Gig ‘Em Aggie Baby!

Just a quick post to show an Itty Bitty Baby Dress Aggie style!


I LOVE this pattern! Here’s a few links to others I have made:
Keepsake Set
Butterfly Set
Going Home

Next post will be an heirloom christening gown for baby girl. Excited to share that one too!!

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Going green for baby girl!

Every time I blog, I feel like I should apologize for not blogging more often. *sigh*. There are so many inspirational bloggers out there and I’d love to be amongst their ranks (so many ideas locked up in my head), however work and family keeps me so busy….maybe one day! I know many of you are in the same position. So, I won’t apologize this time (or have I already done that?)!

Today I wanted to share a project I upcycled. I don’t do this type of sewing often, but it was a fun project, and I felt so good that I didn’t waste a perfectly good shirt. My DH wore an almost new white dress shirt to work and managed to get an ink stain on it. Try as I might, I could NOT get the stain out. I was about to throw it out…tearful because it was going to waste, then had an idea! I could recycle the fabric to make a cute dress for our soon to be new DD.

Here’s the shirt:


I decided something simple would work best, plus, I didn’t want to spend a ton of time. SO, I opted for a sweet peasant dress with simple embellishments:



Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough fabric for two diaper covers…but that’s ok because I didn’t really have much fabric left over. I’d love to do this project again with one of his patterned shirts. Hmmmm…wonder if I can find a leaky pen anywhere? (kidding!)

While I’m here in cyberspace, I’ll share a few other projects I’ve made for baby girl:

Itty Bitty Baby Dress (to go home in):


Another peasant dress, with matching burp cloth:


I bought this blanket as a kit. It is super soft like minky and made a huge mess while sewing! However, it was worth the mess to have a super soft blankey!! I’ll embroider baby girl’s name once we figure one out! LOL!


Here’s my delivery gown…I’m REALLY excited about this because with my last babies, I always wore the hideous ones they give you in the hospital. I think it will be so nice to feel like I’m presentable after delivery. You can find the pattern here at Southern Stitches


Thanks for taking a peek at my latest sewing projects. Next on the list is an Easter dress for DD #1. I’ll share as soon as it is done (read: the Saturday night before Easter Sunday)!! :P


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Book Cover Tutorial

Hurricane Irene blew through with high winds and knocked out power to about everyone I know. The power company has restored over 700K customers, but sadly, we are in the “last-but-not-least” category. See below.


So, my loss is your gain. I took pictures for a tutorial but didn’t get to blog last week, so here is the post now! We may not have power, but blogging must go on!

Back to school means back to the books. If your school is anything like mine, they require books to be covered. This year, I opted to sew fun covers for my children’s books. They are super quick, and will remind your little one daily of just how much you love them!

Step one, gather your supplies:
Home dec fabric 1/4 yard– basically the height of the book to be covered plus seam allowance.
Quilting ruler
Marking device–yes, I used a pencil. A regular old number 2 pencil. Done is better than perfect on this project!


STEP ONE: Marking sewing lines

Lay the fabric face down on your table and put the book on top.
Draw a line at the top, bottom, and right side of the book.



Leave the book where it is and wrap the spare fabric to the left of the book up and over the book front (like you are closing the book, only it is the fabric, not the book).

Mark where the edge of the cover is.



Remove your book and lay the fabric wrong side up again. Extend all of the marks you have made until they all meet. You should have a big rectangle.


Now, if we sew on this line, the cover will be way too tight and small. This is because when we turn the book cover to the right side, the seam allowance needs somewhere to go. SO, let’s add 1/2″ to every line so we can let the serger cut on this line! If you are sewing with a regular sewing machine, add 1/4″ and you will place your stitches on the line. Now you should have a rectangle inside a rectangle.


DO NOT CUT ON THESE LINES!!! You need to cut outside these lines. If you want, use your rotary cutter and cut about 1/4 away from the outside rectangle. If you are lazy (and have a serger) just use your scissors and cut! The serger will neaten up the SA for us later!

Once you have this cut (referred to now as rectangle one), you need to cut the fabric for the flaps and the lining.

Let’s make this as easy as possible, shall we? Let’s cut two more rectangles the EXACT same size as our first one. Just lay it on your fabric and cut two more. Don’t worry if the lines are crooked because we are going to sew or serge on the lines we drew earlier–it will look perfect!

Now, for the lining, take rectangle two (DON’T CUT RECTANGLE ONE BECAUSE IT HAS OUR SEWING LINES ON IT) and cut off about 4-5 inches from the width.

For the flaps, take rectangle three and cut the width exactly in half. Ok, don’t be THAT exact…just flop one side over to the other, crease, then cut on the crease.

Ok, now off to the sewing machine or serger!

