Doll spa robe

Our niece has made her first Christmas gift request of her sewing Auntie. Robes for her dolls!


 She has many different sized dolls, so I was cheering when I found this awesome FREE pattern (over at It’s always Autumn) for a stuffed animal robe. Very simple pattern that is easily altered to fit any length I need.


In fact, I sewed up a test robe for Falafel’s AG 18 inch doll.


Cause really, what doll wouldn’t enjoy a spa treatment after a long day of playing?!


What is on your holiday sewing list?

Thanksgiving Crafting

This post was written for a few Thanksgivings ago, but these crafts are so much fun, I am sharing them again with you for this year!

I have a few crafts to keep the kids busy at your next Thanksgiving gathering. I wanted to keep it contained and interesting, with things they could do on their own without any messy components like glue or scissors.

I prepared all of the pieces for each craft ahead of time, so on the day of, I could just place them out on a paper-covered table, and let the kids go at them!

There were three different projects they could choose from.


Materials to create with: poster board bands, feathers, markers.

To prepare this craft, I cut strips of poster board that were 23 inches long. On one end, I notched it to look like a dull arrow. On the other end, I used an exacto blade to cut 5 vertical slits about an inch apart. In the middle, I used the blade again to cut sets of 2 horizontal lines (one on top of the other- about 3 inches apart). This way, it eliminates the need to be taped closed, or even the use of glue for feathers. Everything inserts! Easy peasy.

Beaded necklaces.

Materials to create: pre-cut string, beads, gluten-free macaroni

We have serious gluten allergies here, so we used a GF noodle, but this also works well with wheat pasta. I pre-cut lengths of stretchy string, and knotted a bead on one end to get them started.

Cuffed bracelets.

Materials to create: halved toilet paper tubes, double sided tape, felt pieces, feathers, markers.

All I had to do for this one, was cut the toilet paper tubes in half, then slit them open vertically. They amazingly stay on all sized wrists and are pretty stylish looking.

I chose to honor Native Americans and the gracious sharing of that very first Thanksgiving meal with strangers to the land.

Even though we used non-traditional materials, I think it is important to show our children how many cultures make up this wonderful country of ours, and how we all meld together as Humans, even symbolically. There is a common good that I want my girls to know. Truly to be thankful for all that they have, and more importantly, have to give.

“I’m thankful for my home my friends my food and all the guests at this table”.

These crafts not only opened up conversations, they kept the kids busy while the grown-ups chatted and had a grand ol’ time as well.

What eventually happened was the grown-ups migrated to the kids’ table and started to craft too.

I call that a successful activity…for all ages.

What do you do to keep the kids busy before the food comes out?


Astrid’s Shield plus a FREE PDF for you!

As promised, here is the shield we made for the Astrid costume.


This took all three of us to make. My husband cut a piece of foam core into a circle, then Falafel painted it red and found that Ball jar lid for the center. When it was dry, I painted the details on and glued the lid on. We then took two brads and stuck them through the front to hold on a piece of webbing for the handle (on the back).


It was fairly easy to do, and it makes her happy. Since there is a “no weapons at school” policy (even fake ones), she cannot carry her battle axe, but she can carry this!


Also, as a treat for you, my husband made PDF files of the pattern pieces to construct the shoulder armor. Just click on the links to print them out. Assemble them in order. Once you have all the pieces lined up, connect them at the ends with whatever you want (we used brads).


PDF file A

PDF file B

Oh! AND be sure to check your inboxes. It is Friday Newsletter time!

Juice Pouch Wallet Tutorial for SWB


Today I am bringing home a tutorial I did for SWB for their Camp Sewing with Boys series. Even though I don’t have boys to craft with, I made a tutorial anyone can do- regardless of their gender! First, you are going to need to collect a few things for this project:

Duct Tape Juice Pouch Wallets


You will need:

  • 2 empty juice pouches
  • duct tape
  • scissors
  • velcro (not pictured above)

Start by cutting across the top of each juice pouch (where the straw goes), wash, and allow to dry.

Now it is time to cut the duct tape into strips.


You will need 4 shorter strips (the length of the shortest sides of the pouch- approx. 4″each) and 2 longer strips (the length of the longest sides-approx. 6″each). I cut them to size and then halved them by making a small slit, and ripping the tape. It ripped in a straight line every time.


Lay the tape on the table, sticky side up, and place the pouch edge on top of it.


Now fold up the tape. Repeat for the bottom of pouch. You will want to leave one pouch top not taped.


They should look like this. Now, trim off the excess tape.


Take the pouch with the two ends taped, and fold like this:


You will want the side that faces the correct way to be slightly lower than the other side.


