I recently got to sew the Jackie Dress as a pattern tester for a new clothing pattern company called Rad Patterns. My cousin Stephanie is the designer and she is totally legit (she has a degree in apparel design), so I was pretty excited to try out the Jackie Dress.
Here’s what I love about the Jackie Dress! First of all, the pattern is very user-friendly- it comes as a PDF with layers so you can select your size and print out exactly what you want- nothing extra. It has photos and illustrations to go along with the instructions, so if you need clarification, it’s right there. That said, this is probably an intermediate level project.
Second, I love how versatile this pattern is! I chose to make my dress knee length, with a sleeve cuff and V- back, but there are options for a longer skirt, boat neck back, no cuff, and a cute waist tab. I also chose to use different fabrics for the skirt and top of the dress- navy blue suiting for the skirt, and white peachskin for the top. It totally works because of the invisible zipper in the back. This dress can be dressed up or dressed down. I love wearing it with this cardigan. I am thinking about making a more casual cotton version of this dress too.
If you make this dress with suiting material like I did, depending on the stiffness of the fabric, you might want to make the skirt a little narrower, but as long as your fabric has a good drape to it, the pattern is perfect as-is!
Stephanie has another pattern in the final stages of testing and it will be released in the next week or two. Check out her Facebook Page- Rad Patterns to get access to new patterns as they are available. Or, check out her blog for sewing tips, free downloadable patterns, advice on teaching kids to sew, and pattern design progress.
The Jackie Dress downloadable pattern is available on Etsy.
I was looking through old Halloween pictures from the past 11 years, and had a few good laughs about some of the costumes we have come up with over the years.
I’m going to share some of my favorites from the Halloween costume archives (hopefully my sisters will do the same for their families… hint hint! because they have some awesome couple costumes.).
I loved this costume so much! It was the first costume I sewed for one of my children. I used a thrifted pillowcase, and an old corduroy shirt for the majority of the costume. My son was about 18 months old. The pillowcase was the perfect size for a little onesie romper with leg closures (I think I used velcro dots) and a hood. Since that used up all my pillowcase fabric, I cut up an old corduroy shirt that had belonged to Marissa’s husband, and made spots, floppy ears, a stuffed tail, and a little candy bag. I made a harness “leash” out of grosgrain ribbon and velcro. The dog tag was made from a broken ID badge holder (It says “Woof” on it). My husband and I just wore athletic clothes and said we were taking our “puppy” for a jog.
These costumes were created about 4 years ago. I had picked up the Jack-o-lantern costume for the baby from Walmart the previous year after Halloween for $5. I made a “whipped cream swirl” out of batting, sewed it to a white beanie, and sat him in a pie tin and voila- pumpkin pie. I thought it was clever because we call my son “Lukey Pie” and he was pumpkin pie… I was pretty much out of energy to make a costume for myself, so I donned an apron, grabbed a wooden spoon (which I forgot for the picture) and said I was the baker who made the pumpkin pie. Not at all elaborate, but it worked nicely.
I put the monkey costume together by first drawing out a pattern on paper bags. I used a too-small pantsuit as my guide. The brown minky fabric was deeply discounted, and it was very stretchy and forgiving, so that made the pattern drafting much easier. My husband’s costume was made by dyeing some old white clothes with Rit dye in the washer, and using fabric markers for the spots on the tie. Read more about how I made these costumes here.
I don’t always make my family’s costumes. One year we participated in a costume swap and borrowed the cowboy on a horse costume and lion costume.
Another year we straight up bought superhero costumes from Costco (I was pregnant and it was such a relief not to have to sew anything).
One of my favorite years was when we used a combination of things we had already (the hats, wig, and most of the clothes), a few things we purchased (badges, handcuffs and the mustache), and some things we made (the masks and vests). If you can’t tell, my husband and I are the bandits with our wrists cuffed together, and my sons are the sheriffs, with their “tough guy faces” on.
And then there’s this hilarious gem, which I’m almost too embarrassed to share. But it is so funny to me. It was our first Halloween after we were married. I was little Red Riding Hood and My hubby was the wolf that ate grandma. I tried to persuade my husband that it would be awesome for him to wear a “granny flannel nightie” from the thrift store. He wasn’t convinced, but I’m sure he did it anyway just to make me happy. 😉
Thanks for humoring my trip down memory lane!
I have one son who wears out the knees on every. pair. of. pants. I think that is pretty normal for little boys who like to play hard, but I know I’m not the only mom to get frustrated when her sweet boy busts a hole in another brand new pair of pants. And since not every pair of holey pants can become cutoff shorts, we have started to just patch the holes. Luckily, there are plenty of versions of patched- knee pants that are in style right now, so it doesn’t look too backwoods.
My son brought his favorite sweatpants to me yesterday and asked me to fix them so sweetly, that I couldn’t resist adding a couple patches during quiet time.
I drew out the shape I wanted for the patches, then I cut out two ovals (since I was patching with knit fabric and I want to avoid the whole patching the patch scenario. Hopefully another layer will add even longer life to the pants.). I made one of the ovals a little larger just to give some color contrast.
I pinned the patches directly on the knees, making sure to only pin through the front of the pant leg. It was a bit tricky to sew around the whole patch, but I sewed one pass around each patch. I think it could also be cute… er, cool- looking to sew some horizontal lines across the patch or do some thread sketching. There you have it- a quick and easy patch fix.
Hooray for favorite sweats being fixed!
A few years ago (umm… maybe like 7), we bought some cheap- but- ok- looking counter height stools from Target (I think). They had a cushion covered in microfiber that I successfully kept clean for several years. Then 3 toddler boys happened. And mod podge. So, yeah, fast forward to now, and they are filthy and un-cleanable.
Instead of pulling the seat apart and re-upholstering the seat, which was a viable option, I chose to make a removable cover so that next time one of my darling, dear, stinkers wipes the rest of their dinner on the seat I can just throw it in the washer.
I had a ton of sturdy black fabric that used to be a futon cover, and I decided that fabric would work perfectly for this project- waste not, want not!
First I measured the diameter of the bar stools, added about 6 inches, and cut out one circle with the larger diameter for each stool.
Next, I serged around each circle and prepared to sew a casing by pinning the edge in at intervals around the whole circle. I learned of a better method afterward on On The Cutting Floor , that I would use if I had to do it again.
With the casing done, I threaded elastic through and sewed the ends together. The result looked a lot like a huge gothic shower cap. Haha. Until I put it on the barstool- much better, no?
I think I will spray the covers with Scotch Guard or something similar to cut down on how often I have to wash the covers, but it’s so nice to have the option now!
Ahh, much better, don’t you agree? And free isn’t a bad price for this “Make it do” project.
One of my favorite things about being a mom is dressing my baby boy up in beyond adorable clothes. Lately I’ve been itching to get him some stylin’ shoes. I mean, what’s more fun than tiny baby shoes… correction–tiny baby TOMS!?! Yes, you read that right, baby TOMS. I saw them on Pinterest and about died from the overload of cuteness. I absolutely had to make them right away!
I found the original pattern and tutorial from Homemade Toast. She has got some amazing sewing talent!
1. Cut out the pattern
You can find it on the link above at Homemade Toast.
2. Cut out your fabric
I used minky fabric for my inner lining for extra comfort.
3. Sew the back part
With right sides together, sew 1/4″ seam allowance in a straight line.
4. Sew elastic in back part
Fold in half and press. Sew a little more than 1/4″ seam allowance in a straight line along the top. I used 1/4″ elastic to pull through. Be sure to leave a little extra elastic sticking out of the ends when you are done.
Pull elastic from one side to tighten fabric to your desired stretchiness. Stitch in place to hold. I did a zigzag stitch along the side to make sure the elastic didn’t go anywhere.
5. Sew the center part
Cut and fold the triangle shapes as shown by the pattern. Press folds well.
Place right sides together and line triangle shapes up. Sew along the top with 1/4″ seam allowance.
Turn it right side out and press.
Sew elastic by inserting along top of center strap and stitching with 1/4″ and 1/2″ seam allowances (the “V” shape design).
Place center strap over toe piece. This part may get kind of confusing, but meet the bottom of the center strap with the middle fold of the toe piece. Stitch with 1/8″ seam allowance.
6. Baste the toe piece
This part is tricky, but just follow the pattern as close as you can. Fold along the dotted lines to create a nice smooth curve around the toe. Pin and sew 1/4″ seam allowance. Don’t fret if you can’t get the pleats perfect. Personally, I don’t think it needs to be perfect.
7. Sew front to the back
Sewing along the same two lines on the center strap, attach the front to the back.
