18″ dolls

My girls have finally become enraptured with the 18″ dolls. That’s “American Girls,” which when I was young were fun, historical books and a slightly expensive doll. And has expanded to REALLY expensive dolls and a ton of accessories.

We’re going the opposite direction Isobel is a thrift store find. Maddy is from Michael’s (thank you, 40% off coupon). And their clothes, beyond what they came with, are from Mama’s fabric stash.




Maddy and her options.


Isobel all dressed up.

Hack Sewist

I’m not much of a sewist, but I’ve been really taken with the Japanese Knot Bags that are popping up on Pinterest. So I found a tutorial and made a couple. I really like the bag, but I’m so not in love with how to finish it off. Those outside edges just do not come together nicely.

On fashion

I thought I had written this post before. If I have, apologies. It’s still rumbling around in my brain.

A few months ago I checked out a library book (we love libraries!) about wardrobe and curating your closet.


I’ve tended to make sweaters, shirts, dresses, pants based on really loving the fabric/color/design.

Except you know what I don’t wear? Design and Color. There’s a really lovely part of the book that asks you to narrow down your color choices as far as what you wear.


You pick three colors, two coordinating neutrals, and then some accent colors. This is what you wear, not what your house is, not what you like to see. What you wear.

Here’s my pass.


And can I tell you, finding non-neutrals was hard. I didn’t have to, of course. And really, I didn’t succeed. But these are the colors I feel most comfortable and confident in. Black, light black, lightest black. With Mid-black and Navy as my neutrals. Dude, inner goth, could you hold it down in there, I can’t hear myself above the bad poetry.

And actually, I don’t look that great in lightest grey.

But I’ll take the pops of maroon, grey green, turquoise green.

It’s really made me slow down and think about what I’m sewing. And buying. No more cutesy fabrics that are just too adorable in dress quantities. No more sweater quantities of variegated yarns. I’ll limit myself to smaller quantities to make accessories.

It means my crafting has slowed a bit, but I think that’s a good thing. No sense in putting massive amounts of un-wearble things in my closet.

Crafting with Kids

If you’ve been reading awhile, you know that I feel about crafting with kids a bit like I do about poetry (I think everyone should write poetry, I think no one should read poetry!). Crafting with kids is exhausting and you better plan ahead carefully for the skill level and, under no circumstances, have any expectations of your or the children’s work.

So of course I’m now the “craft mom” in my daughter’s first grade classroom. And boy, howdy! are there a range of skill levels amongst 6 & 7 year olds. But we’ve tackled spool knitting, sewing felt, and tomorrow we’re going to try sewing buttons.


Major shout-out to the teachers of the world. I spend an hour a week with these kids and I lay awake the night before trying to plan for eventualities of what could happen while they craft. I can’t ever imagine doing it 8 hours a day 5 days a week. You all totally need a bucket button!

Colette Moneta


I started by ordering the downloadable Colette Moneta pattern before heading off to buy fabric. Since I’m a pretty straight forward XL and I’m doing version 1, minus the collar, I printed all 40 sheets. Next time I’ll print sheet 1 to check printer settings, but I’d leave off 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, 27, 31, 34, 35, 39, 40. I realize that’s only 11 sheets of paper, but that’s still 11 sheets of paper!

One idea I have for this is hacking it a bit and using a different top and bottom fabric. Nothing as out of the box as this Wrenata hack, though. (BTW, even the founder of Cashmerette loves the Moneta, which is what really swayed me to this pattern.)

I made a similar dress for my daughter. I love the super heroines! & I’ve got super helpers.


Sergers are messy, but man, I love using it for knits way better than I do the sewing machine.IMG_20170625_103120908

One of my favorite carry-overs from knitting is that I can “read” which is the right and which is the wrong side of my knit fabrics.


This turned out…ok. THe extra 6″ would have been great on a top. In fact, I’m thinking I need a tank or two like this. But it’s just…ok.

So I went back and hacked the skirt. Chopped the top, re-did the pockets (still crap).


And added a belt! It’s basically a tank dress. And, ideally, the skirt would maybe be a little wider since it doesn’t have a lot of give, but I like it and I’ll wear it. And I totally like the belt addition and will be using it on my next one. And making the pockets way bigger.

BTW, it turns out I thought that ironing/pressing was one of my less favorite sewing activities. Trying things on over and over? Way worse.


The sewing continues


More sewing with free stuff (or semi-free, re-used stuff). The top is some cream jersey I got in a free bag from a NextDoor neighbor. The bottom is a sheet that I loved but that never fit even though it was “fitted.” This adorable pattern was on pinterest and I’m really loving the LBGĀ website. I need to add it to my Feedly so I can see the updates.

I used the serger for everything but the pockets, I just don’t have the same control on it as I do on the sewing machine. So I sewed the pocket pieces together a little neater. Of course, neither of my children wants it. Thank goodness my sister has a girl about the same age.

Macy Cowl

Sinclair PatternsĀ put out a call for testers for a new cowl neck tank. I’m a recent Instagram follower of the brand and was all over the chance to try a new pattern on my serger. Plus, tank means no sleeves, woot.


I thought I had enough black to make a cool evening tank. Unfortunately, it turns out I overestimated the amount of jersey in large pieces. But! I had grey & black in similar weights. And ta-da! A color blocked tank was born.


I love the neckline, and it has its own lining, which is pretty sharp. There’s binding on the back of the sleeves and neck but not the front, because of said lining. And despite instructions, I wanted to use my serger for EVERYTHING. And I managed it for all but the bottom hem. I also lengthened the pattern, though I probably didn’t need the 5″, closer to 2″; the pattern was designed for someone 5’6″ or under.

I’m definitely thinking about making this in a brighter color. My wardrobe is getting a little “Queen Victoria”-esque, post Albert.

Oh! And I realized that being able to read my own knitting makes it way easier to tell the “wrong” side of jersey from the “right”. I can also tell that I sewed the black sideways. Oops.