Take the other pouch and insert it like the photo above, with the untaped side inside.


At the crease, place your last 4″ piece of tape to keep the two pouches together.


This is how it should look on the other side.


Fold up the upside down end, and tape the long sides now, so it forms a pouch.


Make sure to trim the excess tape.


If you have velcro dots, make sure to follow the instructions on the package. Take both dots and place them together (sticky sides facing out) and stick them on the flap. Then press down so they also stick to the body of the wallet.


Our dots needed to set for 24 hours closed and untouched.


After that, you are done. You can use your wallet!

*My tip on collecting juice pouches when your family doesn’t drink them: ASK EVERYONE! Camps, schools, family members, friends. It is amazing how many we collected after we started asking around. People actually saved them. We ended up with about 200!

Simple recycled Back- to-School Pencil cup

Back-to-School time is approaching!! I repeat: BACK-TO-SCHOOL TIME IS APPROACHING!!

We are trying to squeeze a little more Summer out of this year, at the same time, trying to prepare for the kids going back to school. Shoe shopping, and supply lists, and brand new lunch bags.

As always, I like to do at least one quick project to get the school year off on the right foot.

We had this empty square Vegan Butter container that I just rinsed out the night before that looked perfect for me to use. I quickly gathered up some materials we have on hand, and got to work making a very quick, very large pencil/pen/marker container for Falafel’s desk.


Gather Supplies


Mix water and glue in a small container. It should be slightly thinner than yogurt. Then paint it all over the container you want to cover.


I used strips of fabric to cover mine. Strips of paper also work well (magazine pages, book pages, colored paper, scrap book paper, etc). Just paint the glue mixture all over the scraps and smooth them out as you go.


Allow to dry. Insert favorite school supplies!




*Tip: If you are going to try this, and your fabric or paper is lighter weight, you may want to paint the container white first.

What are you making to help your kids go back to school?

Juice pouch tote tutorial

I am back to sewing with juice pouches. Ha!  I guess I am becoming predictable. You know you can either find me talking about that camisole pattern or juice pouches, lately.

I did get a request for a tutorial from a reader asking how to make the Juice pouch totes. I needed to sew up a few more, so I figured I would photograph as I went.

Let’s gather some materials to make a Juice Pouch Tote!


To make one of the bags you see in the photo above you will need:


23 empty, clean juice pouches.

{Read here for some helpful tips on working with this funky material}

You will also need a heavy duty sewing machine needle, a sewing machine, thread, sewing scissors, AND scissors that are NOT your sewing scissors (for trimming the juice pouches), 1 package of extra wide double folded binding, strap material (I used 2 pieces cut to 39″ each of cotton webbing), and clips (such as clover clips)


Because we collected these from a variety of sources, there are all different designs on our pouches. I think that makes it even more fun. So if you have choices, too, lay out a row of four in the order you like.


Take just two, overlap one edge on top of the other, and sew with a zig zag stitch, securing them together. I always lay the one on the left on top of the on on the right, but this is entirely up to you.


It should look like this when you are done.


Continue on until all four are sewn in a line. Then repeat with another line of 4.


Now that you have two rows of four, trim each row so that they are nice and neat, and you will sew them together with a zig zag stitch. I sew the one on the top, on top of the one on the bottom. Does that make sense? Maybe you can say “she sells sea shells by the seashore” 10 times fast. You know, just for fun.


Anyhow, repeat the above steps until you have two panels of 8.


Now grab that binding and cut a piece that will fit across the top of one of them. Clip the binding, sandwiching the top edge.


Sew it on (I used a straight stitch, but you could do any that you would like). Repeat for other panel.


Take one strap and clip on to one panel. I started at the bottom on one vertical seam and looped up and around (making sure not to twist) and down to the bottom of the other vertical seam.


Sew down the entire length of the strap on each side of the strap. I even continued my stitches on the loop of the handle. Repeat for other panel. Then place both panels aside.


Grab 7 more pouches to make the sides and bottom. Place them one on top of the other, but this time, vertically.


You will sew 5 of them going in one direction, and then flip the last two upside down and sew them on.


You will have a long line of pouches now.


Cut a small piece of bias tape for each end. Clip on, then sew in place. Trim the excess off the ends.


Grab one of your panels, and face it down. Lay the long strip on top facing up (so that wrong sides are together). Clip it along one side to start.


When you get to the bottom, curve it around and clip in place. Do this all around until you reach the other side on top. Sew it down with a zip zag stitch. Start again at the top and go the length of the side. When you get to the bottom corner, stop and clip your thread. Pivot the bag so you can sew across the bottom.

