All Spice Dress Blog Tour

Monday, November 24, 2014

Welcome to my little stop on the Paisley Roots - All Spice Dress blog tour! Want a dress with lots of sleeve options plus two types of bodice closures? Karly has you covered with her All Spice Dress pattern!! With 4 sleeve options and two front closures, the All Spice dress can take you through every season. 

The pattern itself has a table of contents to guide you to each step. The detailed printing guide lets you know which pattern pages to print for each dress option. With 54 pages, you can be sure there are detailed instructions and photographs for each step along the way. 

The details of the dress that I love the most are the front pintucks and square neckline. Of course, you can choose to omit the pintucks for another look, and Karly guides you right through that option.

As for Avery's dress, it's fabulous yet flawed. I was eager to create the zippered bodice, but I forgot a few things along the way. In an attempt to prevent you from having the same trouble, I'd like to remind you to mark your zipper at any critical location for matching your prints, including the bodice and skirt seam. It also helps to sew your zipper on in the same direction on each side, i.e. top to bottom. I honestly ran out of steam to rip mine out and sew the zipper in again. Forgive me!! Of course, it cancelled out the care I took in cutting the pattern pieces to match!

The only change I made to the original pattern was in the sleeves. I widened the bottom slightly and added a cuff for a bit of a puffed sleeve. I love this finish with this dress style!! 

I'm still pinching myself that I bought this Field Study fabric right inside Anna Maria Horner's home during Craft South! Those of you who receive our family Christmas card will be seeing more of this dress. 

There are more goodies to let you know about!! First, you have a chance to win some awesome prizes during the blog tour through the Rafflecopter. Next, make sure you follow along the blog tour to see the other amazing creations. Finally, link up any Paisley Roots or Blend Fabric creation for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Granddaddy's House

Friday, November 21, 2014

I don't know what it is about my Grandfather's house, or at least I didn't know what it was about my Grandfather's house. Until the other day, when I read this touching post on Under the Sycamore. I find some days that I miss that house. I have a feeling I remember some grandeur that wasn't really there. It's not really that house, but the memories associated with it. Let me take you on a little tour.

It had an open style kitchen and breakfast area that was a gathering place. My grandfather loved big breakfasts. eggs, toast with marmalade jelly and grapefruit with sugar on top. There was always mini boxes of the sugary cereal in the pantry for the grandkids. And, there was usually a little dish with lemon drops somewhere.

There was a formal sitting room with a chase lounge that the grandkids had to be very careful in. There was a fun cedar closet upstairs that made the perfect hiding spot for hide-n-seek. Pink tile with pink roses in the upstairs bath. A giant walk-in closet with different doors for his side and hers. There was a door from the hallway to the den. I remember having fashion shows where I would make my grand entrance to show off the back to school clothes we shopped for that Granddaddy helped to buy. There was always a pellet gun resting by the back door to scare off the squirrels my Grandfather hated so much.

It's not really the indoors, that held the most memories. The backyard was a wonderland to us. Climbing trees, bench swings, and lots of room to run. Sometime they would put up a badminton net. The shed always help stilts and a Pogo stick. The old laundry line doubled as monkey bars. Granddaddy loved for us to pick up his pecans with those old spring style pickers (no idea what those are called). My cousins and I had hours of fun together while the adults hung out on the back porch. It is hard to think of how distant some of those relationships are now, but those memories are golden.

Strokes and aging turned my Grandfather a bit bitter and grumpy toward the end, but I will always remember the man he was, and the joy of being in his company. I can picture him in his jumpsuit taking a nap or cracking pecans in his chair even now. Tandy is named after him, and the name truly fits.

It is good to miss something that brings back such a flood of memories.

Playful Designs Blog Tour and Giveaway

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

As soon as I held Patty Young's new coloring book, Playful Designs, in my hands, I was instantly transported to my childhood. My absolute favorite activity when I would have babysitters was to pull out a design book and color. Not your average coloring books mind you, but single sided, bright white sturdy paper with prints and patterns. I loved coloring in them as much as I loved watching an older kid and discovering their style. The first time someone showed me outlining a space with marker and filling in with crayon, mind blown I tell you!! 

Playful Designs is just such a book! Single sided, white cardstock sheets fit for framing if need be. It even gives you a color education in the back of the book. It was hard, but the book was intended for my girl, so I reluctantly gave it to her. Well, she was pretty crazy about it too! The hardest part was selecting what page to color first. As you can probably tell by the various outfits, we've had several days of fun with this coloring book.

I love this look of concentration!

Who wouldn't be happy with some colorful play time!?! 

So, I literally begged and pleaded for a chance to color just one page. After some delay, Avery gave in and tore out the building print as a nod to my former structural engineering career. Word of caution, grab the book before your child tears or your pretty picture may have a slightly ugly tear in it! In the end, Avery was so thrilled to color together, that she sharped all of my old watercolor pencils from high school!

Who knew a coloring book could revive old memories and create new ones at the same time!! Thank you Patty for the adventure!!

If you purchase Playful Designs through the Modkid website, Patty will send you an autographed copy! You also have a chance to win a copy right here!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm the last stop on the blog tour, but we've has some great post from creative bloggers and their kiddos. Be sure to give them a visit!!

Monday, November 10th

Patty Young @ Modkid

Tuesday, November 11th

Susan Yates @ Crafterhours

Wednesday, November 12th

Melissa Mora @ Melly Sews

Thursday, November 13th

Heather Valentine @ The Sewing Loft

Friday, November 14th

Teresa Behr @ Dandelion Drift

Saturday, November 15th

Elizabeth Evans @ Simple Simon and Co

Monday, November 17th

Jenny Fish @ Sew Pretty Dresses

Tuesday, November 18th

Courtney Davis @ Sweeter Than Cupcakes

Class Picnic Nightgown

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I'm over on the Oliver + S blog today sharing a bit about why the Class Picnic Blouse is one of my favorite Oliver + S patterns. I decided I needed to sew up one more to round out the post, so this time I created a flannel nightgown.

The changes are actually pretty minor. I lengthened the sleeves and added elastic at the wrist to cinch it in. Then, I lengthened the main front and back pieces.

My favorite little detail is the hand embroidery at the wrists. It's my first attempt, so don't look too close!

Avery didn't take it off for the rest of the day! She loves nightgowns, so it was fun to finally make one for her. 

Don't forget to head over to the Oliver + S blog to see all of the other versions of the Class Picnic Blouse I've made in the past!

Book Review: Sew Sweet

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I love when Japanese sewing books are translated to English from Tuttle Publishing. But when those books happen to be children's clothes, I get really excited. The stylish clothes in Sew Sweet Handmade Clothes for Girls are right up my alley! I've sewn from one of Yuki Araki's Japanese books in the past here, here, and here, so you can say I am a fan.

With 22 projects, there is a little something for everyone. The author's note at the beginning of the book likens creating clothes to drawing pictures with fabric as the paint. She certainly knows how to create shade and balance with each creation.

There are two Mother / daughter looks to create.

I love everything about this photo from the sweet shirtdress to the vintage sewing machine.

If the shirtdress intimidates you, rest assured there are detailed lessons on the button placket and stand collar. These look like instructions I would refer back to even if sewing from other patterns.

There is a long sleeve version of the shirt dress as well.


Special details don't go unnoticed either. Like the peek of lace at the cuff of these leggings.

I would imagine this sweet blouse would be the first thing I sew from the book. The buttons in front are decorative only. The blouse actually has a button up back opening.

Here is the handy photo index of projects. Under each item you can find the page reference for the modeled photo and the page reference for the instructions. As you can see, a hat and a purse made the project list as well.

Note the size chart below. These patterns are for younger girls, as my oldest, who is 6, tops the chart.

I always see more details with the line drawings than the actual modeled items. This camisole dress has a unique tie front.

In the right fabrics, this long-sleeve dress would make a sweet night gown.

Detailed diagrams are always my favorite feature of Japanese sewing books. Each diagram certainly packs in the information. The little iron symbol is a nice touch.

Here is the line drawing for the back button blouse. The pleated bodice is such a sweet detail.

The pattern sheets can be found in the back envelope of the book.

I hope you've seen enough to get a feel for the book, because.....

....Tuttle Publishing was kind enough to offer a book to one of you!! Enter for your chance to win a copy of Sew Sweet by Yuki Araki.

I received the book, Sew Sweet, for free from Tuttle Publishing. All opinions provided are my own. I will only recommend products that I would use personally and are good for my readers.

Everyday Tank Blog Tour

Thursday, November 6, 2014

When Irene of Serger Pepper first contacted me for her Everyday Tank & Dress Pattern blog tour. I was in! Who doesn't love a great tank? Plus it had the bonus of a fun colorblock already figured out for me. I signed up, then took a step back. It's fall here! What am I going to do with a tank? Inspiration struck, and I created a sweater vest style top for my nephew from the tank pattern.

The only change I made was the neckline. I had never sewn a v-neck before, but I had no problem using this v-neck tutorial.

I used a navy sweatshirt fleece and the scraps from my husband's up-cycled sweater I used here. It's the perfect layering piece for fall!

