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


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



Sew Pro overview and current issues on my desk

Hello Lovelies.
I shared a book review over on my friend Reece's blog. I hope you'll pop over and have a peek. All week long she hosted book reviews from C&T publishing. 

The book I reviewed is called Sew Illustrated and it is a MUST buy. Seriously. Go check it out. 

Sneaky peek:

In other news, I'm fresh back from Sew Pro- the convention held in Chicago hosted by Sara of Sew Sweetness and Brenda of Pink Castle Fabrics.  It was a weekend long event to learn about making sewing (or your creative hobby) into a business. I learned a TON. I knew some bits of it, but when somebody else sticks it in your ear it makes more sense, ya know what I mean? It just DOES.   Not only did I learn and relearn, but I met some amazing people -friendships that are unique because these people are my tribe. They understand the need to make (everyday). They know the struggle of trying to make what you "love" your "real job"....like, the kind that provides food and housing.. LOL.

LOL but not LOL.
You know?

Now I'm home again and ready to infuse my essential oils into the air while I create my plans for building my Empire.  Bahaha 

 I mean, Martha has to stop syndicating at some point right? Why shouldn't I take over? Then I can invite all you Lovelies onto the show and we can take over the airwaves from the Kardashians while teaching people how to make a tote bag, or a top, or a quilt that doesn't look like it's from 1986... Just fill in the blank Yo! 

It sounds good to me.

*Nothing wrong with 1986 ---- that was a great year for me personally.

1986 cell phone- I think these had to be plugged in after one use.

My newest pattern:

One thing I noticed at Sew Pro is many sewers call themselves "quilters" or "fashion sewers" or "bag makers".....  

I could never do that because I would want to abandon my said specialty as quickly as I said it was my specialty.

I like moving around and making different things, sometimes my mood is for quilting--sometimes not.  

Do you find yourself specializing in one aspect? What draws you to that? Does fear hold you back from branching out? 

One lady who has it all figured out is MimiG Styles. I knew of her before, but after hearing her speak and meeting her, I want everything she does in my pocket. NOW.  

She has an amazing story, a huge inventory of DIY tutorials and patterns, and a speaking style that makes a person wish she would talk all day.
I'm completely smitten, and you would be too if you had been there. ;)

She had me at the pink walls. Ok?!

Now that I'm working during the week away from home, I'm revisiting the garments I sewed and wearing them to work. 
One of my favorite patterns is the Ruby tunic/top/dress (bottom right corner in collage)  by Rae Hoekstra. It's super simple to sew but has a timeless sort-of Jackie O look to it when complete. I also love the Cappuccino tunic/dress by Oliver & S (top right corner). Liesl's patterns are brilliant.

I post my clothes on IG more than I blog about them, just for time's sake I suppose. 

Another topic repeated frequently at Sew Pro was about sharing personal things on social media. 

Some say "share it once in a while, it shows the human side".

The other side said "if you show one picture of your kids, you'll lose likes"....


When I post, I try to be real. I want to have my stuff look good, but I do try and show my pitfalls and humanity too. I show my dog or my kids now and then. Not to be annoying, but to show I'm a Mom, and a working woman in 2016 feeling all the shi* that goes with that. I'm in my "middle" ages struggling with many different hats to wear.  Suddenly I'm picturing myself in a Peasant bonnet hat with lace...        never mind...

Social Media for me is a place where I go to be inspired by others, and also supported. A validation of sorts, that my need to make things is not selfish----but necessary for self preservation.

What do you think about it?

My mind is brewing many different thoughts.
Calls to action.

But then I think- "Buddha says be still" and I go get a cookie and be still like he says. 

On my list for the next few weeks:

1. Finish designing my skull fabric and order a pattern through Sprout patterns. Have you seen this? It's amazing--order ANY pattern-they print out all the pieces for you on the fabric of your choice, mail it to you, and you proceed to cut it out and sew. SO easy! So much time saved! I met a girl who works for the company at Sew Pro this weekend, and she totally sold me.

Photo from Sproutpatterns.com

2. Register to vote early.
A no-brainer for working Moms, I love voting early. It's done, no lines, no waiting...

3. Hair Tude update.  (Hair makes a BIG difference in attitude.)
I'm going to get my hair professionally cut. I've realized that I'm just not happy with longerish hair. I'm going back to short.
It's weird to me that people comment in this day and age "oh, how nice you're growing your hair out"... I mean...what? (Insert my confused bitchy face).....
Very weird.
Long hair makes me feel like a soccer Mom, and I'm not willing to go there.
Peace OUT mop head.
*Nothing wrong with being a Soccer Mom unless you look like this: (then we need to talk, because I love you and I want the best for you ..)

4.  Read up on current rending topics like this one. This article (and the comments below the article) stung.
How can this honestly be happening in 2016? It's a damn shame people. It's got to shift.

Here's a screen grab from the blog Man Repeller (a fashion blog):

5. (This is actually number one but I wanted to keep it light as long as possible.)  Finally... I'm going to try and calm myself with worrying about my kids and school. I have a sensitive kid, aged 8 1/2 and it hurts me so much to see her try and negotiate this tricky world. I'm standing back, trying to give support without rescuing. But it's really reallllllly hard. Love & Logic has helped give me tools, now I have to stay the course.

Why can't everyone just BE NICE? Confidence is the biggest hugest (it's a word)  thing for young girls. This is where all the bullshit starts. If a young girl is confident in herself, she has a much better chance of making it in life.

In my un-expert opinion.
I sometimes will read through PBS to help me be rational. Right now all I want to do is fly into the school and ask "WHY WOULD YOU hand out sad face stickers?!!!!"    WTF. This isn't a Fortune 500 company. Why is everyone so freaking serious at age 8 and 9? I don't get it. I may be ready to move to Finland.

Read more here about having a relationship with the teacher.

Anywho....I'm sure glad you listened so I don't have to pay for therapy.

This is why I have to sew every day. Even if it's 2 am.

We don't want a crazy Natalie roaming the streets at night okaaaaay?

I'll see you at the  Modern Stitching Affair the 29th of September and we can talk more. 

Still time to sign up!