This part is a bit tricky. You will need to fold and hold it down in place to make this easier (the old fold n’ hold, eh?). Then sew to next corner, and repeat. juicetute20m

Yay! You have one side sewn on. Repeat process for the other panel. juicetute21m

You will have to learn what way to fold your bag so it is not so cumbersome and awkward going through your machine. Go slowly and stop when you need to. juicetute22m

It should look like this. Put it aside and grab the remaining piece of binding. Cut it in half. juicetute23m

Open up one side of one of the pieces. juicetute24m

Fold edge over. juicetute25m

Fold the ends back and now it looks neater. You will use this to wrap around the raw edges you just created. Start at the top.


Clip in place. When you get to the bottom corner, turn it, and it will form a little mitered corner. Keep clipping around. juicetute27m

Sew with a straight stitch around the bag. Stop at the corners, and pivot (like you did in the previous steps). When you get to the top,  before you sew all the way, tuck in the end of the bias tape to make it neater on this side. Sew it down. Repeat for the other side of the bag. juicetutebag2m

You are done!! Get more juice pouches and repeat:) juicetuetebags3m

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Please let me know if you make one using it. I would love to see your juice pouch creations, too. And as always, let me know if you have any questions!

February FREE for ALL

The fabulous ladies over at Frances Suzanne have created a new series for the month of February called:


and have graciously invited me to be a part of it!

The whole point is to tap into all the FREE patterns out there as a resource for everyone to use. Today I am sharing with you where I get a whole bunch of the free patterns I use.

{Brace yourself}


Seriously. It is a great way to try out patterns in a book before actually buying the book! All the books have their patterns in an envelope. You can trace what pattern and size you need, and then put the pattern back for someone else to use.

Brilliant, right?

The book I borrowed from my local library is Little One Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins. I have actually used this pattern quite a bit in the past: like here and here and here.


I used the “Western Shirt” pattern, traced a size 6 (because that is all it goes up to in the book), and lengthened it a few inches for my girl who has grown.


**BTW: I am getting used to the vinyl backdrop my husband bought me for Christmas and playing with light. Trickier than I thought to time the position of the incredibly rare sun (around these WA state parts) for where I chose to hang the backdrop.


OK…details! I used my very special Heather Ross fabric for this one. The stuff I have been hoarding hanging on to until the perfect pattern showed up. I LOVE HER FABRIC.


I went all out on this one. I pattern matched (the best I could- check out that princess in the pocket), made french seams, and top stitched everywhere possible.


Those purple Kam snaps add a little pop of color.


This inside is as pretty as the outside. Excuse me while I do a little back patting.


And I did all this with a borrowed machine (because my right arm sewing machine is still in the shop)! Can I get an “Ooooh” and an “Ahhhhhh”?

*And a huge thank you to my dear friend Kirsten who let me borrow her workhorse of a machine.


I love this pattern and it’s simplicity. She really walks you through each step (the French seams and top stitching were just added by me, not actually part of the pattern).




Of course, I encourage everyone to support indie designers by buying their books, because they have worked hard and this is how they make their money. BUT I must say that if you are unsure about making that jump, or don’t have the money to do so, no need to fret!

Use your local library as another source of FREE patterns.

Check out the plethora of other ladies joining me in finding FREE patterns for all!!
(Click on the image below to take you over to Frances Suzanne)


12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge

Today I am participating in Deanna’s (from Sew McCool) 12 days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge.

Each of us had to come up with a Christmas project tutorial, and at the end of the 12 days, you’ll get a chance to vote for your favorite project and THE WINNER GETS $100.00! How very cool is that?

Without further ado…..

My tutorial is:


This is a utensil holder for a place setting, but it would also make a fantastic gift card/ small gift holder too!

Let’s get started.

You will need:

The free Elf Stocking pattern (download here)

2  different fabrics approx. 8×11 each (2 pieces each)

small amount of stuffing (optional)

bells and O rings (optional)

Sewing machine (or needle and thread and more power to ya!)


OK. I made the pattern fit onto one page so there is less printing for you.

You can trace the different pieces on tracing paper, or just cut 4 of the curly toed pieces and then trim the lining to the inner line.

You need to add a seam allowance to your heel pocket pieces (I would add 3/8″ all around it).

When you have all your fabric cut, you should have this:


Now, grab those heel pieces. With right sides together, sew across the top (the part that faces the inside of the stocking).


Clip around curves (I like using pinking shears) and flip so the rights sides are facing out.


You can press it flat, and top stitch (optional).


Now pin in place on the right side  of one of the outer elf fabrics and baste or stitch in place (close to the edge).


Lay the other elf piece on top (right sides facing), and sew around the perimeter, leaving the top unsewn.


Clip curves and turn right sides out (not pictured). Make sure that toe is completely turned out. I like using a chopstick and gently push.