If the shorts throw you off, keep in mind my nephew lives in Texas where fall is almost non-existent.  Good thing winter is mild enough for this look!

The pattern includes instructions for making a tank or a tank dress. The sizes go from 3 to 14. You have the options of pockets as well! Find the Everyday Tank & Dress Pattern for sale here.

Irene is offering a coupon code to use during the blog tour. Code: BLOGTOUR40 gets you 40% off all items in your cart (expires Sunday, November 4th). You can use it in the Serger Pepper Shop and the Etsy shop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**If you buy the pattern using the BLOGTOUR40 coupon code and then win it, you will have the choice between having another pattern or a $ 10 coupon code for a future purchase (expiring by the end of the next year 2015)!

Monday, 3rd

Veronica @ Sew Very - Karly @ Paisley Roots -

Tuesday, 4th

Scary/Al @ Shaffer Sisters - Amy @ Sews N Bows - Melissa @ Rebel and Malice
Deanna @ Sew Mc Cool - Lisa @ Cucicucicoo
Wednesday, 5th
Terra @ Mama Says Sew  - Nichole @ Bluebird and the Boy - Ajaire @ Call Ajaire
Sara @ Made By Sara - Annemieke @ Sofilantjes

Thursday, 6th

Bethany @ Two Novembers - Joy @ xoxo Grandma - Courtney @ Sweeter Than Cupcakes

Friday, 7th

Becka @ Probably Crafting  - Nienke @ Pienkel - Renee @ Two Many
Shelly @ Coral and Co. - Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee

Saturday, 8th

Sunday, 9th

Magda @ House of Estrela - Shino @ Nutta - Jonie @ Knot Sew Normal
- Kara @ Sweeter Than It Seams

Modkid London

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I'm so excited to finally show you what I've been working on behind the scenes for Modkid. Let me introduce you to the London dress pattern by Patty Young. Patty describes it as "a preppy style dress with contrast fabric flaps at the neckline, sleeves and pockets." Since I was tasked with the research, I can legitimately say I haven't seen anything quite like this dress pattern out there! 

The angled bodice design adds versatility in the wearing style without even having to change the way the bodice is sewn. In these photos, you can see the asymmetrical style. In the photos below of Tandy, you can see the all buttoned up style. There is a third way to wear the top by folding down both bodice corners to form a v-neck collar. 

The nicely oversized pockets are sewn into the side seam. You have the option of turning down the corner to expose a pop of a contrast fabric or leaving them flat with a button detail at the corner. I personally love the flap!

The dress above was sewn for pre-testing in fabrics from my stash. The version below was sewn during regular testing with Patty's next fabric line for Joann's called In Bloom.  

Tandy even made the pattern cover photo!

I've loved being a small part behind the scenes with this pattern, and I look forward to many more!!

You can purchase the pattern on Etsy or Craftsy.

Girly Circus Birthday Party

Friday, October 31, 2014

Everyone should do a circus birthday at least once! It's fairly easy, super colorful, and tons of fun. The dessert table is always the most exciting part for me and the kiddos, so I'll start there. 

So, this isn't actually an edible dessert, but it sure is a fun part of the display.

I couldn't resist the idea of putting cotton candy in the cupcakes!! I used this recipe, but topped them with my favorite vanilla buttercream.

Almost every kid reached for one of these marshmallow strong man barbells first!

My vintage Ferris wheel planter held circus peanuts, because you just can't have a circus party without them.

I always have to have sugar cookies. These toppers were made from Air-heads candy and a mini cookie cutter.

Cotton candy is yet another circus party must have. The push pop containers give the perfect amount of portion control.

This amazing backdrop is actually a headboard my Father-in-law made for my husband when he was Tandy's age. He is amazingly talented!! Corn dogs, popcorn, peanuts, and grapes were the snacks of the day.

I loved getting to use all of the accessories I collected for Tandy's nursery throughout the party. 

Circus party favors became "prizes". We didn't set up the games as a competition, so everyone was a winner. We offered animal cookies, clown noses, temporary tattoos, and elephant lollipops.

We set up a few carnival style games for activities.

The face painting was by far the biggest hit.


 We contemplated all different methods for our balloon pop, from darts to rigging the board with something sharp to pop the balloons on impact. In the end, my husband set a timer for each kid to pop as many as they could by sitting on them. The kids loved it!

Todd also constructed a kid friendly tightrope.

Bean bag toss, 'nuf said.

The smallest ones had a little trouble with the ping-pong ball and water gun station, but it was fun none the less. 

In the end, it was a very happy birthday for Miss Tandy.

Here are a couple of the previous posts about the party: Invitation, Clown Costume, Tightrope Walker Costume.

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