Finishing a Quilt or Five….

finishing a quilt title

When Rachel and I were at the Sew Pro conference in Chicago last month, we met some great people.  The first day it seemed everyone we ran into was a quilter, had a quilting blog or sold quilts.  Although that is not our main focus, I have always loved quilting.  When the conversation went to unfinished quilts, I was more than a bit embarrassed to say that I have 5 quilts in process and another 5 that I have fabric for but have not started. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Chalkboard Wall : Sewing Room Inspiration

How to paint a chalkboard wall for your sewing room (or anywhere else)

As a sewer I spend a decent amount of time dreaming of that ideal sewing room. I have a Pinterest board– I’m sure I’m not alone. After the rather painful fabric room purge, if you missed it you can see my tips on your own destash here, I was ready for a clean start in my sewing space.

I’m lucky enough to have a room in our new home dedicated to office and sewing needs. I’m still toggling how it’s all going to get organized, but it allowed me the opportunity for something I’ve wanted for awhile. I big huge giant chalkboard wall.

[click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

DIY Halloween Costume Tutorials

Halloween Costume Tutorial List

It’s October already!  If you are anything like us, you are just starting to think about Halloween costumes.  One of the problems we have had in the past are children that keep changing their minds about what they want to be.  Of course Rachel and I have both slaved over costumes in the past and then sometimes you just need to go to the local big box store and pick one up for $5.99.  The trick is to know that it’s ok to do that sometimes too.

[click to continue…]


Baby’s First Cecilia Tee, free 12 month pattern

Free Pattern: Cecilia Tee 12 month- 8 years

Long sleeve tee time! Fall is my favorite time of year. The weather is perfect for long sleeves tees, the air smells great, and the leaves start changing colors.

This fall we are celebrating a first birthday. Along with that baby got her first Cecilia tee. I wanted something bright and fun to match the kid to snap some first birthday pictures in.

[click to continue…]


The Great Fabric Destash : How to Purge Your Fabric Stash

Destash Fabric in 3 (somewhat) painless steps

When I was pregnant with my third kiddo I decided it was time to start purging my stash. I was going to lose some space to baby, and I was starting to feel like I had too much just- stuff. It was time to destash fabric. Not long after she was born we learned we would be moving across country and the purge became more important. Did I really want to pack and move all this?

I thought it would be easy. I didn’t think there was really THAT much. I started by sewing my small stack of unfinished projects and making an effort to use fabric I owned while establishing a no buy rule. I honestly thought given that I had some lead time that would be enough.

Then I couldn’t find my Kam Snap. I was sure I knew where it was- but it wasn’t there. And the resulting search left me near panic attack. It seemed the deeper I looked the more stuff emerged. Half finished projects that stopped fitting a child two years ago. Fabric I didn’t remember. Fabric I didn’t like. Tissue pattern pieces without patterns. PDF pieces unlabeled with sizes or designer names. Rolls of ribbon, balls of elastic, bags of scraps to be saved for scrap projects. More bags of scraps……

I got serious about my purge. Here’s how you can too.

[click to continue…]


Sewing for School

While Rachel is busy moving her family across the country, I have tried to keep busy by sewing things for the kids.  We received some cotton jersey from Organic Cotton Plus and I originally was going to make summer clothes for Ms M and Ms N.  And then the craziness that this summer is started in earnest.  Plan B.  School clothes.back to school 1

[click to continue…]


Brook Blossom Skirt

brook blossom skirt PDF One Thimble Issue 12
 One Thimble Issue 12 has just released! I’m excited to be sharing a women’s pattern included in the quarterly Australian ezine that I was given a chance to preview and sew up. For those of you unfamiliar One Thimble is a compilation of sewing articles and varied patterns from a wide range of pdf designers.

[click to continue…]


Just Keep Swimming

just keep swimming girls pdf pattern

Just Keep Swimming, and just keep growing is what my kids have been doing all summer. The offer to try a new swimsuit pattern, Just Keep Swimming by The Wolf and The Tree, and freshen up the well worn (and getting snug) suits seemed like a great idea.

Wanting something a little different than what she had been sporting the first half of the summer. I sewed up the bikini length top, no colorblocking, with the high waisted briefs.

[click to continue…]


Summer Swim Tour: Swim & Surf Shorts

This summer has been pretty crazy and there has been precious little sewing.  My hubby and I have sold the home that served us well over the last 30 years and have moved into a small lake house that will be undergoing a large renovation.

Because of this all of my sewing machines and fabric were packed away.  After we had been in the house about two weeks, my husband decided I needed to have access to my sewing things and he put my sewing table together.  Partly for me and partly so I would not keep finding jobs for him, I am sure.

When the opportunity  came  up to do this swim tour, it was time to jump back in. I am in desperate need of shorts so this seemed perfect. Today I am going to share Gracious Threads Swim & Surf Shorts.

I need to tell you all that I have never been successful sewing any kind of pant without major alterations to the pattern.  So I made a muslin first. To my delight the fit was spot on! I have sewn other Gracious Threads patterns for the kids and the fit on those has always been great as well.swim & surf title

I found a fun board short fabric from the Fabric Fairy.  I have ordered from there before and have never been disappointed.  I will wear mine for kayaking and paddle boarding, but not actually for swimming.

I am more comfortable in a slightly longer length and that is why I opted for the run length. This is the mid length. There are options for a shorter swim length with a liner included or a longer surf length.

The pattern is designed in layers making it easy to print just the size you need.  If you need to blend sizes this is also easy to accomplish by printing just what you will need to blend.  My hip fit perfectly into the size that I used and my waist was only slightly smaller.  I really am happy with the rise in these shorts.  The back does not expose anything that I don’t want it to. swim shorts backI knew with the elastic that would be easy to adjust.  I made my muslin with two rows of elastic and my good pair with the three rows as directed.

I left out the drawstring.  I have never been a fan of them.  They feel very bulky around my waist and are generally uncomfortable for me.  With the three or even the two rows of elastic the drawstring is not necessary for a good fit.  I simply adjusted the elastic to fit.swim shorts muslin

I had to include a picture of my muslin.  It is such a good fit and the fun summer fabric that I pulled from my stash make it perfect for the dog days of summer.   With the pattern designed for a woven fabric, I can see more of these in my future.  Not only are they great for swim or run, they will be perfect for working in the yard or garden on those very warm summer days. Thanks Jess for a great pattern.

Happy Sewing, Donna

Join in on the Summer Swimwear Tour fun by using the hashtag #sewswimtour to share your favorite swimwear makes.  And don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below to win some fabulous prizes from our sponsors!
During the tour Designs by Call Ajaire is offering 20% off all patterns in the Etsy shop using the code SWIMTOUR, Gracious Threads is offering 15% off the purchase of 3 or more patterns in her shop (no coupon needed), and The Wolf and the Tree is offering 15% off patterns in her shop using the code SWIMTOUR as well.  So take a few minutes to visit Call Ajaire, Gracious Threads, and The Wolf and the Tree and of course the rest of the lovely blogs we have on the tour:

Fat Red Bird Woman’s Hoodie Vest

One Thimble fat red bird hoodie vest

Today I’m sharing my Fat Red Bird Woman’s Hoodie vest, and the third pattern I’ve sewn up from the just released One Thimble Issue 11. Recently I shared my Wild Things baby shoes and Rainbow cross stitch pattern also in this issue.

But before we talk about the pattern let’s back up and talk about what IS One Thimble. I had a chance to review the complete issue and let me tell you so much sewing goodness. There is the obvious draw, 12 PDF patterns. I’ve shared two already and I’m going to show you a third today- but there is so much more than that.

[click to continue…]