Monday, March 29, 2010

dates - updated

Just updated the calendar through May. Jessie's hosting this week. Let me know if anything changes and you can't host on your date. Here's what I have:

Apr 1st - Jessie
Apr 8th - Martha
Apr 15th - Jill
Apr 22th - Rachel
Apr 29th - Maren
May 6th - Nikki
May 13th - Beka
May 20th - Abbey
May 27th - Christie


Sunday, March 28, 2010


my sister sent this link to me, i think its SO adorable...

now i just need to get myself a bike!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Sweet Treats Pack Giveaway

I am giving away this Spring Sweet Treats pack on my family blog. It includes a silicon baking pan, stainless steel mixing bowl, mixing spoon, oven mitt, and a $25 gift certificate to Safeway. Go there to enter!

baby tights - sign me up!

(photo by Rae Hoekstra, used with permission)

I've been waiting an waiting for Rae to finish her tutorial for baby tights and HERE IT IS!! Made by Rae has done it again and made a great pattern (found here) & tutorial and posted it for FREE. We all love free. I can't wait to try these. It will be new for me sewing with jersey/knit fabric, but she just makes it look so dog one easy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank You, Rae. I will post my pics when I'm done. These are just too cute to pass up. I don't think it would be too hard to make these into leggins, which would be great since Abbey has outgrown all of hers!

(photo by Rae Hoekstra, used with permission)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Meet Melrose Sewing Group

In researching for a paper, I came across this sewing group. This article was written in 2001 - but this group has survived for 29 years. I love it. I hope we can say that about this group 26 years from now. They sew twice a week. Could you imagine? We might actually get something done. My favorite thing about this group is:

(they have no formal organization) yet the group survives on its own enthusiasm! 

(picture from paperpony)
Read about them and see their cute picture HERE.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

and the winners are...

We did this the old fashioned way. Dumped all the names in a pot and drew one out (and a couple extra backups, just in case). I let Paige draw the names - she had a lot of fun doing it.

The winner of the Yellow Smock with Black polkadots is:
Lucy H. from Coolidge

The winner of the Cake Smock with green lining is:
Tonya from Troy

Please contact me by Friday, and I will get them mailed this weekend:
maren_buchanan [at] yahoo [dot] com

If I don't hear from them by Sat AM - I will go to the next name drawn. Thanks for participating! This was fun!

Easter time

I love this time of year: the weather, the smell of orange blossoms, the Easter decor, and the Easter dresses! Now that I sew I love it even more. I start thinking of what I'm going to make long before Easter is here. This year I decided to try a dress with a zipper. I won't say that I love my work. I need to practice putting in more zippers. But if you look at the dress from the front it's not bad. :) I love this fabric from the Lotus line from Amy Butler. I bought it from Above All Fabric. I get most of the fabric I buy online from there. I have been nothing but thrilled with the service.

The kiddos in all their coordinating glory. :)

Myla. Her dress is made from Simplicity's Project Runway 2460.

I made a matching headband and flower. This is my new favorite way to do flowers. So easy and fun. I'm planning on making a few for me too! (Tutorial coming!)

Cade. For the boys' ties I bought the tie pattern from Make It and Love It.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Win this child's apron/smock (closed)

These are awesome, not just for cooking or crafting with kids - but my mom made a few of these as bibs last summer. I love them... so I'm sharing the love! It's been far too long since we gave something away. So today it's double giveaway day. Happy Wednesday...

Do you want to win this smock? Child's size 2T/3T. This is single sided with a pocket. It closes with velcro in the back. 

Here is a close up on the fabric combo. 

No rules and/or no restrictions. Enter as many times as you like. Say something in your comment - or don't. Share with your friends or don't. I will pick a random number next Wednesday night. Thanks and good luck! You so deserve this for that cute little stinker in your life.

Do you want to win this child's smock? (closed)

This is a double-sided child's smock. Size 2T/3T. It closes with velcro.

The fabric is a pale yellow with cakes and presents on it and the words "cakes" and "presents"

This is the reverse in green.

No rules, no blog restrictions, fellow secret stitchers, strangers, stalkers - anyone can enter... enter as many times as you like, I will draw a random number next Wednesday evening - so try and enter by then. Good luck - I hope you win.

I Feel Pretty

I finished this sundress for Myla. I've had this great fabric (Red Letter Day by LizzyHouse) waiting for the perfect project. I finally decided to just go for it. I used this pattern from Simplicity, but as usual didn't follow the instructions exactly. Pattern reading is not my forte. I took Myla outside to take some pics before school and she started doing these poses. I asked her what she was doing and she said (with all the exasperation of a teenager), "I'm doing my dance "I Feel Pretty!" Oh, right. Why didn't I know that? :) She's taking dance now and they are practicing a dance to "I Feel Pretty." She's in this stage where she will tolerate me putting her in a dress for school or church but the second she comes home she changes. Works for me! Then they won't get tomato soup and strawberry juice all over them.

Monday, March 8, 2010

This is what a Disney dork does in her spare time

Edith twirl skirt... I love you and here is my homage to being girly, twinners with your baby sis, polka dots, and a shout out to my girl Minnie Mouse!

James wanted shorts (in my head I'm seeing lederhosen and thinking... maybe not) - So I compromised and decided to make a shirt for him instead. Thanks to - I used a Mickey template they created for invitations and it worked great!! 

I used the same template for Paige's shirt. I found the bow template here (from Earthangel Creations). I cut off the ties and it worked perfectly. 

