Channeling my inner DVF

2:09:00 PM,8 Comments

Anyone who loves fashion knows that there are a few key items in every wardrobe a woman must have.  A great fitting pair of jeans, some killer heels, a classic button down shirt, a fitted pencil skirt, and the always in style wrap dress.  

Wrap dresses first popped up in the 1930's and 40's when the "popover" wrap style was introduced, but it wasn't until the 1970's that the wrap dress as we know it today came to fruition.  Thanks to Diane von Furstenberg, wrap dresses have become a staple in the modern woman's closet.  

I'm sure most of you have at least one hanging in your closet.  The great thing about wrap dresses is that they go along way.  My first wrap dress was purchased 7 years ago and it's still every bit as stylish was it was then.  They can also be dressed up or down and are amazingly comfortable! 

I love a great wrap dress, and that's why when I saw Jenny from Seamingly Smitten put out a call to test the Magnolia Street Wrap Dress, I couldn't pass it up!  This pattern is amazing and is full of options to suit every woman's taste!

This pattern includes:
  • sizes xs-xxxl(that's 0-26 ladies!!!!)
  • step by step instructions with color photos
  • petite, regular, and tall hem and sleeve lengths
  • size chart and finished dress measurement chart
  • tips for sewing with knits
  • instructions on how to tie the finished garment

I have tested many patterns for Seamingly Smitten, and once again this pattern is great!  The instructions are easy to follow, the photos are extremely helpful and guide you every step of the way.  And Jenny is always there to help if you need it.

There are a few things I really love about this pattern. One is the versatility.  With this pattern you could make multiple dresses and each look different because of the sleeve and length options!  Maybe you want a sleeveless wrap dress for summer and a long sleeve version to carry you from fall through winter.  How about a short sleeve version that hits right at the knees and a 3/4 sleeve to wear with boots in the fall.  This dress will take you through every season and will make you look and feel incredible!

Another thing I love is how easily this dress sews up!  With less than 3 yards of fabric and about 2.5 hours, you can have a brand spankin new dress that looks hot off the runway!!  One of the best parts is that this dress is a true wrap dress!  No faux wraps here!!  One side of the dress in complete with an opening to pull one of the ties through, that ensures you will not have any wardrobe malfunctions!!

This dress is an immediate confidence booster!  Slip it on and you instantly feel ready to take on the day!  I know for me feeling that I didn't just roll out of bed can be difficult sometimes, and as a busy ladies, we often forget how important it is for our own well being to feel good about ourselves!  This dress for me is just the lift I need on those busy days I can hardly get out the door in time.  Throw it on with some heels and funky jewelry, or pair it was ballet flats and a cardigan and you're good to go!

I love this dress and I hope you do too!  If you're interested in purchasing the pattern you can get it here.  As always, if you don't sew and would like one made custom for you, come visit my shop on facebook and message me for more details! Thanks for stopping by!


What a difference a year can make

9:44:00 AM,2 Comments

A year ago it began.  I pulled the machine out, found some fabric, and gave it a whirl.  I was pretty proud of myself that I overcame my irrational fear of that silly machine.  I've already told you about the first time I took the machine out.  It was not a fun experience.  This time was different though.  It all seemed to click.  I was more patient.  More willing to take the time that was needed to learn.  I was ready to make it work this time and I wasn't giving up.  

This is a huge step for me!  I'm not normally one to take a leap, and this was a leap for me.  Not because I was just going to sew, but because this is something I had always dreamed of.  For years, my sister and I had talked about starting up a business.  We both really wanted to learn to sew and start selling items together.  This was the first step to the dream becoming a reality.  

First sewing projects from April 16, 2013
I think I never told anyone about this dream because I always feared what others would say.  Sure, I am crafty.  I can make a mean paper flower or a wall of paper fans.  Have a party that needs to be planned??  Put me in charge, I was all over it.  But building a business, not so much.  

I am the type that is good at lots of things, but never feel I'm great.  This was my chance to be great.  Yeah, sure, it is starting out just for fun, just a little sewing here and there, but that's not my goal.  My dream is to have a business, make a name for myself.

Most recent sewing projects
And exactly a year later after taking out that silly scary machine, here I sit.  I have started a blog, I have the amazing privilege to test for many pattern designers, I sell custom clothing here and there, and I am slowing making a name for myself.  And you know what??  I'm pretty proud of myself!  That's a lot in only a year!

So, why am I sharing all of this with you??  Well, it's because we all have dreams that seem maybe silly or frivalous.  But are they?  Maybe we are afraid of failing.  Or are we just afraid of what others will think about said silly dreams?  Take a chance.  What's the worst that can happen??  


