Category Archives: Reviews

Oakshott Table Linens Challenge

I feel so lucky to be chosen to participate once again using this fabulous line of fabrics. Sew Mama Sew put together another challenge, and Oakshott fabrics sent 6 challengers their Lakes fat eighths collection, and asked us to make table linens with them.

I chose to make a table runner for our 8′ long dining table!


It is so long that is was tricky to get the whole thing photographed at once!


I added a pocket at each end (by folding down one corner and then halfway up again, and sewing down in place) to hold whatever we need to put in them! Napkins, silverware, dinner party questions (oh yes, we have done that to our guests), etc.


The colors in this collection are beautiful, and have that iridescent sheen that we love Oakshott fabrics for.


I kept the pattern fairly simple so that you can really see all the incredible colors and their subtle differences.


I always feel so decadent sewing with these fabrics. They remind me of jewels.


Look at that weave!


The dark rains have begun here (I live in WA state), so I couldn’t photograph this inside, but it fits right in with our color scheme in the dining room, perfectly.

Big Thanks to Sew Mama Sew and Oakshott fabrics!

Be sure to check out what the others made:

Mary Claire King Remember Wren

Jessica Skultety Quilty Habit

Nicole Neblett mama love quilts

Sara Peterson knottygnome crafts

Anjeanette Klinder

Pretty in Peplum Dress Review

I recently had the honor of testing a stinkin’ cute pattern by Sew Much Ado called the Pretty in Peplum Dress.


This is a knit dress pattern that comes with many options. Short, mid-length, and long sleeves. You can make it a shirt, too.


This one is the dress with 3/4 length sleeves. I sewed up a size 6 for my petite nut, and it fits her perfectly!


Falafel and I both love it! So comfortable while being very stylish.


Abby walks you through working with knits, and the facing, and the construction thoroughly. Really not too difficult a sew. The only thing I think could be tricky for someone who hasn’t sewn with knits before, was hemming the peplum part because it is circular. But there are a number of ways you could finish it. This one was hemmed, but come back tomorrow to see another option. Cause you know I sewed up two. IT IS THAT FABULOUS.


I only wish she had this pattern available in MY size! What do you say, Abby? Maybe Pretty Parents in Peplum, perhaps?


Thanks for choosing me to test another one of your brilliant patterns!


What have YOU made today??

GF, DF, and EF Tuna Rolls

In preparation for school starting up again, I have come up with a fun lunch for the kids to take that can be prepared ahead of time, is allergy friendly, AND tastes great! This would also work for a meal on the go, as we often find ourselves when school begins.


Gluten, Dairy, and Egg free California Tuna rolls!

OK let’s gather our ingredients.


  • 2- 2.5 oz. packages of Bumble Bee Tuna (or you can just use 1- 5oz. can)
  • Nori
  • 3 cups of sushi rice prepared
  • Avacado
  • Cuccumber
  • Veganaise (or if you can have egg, mayo would be delightful here)
  • Sushi mat (I covered ours in plastic wrap so it is easier to clean)

*Anything else you would like to add. I kept it simple and used things both girls would like, but feel free to make it more complex!


The first step is to prepare all the different components. I added a little Veganaise to the Tuna and mixed it together, but still left it a little chunky. The rice was steamed, and then as it cooled and I turned it, I added rice vinegar and a little sugar. Slice the veggies and we’re ready to begin assembly.


Lay down a sheet of Nori on top of the sushi mat. Then take a nice sized ball of rice and place that on top of the Nori.


Press and spread out the rice so it covers the entire sheet of Nori.


If you want the rice on the outside of the roll, then flip the entire thing over (rice is now facing down on the mat). If you want the Nori on the outside, leave the rice facing up.


Spoon the tuna close to the edge, in a line, across the bottom.


Close up.


Now add in the veggies (and avacado which is technically a fruit).


Time to roll (those are my husband’s hands)!


Follow any sushi rolling instructions you like.


When you are done, it should look something like this.


Either slice into sushi rolls right now to eat, or wrap the entire log up in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for the morning when lunches need to be packed. Slice before packing for lunch! This made three log rolls (can be portioned up to 8 pieces of sushi each).


We often find ourselves running from activity to activity during the school year. These would be the perfect on-the-go food, as well!

If you would like to see other recipes, head on over to Bumblebee’s recipe page.

What do you make with Tuna?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Matinee Dress Pattern Tour and Giveaway!

I am so honored to be a part of Jenn’s (from A Jennuine life) Matinee Dress Pattern Tour. I love our online sewing community. There is so much talent to be shared, and Jenn is no exception! This pattern is so well done.


One of the best parts of this dress is the unique back. It has a button closure with a strap that goes all the way around. It also has two smaller buttons a little lower.


