Highlander Dolman from Striped Swallow Designs


I’m finally back in the game doing some pattern testing for Striped Swallow Designs.  This is one of my very favorite designers to work with (and now its two designers) working with the brand. You can see one of my other favorite SSD makes here. I just haven’t been able to make my schedule work with tests for quite a long time, so when I saw this dolman I just had to jump in.

The Highlander Dolman has several options to choose from.  There are two sleeve lengths, two back options, as well as several features you can add to the back options.  For my version I stitched up the long sleeve with the high back and tie option.  The low back falls well below the bra line. I personally can’t pull that off in my 30s but I know a few of my sassy blogger friends who will rock that look all day long.  Whether you choose the tie back option, the t-back, or the back strap doesn’t matter, but for sure you can not go without something.  This shirt really needs the support of something to keep the shoulders up.


I love that this dolman is a perfect balance of batwing affect and fitted sleeve as it works its way down the length of your arm.  Along with the sleeve length options there are also two styles of hemlines.  I chose to use the curved hemline.  The hem allowance on this top is a nice thick 1 inch. Have I had time to share with you my crazy love for wide hems, especially on knits?  If not, I’ll put that on my calendar.


Total Pattern Scoop: Highlander Dolman

Sizes: Xs-XXL

Relaxed Scoop Front

Multiple back necklines with features including:  high, low, t-back, tie back, back strap

Short and Long Sleeve options

Curved or Straight Hemline


For this version, I used a the Ruth Double Brushed Polly from Sincerely Rylee Fabric.  I grabbed it for a great price during a sale a while back.  The color tones are totally in my Autumn palette which I basically sport year around.

Beginning Sewing Class Ahead {Matilda Dress}


Recently I was approached by a local sewing shop about teaching some sewing classes on the things that I love to sew, children’s apparel. If you are interested in joining, register here.  I thought it sounded like a fabulously fun project, so I got right to deciding on a pattern that would be great to use for a beginner class.  I asked around for some ideas on patterns that would be great for beginners and I ended up selecting the Matilda dress pattern from Violette Field Threads.


Matilda is a great little peasant style dress that offers three sleeve options.  I think this will be a great way for people to get a little taste for selecting options within a pattern.  for my samples I used the cap sleeve option and the flutter sleeve.  I just love the flutter sleeve! It’s so feminine.  I also think this is a great time to point out how fabric choice can really affect the look of your creations.  These two dresses with just a simple sleeve change and different fabric look completely different from each other.  I LOVE that! By the way, you can order these Dear Stella Fabrics from the shop I’m teaching at.  I also love that I can make two dresses and know which child will pick which one.  There wasn’t any fighting over who got each dress.  It was like they knew which was theirs right away.  That makes a mommy happy.


After deciding on patterns, I went to work thinking about how I could use this pattern to give people the confidence to embark on what could be the beginning of a long sewing adventure.  While sewing up the pattern I noted the parts I liked, the parts I thought could be improved, and tips that beginners could take with them to use with future projects.  Aren’t there things that you wished you would have learned through a pattern but didn’t until much later along in your sewing adventure?  Some of my big points I plan to share are about the importance of pressing regularly.  I especially love to memory press all my hems and casings.  This saves so much time and really simplifies the process in the long run.  I also think there are a lot of ways to gather, and some ways give better results than others. People need to know and see this, especially if they are planning to do dresses.  What are some things you always do on projects that aren’t included in pattern instructions? I’d love to hear.



Simple Life Pattern Co. Bella

Hey everyone! I’ve been slightly silent for the last few weeks.  Mostly, I’m still getting back into the swing of things now that Christmas break is over.



I do have a little something to share. I got a new sewing machine! Woot Woot.  Thanks to my husband for supporting my VERY expensive hobby.  Bless his heart, as soon as I get a new machine, I put another on my wish list.  I should be good to go for a while with the set up I have right now.  That should help take the pressure off the man of the house… at least until my birthday in October.

IMG_1704 (1).JPG

Here is a close up of my new toy.  I don’t have a fabulous set up, so you are going to have to be okay with this angle. You can read more about this machine here. Maybe my next wish list item should be a table area.  I’m still working at a folding table with metal folding chair.  But, one step at a time I suppose.  I gotta pay my dues.  Who knows, maybe a sewing machine table company will contact me to feature their furniture. How awesome would that be?!