Wanderlust by Willow & Co

10:31:00 AM,20 Comments

A few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to test for an amazing group of bloggers who make up Willow & Co, a pattern collective.  I have been splitting at the seams(see what I did there?!?!?  hehe) to share with you all the amazing patterns they have designed.  I was fortunate enough to get to test 3, yes that's right,  I tested 3 patterns for this glamping collection, the first of hopefully many from this wonderful group of women!  

Without further ado, let me introduce the Fawn Lily Top/Tunic/Dress.

This pattern boasts adorable character and features:
  • 3 lengths: top, tunic, and dress
  • 2 yoke options: button yoke and crossover yoke
  • 3 skirt options: gathered, pleated, and flat
  • 2 sleeve options: cap sleeve and pleated sleeve
  • 2 pocket options: inseam pockets and patch pockets
  • a HUGE size range: 3months-12years!!!!
  • wonderfully written instructions with step by step photos
  • line drawings
Rebecca from Rock the Stitch really outdid herself on this pattern, and testing for her was an awesome experience!

I adore all the options with this pattern, the fact that I can make countless tops/dresses/tunics, and with all the options she has included, each one can look so different from one another that you'd never know it was the same pattern!  We saw through out testing this pattern that every rendition of the garment allowed each individual to put her own spin on it and make it unique!  

I chose to test the tunic version, with cap sleeves, a pleated skirt, and button yoke bodice.  The bodice is my favorite part.  I love how such a simple addition of buttons to a bodice can create such a wonderful look.  In my head, this was the perfect pattern to show off multiple fabrics, and I'm so glad it worked out how I imagined!  I fell in love with this bicycle/scooter fabric and knew it would be perfect!!  And polka dots are among my fabric ever, so I knew I couldn't go wrong there!!

The construction of this garment is beautiful, inside and out!  You are left with something that not only looks good on the outside, but is just as pretty on the inside, and all you seamstresses out there know how important that is!

I really think everyone should pick up a copy of this come April 22nd!  I enjoyed sewing this and can't wait to make more!  What a perfect spring/summer garment for all those little ladies out there!

The second and third patterns I tested were for Hayley from Mouse House Creations.  I have had the honor of testing for this amazing lady a few times now, and I swear, she is something fierce!  I don't have enough words to even begin to tell you my admiration for this lady!  She's nothing short of amazing!  Ok, girl crushing over, back to the pattern.  

Let me present The Clover Shorts and The Persimmon Top & Dress.

Ladies, I see a lot of these in your futures.  The Clover shorts will become your go to pattern for summer shorts, and the Persimmon top & dress is the epitome of a classic girly sundress.  

The options on these patterns are amazing!  Let's start with the shorts!  

The Clover Shorts boast:
  • classic pleated front
  • flat front waistband
  • elasticized back
  • cuffs
  • belt loops
  • sash
  • pockets
  • optional waistband ruffle
  • higher rise in back(it was able to cover her cloth diaper!!!!)
  • HUGE size range: 6months-12years!!!
  • line drawings
  • Step by step easy to follow instructions featuring color photos
I really adore everything Hayley creates, but these shorts are special.  They are classic but with a modern twist, and can even be made extra girly with adding the optional ruffle at the waist!  And the fabric options for these are endless!  I decided to make 2 pairs to showcase 2 different looks!

My first pair was made from flannel.  It screams fall to me, although here in Michigan, you are never certain of the weather, so my little lady wore these to the zoo a few days ago with cable knit tights(yes, she wore thick winter tights in April) and boots!  Such a cute look!  She turned more than a few heads in this little ensemble!  

These cuffed shorts as just darling!  She doesn't really care about pockets yet, but I know she will love them as much as I do in a year or so, when she realizes she can store all her tiny treasures in them!

I chose to leave the ruffle off of both pairs I made, but will definitely be adding it to future pairs!  These shorts sew up pretty quick, and the instructions are beautifully written.  As always. Hayley really outdid herself with this tutorial.

Want to see pair number 2?????  I think you're going to like it!  ;)

Pair #2 just scream summer to me!  The bright colors, the gingham and polka dot brings a smile to my face!  Doesn't it make you yearn for a Popsicle and to run through the sprinkler??? 

I'm pretty sure this little lady feels the same way I do about these shorts.  She was able to run and chase her brothers, and I love the higher rise in the back on these!  We use cloth diapers, and many times shorts and pants do not have a high enough rise to cover her diapers.  But have no fear, this pattern takes that into account so you will not be showing anything off!!

Ok, I want to show you more, but to do so I need to move on to the next pattern.  Are you ready???  I think you are!

The Persimmon Dress & Top features:
  • options for partial or full lining
  • center panel
  • pleated side panels
  • optional ruffles along side panels
  • pockets
  • dress and tunic lengths
  • HUGE size range: 6months-12years
  • links on how to make your own bias tape
  • easy to follow step by step instructions with color photos
  • line drawings

I just couldn't pass up an opportunity to make both the dress and top options for this pattern.  I instantly thought this as a top would pair perfectly with the Clover shorts, and boy was I right!!!