STEP TWO: Assembly

Before we assemble, you can serge the exposed edges of the lining if you are a neat freak. I was a neat freak for this one, so my later pictures will show the edges serged. You really don’t have to do this because nobody will even know it is there….except you….and you will KNOW you didn’t finish those edges…and you will wish you had…SO, better finish those edges! Just the edges on the sides, not the top or bottom. No regrets! :) If you don’t have a serger, leave the edges raw…it is so totally not worth the effort! LOL!

Here is what the FINISHED cover will look like (just imagine those rough edges as a sewn seam with the finished edge inside.




Back to assembly:
I took this after it was sewn together…not sure where the unsewn layout pictures went (I blame Hurricane Irene), so we will make do. They still illustrate the layout ok.

Place rectangle one right side up.

Now for the flaps. We don’t want to have to sew any hems, so I just lay the flap right side down, then fold it back on itself a bit. Repeat on the other side.



Put the lining (rectangle 2) on top of that, right side down. Center it as best you can over rectangle one.



The pinning is the most important part to your success. Pin, pin, pin! I KNOW what you are thinking…you are thinking about that time you saw Margaret Tully and she said “in serging, we don’t use no stinkin’ pins!” I usually don’t, but in this case, I find them useful. JUST MAKE SURE YOU DON’T SERGE THE PIN!!! If you DO serge the pin, don’t blame me…I just warned you and even “yelled” at you in all caps. Back to sewing–

If you don’t have a serger, just keep following along with us. Your book cover will look just as beautiful as ours, but you’ll have one extra step at the end. It will be great.

SO, now that you have a bazillion pins…ok, I used like 6, but that is basically a bazillion for me since I usually don’t use pins (see above)….now that it is pinned, just flip it over and sew on your outside line removing pins before you sew or serge over them. Please note that for sergers, we added enough seam allowance (1/2″) to line up the outside rectangle mark with the cutting knife. For regular sewing, we added enough seam allowance (1/4″) to place our stitching ON the outside rectangle.


For sergers use a 3 or 4 thread overlock wide–I used 3. You could use a more narrow seam, but then I’d follow the instructions for sewing (use 1/4″ seam allowance, and make sure needle is on the line). Make sure you serge off the edge of one side, then turn your project and fold over the seam you just serged when you start the next seam. This allows you to have nice square corners. See below. If you are sewing, just stop at the corner with needle down and turn. Easy peasy!


Here is the “extra step” for those who chose sewing over serging. Cut the corners, and trim your SA to about 1/4 or so….doesn’t have to be exact, just don’t cut too close.

Now all you have to do is a few book cover acrobatics and you are done! Turn the lining right side out.



Now turn the flaps right side out! All done!

Install the cover on your book and send your child back to school with the best looking book around!




If you want to get really fancy, embroider his/her name or favorite thing on the front or spine before assembly. I didn’t have that kind of time, so maybe I’ll do that next time!

Enjoy! If you make one, post a link! I’d love to see!

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So long summer….sniff, sniff

Once again, the summer is gone! Once again I find myself wondering, “How could this have happened?” School starts tomorrow. :(

I did find a few minutes to hit the sewing machine. Here is a project I did for the church. The flags will hang in the nursery hallway so that everyone will know where they are going. I digitized the lamb logo (not original artwork), and stitched all 50,000 stitches. It took an hour for each one to stitch….they are double sided. It was a fun project and I am pretty happy how they turned out:


I’m planning to post this design on my site, so check it out if you are looking for a fun design for children’s items. Don’t look too soon, though….I think it will be a week at best before I can take care of posting!

I hope everyone enjoyed the summer. Don’t forget that my giveaway for WIP busting ends on the 31st! Get those last minute projects finished up and posted!!


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Summer is for WIP Busting!

Tomorrow is the start of summer for us! WAHOOOO! I won’t have to be driving the kiddos all around (much)! I took some time last week to strip my sewing room and completely organize. I now have a bin of things I’d like to accomplish this summer. I feel so organized (way more than last year) and am ready to get started busting my WIP’s! Some people call them UFO’s….call them what you will…they are things that need to GET DONE! Here’s my bin:

I KNOW that y’all have the same problem! Let’s all stand up and confess that we have work to do! Let’s clean out those bins of unfinished work! Let’s face it: we are all looking for an excuse to buy more fabric and I’m on lockdown until I get my projects knocked out. (There’s no more room!)

I’ve started a flickr group so that we can all stay accountable:

Post your bin or basket or pile or list! Then, let’s see how much we get done! Shannon at has graciously offered to help sponsor! We’ve come up with a $40 gift certificate to Fabrics N Quilts! That’s pretty good motivation, right? On August 31, I’ll award the GC via random drawing for those that participate. You get one entry for posting your bin/list/basket/pile and one entry for each project you finish! Comment here with your flickr link for each project you finish (a new comment for each link)! The more you finish, the more you enter, the greater your chances to win! How much can we accomplish this summer?

Ready! Set! Go!


Here are the results of the random number drawing:


I counted from earliest post up to most recent, so that means that

Jennwith4, YOU are the winner! She said:…

2nd Wip complete. A ruffly skirt.

I’ll be in touch with you tomorrow regarding your GC!!

Thanks everyone for playing! I hope we can do this again soon!

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I Said YES to the Dress!

I am THRILLED to be blogging tonight.  I couldn’t wait to get pictures up of my dress for the gala on Saturday (yes, we are down to the wire, but at least I’m not still sewing!).  My DH and I are going to a black tie gala tomorrow night and I chose a few patterns of dresses I liked.  I let DH make the final choice and he chose (of course) the hardest of them all.  A Vogue (pattern #V2880).  Made with chiffon.  CHIFFON!  27 pieces of CHIFFON!  I would not have even considered this project if it had not been for this baby:

Love this baby!

So, on to the dress….I’d love to talk about all the ways I DIDN’T follow the instructions, but I’m too excited for that now!  PICTURES FIRST!Gala DressGala Dress

Gala Dress

Gala Dress

Gala Dress

Can you believe this pattern calls for a 1/4″ narrow hem on all of that chiffon?  I DON’T THINK SO!!  Set my serger for a rolled hem and knocked out the finish on the rufffles in no time!  Used my serger to gather too!  WAHOO!!  I love my serger!  I don’t think I could have finished this dress with my hair intact if it weren’t for my serger.

Thanks for visiting and letting me share my excitement!  This is by far the most ambitious garment project I’ve ever done…the foundation has boning (went in super easy) so I was a bit intimidated (but shouldn’t have been).  I’ll post pictures of me in it sometime after Saturday night.  SEW EXCITED!!


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Singer Red Eye

Let me start by saying that I must have the best THE BEST husband in the whole world!  When he asked me what I wanted for Christmas I really didn’t know what to request!  I really didn’t NEED anything.  I have, however, always wanted a treadle.  He found this one for me from a gentleman in New York.  It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!  I mean SERIOUSLY!  Who needs diamonds?


I spent the majority of this weekend cleaning up my new machine.  It was in pretty good shape for being 87 years old!  The Singer website has age information on these machines based on serial number.  It was pretty dusty, though, and I did want to clean everything up inside.  I have done a lot too much research on this subject, but found some very interesting sources!  I found an awesome group Tools for Self Reliance who accept refurbished machines to help relieve poverty in Africa.  They have an awesome step-by-step guide for the Singer 66.   I found the TFSR website while trolling the Treadle On website.  They are devoted to restoration in order to use the machine, not just to look at it!  They have awesome advice on which cleaners to use and which to avoid.  I used their hints on cabinet restoration to give the dry wood of my cabinet a drink/spruce up!  I encourage you to look at some of their before/after pictures.  Incredible!

My machine was in pretty good shape to start with, but I still spent about 12-15 hours cleaning!  I couldn’t believe all of the lint in the bobbin case and under the faceplate above the needle.  I adjusted the timing, needle depth and feed dog height.  I have since successfully stitched, but alas, I still need to adjust the tensions.  Once I have this tweaked out, I’ll be ready to treadle!

Here are some before and after shots (not as drastic as those on Treadle On, but I can be happy all is clean inside too):



Picture 1 of 7



Picture 1 of 13

So now I’m hooked on the world of treadles.  About a year ago, I got my first treadle:


Picture 1 of 2

I haven’t fully restored this machine, but I have cleaned it up a bit.  I found that it still has its original decals under a layer of black paint.  You can just see the word “Singer” starting to appear on the neck of the machine.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I can restore its original beauty as the black paint can’t be removed without harming the decals underneath.  This machine is particularly intriguing because it can sew in ANY direction!  It is meant for leather work and is considered an industrial machine.  Many leatherworkers still employ them in everyday use.  Here is a video showing what this baby can do with just a flick of the wrist, the pressor foot changes direction:

Ok, and one last picture showing how beautiful she can look with her decals intact:


I found this picture on a website which deals in old machines.  They have a brief description of each machine–some of them are pretty interesting!  There are great pictures there too, and it is worth a visit just to see how far this wonderful machine has come!


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The Spirit of Christmas Present

My intentions were noble, but life interfered! I don’t have to tell you that this time of year is BUSY! My little ones have had plays, choir rehearsals, play dates, homework, rashes (OK, only one had a rash, but I had to pick him up from school!)…and the list goes on! Not a lot has been happening in my sewing room for Christmas. YET! This week is still packed with school activities during and after school, but NEXT WEEK, we are staying at home all week! Woo Hoo! I see cookie baking and sewing in my future! Well, make that CAKE baking…gotta squeeze in a birthday for my little one this weekend. Which means I’d better get those birthday projects sewn…..but I digress!

Here is what I have planned:
1. Finish these projects (mostly things the children have requested):

2. Make this year’s Christmas PJ’s:

3. Make my Christmas tree skirt that I’ve been planning for YEARS! You see, when I was growing up we always used my Grandmother’s handmade skirt. It was felt, with hand beaded and sequined decorations. I never knew my Grandmother because she passed away while my mother was still just a girl. I’ve always wanted to carry on her tradition and have a skirt like hers….one day I’ll pass it on to my children. However, my plan is a little different. Since we’ll have such a quiet week next week, I plan to have each of the children sequin and bead their own decoration for the skirt. I’ll put it all together and we’ll use it every year. When they are all grown, I’ll disassemble the skirt and divide the decorations among us all…and make us all new skirts! We can then all remember our Christmases together.

I’ll do my best to update my blog with our completed project. In the meantime, here is a little project I made for a friend last week:

It’s just a quick little T-shirt dress I whipped up.  I made the little gingerbread girl’s bow on my serger with some decorative thread, which was fun!

I also made the fabric ribbon on my serger using a rolled edge and the same decorative thread.  Have I told you how much I love my serger?

I digitized the color roll as an in-the-hoop project a few years ago…it comes in handy a lot!

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog today!  I can’t wait to visit everyone from the Linky Party!  Thanks so much Laurie for hosting!  Now I’d better get started on my to-do list because if I sit here much longer, I’ll be working on the same project as my kitty:

Merry Christmas!!

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The Spirit of Christmas Past

Merry Christmas! I’m so excited to participate in Monday Memories! Thanks, Laurie, for hosting this party…I’ve already found some old online friends, an am looking forward to making new ones. :)

So, for the first several years of my married life, my husband and I were both in school (read “no time to sew”). So I don’t have a lot of sewing Christmases to draw from, but I’ll do my best.

Every year, I let the children open ONE gift on Christmas Eve. It always consists of NEW Christmas pajamas and they absolutely love the tradition. I love to sew and embroider, so usually I sew pants, then embroider tees. Last year, I digitized a picture from each child’s pants and appliquéd it on their shirts:

One year, I happened to find this awesome Star Wars fabric in flannel which was a big hit for the boys!

For my daughter I found some cute, festive Hello Kitty flannel. I digitized a present for her shirt:

Here’s a closeup of the applique:

It’s funny how much they LOVE opening the Christmas Eve present…even though they know it is PJs…the fabric is always a surprise!

Probably my favorite sewing project was making matching outfits for the children one year. I made a patchwork twirl skirt for my daughter:

For my sons, I took a ready-made vest and drafted my own pattern, then sized it down for the younger boy. I was SO excited to have success at this process that I stayed up late on the 23rd to make the boys ties so they could all match on Christmas Eve. I was SO PROUD of the fact that I had made them their outfits! I COULD NOT WAIT to see them all dressed up and take pictures!!

The next day, we were getting ready to go to church, and I realized that I had NO WHITE SHIRTS for the boys! :( They ended up going to church in red sweaters instead.   The Lord humbled me that day…it was for HIM we were going to church, not to display my outfits.  Without Him, I wouldn’t have had reason to celebrate and sew pretty outfits for the children. 

 Oh how I loved this trip down memory lane! I enjoyed digging through my old photos….so many treasured memories! Now I look forward to reading about YOUR memories! Visit Laurie’s blog here and join in the fun!

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Little Blessings Keepsake

Oh how I love brown and pink!

There is nothing I love more that sewing for a newborn! I made this set for a friend and have been promising to blog about it for about 100 years!  (Which, according to my DS is actually possible…the other day he asked me if there were cars when I was a kid!  ”No,” I said, “We rode dinosaurs to school.”)  I was finally able to put the finishing touches on the gift last night SO, the wait is over! I absolutely adore sewing for newborns and have blogged previously about this Itty Bitty Baby Dress from Made by Rae.  I just love how small this sweet little dress is and it is a perfect reminder of how truly tiny newborns are.  The booties are from a pattern I designed and I really can’t believe how much I love them.  I don’t know if it is the fabric or the fact that they actually LOOK like booties that excites me, but I absolutely love the way they came out and I think they suit the dress well.  This is the first time I’ve sewn a box bag and it was surprisingly easy!  I’ve done totes in the past and this is similar.  The bag is useful for carrying diapers/wipes/bottles/etc. but it is also intended to serve as the gift bag too.  All of these items pack nicely in the Little Blessings Bag for safe keeping! 



Thank you so much for visiting!  I love to hear your comments and please leave me your blog address so I can add you to my blogroll!

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