So, what was my first project with my new baby?  I knocked out a project on my unfinished project pile because getting a new machine meant reorganizing my space.  I found all kinds of things that needed to be finished.  Shhh, don’t tell.  I’ve had this Bella cut since it arrived this summer and things just kept being pushed ahead of it.  In truth, I actually had three cut out, so I still have two to go.  This pattern is seriously fast, so I’m not sure how I haven’t squeezed them in. Life I suppose is the answer to that… and sleep… the need for sleep.


I shared a few snapshots of this make on Instagram (Follow me!) and in the SLPco group.  I got lots of positive response, which makes me even more sad that I took so long to finish it.   We also grabbed a few photos today outside in the 40 degree weather.  I want you to know that Porter asked if she could put on this dress and go out and take some pictures.  I said okay because a blogger mom should never turn down a model offering to work for free.  I did try to get her to put on a nice sweater, but that was not going to happen.  So please enjoy my very freezing cold, just delightfully happy daughter in her lovely pink dress.


I just love this sequin lace I added here.  It was a simple addition but definitely goes great with the Sarah Jane Magic Parade from Michael Miller.  I love so many things about Sarah Jane designs.  They are youthful and magical all at the same time.  You can’t go wrong with that when thinking about little girls.


And just for fun, here are a few of the shots where she is admitting she is slightly cold.  But really, she did a great job for a self-volunteering,  middle of the driveway shoot.

Shwin Designs Glass Onion Top

Alrighty!! One down and eight more to go on my #2017makenine adventure.  For more detail on that, read my post here.  Nine projects seems like a lot, but when you just decide to sit down and tackle one you may get the impression that it isn’t hardly enough.  What do you think? Is nine too many, too few, or just right?


I started with my first make being the Glass Onion Top from Shwin Designs.  I don’t know about you, but I have been all sorts of confused about Shwin and Shwin vs Shwin Designs.  I hadn’t followed closely and always thought it was two different designers and then I couldn’t remember what pattern went with which designer.  It turns out it’s all the same… I think.  Maybe it was an issue with names/addresses not being available on different platforms. I get that, but phew… call it a blonde moment or something because I have struggled.  Are you in this boat with me?

Okay… So without further delay, here is my first make.  I will say that I finished this last night and Presley found it laying on the couch this morning and snatched it right up.  We have a snow day today, so I told her to grab some leggings and stand by the window for a little light.  These photos aren’t the most amazing due to indoor early morning pics, but you get the idea I think.


The Glass Onion Top has several options to choose from. This top features a gathered front and a crossover back.  It includes three sleeve options, and two back options.  I chose the pleated back, but there is also a flat crossover back.  The neckline is finished with a facing, and there aren’t any closures to deal with because the scoop back provides ample room to get on and off easily.  Overall, I would describe this as a fairly quick sew for a woven make.


I think this pattern is right on point with the high fashion looks I’m going for!  I plan to make more for certain, and Swiss Dot being my next fabric to go with.  I think it is going to be absolutely stunning!  I can’t wait for good weather to get quality photos of these tops.



What do you think? Would you give this pattern a try?  I think you will like it if you do.  Let me know in the comments.  Don’t forget to follow all the awesome #2017makenine creations on Instagram.  There is so much inspiration to be seen!


#2017MakeNine Adventure

This week I decided I was going to be joining in on some maker fun with the fabulous people participating in #2017makenine.  Basically, you select nine projects that you want to complete for 2017.  You can find more information about the leader of this fun project here, then join in on the maker fun!

I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to commit to.  In truth, I really want to do two sets of make nine.  I needed one for the girls, and one for myself.  I just started with the girls and if I crank through it quickly, I’m going to do one for myself too.  You can see my projects below.


How did I choose my nine?  I started by thinking about patterns that I already have and have been wanting to make but haven’t gotten around to it yet.  I put together a list and then started thinking about what patterns would pair well together and the “look” I prefer to go for these days.  You see, I started out sewing a lot of boutique-y type stuff and now I feel like I’m pulling away from some of that look and going for more of a high fashion, sleeker vibe.  I guess I’m developing my own sense of fashion.  That said, there are a few patterns here that can swing either way based on option and fabric choice.  A lot also depends on styling too.