Every time I see this photo I die!!!  Cuteness overload right there!!  Ok, remember when I asked you before about the Popsicle and sprinkler???  Well, if you answered no, I'm sure you've changed your mind!  This reminds me of something I would have worn as a little girl, but with a modern twist!  I love that it can be made with the center panel as an accent!  

And let's talk about the pleats!!  Do not be afraid, these are so easy to do and Hayley explains it beautifully!  The construction on this pattern is wonderful, just like all of her patterns.  She explains everything down to the very last detail!  

Sorry for the photo overload, but I already warned you I LOVE this pattern!!  The combination of the top and shorts are fantastic, and I'm pretty sure we will be seeing lot's of this combination over the coming months!!

Last but not least, I'd love to share my favorite.  I always think little girls in sundresses are just darling, so I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a dress too.  And this pattern really spoke to me!  I had the PERFECT fabric in my stash that was a perfect match for this dress!

It doesn't get better than white clip dot fabric, ruffles, and lace!!!  This to me is the perfect girly sundress!  Want to see the whole dress???  You sure????  Ok, you've twisted my arm ;)

Gorgeous, right?!?!?!  I fell in love with this pattern even more after this dress!  I LOVE how simple and classic the look is!  This is the perfect dress to showcase a single fabric, or do what I did with the top and pair a few of your favorites together!

Normally I steer away from white altogether, but this pattern was calling for some flowy white fabric!!  Warning, TONS of photos coming up!  I just have to share these!  Just keep scrolling if you don't care about a beautiful little girl in an adorable white dress!!! haha


I am just beyond pleased to have been able to be a part of testing these patterns!  All 3 were remarkable and you would be crazy if you didn't make them part of your pattern arsenal!  So, don't forget the date.  April 22nd.  Chant it, write little notes at your desk, put an alert on your phone, write in on your calendar, do whatever you need to do to remember that date!!!  You won't regret it!  

Thanks again to Hayley and Rebecca for giving me the chance to test these amazing patterns!!!  You ROCK!!!!


I wear purple.....

11:23:00 AM,7 Comments

Today I am putting my sewing and crafting on the back table to help bring awareness to a disease that hits very close to home.  April is Sarcoidosis awareness month.  You're probably asking what the heck Sarcoidosis is, and why you should even care.  Well, I can answer both those questions, so bare with me.

Sarcoidosis: the growth of tiny collections of inflammatory cells in different parts of your body — most commonly the lungs, lymph nodes, eyes and skin.  Normally, your immune system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances.  In people who have sarcoidosis, the inflammation doesn't go away. Instead, some of the immune system cells cluster to form lumps called granulomas in various organs in your body.

People who suffer from Sarcoidosis have to deal with a range of symptoms:

  • shortness of breath
  • cough that won't go away
  • bumps or patches on/under skin
  • enlarged lymph glands
  • fever
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • red teary eyes
  • blurred vision
  • swollen painful joints
  • nasal stuffiness
  • pains in hands, feet, and other boney areas
  • kidney stones
  • development of missed or abnormal heart beats
  • hearing loss
  • seizures
  • depression
  • psychosis
Would you like me to go on???  Crazy right?!?!  Could you imagine having to deal with a few, or possibly all of those symptoms everyday of your life??  I can't, but I know someone who does.  Those symptoms are a reality and a constant reminder for them.

My sister was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis last year,  after almost a year and a half of testing, hospital visits, surgeries, medications, blood tests, injections, and so much more.  So much is unknown about this disease, and the worst part is there is no cure and hardly any research and funding support for this debilitating disease.  My sister has had to silently suffer for far too long with a disease that 99% of people have no clue exists.

Many sufferers have a mild case, that can often go away without treatment, but this is not true in my sister's case.  She has a fairly extreme case, along with a rare genetic blood clotting disorder, her symptoms can hit her hard and unexpected.  She can have a great day, feel good and be active, and then the next day she pays for it, having to stay in bed and rest, barely able to move because of the pain.

I'm sharing all of this with you because the more people who know about this disease, the more awareness there is, the more the word gets out there that people are suffering.....maybe we can find a cure, so my sister doesn't have to suffer anymore, so she can live her life not in constant pain, so she can play with her nieces and nephews without paying for it the next day.  

I hold this cause near and dear to me.  Not only because my sister suffers from this, but because a little over 2 years ago she was hospitalized with a pulmonary embolism, and if we would have known she had this disease then, she possibly could have not had to endure 2 years of ineffective treatments, numerous hospitalizations, and tons of medications.  

Spread the word and become educated, so you can help educate others.  The more we learn about this disease, the more people we can potentially help!

So, in April, I'm asking you to wear purple.  Support those who suffer, and their loved ones, who must deal with Sarcoidosis everyday.  It's the least we can do, right??

Sarcoidosis resources: