Jun 30, 2016

Modern Americana Table Scape

Hi. We are so excited to have you join us today for our stop on the Sew Americana Blog Tour. It such a perfect time of year to explore and celebrate all the details that make America so great! I am an American history junkie and I love the 4th of July! That being said I have very little in the way of home decor because I always find our family traveling around this time of year.

So sticking with tradition, I decided that I needed a few more small items to add to my table decorations. As a child I remember helping my grandmother fold up her freshly pressed table linens & napkins and place them with tenderness, in drawer after a special family meal. Those sweet memories have caused me to LOVE cloth napkins and use them regularly in my home. So, I went to my favorite online fabric store... aka PHAT QUARTERS and picked out my favorite blue print, and my favorite red print. The winners were:

I used a half yard of each print and this tutorial, "DIY Dinner Napkins" on Craftsy, to get beautiful mitered corners on my 4 new Americana cloth napkins. I folded my new pretties up and placed them out on my kitchen table.

I have this old window hanging above my kitchen table and normally I have some sort of wreath hanging at its' center. I wanted to change things up a bit, yet was at a lose of what to make. Then I saw this post on Instagram from one of my favorite creative minds Cheri Lehnow of Tinkerellen and I knew I wanted to do something with Buck Forest Night by AGF and a touch of Americana!

A photo posted by Cheri Lehnow (@tinkerellen) on

The problem is Cheri is amazing with her little trinkets and embroidery thread.....me...?...not so much. I can, however use scissors, fusible interfacing, and fabric scraps from my new napkins to play around with my vision! So I went at it and added a little Americana, in the form of Uncle Sam, to my modern Art Gallery Buck fabric. The result is what I like to call.... Uncle Buck! (ha ha ha I crack myself up!!!)

I have plans to add more details to my Uncle Buck this summer, but only time will tell if I can come even halfway close to what Cheri can do. But seriously, how fun is this guy!

I love him and he makes my kids giggle every time they look up at him. My sons favorite part is the bow-tie and he is begging for his own. Lucky for him I still have some scraps left over. So, in the end, my 4th of July Table Scape is a fun mix of vintage Americana with a twist of Modern fun!

I hope you have enjoyed your time with us today! Be sure to check out the other stops on this great tour that Katy of Thread & Grain has put together. See you next time.

Take a look at the AMAZING lineup for the Sew Americana tour!
Monday, June 27 
Wild & Wanderful | Sew and Tell Project | Call Ajaire
Paisley Roots | Wally and Grace
Tuesday, June 28
Sew Thrifty | Coles Corner and Creations | Rebel & Malice
Friends Stitched Together | The Wholesome Mama
Wednesday, June 29
Sewing by Ti | EYMM | HattieLu Handmade
Daydream Believers | PenSebRox | Handmade Boy
Thursday, June 30
Beatnik Kids | Phat Quarters | Sew Starly | Sew Sophie Lynn
The Kisses Co. | Adventures with Bubba and Bug
Friday, July 1
Very Blissful | That's Sew Kari | Sew Happily Ever After | Pear Berry Lane
Mae and K
 | Musings of a Seamstress | Sew and Tell Project
As a special bonus for our readers, use the code ' SEWAMERICANA ' and enjoy a 20% discount at www.THREADandGRAIN.com  You'll find a ton of maker-inspired goodies!
(All created by your tour guide, Katy, from Wild & Wanderful.)

Jun 28, 2016

Poolside Beach Party: Summer Super Tote

Summer is in full swing and we're hanging out in the sun on the Poolside Beach Party blog tour!  Splash along with us and see some fabulous beach wear and accessories as well as some summer tips and giveaways!
 In the Pacific Northwest where we see a lot of cloudy skies (but we're thankful for all the green that surrounds us), so it's a nice relief to get some sunshine!  We have all the summer essentials:  swimsuits, towels, sunblock, snacks, snacks, more snacks (are my kids the only ones that seem to munch all day long in the summertime?!).  What to haul all this good stuff around in?  My new favorite tote bag!
I stitched up the Super Tote pattern designed by Anna of Noodlehead in some of my new favorite prints, Foxglove by Aneela Hoey for Cloud 9 Fabrics as well as some upcycled denim.