I chose this fun zebra print and actually did some pattern matching. Seriously. I went all out. The back of the skirt part of the dress is two pieces. I got the patterns matched up so that you can barely tell! Excuse me while I pat myself on the back. *patpat*


I call this her “safari” dress, BTW.


Lately, when I sew up patterns for my petite nut, I use the measurements instead of the size, and I tell you, it hasn’t failed me yet! I made a 4T width with a 6 length, and it is a perfect fit! Almost like it was made for her. Ha!


The pattern comes with a few options, such as making it sleeveless. I opted to add the cap sleeves and really love the way they look. Jenn walks you through the process of making every part of this dress so beautifully. I love her thoroughness.


I only made a few slight changes (cause that is what I do). I added a lining for the skirt. It makes the very full (I added some inches) skirt portion of the dress puff out a bit more. We are a puff loving family, you know.


I honestly wasn’t sure how Falafel would feel about the open back, but it turns out that is her favorite part! It gives this dress a bit more fancy. And everyone needs more fancy….even on safari.

Thank you so much for including me on your fabulous Pattern Tour!

*Jenn is offering a special discount of 20% off the pattern price. Just use the code : matineetour20 and if you use my special affiliate link, I get a little something too.

But Wait! IT GETS EVEN BETTER!!! If you would like to enter to win this prize package, use the Rafflecopter at the end of this post.


Aaaaaaand Don’t forget to also check out the other sewists on the Tour cause they are full of awesome!


Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Testing the Sleepover Pajamas

I just got to test a pajama pattern for Blank Slate Patterns (all her patterns are all excellent) called the Sleepover Pajamas which have changed nighttime around here!


Falafel absolutely loves these so much that she has worn them every night since I have made them. I just carved out some time yesterday to make her another pair so that she can wear one while I wash the other.


OK details. I used a super soft knit from Joann’s and some grey ribbing I had in my stash. I didn’t bother to hem the sleeves or the bottom on the shirt because this fabric will not fray and I am lazy like that.


I love how simple and comfortable the top is. No closures. Easy on and off for my girl.


The bottoms are a great length and are finished nicely with that grey ribbing.


I originally signed up to test a size 7 for my little nut (even though she is 8 years old and actually wears a size 6- I thought I would make them a bit big to grow into), when I saw the size chart, I asked if I could go by her measurements which were 4T width and size 6 length!


They are perfect!


As a rule, I usually go by the measurements for a pattern. It just makes sense. These fit her beautifully because of that. I know that her body isn’t typical, so it is great that this pattern allows for customization.

Thank you Melissa for another fabulous pattern!

Spring Showers Jacket Pattern Tour

 I was so tickled that Heidi from Elegance and Elephants asked me to be a part of the Spring Showers Jacket pattern tour!

Yes, yes, and more yes!


This pattern is lovely. It is all the little details that make it special. The back is slightly longer to act as a mud splash. It is fully lined and the pattern allows a little extra length for rolling the sleeves up to show your cute lining too. Oh and that visor! I love that she takes the time to walk you through all the top stitching and all the construction.


I have never put in a separating zipper before this!! If I knew how very easy it was, I would have been doing this the whole time. Seriously. I sewed up a size 6/7 and the fit is great. I will say that I bought a metal 20″ zip and it was too long. I totally didn’t know how to trim a metal zip without impaling myself in some way, so I just got an 18″ one to replace it, and it fit perfectly.


On to my fabric choice. As you all may know, we live in the Pacific NorthWET, and consequently, our bones do not thoroughly dry out until the beginning of August. So taking that into consideration, I decided NOT to make a raincoat. Really, what is the point? We are already pretty saturated, right? You will rarely ever see a resident of WA using an umbrella. There’s a certain point you can’t get any wetter.


But the WIND. Now that is something we need covering from. We are surrounded by water on all sides, so the wind can get pretty fierce. Combine that with the dampness, and you get downright chilled.


All that to say that I opted for using Twill fabric. At Joann’s, they had three color choices of twill. THREE. Green, brown, and white.


That is it. So green it is.


I let Falafel choose the liner from my stash (she also chose the fabric for the skirt that she requested to go with the jacket).


Look at those sweet tigers peeking out.


I added snaps on the pockets (which isn’t part of the pattern). These gave me a headache and a half. I just haven’t found good snaps, yet. They pop off and bend and are difficult to secure. My poor husband got roped into it and was hammering away at one point to help me out. Pretty sure I heard some grumbling as he was doing it. So next time, I think I would leave them off…or find better snaps.


I just couldn’t resist the gold to go with the gold zip. It looks cute, doesn’t it? Thanks, Honey.


I am so glad she now has a really sturdy spring jacket to wear!


And for all my lovely readers, Elegance and Elephants is giving you $1.00 off the pattern price! Just use the discount code: TOUR

Check out the other jackets on the tour!

