Category Archives: Sewing

Veterinarian Costume: AKA Vintage Nurse

Both our children have incredibly strong opinions about how outfits should look. Especially costumes.

Most especially Halloween costumes.

With her older sister’s costume all finished, I could tackle the vision of my 8 year old. She came to me with the idea of being a Veterinarian. I googled some images, and she soundly rejected all of them because none matched the picture in her head. So I asked her to draw me one.

What she drew was a vintage nurse costume with animals on her. When I said this, she insisted that it was a vet.

Who am I to argue? OK it is a vet.


I started with the Ethan shirt pattern by Sis Boom (like the one I flipped here). I flipped it again, in a very similar way, only this time I added belt loops and a belt, and of course, made it all white. Part of her drawing had a patch pocket on the skirt portion of the dress with a red cross on it. So I added that, along with a smaller pocket to the bodice with a snap.


The hat was tricky. I looked for tutorials online and came up short. I didn’t find any! I did stumble upon a Pinterest image (sorry I didn’t actually pin it) that had a photo of the hat before it was assembled. I mimicked the shape on a piece of 8.5″x11 white paper, and played around with it until it came together as a hat. Then I constructed one out of fleece batting and added a felt red cross to it.


This is what I came up with. Feel free to use it.


The rat on the hat (teehee that rhymes) was a pattern I used from the book Fleece Hat Friends: 25+ Easy-to-sew projects by Mary Rasch . I changed the ears so it looked more like a rat instead of a mouse (because my Falafel has pet rats and loves them so). I then sewed it onto the top of the hat.


I do plan to make more animals with velcro straps so that she can wear them perched on her arm and wrist, but I haven’t found a good way to do that yet. The one I tried was so top heavy that it just flopped to one side when she strapped it to her wrist.


She plans on putting animals in her pockets too.


I used a white flat bed sheet to make this dress which made it extra difficult to tell the front from the back when I was putting it together.


It is funny, but all I can think of is Nurse Ratched.  Ha!


But she is far from that, my sweet little vet.


I have a bit more work to do making the animals, and she has also requested a trick-or-treat bag to match, with a red cross on it. But I am thinking we are off to a good start.


What are YOU working on?

Rosie the Riveter

When The Bee announced what she wanted to be for Halloween this year, I may have jumped for joy.

I LOVE that she wants to be Rosie the Riveter for so many reasons. One is that she is a strong woman. Real or fictitious, strong is strong. So many costumes for teens are so short they cannot bend over without revealing themselves for all the world to see. This one is the opposite of that. SO much.


The other reason is that I didn’t have to actually MAKE most of it. I do enjoy making things for the girls, but when they both request intricate costumes for Halloween, my head wants to explode (just a little).


I found her coveralls thrifting, and luckily they fit well enough I didn’t have to alter them at all. I did make her bandana, but it took me all of 30 minutes to whip up.


I took a square of red fabric that I had in my stash, and hemmed all four sides.

Then I grabbed a circle sponge and some white acrylic paint, and got to stampin’. Tossed it into the dryer to heat set the paint, and it was done.

My fair redhead has ultra light eyebrows, so I drew them in for this.


I may draw them a little lighter for Halloween, though. She said that she felt like Groucho Marx.


The coveralls do have a Naval patch (USS John C. Stennis) on them, and I was on the fence about picking the whole pocket off, but The Bee said she doesn’t mind it, so I think there it will stay.


She kept cracking up between photos. Silly girl.


We had a lot of fun with this one.


Another brilliant aspect of this costume is that she will be warm! We live out here in WA state, and almost every Halloween is chilly and raining. It is always a challenge to get anyone to wear a sweater or coat over their costumes (“Aw Mom. It will cover it up!”).


What are your kids going as for Halloween? Do you make costumes or buy them?


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

Bee Project

The Bee had to chose a project to complete for one of her classes, and she chose to make a dress with a pattern (with my guidance). It was not an easy pattern. It included an overlay, lining the bodice, and an invisible zipper. Not to mention the curves that a princess seamed bodice has.


Tricky business. But she did beautifully for her first time.


We actually had to start by tracing a new size because the first dress I made for her using this pattern no longer fit her. She grew out of it in one month. *sigh*


I don’t make as much for her as I do for Falafel. It takes so much more time and fabric. I am encouraging this interest so that maybe she can make her own as well!


Brace yourself for a whole lotta photos.











It isn’t without flaws, but the main parts of the garment are well done. The back parts of the bodice line up and everything. She is so proud of it, she even wore it to school.

Full of personality, this girl of ours. I am always happy to have a photo session with her. and more importantly impart any knowledge I have, that she can use.

When did you learn to sew with patterns?


I have several projects to do this weekend. This one is part of Falafel’s Halloween costume.


What are YOU working on?

Refreshing the seats

I wrote this post, only 2 years ago, about making kitchen chair covers. And since then they have been sat on until now they are tattered and stained beyond repair. We are rough on our behinds, I guess. Or quilting cotton wears fast. Either one.

Time for new covers.

Anyhow… Since I drafted a pattern back then (and saved it), I didn’t have that to do this time. Although I will say that I purposely made them slightly larger than they needed to be this time, since one of the problems last time was shrinkage (even though I do prewash).