Grab your lining pieces, with right sides together sew around the perimeter, leaving the top unsewn along with a space on the toe.


With right sides facing, slip the outer piece inside the lining. Make sure to line up the points on the top AND make sure the toes are facing the same way.


Sew around completely. It should look like this. Make sure you clip or pink the edges to make those points nice and crisp when you turn them.


Now pull everything out through the toe of the lining. This is the time you would take a small amount of batting or stuffing and stuff your curly toe if you wanted. I didn’t for mine, but I have for others. Either way they look pretty cute. You also want to get inside and turn those top points out with that chopstick. Once everything is facing out, tuck the raw edges in on the toe, and sew the toe closed (either hand sew, or machine- no one will see it).


 Push the lining inside the Elf stocking. You can top stitch around the points (optional). Fold the top down.


That little pocket is perfect for place cards, or even a note. Maybe a sprig of evergreen? Really, put your creativity to work!


This one I did with no pocket, but added jingle bells using jewelry O rings. I just pierced the O rings through the fabric and hung a bell on each. Easy peasy. *Although, if using where small children will be, I would leave these off because they are most definitely a choking hazard.


Place some silverware and a napkin inside and lay on a plate. Your table just got whimsical!

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and will come back to vote.

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge with large

Don’t forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 – just in time for Christmas!

December 1

Ren @ The Inspired Wren * Stephanie @ Swoodson Says * Alicia @ Felt With Love Designs

December 2

Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire

December 3

Amy @ Friends Stitched Together * Maris @ Sew Maris * Gemia @ Phat Quarters

December 4

Amy @ How I Make Stuff * Michelle @ Falafel and the Bee

December 5

Beth @ Beth Jarrett * Jen @ Just Joshin

December 6

Lauren @ Molly and Mama * Krista @ Bee Quilted Beauties

December 7

Vicky @ Vicky Myers Creations * Deb @ Sprouting Jube Jube

December 8

Addie @ Addie K * Michelle @ Not My Tree

December 9

Ula @ Lulu & Celeste * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs

December 10

Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs * Shelly @ Coral & Co.

December 11

Amy @ Britches ‘n Bloomers * Kelly @ Kelly J Designs

December 12

Maegen @ Mae and K * Jess @ Gracious Threads * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal

oliver+s tutorial: bringing it home

::I originally wrote this tutorial for the Oliver+s blog. Today I am bringing it home for you!::

I love the Oliver + S icecream dress, but have always wanted to make one completely lined. The biggest challenge with that was the added bulk under the armpit where the yoke connects with the gathered skirt. With just a few very simple changes, I managed to keep the one piece yoke, remove the bulk, and line the entire dress!


Grab your pattern and let’s go!

You start with tracing the size you need of the yoke piece. I traced a size 6.


Then line it up on top of the curved part of the pattern piece for the gathered skirt and extend the curve and a few inches beyond it. Repeat for the three other sides. Remember to extend the same amount on all sides.


Now cut 2 out of fabric (one outer and one lining)


I decided the back closure would have two buttons with elastic loops. So I inserted the elastic loops and clipped in place.


Now, sew around the inner circle and down the back, but stop about 4 inches from the bottom, on both sides. Also sew down the flat outer edge (sleeves).


Do not sew outer curves (sides of bodice), yet.


 Turn whole yoke right side out and press flat.


Put together the curved sides by matching front outer piece to back outer piece, and lining front to lining back. Do this on both sides to put the bodice together.


Flip to the back.


Remember when we stopped sewing 4 inches from the bottom? Well, now we are going to close it up.


This can be a little tricky. Take the outer pieces and with right sides together, sew them to close up the back.

Then do the same thing for the lining.

Now you are ready to make the skirt part. I didn’t follow the pattern for these. Instead I cut out two rectangles (one outer fabric and one slightly longer lining). I like using the entire width of the fabric so it gathers up fuller. Feel free to make yours as full (or not) as you want! Also, you can choose at this point to make your lining shorter that the outer fabric. I liked the tiered effect, though.

Sew sides to form your skirt tube, and then gather top. Attach the outer skirt (right sides together) to the outer bodice.


Repeat for the lining, although to keep the seams from showing, I connect the wrong side of the bodice lining with the right side of the skirt lining.


Hem both skirt pieces. Sew on your buttons, opposite the loops.


Admire the new version of this sweet dress.


I also decided that one wasn’t enough, and sewed up a slightly different version. I made this one with the loops, but then decided I liked them as decoration and used snaps to close it up!


So many possibilities.


All very yummy.


I made this one too!

Thanks so much for having me today! I had a lot of fun with this pattern.