It’s done!

I have finally finished my very first dress! It doesn’t look as nice as all the dresses I see posted on the blogs I follow, but I’m still proud of it for a couple reasons! The first is that I actually finished it. I have a hard time finishing projects that take more than a few hours, things I have to put down for more than a night or two. The second, is, of course, that with a little help from some of you, and a lot from my Aunt Lisa, I managed to make something that is meant for just me! I’m always making things for my girls, or other peoples kids, but nothing is made for me. I’m okay with that; I am a mom and a wife, my kids and husband come first. But it sure does feel nice, knowing that I made something for me.
I can’t wait to start on my next project for myself! I think I will try something without a collar this time, since it gave not only me, but also my very experienced Aunt, some issues!Image

The pockets are really low on this dress, but I think that is because I’m so short. I’m keeping an eye out for coupons and sales so I can invest in a dress form. I really think I need one in order to make things fit me properly. I’m unproportional, so it’s hard to find the right size in ready-made clothes, it’s also tough to alter handmade clothes without a dress form. Until I can find a good deal on a store bought form, I’m researching how to make my own for a lot less!

Have you ever made a duct tape dress form? Do you know of someone who has? As soon as I make mine, I’ll be sure to post it! 


Important sewing terms for all beginners!

I feel like I haven’t posted in forever! It seems like every other week, I or someone in my family come down with something; this past weekend, it was food poisoning (not from my cooking and only three of us, thank goodness); a couple weeks before that, it was bronchitis; before that it was a head cold. Now that Spring is finally here, all the windows are open in my house and we are feeling better! It has definitely been a long Winter! 



Anyway, I figured, since I need to take it easy today (recovering from the food poisoning seems to be taking me a little longer than two of my daughters), I would come up with a list of some of the key sewing words you are bound to come across as a beginner sewer (sewist? which word do you prefer?) and what they mean. I’m trying to put them in alphabetical order, since I couldn’t think of a better way to list them. If I leave something out, or incorrectly define something, please feel free to add it to the comments and I will go back later and edit them in if I can! 

Back-tack (aka backstitch): to reverse direction of the stitches to lock them in. Wicked simple! You just use the reverse button on your machine!

Basting stitch: a long stitch used to temporarily hold pieces together (baste). This can be done by hand or by machine.

Bias tape/binding: looks very nice added to the unfinished edge of fabric. I’ll let The Haby Goddess explain this one! I will openly admit, I have a very strong dislike for bias tape! 

Bolt: a roll of one type and print of fabric. When you go to a fabric store, you choose a bolt of fabric, then have your yardage cut from it. There are different widths of fabric, such 32″, 45″, 54″ and 60″ (I’m sure I missed a few). You will need to choose the fabric type (refer to the pattern you are making, it will always recommend a fabric type/weight for the project), the fabric width and the fabric print. Don’t forget to ask for help when choosing the correct fabric if you need it! 

Dart: a v-shaped marking, used to help shape the fabric to better fit bust or waist curves. Sew It Love It is the place to go for dart instructions!

Edgestitch: to stitch 1/8″ from finished edge of fabric. I believe you don’t usually backstitch unless the pattern tells you to.

Feed dog: the teeth under the plate that “feed” the fabric under the needle to be sewn.

Gather- to make a longer piece of fabric fit a shorter one; to make ruffles. These are also fairly easy to do once you get a little practice! Again, I’ll refer to Ilse, from Sew It Love It! She really knows her stuff! 

Seam allowance: the amount of fabric between the edge of the fabric and your stitches.

Here are some simple tips for beginner sewers/sewists:

  • Always read the instruction manual that comes with your new machine. There could be some very valuable information in there!
  • Follow a maintenance schedule. You want your machine to last for as long as possible, so you need to take care of it!
  • Read a few sewing blogs. They can be very inspirational and informational!
  • Invest in the proper tools! A cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter are very important, not just for quilting! You will also need a measuring tape, thread, bobbins, a stitch ripper, stitch gauge, marking pencil or chalk (specifically made for fabric),  hand sewing needles and of course fabric! I suggest old pillowcases and sheets as practice fabric!
  • HAVE FUN! Try new things and don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask for help! All sewers/sewists (seriously folks, which stinking word do you prefer??) have been beginners at some point! 

I’m hoping to actually complete my vintage dress that I started awhile ago this week or next at the latest; all I have left to do is the hem, button holes and buttons!

Have a great week everyone! 

Vintage Apron

I absolutely love this pattern! I found it at ; if you’ve never checked out this site, you should do it now! They have some awesome free patterns, not just aprons, but lots of other great things! 

My Beans wearing the apron I made for her. It's the same pattern I am using for the class apron, just without the flounce!

My Beans wearing the apron I made for her.

I picked out the fabric from JoAnn’s, like always! 