Since we replaced our curtains (see Ikea post) and changed up the colors in the dining room, I got to choose new fabric!


It brightens up the room so nicely (and living out in the Pacific North West, we need lots of brightening). This robin’s egg blue/teal is so very happy. It is one color that always makes me smile.


I used the simple velcro tabs again to attach them to the chair and a zipper to close it up.


This is a fairly simple project to take on, that makes a huge impact on the room!


Now, I know I have at least 2 years before I have to do this again.

What colors do you have in your dining area?

Pocket Pillow Post

I skipped Wonderful Words Wednesday this week for a variety of reasons, mainly because yesterday was just too dang busy to do anything else, but also because I want to figure out something dynamic for that day. I love the idea of opening it up to you for a link party, but not sure anyone else really likes this idea. Or maybe it is the subject?

Anyhow, today I am back with a simple pillow cover that I made (with a pocket) from the fabric from this post.


This is the kind of easy project that sometimes, in the midst of meeting deadlines and running around, I need to ground me (or to help me procrastinate). It takes minutes to complete, and is completely satisfying to sew up. Plus, it made Falafel super happy to have a pillow to match her comforter.


There is an envelope back so it can slip off and be washed. Perfect!

What do you sew when you want to procrastinate get your mind back in the game?

Bedding Debacle

The girls both needed new comforters with winter approaching rapidly (this year is flying by). I have a strong dislike for duvet covers that go over comforters, but that is all that seems to be available . I cannot stand the game of “find the comforter” when it inevitably moves around. Every day.

My friend Rebecca suggested sewing the duvet cover on.

OK. I can do that. Brilliant!

So off to Ikea we went.

Anyone else walk into Ikea with a very specific list and come out $300.00 later, regardless of whether or not you had $300.00 to spend??!

What is it about that store? Is it just us??

Anyhow, luckily it isn’t anywhere near where we live. Ha! We only actually make the trip once every couple of years.

Both girls have twin beds, but the full/Queen sized comforter was on sale for 14.99 each! AND The Bee found a duvet cover she loved, but it only came in the full/Queen size. I had a light bulb moment and decided to get them both that size instead of the twin. I mean how much bigger could it be?

Well, it turned out to be significantly bigger. The comforters reached the floor on both sides. That is a lot of blanket.

First I sewed just across the top and bottom of each duvet (with the comforter inside) as was my original plan.

Then I lopped off about 12 inches off of one side length-wise (through the duvet and the comforter).


Then I tucked the edges in (and made sure the comforter was sandwiched in there) and pinned the side closed.


I put my walking foot on the machine, and slowly sewed it closed.


Then I repeated it for the other one.


All done!


It was a little more work than I anticipated, but totally doable. Plus, I saved a little money. Well, sort of.

What kinds of bedding do YOU have?

New Old Chair

At the start of this school year, we realized that Falafel needed a space to do her homework away from the noise of our household. So we set her up in her room with her own desk. Because she needed it more than I did, I gave her my sewing chair.

I then looked at our local Buy Nothing Project group, and someone posted an office chair.

Just. like. that. I had a new (old)  chair for free.


Not too shabby! I did end up recovering the seat because there was a tiny hole, and slight pilling.


I didn’t have to, but I just happen to have a very similar fabric in my closet and thought “why not?”.


The back just needed a good washing, so with the help of my husband, we got that sucker off to wash it (and back on again).


I added a stripe to the center of the seat. The only thing that possibly could be better is the bottom of the seat cover came out a little bumpy. Really, though, it doesn’t bother me. After all, it is for sitting on.


Yay for practical projects! Now, as my Dad would day, “There is an ass for every seat“.

Yeah, I have no idea what that means either.

Well, I know my backside has somewhere to rest now.

Persistent Tunic Perfected

From time to time, I carve out some time to do a little selfish sewing. Usually something I need, and ALWAYS comfortable.

I have a pretty limited wardrobe. I wear things that look like jammies because, well I have realized all these years that I like to feel comfy in my clothing. I don’t like to pull or tug or adjust things too much when I move around, and I move a lot. I also have a large chest area to cover, so if it is too low or fitted, I tend to fall out. And that is definitely not the look I am going for.

My outfits consist of a tunic, yoga pants, and if it is chilly (which it almost always is) I throw a fleece sweatshirt on top and fuzzy slipper socks on my feet (yes I wear these out with shoes too). I told you… comfy.


I usually make my tunics, because not a whole lot of stores carry them, and the ones that do cost way more than I want to spend on myself. I have this one tunic that I made a while ago that I have worn out. It was time for another. Only, I didn’t make a pattern for it. Sheesh.

So I have tried a few times since then to reproduce it, and came close, but not the same.

Yesterday, I was determined to make one that I like! I went about tracing the original dress, and adding darts to the front, and then sewed it up and…it just wasn’t right.

I put it down, and walked away, and thought. What I came up with was to seam-rip the sides, and add a triangle strip of fabric to each side, along with pockets.


Yup. That did the trick!




The hardest part of sewing any outfit for myself, though, by far is taking the photos afterward. I cannot NOT be a goof.


My poor girls. They both photographed me for this one.


I used a red-linen blend fabric that I bought with this in mind, a few months back. It has taken me this long to actually cut into it!



I love this one. Red is so sassy, don’t you think?

What do you like to make for yourself?