For Abbey's shirt I shrunk the template and bow by 30% and it turned out wonderful. A little fusible webbing, sew... sew... sew on my machine and viola! 

Two little cuties ready for some Disney fun!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Latest Projects by Jill

**NOTE: I apologize for anyone that reads my personal blog as well as this one, you will be reading this twice.**


I little while ago I was browsing through some of my favorite fabric websites and found this adorable Any Butler fabric...on CLEARANCE!!! I was so excited when I found it but didn't want to buy it without having the perfect project for it. You know how it is, you buy a yard of some delicious fabric without having a designated project for it and than whe you do find that perfect project you don't enough fabric. And than you go looking for it and can't find it for that same amazing price that you originally bought it really bums me out how many times that has happened to me. But one of my Secret Stitch Sisters let me borrown her Amy Butler Barcelona Skirt patternI knew we had a winner. I was a little nervous about the skirt because it had a zipper and I had never done anything close to installing a zipper and I was VERY intimidated. But armed with a great pattern, lots of online tutorials, cute fabric and a sweet little girl who takes really long naps, I was able to finish the skirt...zipper and all! I love this skirt. I is so comfortable and the fit is perfect. As soon as I finished it I was so excited with how it turned out that I called up my mom, who just happened to be visiting one of my sisters, and did a video chat with them so that I could show it to someone. With my new found confidence, I decided to make a matching skirt for Elsie using my left over fabric. I don't know which skirt I love more, her's or mine. I used the oh-so-darling Double Layer Skirt Tutorial by Bridget Baxter and couldn't have asked for a more pefect skirt for this little one. Seriously, this skirt is one of the quickest things I have ever sewn. Like cut and sewn in two hours. I think a few more of these will be creeping into Elsie's wardrobe just in time for summer.
After a gained a new found confidence in my sewing ability after conquering the Zipper, I decided to take on this totally adorable Sunday outfit for Elsie.
I found this pattern and several other super adorable patterns at Oliver+s and couldn't wait to whip one up. Okay, to say that I whipped up this pattern would be a total lie. It took me forever but it was all worth it in the end. Elsie looked adorable.

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The skirt is my favorite part. Sadly, I used some really flimsy tweed fabric and the skirt didn't make it all the way through church without ripping up both side seams. I will for sure be making the skirt again, it was super easy and just so darling. The jacket, it may be a while before I can get myself to attempt it but maybe next fall/winter Elsie will be in need for a cute little red coat. We'll see. But the jacket is super adorable paired with jeans.
So there you have it, these have just been some of my latest projects. I love sewing!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Here's to Turquoise in 2010!

For December Bunko, I won a homemade apron from Maren. Maren, being the kind generous friend she is, also made Maddie an adorable skirt and matching applique shirt to match. I had full intention of having a mother-daughter photo shoot outdoors, but just never got around to it, and I just had to post pictures of these amazing works.

I love the high waist of my apron and the fabric Maren picked out. And I love how full and girly Maddie's skirt is, especially with the petticoat. Thanks Maren; you're amazing!


Picture from here
Mmmmm, lovely, lovely fabric. I love the site Sew4Home. They have fantastic (and most importantly) useful projects with detailed tutorials. This little article on turquoise being the 2010 color of the year caught my eye. Check it out! I can't see what projects they have in store.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pattern Instructions Holder Tutorial

Please excuse the lame name for this little project. I couldn't come up with a better one, so if you have any ideas please save me!

Meet my little slice of heaven, my sewing nook. I know, it's not much to look at, but it's my tiny little space in my tiny little townhouse. I love it. But sometimes it can be hard to follow the instructions for a pattern. I've tried putting the instructions on the floor, on the serger, on the open drawers. It's pretty inconvenient no matter where it is and I always end up with a kink in my neck and a pain in my back. I came up with a solution that works for me! The Instruction Holder:

It was super easy to put together. We have a bunch of yard sticks hanging around the house. Really, how many yard sticks do you need? I dunno. I saw one sitting in the corner and thought it'd be perfect. I rummaged through my fabric and this great Amy Butler fabric that my sweet sis-in-law gave me screamed out at me. So, here you go:

1. Grab a yard stick or board of your choosing.
2. If you are worried about the yard stick measurements showing through your fabric, paint the yard stick white and let dry. I didn't paint it...I'm not patient enough, and I really didn't care. But you can't tell in the end.

3. Measure out your pieces by tracing the yard stick onto your fabric.
4. Cut out your pieces. (I used a fat quarter and had to cut two pieces to fit the yard stick.)

4. Mod Podge your fabric to the yard stick by brushing a thin coat of Mod Podge on the stick, small sections at a time. Smooth the fabric over the portion you coated and continue until the whole stick is covered. Let dry. Side note: Now, I'm no friend of Mod Podge. It never works for me! It always turns out bubbly and ugly in the end, but I thought I'd give it one more shot. It turns out that it works great on fabric!
5. Put a final coat over the fabric. Let dry.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 to cover clothespins. I chose to put 5 clothespins on my holder, that way I can clip instructions I print from the internet as well.
7. Further embellish your clothespins using flowers, buttons, ribbon, whatever your creative heart desires.
8. Measure how far apart you want each clothes pin. Glue the clothes pins the board using your trusty glue gun.
9. Attach it to the wall. I just nailed it up. I put it a little higher than I'd prefer, but I have to keep little hands from playing with it.
10. Get sewing!

$25 gift card giveaway

I'm giving away a $25 gift card to any Kroger grocery store on my blog. Go here to enter and find out how you can help our schools! Ends 3/09/2010.

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