  It took me a couple days to finish this wicked cute apron, not because it’s a difficult           pattern, or a poorly written tutorial, but because I hate bias tape binding. Using it on     straight edges is really easy; it’s the curves that give me trouble! P1020372P1020369P1020363I had the most trouble with the pockets! They’re almost heart shaped, very cute, but a wicked pain!

The straps are adjustable!

The straps are adjustable!



I love how pretty it is! Some lucky raffle winner will get this cute apron, along with a bunch of baking items at the Basket Bonanza at my daughters’ school next month!

The wheels in my head are turning… I wonder if I could do a raffle here on my blog! Maybe make a fabulous small basket and include an apron with matching pot holder (or child’s apron), a few baking supplies (measuring spoons, mixing spoons, measuring cup) and some recipes.

Does anyone know how to do a raffle on a blog?

Vintage 1975 Dress

I found this pattern at Savers! It's never even been used!

I found this pattern at Savers! It’s never even been used!

I am feeling really good about myself right now! Not only did I find a wicked good deal at JoAnn’s on Simplicity patterns ($1 each, sale ends today and is only in-store I think), but I also found some really great vintage patterns at Savers! The fabric I am using for view 1 is actually old sheets I found at the Sally Shop (aka The Salvation Army Store). This is my very first woman’s dress pattern; if I mess up, at least I didn’t spend a lot on the fabric!

I am not at all sure how to do these tucks and things. I think I'll be visiting Google a lot today!

I am not at all sure how to do these tucks and things. I think I’ll be visiting Google a lot today!


Tucks and Soft Pleats... Google, here I come!

Tucks and Soft Pleats… Google, here I come!

I did try to print out the unisex pj pants pattern over the weekend, so I could make those Pat’s pants for my Jim Dear, but I couldn’t seem to get it to print right! I couldn’t figure out why only some of the pages were printing; turns out a bunch of pages ended up on the floor by my printer, which is in another room! My 3yr old, Bum, was bringing me the pages from the printer, so I didn’t see the dropped ones until bedtime. Looks like I’ll have to give it another go this weekend and make sure I get the pages out of the printer this time! 

Does anyone have any tips or advice for me, as I begin my first dress? I am so excited to get it started, but first I have to visit Google I think!



Organizing your space

I’ve learned over the last few weeks that keeping your sewing space neat and orderly is an absolute must! I have a very small space right now, so it’s pretty difficult to keep it all organized, especially when you have three little girls and have been sick with the flu…

Before a quick clean up.

Before a quick clean up.

Somehow my sewing table ends up being a catch-all when I don’t use it every day. There was everything from a flashlight to tissues, fabric to school glue sticks; it was an eyesore. I’m not even going to get into what my ironing board looked like!

Up close to the mess known as my sewing table. Yes, my walls are football field green...

Up close to the mess known as my sewing table. Yes, my walls are football field green…

The Patriots fabric is for a pair of jammie pants for my husband. I found a great free pattern for unisex pj pants at Simplicity! I cannot wait to get started on them this weekend. For some reason my Jim Dear tends to go through pj pants like crazy… They always end up with holes in them! I promised him I’d make a dozen pair for him if they are cheaper to make than to buy. I think that would make a great post when I start them!

After a ten minute tidy! Much better!

After a ten minute tidy! Much better!

I would like to put up some kind of pegs or hooks for my ruler and cutting mat, in between the two windows, but that will wait until I have painted the walls. I should say repainted actually! We liked the football field shade of green at first, but the living room is just too dark to have a color like that. We’re going with a nice light shade of sage when we paint in a couple weeks.

I have so many projects sitting in the queue that I can’t wait to start on, now that I’m feeling better! That flu really knocked me on my bum; I fell behind on housework and projects! I’ve been going around my apartment like a mad woman wiping everything down with Clorox wipes, trying to kill the nasty germs responsible for all the misery of the last week or two.

So what projects do I have waiting for me (besides the pj pants)? Well, first both my older daughters have special class projects. Each of the classes at their school are putting together themed baskets to be raffled off at the “Basket Bonanza”. Byrdes class is doing a baking theme, so I am making an apron with a matching oven mitt (I haven’t found a pattern yet). Beans class is doing a stuffed animal basket, so I thought I would make an adorable marshmallow bunny from Dandelions and Lace.  I also have two teachers from their school asking for messenger bags. I’ve also got several girls dresses and some woman’s blouses I want to try out. Oh, and I want to find a 1940’s style button down house dress pattern to try out. 

Tomorrow, I’m spending the day shopping with my sweet husband and youngest daughter, Bum. I can’t wait! We don’t get out just the two of us anymore, but even with our 3yr old in tow, it’s a special day!

What do you have in your queue? Are there any special projects you’ve been wanting to try, but haven’t had the time for or maybe felt overwhelmed by? I’d really like to know, so leave a comment!



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