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A Deal’s a Deal

Just over four years ago, my sister and I bought a house! A HOUSE!! Super exciting purchase, which is also super scary. We love most things about our house, the kitchen is so much bigger than in any apartment I’ve lived it, there’s a whole room for crafting, we have a fenced in yard, so we can get a puppy, the craft room rocks, no sharing walls with strangers, craft room. You know?  Good stuff. 

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There were also a few things we didn’t love about the house. Some of them we can change, like the faucets in the bathrooms and the hideous, baby diarrhea color on the walls. But, some of them were outside of our wheelhouse. Thankfully, we have a pretty handy dad! He has definitely helped us with a lot of projects around the house. (To be fair, he also taught us how to change out the faucet!)

There was one safety change that we were actually quite concerned about. Our water shutoff valve was way inside the crawlspace, on the outer wall, in a super dark area, with lots of dirt, and through some crazy narrow space. This is definitely not ideal positioning if we need to turn off the water FAST! You know, in emergency type situations…

This is for sure something Dad can help us with!! (Super Dad to the rescue!) He can install a new water shutoff valve near the door to the crawlspace, within easy reach, without any crawling at all. But…someone is going to have to crawl over to the valve, and either crawl back in when he is done, or chill there for half an hour while the Pops installs a new valve.

Here is where the deal comes in. Virginia and I agreed, she would do the dirty work if I sew her one shirt, one bottom, one pair of undies, and one bralette, with an option for one cardigan added in, if I was feeling it.

Since the valve fixing happened in March, while I was napping post-surgery, I have sewn exactly nothing off of this list. Every time the items made it to the top of the list, I either didn’t have the info on what options she wanted (lists got lost, ok?), or something prioritized higher and pushed it down the list.

But dammit, a deal is a deal! She held up her end, she deserves a whole damn outfit. (Yes, I have sewn MANY things for her between March and now. But, this is a special sew. Not a random sew. Not a test. SPECIAL, dammit.) Since I’ve spent the first part of this year getting myself organized and prioritizing my time and energy, I spent the end of last week making sure I had the list of what she patterns wanted and which options and fabrics she wanted used.

Then knocked out all five this weekend!!! BOOM!!! (She definitely deserved the cardi, as interest payment for the delay at the very least.) Now she is enjoying some super comfy new Rebecca Page Pippa Pants, a beautiful Halla Envelope Tee, Stitch Upon a Time Bunzies, Made for Mermaids Bridgette, AND a Rebecca Page Circle Cardi. Now, I think she has great taste, so I assume she doesn’t plan to wear most of these pieces together, but whatevs. She’ll be comfy as hell.

The moral of the story here is if you make a deal with me, it might take a little time, but I’ll come through. Promise. 😉

Stephanie xx

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TBT – Rebecca Page Madison Blouse

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There are so many things I sewed before I started blogging about it. Things that I barely remember. Things for other people. But then there are the things that turned out to be huge for me. January’s Throw Back Thursday Sew is the Rebecca Page Madison Blouse.

This is a great pattern with some extra cute options (like a dress, what?!). It is also the first button down I’ve ever worn that wasn’t either gaping at the bust or a tent everywhere. It opened up a new world of options for me! (Plus, sleeves that aren’t too short?! Crazy talk.)

Now, button downs that actually fit are super exciting. I want to make sure that point comes through. Button down. Fits. Wow!! But, that’s not why this sew was huge for me. This Madison blouse was the very first test I did for Rebecca Page Sewing (back when the business was called Mummykins and Me).

I adored the test. Rebecca was active in the group and fun to work with. Everyone was kind, fun, and had beautiful fabrics for me to drool over. My feedback was well received. Plus, I was offered a bonus pattern to wear with my Madison in photos. WHAT?! Hell yeah!! I jumped on the Amsterdam Coat, stayed up for 24 hours straight to sew it, and it was worth every minute!!

After the test concluded, Rebecca used some of my photos for teasers and I felt amazing! My red wasn’t quite right color-wise for cover photos or anything, but, clearly I had done well enough to entice people before the pattern released. (All the feels here. It was a validating moment for me and still fills me with a warm glow when I think about it.)


Dritz Quilting 3310 Washaway Wonder Tape, 1/4 by 10-Yard

Wonder Tape is a truly appropriate name. I use it ALL THE TIME. Hemming fussy knits. Attaching patch pockets. And, for those small seam allowances that WON’T STAY PRESSED.

