I also go into 2016 thankful! I am living in a brand new house with my own bedroom AND a 2nd bedroom I use as an office/ sewing room. My youngest is here with me in HER own room. My kids just left today for CA after spending the holidays with me. And I have the opportunity to start a brand new adventure. New state. New career. New challenges.

I never imagined I would leave California. I never imagined I would be laid off. Life can be a challenge sometimes when things don’t necessarily go the way you planned but I am viewing this as an opportunity to go forth and do lots of great stuff in 2016!

I would like to end this post with a picture of my super cool brother. Ya- that is his car… and yeah… I made him that shirt! #minions


Happy New Year! May you have many adventures in 2016!