Oliver + S Garden Party Dress


IMGP0387While scrolling through my facebook feed a few days ago, I came across a 20% off promotional code for Oliver + S patterns (coupon code: 4QFEM while it lasts!), which was pretty great because I’ve had my eye on the Garden Party dress since it was released.

I was super excited because as much as I love Oliver + S patterns, they are a little pricey. And I totally get it, they are amazing in pretty much every way. I had to talk myself out of buying two additional patterns by reminding myself I have other Oliver + S patterns that I haven’t even sewn up yet. I LOVE these patterns! And the Garden Party dress is no exception. It’s completely adorable, as all Oliver + S patterns are.


Since I just received a new quilting destashing package from my husband’s Aunt Pam a few weeks ago, I thought maybe I could use some prints she sent for my first take on the Garden Party dress. Hannah picked out the fabric combination.

She’s starting to get picky these days. I’m finding that they key element is pink! She actually wanted the dress to be made out of the pink geometric fabric that I used for the accent pieces on the front bodice, but I didn’t have a large enough cut of fabric to work with. This dress is not really season appropriate in colors or print, and honestly, it’s a little bold for my taste, but I think she’ll like having a dress that she picked out.


The Garden Party dress is a pretty easy sew that I think would be appropriate for a beginner. The gathers on the front and the general fit of the dress are pretty forgiving. I sewed a size 2T since Hannah is petite for her age. I could probably even go down a size and just lengthen it, but I’d rather make it a little large for her to grow into rather than too small. One great thing about this dress is it can be a bit roomy without looking too baggy. And it fits nicely in the shoulders despite the roominess.

After sewing up this dress and seeing how beautifully it came together, I was thinking it might be a great pattern to use for a satin Christmas dress. Maybe just use a longer sleeve pattern from another Oliver + S pattern to give it a more formal and winter appropriate look–possibly the Playdate dress sleeve.


And speaking of sleeves, they are the only part of this pattern that I’m not super crazy about. They are cute, I just prefer the look of an elastic casing over a fuller, more open sleeve. Although, I suppose that style of sleeve might be really great for a light summer dress.


And here is a view of the back closure. I’m going to sew a thread chain using the Oliver + S tutorial here as the pattern calls for, but for now, a quickly stitched on ribbon will do.

Sally Dress



I sewed this up and photographed it awhile ago, but here it is finally on the blog after many months…This is the Sally Dress by Very Shannon. I LOVE this pattern! Over the past year or so that I’ve had it, I think I’ve sewn up three. I love that there are no closures and the huge, adorable, kid-friendly pockets are the best. I added the ribbon around the base of the bodice on this Sally dress to break up the stripes and to give it a more girly detail.


This one I sewed up for Hannah for St. Patrick’s Day with some fabric sent by my husband’s Aunt Pam, who so kindly sends me large packages filled with fabric that she no longer has use for. Makes my day, or really more like my week or even month, when I get one of those surprises in the mail!


The matching doll dress I made using leftover scraps. I used this tutorial and pattern from the blog Chickadee Jess. It fit Abby, Hannah’s Bitty Baby, perfectly!I changed things up a bit to make it look more like the Sally Dress. I opted for a lined bodice since I wasn’t doing a collar or sleeves and I also added pockets to the skirt. I really wish the skirt was fuller but I was working with scraps…


Hannah is not much of a doll girl, but she was really excited when I surprised her with a matching doll dress. I always loved it when my mom made matching sets of pajamas for my cabbage patch doll and me when I was little. Nothing better than matching your favorite doll!

Welcome, Baby Katie!


On March 11th, we welcomed our beautiful little Katie into the world. She has been such a dream baby and I’ve enjoyed every minute since she arrived! I can’t believe that she is already 7 weeks old today.


My biggest worry was how the adjustment would be for Hannah. After all, it is a big change to go from almost two years of uninterrupted mommy time to suddenly having to share mommy with a newborn who needs to be fed, changed, and held round the clock. But Hannah has been an amazing big sister and absolutely loves little Katie.


It’s been such a smooth transition that I’ve actually started to sew again! Throughout the later part of my pregnancy I was just too tired and unmotivated to sew most of the time, and when I had the energy and the desire to sew, I was too lazy to take pictures and write up a post.


This dress was the first outfit that I sewed for Katie. I used the Geranium Dress pattern from the blog Made By Rae. It was so much fun to work on this dress (one of the best patterns I have ever used!) not long before she arrived and to think about what it would look like on her. Thankfully I did get this dress sewn up before she arrived, otherwise I’m not sure what she would have worn for her one month pictures!

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

We took Hannah to the local 4th of July celebration. She participated in the Diaper Derby for 11-24 month walkers. Although she got last place, she seemed to enjoy it. She took one or two steps and then stood at the starting line looking around at the onlookers while the much older babies tottled to the finish line. Oh well, better luck next time. She got a ribbon for participating, though, and she was really proud of that!

After the Diaper Derby, we took Hannah to the playground area where she got to swing for the very first time. She LOVED it!

She also had fun on the slide.

Overall, it was a really fun day. Hannah seemed to enjoy her first 4th of July. She will obviously be in bed during fireworks tonight but maybe she’ll be able to stay up next year.

What a wonderful day! And let us not forget those who make days like this possible. Thank you to all of the men and women who serve this country, including my brother, Jeremy, who is currently serving in Afghanistan. How truly blessed our country is to have such brave people defend our freedom each and every day.

And, yes, I did make her dress. More details on that soon!

Boyshort Bloomers

A friend of mine from church has a cutie pie four year old who loves to wear dresses pretty much everyday but she is not exactly the dainty type. She loves to dig in the dirt and look for every kind of bug she can find. She loves to run and climb. Basically, all the things that you don’t usually do in a dress. Because she’s super active and on the go but insists on wearing dresses, her mom insists on bloomers. And it’s a win win since they’re practical and adorable at the same time!

Since this active little girl has only a few pairs of bloomers and her poor mama is constantly having to wash them, my friend asked if I could whip up a few pairs of bloomers. Since the little one loves the boyshort variety and I didn’t have a pattern that would work for that style or her size, I went in search of a good pattern at the Joann’s $1 Simplicity pattern sale where I found the perfect pattern—2461.

The pattern is actually for shorts, so when I traced the pattern onto regular paper I simply took off a few inches from the length so that they would be roughly the right length for more of a boyshort fit. The pattern calls for 1/4″ elastic, which is perfect for comfy fitting bloomers, so I didn’t have to make any adjustments to the pattern aside from length.

Because I don’t have any custom tags or anything fancy like that, I decided a little bow in front would be a good way for the little one to easily tell front from back and would double as a cute embellisment. Such an easy project! These bloomers are the first of a few pairs that I plan to make.

Tiered Skirts for Easter

It’s time for the big Easter push! I have more projects in mind to do than hours to do them, but I’m going to do my best to get to as many projects as possible and let the chips fall where they may.

The first of my Easter projects are these adorable tiered skirts for two little girls at my church. I used some of my Aunt Pam fabric that seemed perfect for some matchy matchy sister skirts.

There are a lot of tutorials out there for tiered skirts, but I like the easy tiered skirt tutorial on the blog Craftiness Is Not Optional. I think she writes the best and clearest tutorials, which is why I reference her so much. The only difficulty I had was with the measurements. I think her math might have been a little wonky but nothing my nerdy math-minded husband couldn’t help me sort out. What a wonderful and patient man to sit down with me and help me come up with calculations for little girl skirts in the middle of the night!

After some trial and error making these two skirts, I came up with what I think is the best formula for a tiered skirt and the measurements I would use if I make another in the future. Click the diagram to enlarge or click here for a printable version.

*UPDATE* the 1.6 measurement for length makes a very poofy skirt. More so than what you see in the pictures. If you want something a little less poofy I would recommend using 1.4 or 1.5 instead when determining the length of your tiers.

Simple Tote Bag

The little one absolutely loves to read. Sometimes we read 15 or more books in a single day! She has quite a few books but definitely not enough to keep up with her appetite for reading, so last week I took her to the library for the first time. We checked out a bunch of books, and when I was trying to figure out a way to carry all of them around the library and then home, I realized that Hannah definitely needed a tote bag.

Since Aunt Pam was generous enough to send me a ton of cute fabric, I looked through my new stash to find a fun girly print. I absolutely loved the pink with sparkly wands the first time I laid eyes on it. What girl wouldn’t?! When I look at it I think of princesses and fairies and magic. How perfect for a library tote bag!

Another Aunt Pam goodie was the multi-colored cat print. I knew that it was destined to become something for my mom since she loves cats so much. Anytime I see something with cats, the first thing I think of is my mom. I couldn’t figure out what to make, though, until I got the idea to make a tote for Hannah. A tote bag is so functional and since my mom loves to travel, whether it’s a day trip or a week long trip, a tote bag is a great thing to have on hand. I’m thinking of whipping up something else for my mom too with the leftover cat fabric. More to come on that another time!

To make the bags, I used the tote bag tutorial from the blog Skip to my Lou. There are a ton of tutorials for totes but this was perfect. Super quick and easy, and by that I mean no interfacing. Wahoo!

I followed the tutorial completely for the cat tote bag. For Hannah’s bag I increased the size by two inches on both the length and the width, and I sewed the bottom corner two inches instead of one and a half so that the bag would have a wider base and could hold more books. I also made an interior pocket for Hannah’s bag because I wanted a place to store CDs and DVDs where they would be at least somewhat separated/protected from the books.

And what girly tote would be complete without some fun bows!

Thanks Aunt Pam!

About a week and a half ago I got an amazing package in the mail from my husband’s Aunt Pam. She told me that a package was coming and I thought she was probably sending a small gift for the little one. It ended up being a huge stash of fabric!

Girly fabric…



Various children’s prints…

Aunt Pam is a quilting extraordinaire and made the most beautiful quilt for my sweet girl when she was first born. Many of the pictures I have taken for the blog have this quilt in the background somewhere. We definitely use it a lot and will always cherish it as a special gift. This is the little one with her quilt right after we received it in the mail. Adorable, both baby and quilt!

Most of the fabric that Aunt Pam sent seems like it is more for projects other than clothes, which is actually really great because I’ve been wanting to try my hand at some things other than skirts, dresses, and headbands. I really want to make a quilt at some point. Maybe I can start out with a little dolly quilt when she  gets her first doll. I’m not sure when that will be but I hope sometime soon! I have a few other ideas in the works too. Stay tuned!

Homemade Bias Tape

Bias tape is amazing! It can be used in so many different sewing projects. I finally made my own bias tape…or should I say, finally made correctly cut bias tape.

Until now, I didn’t really realize why bias tape was cut on the bias, meaning that it is cut diagonally across the grain line of the fabric. I made “bias tape” a time or two by simply cutting fabric into strips from selvage to selvage. It worked for my purposes but only because the fabric I used had some natural stretch to it. The reason that the fabric is cut on the bias is because the fabric has the most stretch or give when cut this way which allows it to be easily sewn around the curves of a sewing project.

To learn about bias tape and then to make my own, I used the tutorial from the blog danamadeit.com. There are so many tutorials for bias tape out there, but this one is by far the best I’ve come across.

Now it’s time to use my pretty bias tape!