From here I got added to the regular tester pool! I could have first dibs on future tests and hang out with some pretty awesome people. AHHHHHH!!! So exciting but I’m still not to the huge part yet.

All of this lead to Rebecca actually knowing who I am. Showing her that I have some sewing skills. Some time management skills. Some sort of personality that isn’t obnoxious. This all came in handy when she was looking for a pattern assistant just a few months later. I saw the post and thought, well, no harm in applying. There’s no way she’ll choose me. (This isn’t a down on me kind of thing. There are just some supremely amazing seamstresses in the PDF world.)

How blown away was I when I get a response really quick?! Well, I almost cried and I called Virginia, freaking out. I think I reread that email at least a dozen times over the next day or so, just basking in it. I could not be happier about the nonchalant, it doesn’t hurt to apply, decision that day.

May of 2017, I started working, just a few hours a week, for a company and a woman that bring so much joy to my life. And it still amazes me. I have learned so much about pattern development and have had such amazing opportunities to be creative. It has been world changing for me and I could not be happier with my side hustle. Now I work as many hours a week as I can fit in, and even when the work is stressful (hello Patsy), or frustrating, it is still fulfilling and exciting. I look forward to every new idea, new pattern, new ambassador. Everything.

Who knew one pattern test could turn into such a huge part of my life?

Put a little faith in you today.
Stephanie <3

Clover Wonder Clips, Red, 50-Pack
I use clips over pins about 90% of the time now. Way easier to use on the serger and coverstitch, plus, I don’t stab myself anywhere near as often. 🙂
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2019 – Let’s Try

It is a new year and it has been a rough start so far. Typically, resolutions aren’t my thing, but new years and rough spots are always good times to evaluate and focus on what is important. So, that’s what I’ve been working on during my last few days off work. What do I want to accomplish this year? What priorities need to shift? What can I do to better myself for those around me?

I’m not jumping into all the details, but every goal starts with much better organization than I currently have. Keeping track of all the projects, responsibilities, side hustles, and just stuff in life is an ever present struggle. I think it is for most people.

I’m super lucky in that my family gave me this kick-ass calendar this year. Since it is bang on theme, it also has spots for projects, ideas, fabric swatches, all the good stuff for us sewists!! I splurged on some delightful new pens to go with it (they even match all the pretty colors inside!) and got started documenting my entire life.

Boy, did writing it all down really bring into focus just how much I cram into my days and weeks. (Totally not complaining! I love it!!) Just the act of writing stuff down has always helped me remember my list. And a friend of mine was just telling me about the benefits of writing stuff down, so this seems like the perfect start!

I’ve got my list of tasks for the month. Due dates for tests and strikes. Depositions for the day job. Even books I want to check out from the library written down and ready to go. I just really need to stay motivated throughout the year to build and KEEP these habits.

So, how in the world does this pertain to a sewing blog? Well, I’ve got a super cute sewing calendar and pretty pens, but I clearly need a little pouch to carry the pens with the calendar!! I used the Made for Mermaids Zip Up Pouch freebie, which is just perfect for the handful of pens I want to carry with me. Plus, my sister gave me this gorgeous vintage sewing machine fabric forever ago!

Being indecisive, I used a team of four amazing seamstresses and one very annoyed sister to help me choose a lining fabric (which I didn’t even take a picture of) and the right zipper. Then, halfway through sewing, I realized I really wanted to up the game on the little carry strap the tutorial shows you how to add. So, I added some hardware to a little loop and made myself another key fob to attach to it!!

I figured, they’re so easy, why not quick tell you guys how to make them too?! They are super simple and the only thing you might not have on hand is the hardware (which I ordered on Amazon super cheap). All you need is a bit of fabric, some interfacing, your machine, the hardware, and a hammer! (Yeah, a hammer. You also get to work out a little frustration with this project.)

Cut out a 3×12 inch piece of your fabric. I usually fussy-cut so that a particularly pretty bit is showing. Iron on interfacing to this piece (1). Fold each long edge in 1/2 inch and press (2). Then fold in half, matching folded edges, press, and pin (3a, 3b). Do whatever topstitching you want at this stage (4). I just did 1/8 inch from each long edge. But it is fun to get fancy with it!! Use your crazy stitches or extra pretty threads. Go nuts. Then just fold your fob in half, slide it into the hardware (5), and hammer in place!! Be sure to use a couple layers of your pressing cloth to protect the hardware from damage.

That’s it. You’re done. They’re crazy easy to personalize with embroidery or vinyl, and make wonderful (and fast) gifts! I’ve given away quite a few so far and they’ve always been well received.