Elegance & Elephants

 Thanks Heidi for including me on your fantastically fabulous pattern tour!


Oh and Z is for zipper!

Test the Schoolboy Vest

I got to test this fabulous pattern by Abby of Sew Much Ado, recently.


The Schoolboy Vest


It’s totally not just for boys!


BTW: Yes, I had my child do the photo shoot in the rain. Cause we live in the Pacific Northwest…and it rains more than not.


 I was assigned the welt pockets, but the pattern also has an option for faux welts. It also can be reversible. AND one of the best things is a buttonhole guide so you know where they go!


The back even has a back tie (belt).


For this vest, I over-dyed a cream-colored sheet (on purpose) this golden color and lined it with a beautiful dark blue fabric (I think Michael Miller?) that I had been saving for something special.


I also whipped up a matching skirt.


*Ignore the slouchy tights leg.


This is such a well written, easy-to-follow pattern. I love the details that make this vest really professional looking. And did I mention that buttonhole guide? I will tell you again because it is so great to have something to space the buttonholes for me! I never seem to get them evenly spaced, and now they are.


As always, it was pleasure testing such a wonderful pattern for Sew Much Ado patterns.


Thanks Abby! The pattern is so good that we willingly stood in freezing downpour for it!

Oh~ and Y is for YELLOW!


I’m linking to:

Mentioning Unmentionables

I am feeling better. I think I needed a day of rest.

So, today, I am sharing my underwear.

Under where?

Heh. I make myself giggle.

Actually this is the very first pair of girls’ underwear (for my youngest) that I have ever made!!

undies There are things that I learned from doing this. Like what parts need to have more stretch and what material works best. I actually started with the bands cut out from an old t-shirt, but they had less elasticity than the main fabric, so it didn’t work.

I used The Classic Panties pattern from Peek a Boo Patterns. She makes it very easy to whip these up. Seriously. Have you ever bought underwear and thought to yourself “WOW I am paying “x” amount for these and there is barely anything to them? I bet I could make them!“.

And you can.

These are not the prettiest or the neatest thing I have sewn, but definitely the most practical and the most appreciated! Falafel came home from school and instantly put them on. They are her most favorite pair now.

I love that. I honestly just sewed them up to see if I could. Falafel happens to be very allergic to the exposed elastic that is found in most pairs of underwear. To find ones she can wear can be difficult, and the ones we have found are expensive. These are perfect! Hooray for trying something new and loving it!

What have YOU sewn today?

PS- I was not asked to review this pattern. I just like to share things I find, with you, as always:)

U is for Unmentionable Underwear

Skinny Jeans review

Today you can find me over on the Go to Sew blog giving my review of the Skinny Jeans pattern!

skinnyjeanssillym See you there!


Testing The Caroline Party Dress

I had the opportunity to test a pattern for Haley over at Mouse House Creations this week.

caroline11mm I decided to really go for it and do an fancy dress with this pattern.

eowynsleepingm I was watching the Return of the King the other night (*ahem* again), and Eowyn’s robe struck me as being the perfect palette for this dress. I love the combination of using fur trim, and textured fabric, and hints of pale gold. *sigh*

This inspiration led me on a fabric hunt at Joanns, and I found the perfect blue, only, it was knit. Meh. So I looked some more (and on that note, a special “Thank You” to my husband for his tower of patience while helping me at the fabric store. I love that he comes with me and more importantly-gives me input!.) and found this beautiful textured rose-pink satin-like fabric with a sparkle that unfortunately doesn’t show up in the photos. It is gorgeous. I paired that with some super soft minky fur, and light gold tulle. And voila….

caroline12m We also found a light gold belt at Goodwill later that day and cut it down to fit miss petite. Perfect!

carolinefeetm Anyhow, back to the pattern. This dress is classic design with faux cap sleeves. I think this may be my favorite feature! The bodice and sleeves are all one pattern. It would have been a quick sew, but I chose many slippery fabrics to work with, and that made me very careful. I think woven cottons would be really easy to manage and make it go way faster. Even with my slowness, it only took a few hours to sew this one up.

caroline8m There are so many options. I chose to do them all! I did the collar, the belt loops, the underskirt with tulle, AND in seam pockets.

carolineopocketm I also asked my sweet girl to stand outside in freezing 30 degree temps to get these photos. As a prize for being a trooper, I made her a bolero and let her put it on for a few more.

carolinebolero3m This was an easy sew. I just used an existing sweater as a pattern, and then curved and shortened the front. I also made some pompoms.

carolineboleropomsm Because let’s face it, everything is better with pompoms.

carolinevoleroheadm I say she is covered for New years now.

caroline3m Thanks for choosing me to test this one. It was a pleasure.

If you are looking for a great new pattern, it will be released some time next week. Check out Haley’s blog for more details!


PS- “M” is for minky!


I’m linking to: