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!



  1. So much in this.....I will be looking up MimiG, and Sprout patterns. Your short hair is marvelous dahling...and I fuss inside about how good teachers hurt children in ways they don't realize. Confidence is the number one! It can be provided for at home and children taught how to react and sort through all the bullshit they will get thrown at them....and come out stronger. Keep on keeping on hungryhippie.....

  2. I think it would be nice to make my own clothes, hoping I can get more organized this winter and work on different things. I call myself an artisan since I dabble in all types of crafts. I have Facebook with friends, family and people I have met through crafting, so I usually put more personal things on my Facebook and finished items on the craft group pages. I don't find that I get less likes, people like to see our human side and I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to.


    1. Good to know Debbie, I enjoy your blog posts and value your opinion. <3

  3. My son struggled in high school because his interests didn't align with many of the kids in our small town, and he's pretty shy. It was so so hard to not be able to wave a magic wand to fix it. But he made some great friends at cosplay & board gaming conventions & moved to Indianapolis last spring where there is a large contingent of them. I was sad to see him go, but when we took him and his belongings down there, there were 7 people there to help him move in, and they had food cooking for a welcome party where even more people were planning to show up. It warmed my heart so much that he found his tribe of people that are actually excited that he was there. I am bummed that I wasn't able to make his formative years less shitty. But all we can do as moms is let them know how much they are loved, how awesome they are, and that things are definitely eventually gonna get better.

    1. I love you for putting this up.. You've helped me by being honest and true. It sounds like he did indeed find his tribe-thank god he had you as his advocate and support. You're amazing Amy.

  4. I think you're one of the coolest people in the whole WORLD. Love your short hair pin board. Anything you do is darling. Thanks for the shutout for the retreat. :D :D :D I can't wait to get to know you better while we're there. Its about time we hang out! HUGS!

    1. I can't freaking wait Wendy! You don't know how when I went to my first MQG meeting you said the F word by accident and immediately I just KNEW. . . SBFFs ForevA. LOL

  5. Natalie I have love seeing all your beautiful creativity on Instagram and I am so glad I found your blog. So much in this post that I can relate to. Sewing and quilting has gotten me through so many tough times. Total therapy. I am sending you ❤️❤️❤️ For the heartache that comes with parenting a sensitive child -or seriously any child in this day and age. My kids are mostly grown but they and I had a lot of sad faces, tough times, tears and it was hard. I wasn't sure I was doing it right as a parent and I worried and worried. There were good understanding teachers and some clueless. But you know your kid best and as long as you trust your gut and parent from your heart that is all you can do. It is not easy but it does get better. They are lucky to have you for a mom. Keep on keeping on. You are amazing. Julie aka nursebean

    1. Thank you so much Julie-this comment made me tear up. I am so grateful to you for making me feel normal. <3 I love seeing your beautiful makes on IG--you are inspiring! I think I might have to order Bianca because of YOU. LOL XOXOXOX


I appreciate every comment, thanks so much for taking the time. It means A LOT to me. :)