This is most definitely my new favorite bag!  Anna's patterns are beautiful & very well written.  I only made a few minor modifications.  The pattern gives instructions for gathered pockets on both sides of the lining.  I included pockets on only one side.  The pockets help to corral the small things without being fussy.  I also added a pocket panel to the denim portion of the outer pocket.  This gave me a quick spot to slip my phone or a pen without it getting lost on the bottom of the large outer pocket.  I forgot to snap pictures, but essentially I stitched a rectangle to the denim portion & then added stitching to separate the panel into 3 pockets.
Don't let this picture fool you, I can pack this bag to the gills and still zip it! That's the other great thing - I love that it zips closed!  This is great for the chubby toddler fingers helpfully unpacking everything I've so carefully tucked away.  While we're not hanging poolside, I've been slinging my new favorite tote around as my purse/diaper bag.  We cloth diaper & that means we need a little extra room for the extra fluff.  I don't feel like I'm hauling around luggage though, which is nice.  The Super Tote lives up to it's name.  The thick straps are stylish with two different fabrics & very comfortable.
The fabrics I used for this Super Tote are primarily organic cottons from Cloud 9 Fabrics
up-cycled denim from my personal stash

Be sure to swim over to the other party goers today & throughout the week to see their summer sewing and for some refreshing prizes!

Discounts from our generous sponsors:
Blaverry:  use code POOLSIDE2016 for 15% off your total purchase through 7/3/16
Modkid:  use code POOLSIDE2016 for 25% off your total purchase
Sew Happily Ever After:  use code POOLSIDE2016 for 50% off the Nana Tote
5 out of 4:  use code FIREWORKS2016 for 20% off your pattern purchase 
Filles a Maman:  use code JULYONETOFIVE for 25% off everything including bundles 7/1/16 - 7/5/16
Phat Quarters:  use code SUMMER25 for Free Shipping on all US orders $25 or more

a Rafflecopter giveaway Starts at 12am EST June 28th, ends 12am EST June 30th.

Jun 24, 2016

Hello Jane!

I am so excited to introduce you to my first PDF Pattern with Simple Life Pattern Company. Say hello to Jane!

Jane began with the need for a great summer Romper that my Tweens would want to wear! I grew up in Southern California and so I had a vision of walking along the strand in a fun romper with an ice cream cone in hand. My first sketch looked like this. 
A few things changed over the course of time but I am thrilled with how it turned out! I still make try and play with the cuffs and do some fun alterations so be sure to come back and see how those go. Katie suggested that I try the bodice as a dress and we instantly fell in love with the concept!

That is how Jane became Jane. Next you need to know that I love clean pretty seams and finishes. In the pattern you will find tips & tricks that will make the inside of your dress or romper soft on the skin and pretty to look at. 
Jane also has many options which you can mix and match to make your romper or dress your very own. Let's start at the top and work our way down. There are TWO BODICE options; Flat Front or Pieced. The Flat front bodice has clean lines and simple details. It is a great option for the addition of the included pockets. I think that it give the romper or dress a classic feel that is timeless.
The pieced bodice is more whimsical and fun with the a high yoke and gatherers. It is beautiful and playful. It is also has a loser fit which is great for tiny tummies!
Both bodices have a button placket closure. This is one of my favorite details for older girls and tweens. I obviously love rompers, but often they feel to bubbly and juvenile for my tweens. The button placket on Jane allowed me to create the slim-fit look that my tweens want. If you do have little one, who might need a quick exit for a bathroom break I suggest in the pattern that you use snaps instead of buttons.
If you want to add a feminine touch to either bodice options you can add the ruffle to the button placket. It is not a crazy in your face ruffle but a pleasant here I am ruffle. I think that it can take the dress up a few levels and makes the romper unique and completely fun!
Now that you have a bunch of ideas starting for your bodice lets talk about the amazing fact that you can make both a romper or a dress from this pattern! The dress is designed to fall right above the knee cap.
I love this length and find it so flattering! If you prefer a longer length to the dress you simple need to add a few inches when you cut your skirt. It is a simple adjust that will make the dress personal to you.
The romper bottom is so cute! The shorts have a curved slash pocket for little trinkets, or dare I say it, phones. They shorts are a wide yet straight leg that again, I find very flattering. The length of the shorts should fall at the lower thigh, but again this can be adjusted based on your personal taste. 
I loved the idea of cuffs!! I grew up with them (yes I an 80's kids) and I will admit I still cuff my pants. The cuffs are oversized and can be used as a contrast by changing the color.
Creating this pattern was definitely a labor of love! I am thrilled with all the amazing testers that stuck with me and the great support of my team over at Simple Life Pattern Company. trust me you will not want to walk away from this pattern!

To celebrate this milestone, my first PDF Pattern!, I am giving one Jane PDF Pattern away along with 2 yards of woven fabric from our shop! All you need to do is fill out the rafflecopter entry form below and I will announce the winner Saturday 7/2/16!

