On the sewing table this week


Collage features the Gemma Tank in Nani Iro double gauze top left, Washi Dress in Lavish by Katarina Rocella, Gemma again with a long skinny scarf I whipped up with the leftover remnants, the Everyday Skirt in Tim Burton Jack Skellington print, the newest Rae release- "Isla" top in Far Away knit by Ceri Gwen, and the Dove Blouse- a new pattern from Megan Nielson.  

(Click on names for links.)

Get the modern jersey knit if you're making Isla:

It's always so much fun to finish a garment--and doubly so when I can actually wear it! LOL   Just keepin' it real.

 I get a lot of questions about "which pattern do I start with if I'm a beginner?" and I always say- stick with the Indie designers. They have the fit right, the style is fresh, and there aren't weird wackadoodle instructions like you can get with the big box patterns. 

Once you have some experience, the big box patterns are okay, but usually require tweaking and twerking.

I tend to hoard make up / skin care/ bath shit so I had to make this size large train case to hold my stash. This stellar sewing pattern is by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness... as if you didn't already know, right?

It looks way more difficult than it is. These would make amazing Xmas gifts.

Fabric is Avante Garde by Katarina Rocella. Stripes are a Robert Kaufman print that I really should just purchase by the bolt.

Stripes are my jam.

I kinda feel like it's BeetleJuice's fault.

Which brings me to the puzzle of WHAT am I going to be for Halloween?! I'm already past the "what will I make for my kids" thing this year. I made costumes last year, so this year it ain't happening. I told them the news and you know--they were all "oh, okay"---and went on playing with their Legos like nothing happened.  It's like "HELLLLOOOOO"...do you not know what I go through to sew you these monstrosities? Have some damn respect. LOL LMAO
Cry or something.

"Oh, okay."


Halloween 2015 with Pops keeping things classy with his Miller lite.

Fall has been too warm if you ask me. I keep blabbing on about Global Warming while my friend looks at me with wild eyes and fans herself through another hot flash. It's a b*tch all over I tell ya. 

But at least we have sewing and quilting to keep us happy!

I put away my quilts sometimes if I feel they could've been better, but now I'm rather in love with this one, made with Pat Bravo's first Indie line. (Her second Indie comes out at Quilt Market in two weeks, and ships in the spring.)

I think my next quilt might be this pattern but made with Pat's new Indie line. Art Gallery fabrics has tons of free quilting and sewing pattern on their site. Not to mention their Look Books---swoon worthy. Triangles kinda freak me out because of their biased attitude, but whatever.
I'm ready to throw down.

Autumn is my absolute favorite. 

When I smell the misty cool air, apple spice tea,  or pumpkin bread baking, I get all Buddy-ish:

Speaking of Autumn,  Quilt Market is at the end of this month in Houston. 
I can't make it  (I mean HELLO it's on Halloween!--seriously quilty people, what were you thinking?).... but I can't wait to see Instagram blow up with the photos. Abby Glassenberg has written a super informative article on Quilt Market in case you aren't in the know about it. While you're over there, sign up for her newsletter. It's seriously the best email I get all week. Every Wednesday. At 11 am. 
Not that I wait for it or anything.

Lastly, these two issues of In Style magazine had me reading till 2 am. Usually that would require Edgar Allen Poe or Hilary Mantel, but I'm telling you- the articles are so good. 
A lot of She Power going on here, and I like it.

I also really dig the Street Style pages. Real folks being themselves.

That's my zippy pouch tutorial on the left in Boo fabric, blown up about 250% to hold my emergency make up supplies. You know, in case I get pulled over and I'm in my jammies with no makeup on- I can quick swipe some lipstick on so I look Human. Don't lie, you have a stash too. Breath mints. Tampax. Cash for Starfucks. You get me.

Oh- and lastly lastly.... I VOTED.

Early. No lines. I highly recommend it you guys, it's essential this year to make your voice heard. 



How to stay inspired in a creative business

OK. I'm fresh back from two sewing retreats this month and something occurred to me. It's both inspiring and humbling to be around other Creatives. Just when you think you're "getting there", ALL is laid out in truth before you.... There will always be somebody better, somebody who knows more, or somebody working harder.  It's not a bad thing, it's essential for growth and development of skill. The trouble comes when you start comparing. 

"Comparison is the death of happiness" 
(adapted from Mark Twain).

That quote has stuck with me forever. Even when I think I'm not a person who compares or tries to "out-do" another, it's there. Staring me in the face. That voice in my head whispering "it's not good enough... it's too weird....people won't understand....who do you think you are?"   ???

I'm going to tell you, it will never go away fully, and that's okay. It's what keeps us in check so we don't become assholes like the Donald.

Having just come back from my second Sewing Retreat this month, I have found myself more enthusiastic and energized than ever. I've put together some tips below on:

How to stay inspired.

5. Keep positive people around you at all times.

It's a bonus if they are sewers/quilters/artists. Empathetic people will encourage and support your crazy ass, even if it's super wild and bonkers to "logical" folk. By the way--who gets to decide who is logical? That in itself is illogical.
Now I'm confused. Anyways, carry on.

4. Don't let people, events, or social media take your time away.

We've all been there.... "I'll just check Facebook really quick"-- as the bacon is cooked as if it landed on Venus...
(Surface temperature of Venus is 864 degrees F.)

3. Set Goals and make a plan.

Even if it's not perfect, it's a start. This website uses the GPS process to walk you through it. It's worth the 10 minutes to fill in the blanks and get your brain going.

2. Go to retreats or events of like minded folks and learn something NEW. If it's not something new, mingle. 
You never know where conversation may take you.

Modern Stitching Affair

Teachers photo/ Glamp 2016 Pink Castle Fabrics

Sewing retreats, quilt guild meetings, Art Museum openings, any event that most likely will have "your people" there. Just GO. It could be the beginning of a thousand doors opening, you never know.

1. Begin Making. Or, begin the work.
If it's uncomfortable, it's necessary.

Even if the work is crap, it's the process that will carry you to your masterpiece. Hopefully.

Be open and supportive of others. I heard an interesting quote this weekend- "you never know who you're talking to"......and how true that is! It's happened to me so many times. Just this year I was being asked a bunch of questions about my job as a nurse, just in casual convo,  and it turned out I was talking to the President of the Hospital! HELLO! I was so grateful I didn't complain or act like a whiny beotch. LOL! WHOA.


Speaking of being supportive, I've met so many amazing designers this summer and fall I just have to share with you a few of them below. 

My friend Amy Bradley has opened her pattern studio Purple Pineapple Studio, and is selling these postcard style quilt patterns for a few bucks. They are all easy to understand, modern, and fresh. I just love Amy-she wears a purple pineapple headband on her head when at events. My kind of gal!

Hello Melly is a super cute blog by my friend Melanie. She has super cute patterns in her shop including this Popsicle quilt that I HAVE TO make before next summer. I adore it! She is also an amazing lettering artist- some items are for sale in her Etsy shop. I super want that birthday cake topper!  I met Melanie at Sew Pro and feel so lucky for it. Pop over to her blog, it's total eye candy.

Lysa Flower has been creating her empire over the past year, and I can't wait to see where she takes it. Her Cassette Tape pattern is one of my faves E V E R, and now she's launched a Nintendo mini quilt pattern called Control Freak.

She is also a surface design artist as well, and has her own fabric (in photo above). 

She also answers all my annoying questions with smiles and turd emojis, so naturally I adore her.

I have a ton of fun stuff to share with you this week if I can just find the time to sit at my computer. We totally need some sort of voice recognition/ blog post writer thingy where you can speak into your phone as it types the post up for you, complete with photos attached.  I should invent that right? Or did somebody do it already? Bahahahaha

Keep making & see you soon.



Ruby Top customization with pocket download

Hi friends.
As you probably know, I am a huge Made by Rae fan and make clothes for myself and my kids with her patterns quite often. I like her methodology of providing a straight forward / simple pattern that is easy and quick to sew, but also flattering. No potato sacks here please. 

Rubys, Washis, Gemmas, Moon pants, Lunas ...

I've made four Ruby dresses and tops so far, three Gemma tanks, at least five Washi dresses (lost count, could be more), three Luna pants, one Geranium dress for Ruby, and two pairs of Moon pants for Ruby and Mia.  **All her patterns are on the right side bar on her blog, linked above.

Ruby top and Ruby Dress


Geranium Dress

But this is nothing compared to NurseBean---she's been on fire this year with her makes. Probably at least 50 Rae makes so far, if not more. She only started a year ago (ish) too--so it's quite a feat. Go check her blog out.  ;)

I think this proves the point that sewing for yourself doesn't have to be fussy to be successful. There is a time and place for a pattern with 65 pieces, but it ain't in my house! bahahaha

Okay..so let's get to the point here. I made a Ruby top last night and customized it with front pockets so I can stash my Starbursts in there. Or a phone, or tickets to Katy Perry/Snoop Dog, you know...Normal stuff.

I didn't do the inseam pocket style because I don't want any extra padding around my hips. (The horror!) I think the front style is sorta cutesy without being childlike.  These are lined and have binding on the top, so they don't sag or become unstable. 

Here is my downloadable pocket piece pattern if you want to give it a go.  For this tunic style, I made the Ruby top version but added three inches to the hemline for a tunic look. The yoke is made with a white Swiss Dot fabric, and the accent is Cotton and Steel Boo by Rashida Coleman Hale.  I made a Gemma tank with it too, I love Boo that much.

Forgive my late-night photos. 

**I used a 5/8" seam allowance**

 1. Cut out 4 pieces with pattern piece.

2. Sew 2 pieces RST along curved edge, lock stitch each end. Leave the top open. Pink with shears so curve will pop. I forgot to take a photo of this step.

3. Flip right side out and press. Attach binding to top edge.

4. Pin in place securely. I measured 2 1/2 inches from side seam and tried the tunic on for the correct height. I recommend doing this, you don't want pockets in the wrong place. 

5. Sew around curved edge, lock stitch again each start point and end point. Attach other pocket, lining up with the first. 

HAHA here it looks like they aren't even. I broke my shoulder blade something like 15 years ago, so my shoulders sit unevenly now unless I consciously think about it... Well, that's my excuse anyways. Deal wit' it. 

Let's see yours! I bet your pockets will be even!    Bahahahaha


In other sewing related news, I made up this
Book Case in my Car pattern per child request. 

It's a downloadable PDF tutorial in case you need help with keeping your car organized. It could work for magazines, books, files, iPads, whatever. The pockets are nice and deep and it's really easy to customize. 

You'll need upholstery fabric or canvas to make it fast. Quilting cotton would work too but will need interfacing. 


Finally, I have to share my latest adventures in decorating.

I bought this settee at a yard sale for $25 and had it recovered in VELVET Leopard. I mean, can you even?

Yessssssssssssssssssssssss.   I KNOW.

There's Ruby! 


Here's my new Velvet royal blue recliner :
(Another yard sale find I had recovered.) 

It's Lady sized-- not a huge Lazy Boy, but a rather lovely Lazy Girl size. Perfect for pouring over my Love Patchwork and Quilting magazines stash. The velvet is lush- and I got it for a song!

I won't show you the rest of the house, it's a HOT MESS. Let's not think about that. LOL

The pocket piece download link will always be in my TUTORIALS page, linked here. 

Get making! See you soon.