So, let’s all be a little more organized and work toward our happiness a little bit more this year. And let’s support each other while doing it.

Thanks for being here. <3

Stephanie

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DIY Cord Roll

Gifting to guys is basically impossible.  I feel like we get my dad the same stuff year after year.  Mostly just something fun with that Packer G on it.  He always seems happy.  But it is even harder to MAKE something for guys.  I run into this problem with all the guys I gift to.  So, what to do?

I decided a cord roll would be super helpful!  Doodled out my idea and sewed up a practice one.  Instant love!!!  It took about an hour, while figuring out how to actually make it.  Plus it is an awesome scrap buster!  It has a great zipper pocket for plugs or what-have-you, and spots for 7 cords!!

Tweaked the pattern a little bit and sewed up a second one.  Pretty sure this is perfect.  Why don’t I write it up and share it with my favorite readers?!  (That’s you!!).  So you can totally download a PDF with instructions and dimensions here.  I’ve included a few different closure options and some photo step by step instructions.  

The personalization options are just endless on this! I’ve got three different closure options on these. The first is flannel with snaps, the second suede with cord elastic, and the last quilting cotton with a ribbon tie! The suede roll, I decided not to top stitch, but instead slip stitched to finish it off.

SUPPLIES:

INTERFACING – I have to admit to using featherweight interfacing for most project. It is light enough for most my apparel sewing needs, but provides just enough support for projects like these. Which means I can keep a lot of it on hand and not worry about not using it.

ZIPPERS – I like to buy all purpose zippers in bulk as well (are you sensing a theme here?). It is convenient to keep a bunch of different colors and lengths on hand for random projects. Then I never have to run to the craft store in the middle of a project to grab a quick zipper. One of the perks to this project is the ease with which you can shorten your zipper! That means if you have a 9 or even a 14 inch zipper on hand that is the right color, it is perfect! No need to fret about having exactly a 7 inch zip!!

Everything else you need are basic sewing supplies. Fabrics, scissors, your sewing machine and needles, of course. My favorite part of this project is that you don’t really need anything special!! Just grab stuff you have on hand and go to town!

If you want to make it extra special, you could add a little key chain loop and attach one of these key fobs that I show you how to make. Even easier, in that you can throw it on your wrist and just go, or pull it out of a full, busy bag quick and easy.

I can’t wait to make these for a bunch more people (and one for me!!). Please let me know if you have any questions!!  And share what you’ve made!  I’d love to see everyone’s versions. <3 

Stephanie

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5oo4 Camilla Cowl

Some days, I’m reminded just how lucky I am. I have fallen into this amazing world of PDF sewing where I’ve found passion, friendships, a job, an outlet. Basically everything I could want. Part of that is sewing up some promos for different designers. Whether I’ve applied for a position or the designer (or their team) reaches out to ask me to be a part of something, it gives me all the warm fuzzies to be chosen.

I get to try new things and recommend them to people. I do my best to write up my honest opinion of every test, promo, fabric, plain old sew, whatever it is I’m working on. And I have to say, this top does NOT get enough love!!! I don’t see it a lot on the 5oo4 fan page. I don’t see it in the PDF sewing groups. WHY?! I finally tried it and am COMPLETELY IN LOVE!!!

Cowl tops are one of my favorite styles. They are easy to wear. They don’t choke me with high necks while still allowing me some modesty. (These girls can be hard to hide!) So, I was super excited to try this Camilla Cowl. But to add to this lovely style, there are SO MANY OPTIONS!!! There are four lengths, 6 sleeve lengths with extra cuff options, pockets, ruching, and maternity options!! To go with that maternity option, I feel like it would be super easy for nursing!

With all of these options, it is also a really simple sew and so fast!! Once I picked out fabric and thread (thanks Vicki and Mom), it was finished in about an hour. Which is my favorite kind of project!

I chose to do a tunic length, with cuffed elbow sleeves (my favorite length for work!).  Then I added super light ruching.  Just enough to pull up the hem a bit and add a little, tiny, itsy bit of blousing over the tummy.

So, I’m highly recommending this one to every person! Pick up your copy and let me know how it goes!!

Take a moment for you today.
Stephanie xx

I was given this pattern for free to sew up for promotion.  The thoughts and evaluations are my own opinions.  I always appreciate free patterns, but I’m no liar.  🙂 

This post contains various affiliate links.  Purchasing patterns using these links does not cost my readers more, but the designer does provide me with a small commission from any sales.  This commission helps to fund my fabric addiction and is greatly appreciated.