CraftingCon | My Wannabe Wizard

I am so excited to finally get to share with you all!  This is my first entry as a contestant for CraftingCon and with this month’s theme of Harry Potter it could not have been more perfect!


Our whole family is obsessed with Harry Potter.  My husband and I were dating when the movies started coming out and it was a tradition that we see then on opening day with each new release.  I still will argue that the books were 100 times better🙂

Now that Ryleigh is older, its been so fun to share the Potter Love with her!  She’s been reading the books and we have a Harry marathon at least once a month.  Reid has even gotten into watching with us!!


We had such a blast creating our look!  (I say we because of course I had Ryleigh’s expert advice!)  As a contestant, the challenged is to sew/craft a look for the theme without making a costume.  To see more of what I made for our entry head over to the CraftingCon blog for the full post.


Pattern Review | Made for Mermaids Rowan Raglan

I had the pleasure of sewing up a few versions of the Rowan Raglan and i’m excited to finally be able to share.  I’m totally a sucker for being able to buy 1 pattern and use it for both kiddos AND have it fit both well.  I’m happy to report that this is one unisex pattern that I will most definitely be using again!

Read all about the multitude of options and get some inspiration from a few of the other reviewers on today’s Pattern Revolution blog.



Blog Tour – One Thimble E-zine Issue #12

Can you believe its that time again already??  The newest issue of One Thimble has hit the virtual stands and its amazing! (as if we had any doubts, right?!)


I have a few things i’ve been making from this and i’m going to share one of them today.   I was in a little fender bender this weekend and its slowed my sewing down a little so I do apologize.  Stay tuned for this sweet little number still to come!!


But while you wait, I have been dying to share these pictures of the Thread Faction #111 Dress.  I’ll be honest, I’m pretty sure this is my first Thread Faction pattern and all I can say is WOW!   I really love the simplicity of the #111 dress.  Oh and don’t let the word simplicity fool you though… there is nothing plain about this dress.  I can see endless possibilities to add your own twist or style to it, making it so super special.


Here in the midwest we have hot fall weather pretty frequently, so I moved on from bright summer colors and paired up this gorgeous geometric fox print (from Sweet N Charmed Fabrics) with a drape-y tan slub knit.   We are loving it for back to school and it will be perfect as it cools down too, layered with long sleeves and leggings.


The pattern comes in sizes 2-10 and features a fully lined bodice.  Its a great pattern for intermediate beginners who already have some basic sewing skills.  The skirt is actually gathered with clear elastic which is a great technique to learn if you haven’t tried it before.


Afraid to commit to the whole magazine?  You could always just buy single patterns but lets do some math…. The Thread Faction dress i’ve shared today is $8.00 … the other patterns range from $6-$15 and include everything from accessories to a woman’s skirt.   For $25 you get 10 … yes TEN patterns, plus over 20 articles with tons of tips and tricks of the trade.  No brainer right?!?!    Or you could go ahead and just buy the 3 or so you want and spend $30… your choice!😉


So go check it out, find some amazing inspiration and come back and share what you loved.   Leave a comment with your favorite pattern for a chance to win a free yard of fabric from my stash!

Also don’t forget to follow along the rest of our tour for more lovely items from this issue!

And just to leave you with one final shot… it wouldn’t be a photo shoot with this crazy girl if we didn’t have at least one wackadoodle pose, haha!
** note – There are affiliate links used in the above post.  Thank you for your support.

Tuesdays are for Teaching – Kids Sewing Series

Whew! Back on track!  School started last week and I think things are going to get back to normal routines around here, including our weekly date in the studio.  I actually LOVE having her come hang for a few hours and its been really nice to share something i’m so passionate about (and have her actually be interested).

Today she helped me test a pattern i’m working on that i’ll be sharing in the next few days I hope.  This is one that i’m planning to use in a few kids workshops this fall, I can’t wait!!

She was excited to put her newly found cutting skills to work.


And her lesson on ironing… I always make sure the steam is turned off (and she knows how to double check)  but she’s doing great at keeping her fingers out of the way.


Now for the fun part!!  She has been BEGGING me to learn about all of the cool stitches her Sparrow has.  There are 197 stitches!!!  This is including the alphabet with capital and lowercase letters, multiple button hole stitches and even an eyelet stitch!  We started off just playing, and trying out different ones so she could learn how to change them.


Then we read up about how to use the memory so she could spell her name and gave that a practice run.


She was so amazed at how it worked.  One tip when doing these decorative stitches, it does help to have either a thicker fabric or to use an interfacing.  I noticed the practice runs were a little puckered so we added interfacing to the good piece.


I also used an erasable marker to make some lines as a guide since she was doing first and last name.  My favorite pens to use for this are FriXion from Pilot, they come off with a quick ironing like magic!

She decided on a flower chain to top stitch her name plaque on and did a great job of pivoting around those corners!


Finished stitching together her final seams and voila!!


My little writer has a journal cover.



Tuesdays are for Teaching | Kids Sewing Series Day 4

I have a confession to make… running a series through the summer has proved so much harder than I thought!  Between camps, sports, vacations and just summer fun, we are a tad behind.  I truly hope you are all sticking with us because there is still so much Ry wants to learn and I’m excited to be able to share with you everyone.


This week she asked if she could learn how to use a rotary cutter.  So while we may not be sewing this week, I can’t tell you the last time I cut out a pattern with scissors.  She sees that and  want who am I to say no to her wanting to learn more?

A few things I noticed that would make this lesson easier and I do think that i’ll invest in a few more tools to help her.  Starting with a smaller ruler would be best.  The ones I use most often are 24″ and I think it was a bit much for her to hold in place easily.


We talked ALOT about safety, where to place your hand on the ruler and how to hold the cutter.  This was a bit of a challenge since Ry is left handed and i’m right handed but that’s the one nice part about using a rotary cutter is its universal.  The second item I think we will be adding at our next shopping trip is a ruler grip.  I think that would be a fabulous tool for a young learner and the perfect way to help keep fingers out of the blades path.


She cut LOTS and LOTS of strips, of all different widths.  I think next week I’ll let her work on cutting along pattern lines instead of the ruler and then she has a sewing project in mind.


Next week we are back to sewing with a cool back to school project and tutorial!!  See you then!!


Blog Tour | Acorn Valley by Patty Young


Well hello!!!  Its mid week and I know that means its time for a pick me up, how about you??  I know pretty fabrics always work for me… want a peek at something new??   This Acorn Valley line from Patty Young is sure to make you swoon, I promise!

This gorgeous new line designed for Riley Blake should be hitting your fabric store shelves soon.  With 5 beautiful prints in 3 different colorways, available in both knit and flannel, there is sure to be something (or like me lots of somethings) that you’ll need.


After deciding to sew up the Melanie Dress from Modkid I chose the Main print in green, the Leafy Chevron in teal and the Bloom Dot in red.

These fabrics (as with any of the Riley Blake knits) were a dream to work with.  They wash up nice and soft and retain their shape when sewn and worn.

I’m ashamed to admit this is our first sew of the Melanie dress.  Holy cow I love it!!  So did my daughter, so I see a few more of these as we work on our fall school wardrobe.  With 3 sleeve lengths, its perfect for every season.


I did make a few adjustments, because i’m down an iron right now (yes I know, a seamstress with no iron… blasphemy!! haha!)   Instead of the binding on the pockets I just added a simple band at the top, same with the neckline.  I was able to manage the hem without one so, yay!!!  Cause I might have been running out of ideas!


This girl was so silly, she just would not stand still… we were definitely working out some sillies from our day.  Even better when a friend walked by and was making her laugh harder.


Needless to say we had a good time… and that’s what’s important!!    Now… don’t stop reading just yet, honestly the most important stuff is still coming and you will not want to miss what I have to share!!

First…. a giveaway, we all love those right???

AV Flannels

Are you just loving the Acorn Valley line??  Want to win some flannels??  Patty has graciously offered to give away a box of one yard cuts!!  You can ENTER HERE!!!


Also be sure to follow along on the rest of the tour, we are just getting started!!  There will be tons of inspiration for the Acorn Valley line as well as Modkid patterns.

Monday 7/11: Riley Blake & Modkid

Friday 7/15: Coral & Co. & Pearberry Lane

Monday 7/18: Sweet KM & 2 Little Hooligans

Thursday 7/21: Flamingo Toes & Quilting Gallery

Friday 7/22: Ameroonie Designs


Saving the best for last…. a DISCOUNT!!   Ready to make your own Melanie dress????

You can use the code AcornValley2016 to get 25% off your entire purchase in the Modkid Etsy Store!!  Coupon is valid the full length of our tour, so until July 22nd at midnight EST.



Tuesdays are for Teaching – Kids Sewing Series Day 3

Hey all!!  I’m so sorry we missed everyone last week!  We had some family things come up out of town and were out for a few days.   Hope you don’t mind catching up today.

I left this week’s lesson up to Ryleigh.  She said she really wanted to learn how to sew curves better so that she can make some different shaped pillows so that is what we focused on.

I can’t remember if I mentioned before but i’m not a huge fan of stitching on paper.  It has a different feel going through the feed dogs and I think that learning and practicing on fabric is just a better use of her time.  So that being said, here’s how we practice.  I bought super inexpensive muslin ($1.99/yard plus 40% off)  and cut it into blocks.  Then with a permanent marker I draw lines or shapes.   This is a super easy way to incorporate lots of the techniques she’s learning.  She knows to back-stitch at the  beginning of each activity, clip her threads and I always add in some pivoting.

She thinks’s its fun to do the same shapes and test herself to see if she improves from one to the other and I love that its something she can do independently.   I’m going to start keeping a small stack of ready to use sheets with her stuff so that when she spends time at the studio with me she can practice anytime.

We also talked about threading her bobbin.  The Sparrow has a drop in bobbin so it’s pretty simple. And they have an amazing threading guide with arrows that makes it even easier to get it right each time.  A few times through and she had it down!

I do admit, I love when she can work independently, which is becoming more and more as she builds her confidence and skill on the machine.  It gives me time to work on some pattern testing among a few other projects (aka cleaning up my space lol)

While she worked on curves, I got to sew up these cute shorts that we were testing from Lil Luxe Collection.  The Papillon Shorties have an adorable scalloped yoke with optional piping and an elastic back and come in both a low and high rise waist.  I’ll share a few more pictures of these tomorrow!

Tutorial – Envelope Pouch

As promised, I wanted to share this quick tutorial with you all from Ryleigh’s lesson yesterday in Day 2 of our Kids Sewing Series.


The dimensions you use can vary to give you a variety of sizes, making this super versatile.  We’ve used them for gift giving, books or gift cards are perfect in them!  They can store small toys and treasures or you can get fancy and use a laminated fabric to make re-usable sandwich/snack bags.  Really the possibilities are endless!

For this one I started with 2 rectangles cut 7″x 10.5″.
Fold one piece in half so the long sides match.
Using a ruler, lined up with the folded corner, measure down 3″ and cut.
Repeat with the second piece.

Starting at the bottom, sew around all edges, leaving a 3″ gap to turn it right side out.
Turn right side out, clip all corners (being careful not to go through your stitching) and then press.

Now, for a way to close our pouch.  You could do a button here if you’d like, or snaps, but for this one we are using velcro.  The best way i’ve found to be sure the closures line up is to fold it up as if it was finished.  Take a pen or something similar and press down in the location you want your closure.  As long as you press hard enough, you will see the indentions on both sides and can easily mark the spots.

Lastly, stitch across the shortest straight edge and then fold the bottom up as shown and top stitch from one corner all the way around to the other.

I’d love to hear your ideas on what else these could be used for!  And if you’ve made any please link up in the comments, I love seeing your projects!!

Here is another one Ry made, this one is storing Shopkins🙂



Tuesdays are for Teaching – Kids Sewing Series Day 2

Welcome back!!  We are taking on a few new skills today while teaching my 8 yr old how to navigate a sewing machine.  I know last week I promised a tutorial and that Ry would have something to add but it is after all summer vacation and highly unpredictable so I apologize that those things are running a tad behind but you won’t have to wait long, I have on good authority that you’ll see a tutorial tomorrow.

On day 2 of our instruction we worked on a small pouch.  Knowing how she learns best, I know that having something she can walk away with will keep her attention more than anything so we picked a small project that would incorporate several of the things I wanted to go over today –

  • sewing to connect 2 pieces of fabric and how to keep them together while sewing
  • pivoting at corners and points
  • turning a project
  • ironing
  • edge stitching /top stitching
  • zig zag stitch

So lets get started… kids and pins.  Not the best combination but there are other options to keep your fabric in place vs pinning.  My personal preference is Wonder Clips* by Clover.  These aren’t just awesome for kids but are also great for holding pieces together that might be too thick for pins, or with materials such as vinyl or leather that pins will leave holes in.

You can also use Wonder Tape*.  We are going to use it later in this lesson when we add the velcro to our pouch but Jenn over at A Jennuine Life talks about using it in place of pins during her Tiny Sewists Series.   This is a great follow along series, especially for younger kids.


The pouch we are making today is a great way to learn pivoting since it has a few different points to address.  There are right angles at the corners but also, the point at the top of the flap, and the also the wider point at the bottom of the flap.  To help Ryleigh learn where to stop stitching and pivot I added some dots using an erasable pen.   They will be on the inside, so not visible, but its nice to know it can removed if needed.  We also mark where to start/stop to leave the opening for turning.


I think the most difficult thing we tackled here is remembering to keep the needle down before lifting the presser foot but once she started remembering that, things went pretty smooth.

We clipped the corners and discussed that we clip those to help reduce the bulk when its turned.  Then using a knitting needle, the pouch was turned and she worked the corners out, being careful not to push too hard to avoid going through the fabric.


Ironing…this part made me a little nervous but its something that she needs to know.  I kept the steam off for now until she is a little more comfortable and i think that helped her from being afraid of it.  She learned to smooth out the fabric first and then iron with slow motions keeping her other hand out of the way.  She did an amazing job!

Using the overlock foot that came with the machine, she top stitched the bottom edge that we had left open to turn the pouch.  While it may not be the fully intended purpose, it works great for helping line up stitches along the edge of a fabric, and i think really helps instill a little extra confidence.


For the closure we went with velcro, this was a great way to introduce the zig zag stitch. Since a straight stitch and zig zag will really work for almost all sewing projects, I’m only focusing on those with her right now.  It will be a lot of fun to play with the over 200 decorative stitches on the Sparrow but first we master the basics.  This machine is super easy for her to make changes to the stitches.  It’s making my job pretty easy🙂


Using the same overlock foot, she carefully went around the velcro like she’s been doing it for years.  Definitely impressed me!


Back to a little more top stitching and pivoting to finish up the pouch and she’s done!


She’s so proud of  her work, which is honestly the best part of our lessons!!


UPDATE- tutorial now listed here!

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