8. Attach the sole
Before you start pinning, make sure the entire shoe is inside-out. Now pin the sole to the top and back. Pin like crazy. You can never have too many pins, in my opinion. The more you have the easier it will be to keep all the pleats and seams in place, especially since it is such a tiny shoe.
Sew with 1/4″-1/2″ seam allowance.
Now turn it right side out and admire your awesome work!!! The best part is putting them on your little baby’s feet! Enjoy the cuteness.
Here is a quick photo tutorial of the ring pillow I made for my sister Cara’s DIY wedding. Cara’s colors were light pink, eggplant, and champagne/gold. I had one afternoon to make a pair of these pillows, since we were driving to the wedding the next day. Luckily, I am a fabric hoarder and I didn’t have to waste any time running to buy fabric since I had a variety of fabrics in exactly the colors I needed.
This pillow ended up being about 8 inches square.
I used two 9″ squares of cream colored sateen fabric, one 9″ square of cream colored lace, a 9×4″ strip of eggplant colored linen, and a 5×20″ strip of light pink chiffon. Obviously, use any variety of fabrics and colors that you like- this would look great in all white or cream too.
1) I basted along each long edge of the chiffon and 2) gathered it on both sides.
3) The lace is layered over one of the plain cream pieces. 4) The gathered chiffon goes across the bottom and is pinned in place. 5) The chiffon is basted in place. 6) The long raw edges of the eggplant accent strip are folded towards the middle and ironed.
7) The accent strip is pinned on top of the gathered chiffon, covering up the raw edge on the top. 8) It is then sewn in place with a straight stitch.
9) Right sides of the cream pillow fabric are pinned together and 10) sewn, leaving a small opening to turn the pillow right side out. Clipping the corners will give a nice pointy finished corner.
11) The pillow is turned right side out, stuffed, and the opening sewed shut.
12) It is a good idea to add a ribbon (which can be sewed on by hand) to secure the rings during the ceremony
Then just get yourself some adorable ring bearers and you’re good to go!
For me, being pregnant has a way of warping time, leaving me somewhat disoriented as each day seems to last forever… but then somehow I find myself 6.5 months pregnant and thinking, “Wait, I still have so much to do before this baby makes his entrance!” Yep, that’s pretty much where I’m at right now, coming up for air as I get some of my energy back and nausea under control.
So, I’m looking at my pile of projects, and maternity clothes are close to the top of my list of things to work on, because my belly has popped out and I have already grown out of some of my maternity shirts. (What?! Aren’t maternity shirts supposed to fit the whole time you’re pregnant?) So while I work on a few sewing projects for me, I thought I would share my inspiration with you, and then when I finish, I can share the results of my dabbling.
This men’s shirt to maternity shirt refashion at Cotton and Curls
This lace tunic top at A Beautiful Mess
Also check out my tutorial I posted last pregnancy on how to refashion a long, stretchy skirt into a maternity shirt:
I hope to post more pregnancy- related projects, including some natural remedy type stuff for dealing with aches and pains without using medicines that are a no-no in pregnancy- so stay tuned!
About a year ago, when I was getting ready to have Lacey (and in serious nesting mode), I decided I wanted to make my own diaper bag. I was inspired by Rochelle’s diaper bag that she made for her sons a few years ago, and wanted one of my own! She kindly held my hand every step of the way as we made it (It was my first big-girl sewing project)! (See tutorial links at the bottom of the post.)
I found some cute canvas at JoAnn Fabrics, and got to work. Rochelle had the great idea of reinforcing/protecting the fabric with clear vinyl – in fact, most of the vinyl we used actually came from a couple bedding bags that Rochelle had been saving…genius! We felt pretty good about ourselves for recycling what could otherwise have been thrown away. (Although I will say, that after nine months of use, the plastic is starting to rip a little…I’d recommend using clear vinyl that is thicker and has a little more give – the kind that you use for tablecloth liners…oooh or you could use a clear shower curtain liner… I’m brilliant!)
I also made this cute diaper/wet wipe holder (very nice so I don’t have to bring the entire diaper bag with me for a quick diaper change):
Because I had quite a bit of fabric left over, I decided to make myself a Boppy cover to match! I’m very happy with the way it turned out, and I love having the two different fabrics – so fun!
I had fun learning how to sew a little better with these projects, and I love having high-quality (and matchy) baby accessories!
Diaper Bag: A Mingled Yarn
Diaper Holder: Jan Andrea
Boppy Cover: Vanilla Joy(she saved it from economical baby blog, which had been removed)