Jun 6, 2016

Make Laundry, Don't Do Laundry Blog Tour

Who wants to wash laundry when you'd rather be sewing?!
Laundry is probably one of the most dreaded chores.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind actually washing it.  Sometimes I even remember to switch the load to the dryer the same day.  It's the folding & putting away that's so challenging for some reason.  And then I have to do it all over again, load after load!
That's exactly one of the reasons I love sewing.  With all the things in my life that I am constantly doing & re-doing (laundry, dishes, picking up the floor), my stitching is something that stays done!
Now if I can just get these guys to help with the chores while I dream of new patterns to stitch up!
We've joined up with some fabulous bloggers as part of the Make Laundry, Don't Do Laundry blog tour, hosted by Cassandra of Pear Berry Lane, Karly of Paisley Roots, & Jeanine of Crafting Fiend.

In the amount of time it takes to complete a full cycle of laundry, I was able to whip up a new top for me, a matching top for my daughter and some cute up-cycled jean shorts for her as well.  Here are the details:

Here's my busy girl in her Sugar Pie top by Patterns for Pirates.  I used Swifting Flora Fond in knit by Art Gallery Fabrics for the front & bands.  I switched up the look with a coordinating knit for the back panel & she loves it!  Fabric for the back is Buck Forest Peach knit by Art Gallery Fabrics.
This girl has grown up but not out, so her jeans from last year fit great ... as flood pants.  I followed a fabulous tutorial from Make It Love It for transforming her jeans into shorts with a cute fabric knotted hem.  My daughter chose Prisma Elements in Subtle Turquoise to finish off her jean shorts, and it coordinates beautifully with her new knit top.  She was thrilled to have a matching top with Mom, but too busy building fairy houses to actually take a picture WITH me, go figure.
My Top is the Sweet Tee by Patterns for Pirates in Swifting Flora Fond knit by Art Gallery Fabrics.
I made this pattern my own by adding a loose band to the bottom and hemming the neckline instead of  adding a neckband.
I may not have all the laundry done (and the kids may be having too much fun creating chaos! haha!), but I have a new cute and comfortable top, ready for relaxing in the summertime, avoiding laundry, and stitching up the next idea that pops into my head.

Check out posts from the other talented bloggers participating & then join in the fun to win some fabulous prizes!

We know everyone loves a good giveaway so here are the prize packages: 

May 20, 2016

Make Modern Mini MIni Quilt Challenge

We are thrilled to partner with Make Modern magazine for a unique challenge to kick off Summer!
We don't know about you, but we love the adorable mini quilt trend!  We're busy moms with a huge sewing wish list.  And while, we would love to churn out a bunch of big bed quilts, we simply don't have the time in this busy season of our lives to get to all that we want to do.  Clothes for the kids tend to win out over other sewing projects.  And dang, we sure have fun stitching for our littles.  This is where mini quilts fit in perfectly.  We can try out a technique, play with some inspiring fabrics, and complete a project without adding to our dreaded half-finished sewing pile.  What could be better than mini quilts?  How about mini mini quilts?!
Make Modern magazine is hosting a challenge honoring these itty bitty works of stitched art & we would love for you to join in!

It's simple to play along:
1.  Make a mini mini quilt (no larger than 6" square)
2.  Share a photo of your finished quilt on Instagram with the hashtag #MMminimini and tag @makemodernmagazine
3.  Repeat from step 1 as many times as you'd like before June 20th.

Did we mention there would be PRIZES?! Phat Quarters is a sponsor!  You could win from over 30 prizes worth over $1000 including fabric (yay fabric!), patterns, kits, sewing notions, gift certificates, & more!

This is open to all International sewists!  Feel free to enter multiple mini mini quilts, but please just share one photo per quilt (be sure to use the #MMminimini hashtag & also tag @makemodernmagazine).  The challenge is open from May 20th til June 20th, 2016.  The lucky winners will be announced in the Make Modern newsletter on July 8th.

Make Modern has issued this very important warning:
"Making mini mini quilts may be highly addictive and may cause you to neglect every other WIP, partners, children, pets and significant others that require feeding, and your housework! Given that you are probably looking for reasons to neglect the latter, go forth and create!"

We can't wait to get started on our own mini mini quilt creations!  Be sure to follow us on Instagram as we'll be sharing some mini mini quilts that shine as well as our own!  There's a ton of inspiration in the latest issue of Make Modern, which is available today!

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