So, here are the details from left to right and top to bottom on my collage of nine.

  1. Chalk and Notch Fishtail Kimono
  2.  Shwin Designs Glass Onion Top
  3.  Simple Life Pattern Company Sarah Ann’s Cuff Leggings and Capris*
  4. Tadah Library Blouse
  5. This one is a mystery.  I don’t even know what it is yet.  Keeping my options open.
  6. Tadah Tulip Skirt
  7. Simple Life Pattern Company Isla’s Infinity Tunic and Dress*
  8.  Sewlosophy Serendipity Beret and Swing Coat.  These are no longer available for purchase as far as I’m aware.  This designer put out a collection and then literally disappeared. I’ve always wondered what happened.  I purchased the entire collection at release: pants, shirt, coat, and beret.  I’ve only made the pants and the top, but they were super adorable! I’ll share a little pic of those.
  9.  Mix It – Make It Millie Dress (Free Pattern!)


See.  Isn’t that super cute?! I love the trousers and the top was a perfect match.  This was way back at the beginning of my sewing adventure.  In fact, I think this top may have been my first ever button holes.  Peyton’s school pictures were in this outfit.

Okay… I think that wraps up my plans for #2017makenine.  Come back in a few minutes because I have already made one of my nine and need to tell you about it!



Itch to Stitch Holiday Tour


It is finally my day to share a creation on the Itch to Stitch Holiday Blog Tour!  I was excited to get the invite to join in.  Itch to Stitch (and awesome helpers) along with Stylemaker Fabrics have helped to put together a great tour.  This post does contain affliate links, but as always my opinions are my own.

So far we have seen an array of different looks on the tour.  Some are classy and elegant while others are comfortable yet stylish.  I stitched up the Idyllwild Top and Dress which I love. You can see a short sleeved version I did here on the Itch to Stitch Blog. Idyllwild is a t-shirt pattern that includes so many fun extras.  There are 2 necklines, 7 sleeve options, and 3 length options.  That is a total of 42 different combinations.  I’m a math teacher, so I can confirm that 42 is a correct number and Kennis did a good job on her math when she wrote the listing. 🙂  I used some fabulous French Terry supplied by StyleMakers Fabric.  I love how warm and cozy this dress was in French Terry.  It has a 4 way stretch too!  You can find the fabric HERE. I really hadn’t gotten into the French Terry craze that has hit all the sewing groups I belong to.  I had bought some, but used it for items for my kids so I hadn’t really figured out what the craze is all about. I get it now.


The only adjustment I did to this dress was to shorten the length.  I did this using the shorten and lengthen lines provided within the pattern. I don’t know about you but I’m short, so basically all my dresses have to be adjusted for a flattering length.  Due to the heavier nature of this fabric I probably could have shortened a tad more, but since it cool here in Indiana I kept it as is.


I’ve been wanting a tee-shirt dress for a while.  I’ve been talking about it with teacher friends about how comfy they would be for our long days at school, so this was easy to pick for the tour.  I added a scarf for styling for a touch of holiday spirit.  You may also see a belt in a few photos. I’ve recently discovered that belting your scarf give a fun look that is slightly out of the norm of what we usually see with scarves.  Belting it makes me feel like there is a part of me that is fashion forward.


When I chose this neckline for this dress I opted for the larger neckline. I’ve made both necklines with this pattern now and think they are great.  Sometimes I like a higher neckline for comfort and easy of dealing with children without fear of flashing my goods.  I think the larger neckline works pretty well for this too.  It is still modest, but does allow for you to wear pop on a necklace and look great.



I’ve sewn up several Itch to Stitch patterns and I must say they are top notch.  I love the clear concise illustrations and how there are detailed measurement charts to help you select exactly what size you need for your perfect fit. Some patterns even include cup size options so you don’t have to do bust adjustments. That is huge!


Well that raps up my feature for the Itch to Stitch Holiday Tour.  I hope you liked my make and take the time to look over all the patterns offered at Itch to Stitch.  There is a special discount code during the tour. Use code holiday16 for 16% off your entire cart. StyleMakers fabric is offering a great deal too! $5 shipping on all fabric from Style Makers, no code needed. There’s a discount for international shipping as well!

Don’t forget to pop in on the other posts! There are so many lovely creations featuring StyleMakers Fabrics and Itch to Stitch Patterns.


Sew Some Pajamas Link Up Party


Hey Friends! I don’t know about you, but my children are in need of pajamas! I keep saying I’m going to get some done as I see my kids running around the house in belly shirts and capris. Mind you, their attire used to be full length.  Are your kids running around the same way?

In an effort to provide motivation to myself and all my bloggy people, I thought a link up party would provide some great motivation to getting some of these jammies sewn up.  Please Link Up any and all of your pajama posts over the next week-ish. (New stuff, not oldies.  We love those but that isn’t motivating you to make new.)  I can’t wait to see all the fun creations. The link up closes on December 14th, so don’t miss out.

My personal goal is to sew up some un-pajamas.  What I mean is that I’m going to patterns that weren’t really meant to be pjs but will be this year.  Mostly I’m doing this because I have a ton of patterns I haven’t used and this will help me to get motivated to make them.  I will probably slip a few quickies from the Alex and Anna winter pajamas because the pants and sleeves have cuffs and I say.. #cuffallthethings

I’ll be sharing my pajama post later this week.  I hope you will stop by and check out my creations!!  Be sure to peak at all the link ups as well!

Everyday Wear with Petite Stitchery


It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in the States and I’m joining in on a tours with some lovely ladies to feature Petite Stitchery & Co.  If you don’t know this company that may because it is NEW.  They will mainly be releasing patterns by collection, so be sure to be on the look out as seasons change so you don’t miss anything, you can even sign up for the email list on the homepage!  Also, there is a giveaway at the end of this post, so be sure not to miss out on entering.  I can tell you I have personally had a lot of luck with rafflecopter giveaways. 🙂


The theme of this tour is Everyday Wear.  This works great with the Fall 2016 Collection as there are several foundation patterns that work great for daily wear.  My big girl hasn’t really been popping up on the blog much lately, so I thought I would make her a little something that would be a great comfy set yet still have a bit of style.  She is more into the world of Lego Ninjago than prancing around in fancy clothes, so this theme worked great for her.  Of course she was trying to haggle the terms of the photo shoot, but I won because she owes me several from the last payout. She typically drives a hard bargain. (In the picture below she is counting down how many more photos I can take. Bahaha. I took more than three.)


For our outfit we used the Fawn Leggings Pattern and the Sapphire Layering Top.  The Fawn Leggings offer an optional tuxedo stripe or a simple legging option.  Since our top has a lot going on with the plaid, I chose the simple legging with the yoga waistband.  I made the leggings with a double brushed poly that I ordered from fabric.com during a sale a few months back.  It was not even close to the quality of dbp I’ve ordered from some Facebook groups, but still super soft so I know my big girl would be satisfied.  If you are looking for some quality solid dbp, I’ve had luck with purple seamstress.


The Sapphire Layering top has several options with flutters and sleeve ruffles to create some fun looks to wear alone or as a layering item.  If you recall, I mentioned Peyton isn’t really into the frilly stuff right now, so I went with the basic style of no flutters, no ruffles.  The buffalo plaid is from PHAT QUARTERS.  It’s a cotton/poly blend with not too much stretch, but just enough for a nice t-shirt.  I also used it on a shirt I made for myself here.


I was very pleased with the fit on this top.  The neck band is exactly the width I prefer.  I am not a fan of thick neckbands and typically adjust mine to be smaller when I’m not testing.  I cut the neckband on the bias and lengthened slightly to account for the stretch being slightly less than recommended. After I finished the top, I decided to add a little lace to the the hemline to fancy this up a tad.  I’ve seen some tops hanging in the stores recently with pretty hemlines like this, so I thought I would be a total copy cat and use the idea.  Obviously, it isn’t like this is actually a new concept, so maybe we are all just borrowing the idea from someone long ago. Now that it’s finished I really wish I would have added the lace before hemming with my twin needle.  The finish would have been nicer than the zig zag, but I still think it works. I know for the next go around I suppose.  I wish I had taken before and after shots, because the lace definitely changes the vibe of the top.  What do you think about it?



Thanks to the Petite Stitchery Ladies for thinking of me and having me along.  I’m glad I could join in on the fun.  I hope you have liked my creations.

Tour Schedule


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Plaid and Boots Tour



It’s finally my day to share on the Plaid and Boots Tour hosted by Laela Jeyne Patterns.  If you don’t know it, I do a lot of work with Laela Jeyne Patterns, so I am around that group and the page a lot.  If you aren’t familiar with Marisa and her patterns, I hope this tour has encouraged you to give a pattern (or two…or whatever) a shot.  You can try several patterns for free if you join the facebook group.  Details are in the pinned post. You can also use  Code is P&BTOUR20 for 20% off cart during the tour! *This post does contain affiliate links to help support my hobby.

So, let’s get started.  Today’s theme for the tour is Game Night and Bonfires.  A perfect match for my infatuation with all things fall, pumpkin, and autumn colored in the world.  I created two looks for this theme because there are really two types of “bonfire” experiences that I am aware of.  My post was sponsored by Art Gallery Fabrics, so I got some beautiful fabrics to make my creations for this post.


The first bonfire I styled for is the “out in the cow pasture” or “down at the cabin” type.  This includes a gigantic pile of wood where the fire is huge and amazing. Hot dogs and s’mores are had by all.   It’s a laid back, relaxed event with lawn chairs and blankets and so much fun.  For this I sewed up the Emily T-Shirt with the Taylor Leggings.  For my Emily T-shirt I used a lovely panel which was provided by Moon Man Printing. To cover my back side, I did add some length to the Emily at the shorten lengthen line. I’m not at the stage in my life where I wear leggings with my back side actually being visible.  Kudos to you if you are. To complete the Emily and make the Taylor Leggings (a free pattern with the group discount code),  I used the Trade Winds Port by Sharron Hollan for Art Gallery Fabrics. I loved this fabric! The knit is butter soft and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to sew it up.  I then paired it with my Willa vest which I shared about here.  I paired it with my boots and with some comfy canvas shoes so you get get several vibes for these makes.  The boots are probably necessary thought.



The second type of bonfire is what I would call the “city girl bonfire.”  This is the type where someone has an outdoor fireplace, amazing seating, and a great view.  The environment is a little more subtle, yet classy.  My sister has an amazing outdoor seating area with a fireplace that is perfect for this. Which is right here.  I totally stole this photo from her social media, but I feel it was needed.


For a classier look to match the city-girl-bonfire I stitched up the Samantha Swing Dress.  I used the Hi-Lo dress option with long sleeves.  This fabric was also sponsored by Art Gallery Fabrics, Survey Ochre by April Rhodes.  I have to say, I love this color in the fall.  It just goes perfectly with my inner self.  It was like my heart was happy to wear something that screamed fall.  The Samantha Swing Dress has a ton of options, including a racer back. I made a racer back tunic here if you want to check that out. Samantha also has girls version with the Sammy.  If you like to do Mommy and Me looks, you may need the bundle.  Sweet Red Poppy made a Sammy that is perfect match to mine for this tour. Too bad we don’t live closer, we could have gotten that on camera. Don’t miss her post!


Again, I paired this with the same Taylor leggings as before.  This dress doesn’t require leggings, but since we are talking about cool weather and bonfires I felt like it was a necessary piece to complete this look.  I also paired this with my canvas shoes as well as a pair of brown leather boots to give you some additional styling ideas.  I really think I like the boots the best!

And styled with the boots here for a bit of a different look….


So, what do you think?  I’ve gotten several complements on my Samantha while wearing it already, so I’m thinking it is working.  I can’t wait to see all the other looks for the theme today!  Don’t miss out on all the seriously awesome giveaways!!!  Catch the details below along with the blogger schedule.

Tour Schedule


Kaleidothoughtidle sunshineAllie J.


Sew PinspiredSewSophieLynnThe Wholesome Mama


Nini and AshSew and Tell ProjectSweet Red Poppy


Pear Berry LanePaisley RootsThreadbear GarmentsLace and Pine Designs


Olive AshbySunflower SeamsElegantine

Thanks to all the awesome sponsors for the tour!!!


Check out the prizes for the giveaway and ENTER to Rafflecopter!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway