Category Archives: Sewing for Girls

Egyptian Costumes

DIY Egyptian Costumes :: Dandelion Drift I don’t know if I had griped about this here, but this year my kids gave me a doozie of a Halloween request.  They asked to be Jabba the Hutt and Gollum.  First Gollum…I had to explain that he is naked.  And then Jabba the Hutt…that could either turn out to be the coolest costume, or the biggest flop.  I asked the kiddos what their runner up costume would be and they both landed on ancient Egyptians!

DIY Egyptian Costumes :: Dandelion Drift

Phew…I knew I could handle Egyptians!  For Sweet Pea’s costume, I used a dress I had already made.  This is the First Day Dress that I blogged about back here.  She just needed a few accessories to make it an Egyptian costume.

DIY Egyptian Costumes :: Dandelion Drift

I had some gold swimsuit fabric lying around (probably from sewing Egyptian costumes for the church play).  I made a simple belt to tie around her waist.  This belt is really easy…it’s just a three inch wide piece of fabric, with a tie shape sewn onto the middle (no finished edges for this belt!).  And it’s just safety pinned in the back.  I also made her gold bracelets, and a gold headband (I will have a tutorial for this headband in the near future).

DIY Egyptian Costumes :: Dandelion Drift

For Bubba’s costume I was starting from scratch.  I’m going to give you a real quick run down, but the materials were simple.  You’ll need a large brown t shirt, some gold fabric, and a small cut of blue knit fabric.

DIY Egyptian Costumes :: Dandelion Drift

The skirt is a simple yoga waisted skirt (like this tutorial).  For the collar, I simply cut around the collar of the t shirt, 3.5 inches wide.  I didn’t want the ribbing of the brown shirt to show on the collar, so I folded that under and stitched into place.  Then I cut one inch wide strips of my gold swimsuit fabric, and sewed two rows of that in place (the second row wrapped around the raw edges of the collar).  Quick and easy!

DIY Egyptian Costumes :: Dandelion Drift

The head dress is a piece of blue knit fabric, 14 inches by 25 inches.  Again, the gold is just one inch pieces of fabric sewn down every few inches.  And it is held in place with a gold headband (tutorial coming).  And the belt is just like Sweet Pea’s belt.

The staff was my husband’s idea.  It’s a piece of one inch pvc pipe spray painted gold.  The top curved part is air dry clay, shaped, dried, and painted.  Voila…Egyptians with accessories!

DIY Egyptian Costumes :: Dandelion Drift

P.S.  I asked my kids to do whatever they thought ancient Egyptians would do…and they were having these silly arguments about who has the power!  They were hilarious and loved getting into character!

Any last minute Halloween sewing going on at your house?


Tutorial :: Perfect Striped Raglan

Hey all!  Today I’m over at Mae and K talking about villain costumes…ooh Halloween is coming!

Tutorial :: Perfect Striped Raglan :: Dandelion Drift

I wanted to sew something that Sweet Pea needed and would wear again, enter this raglan dress.  She loves anything made out of knit fabric, and dresses are reached for every Sunday!  You’ll have to hop on over to Maegan and Karen’s blog to see how I styled this up for a costume, but I love that it is every day wear also!

black and white raglan dress

When I went to sew this raglan dress, I wanted my stripes to match up perfectly.  I always wondered how I could do this, and it turns out it’s actually pretty easy.  Just three little steps.

Tutorial :: Perfect Striped Raglan :: Dandelion Drift

  1.   First take your sewing pattern and cut out the front piece of your striped fabric. Now transfer those stripe marks onto your actual pattern piece, just by putting a little line at the top of each stripe.
  2.   Next, grab your back pattern piece, and line it up with your front pattern piece along the side seam, matching the underarm.  Transfer the stripe marks to your back piece and then cut out your fabric.
  3.   Last, grab your sleeve pattern pieces, lay them next to the front pattern piece, and transfer the stripes where you would like them to match up.  Start with the front seam, and then the side seam.  And that’s it!  Cut out your sleeve fabric.

striped raglan dress

The way I was matching my stripes before was a lot less accurate!  This has worked perfectly each time, and really works well for any pattern.  I don’t know why I hadn’t been making marks for my striped fabric on my pattern before!

Raglan Dress

My one tip for you to get your stripes to match while you are sewing…use lots of pins.  I am normally not a pinner.  I’m lazy and like to get the job done quickly.  But with stripes, pins are needed.  Pin each and every stripe to get them to match up perfectly.  Don’t take that pin out of your fabric until the sewing machine needle is just about to hit it…after all of your accurate cutting, you don’t want your fabric to shift around on you and lose your perfect stripes.

tutorial raglan stripes matching


Joey Dress Pattern

Joey Dress Pattern

Sweet Pea has been getting a lot of sewing for her around here!  I have been sewing for myself also, but just haven’t had the time to photograph it!  Sweet Pea and I have this photo thing down to a 10 minute process.  I usually have a location in mind, drive the van up, hop out with my girl and quickly get as many pictures in as I can, in 10 minutes flat.  I don’t want her growing up hating that I took her photos, so anything I sew for her, I ask if she minds if I photograph .  I, on the other hand, take a little bit longer to photograph, what with the prep and my finickiness.  We’ll have to talk about that another time!

Joey Dress Pattern

You probably want to hear more about the dress and less about our photos!  This is a new dress pattern out by Toni of Make it Perfect….it’s the Joey dress!  Cute name, huh?  Toni just did a pattern parade showcasing all of her great patterns over at her blog…you should take a look!  All of the projects turned out great!

Joey Dress Pattern

Okay, back to the dress.  Sweet Pea is smitten with anything made out of knit fabric, so I knew this joey dress would be a hit with her!  I decided I wanted to combine a few prints in this dress, so the top is this cute floral (leftover from this tee project here) and the bottom of the dress is a tiny little stripe (leftover from this dress here).  I love how the two fabrics paired together, and really love how this dress turned out!

Joey Dress Pattern

Other than sewing with knit fabric, Sweet Pea is sure to smile if pockets are included in her clothes!  I guess I’m just like her, pockets really make my day.  And pockets in a dress are even better!

Joey Dress Pattern

I love the little details in this dress.  The pockets are a given, I love them!  but I also love the sleeves.  The top of the sleeve is gathered, but there is also a bit of gathering down by the band!  Awesome little detail!  I truly think it’s details like these that make a pattern!

Joey Dress Pattern

Happy sewing my friends!  Hopefully I’ll be back next week to show of some things I’ve been sewing for myself!

Crew Cuts Knock Off

J Crew Knock Off Dress


If you know me in real life you know that I am frugal.  Cheap.  I don’t spend money easily.  And maybe that’s where my DIY loving heart started dreaming up dreams.  Who knows how I landed being a girl who loves to make pretty things, but I do know that I love to create.  I love the whole process of it, from finding ideas, working on each small step of the project, and finally getting to see the outcome.  Now there are times that I have to walk away from something, like when I have to seam rip the exact same seam three times.  (That happens to me often.)  But overall, I love every step of making!

Knock it off j crew

This dress was inspired by a dress I’ve seen in a store.  Okay, inspired might be the wrong word.  This dress was completely copied, top to bottom, inside to out, from a J. Crew dress.  This copying was perfect for a series Heidi at Elegance and Elephants asked if I would like to participate in, her Knock it Off series.

Knock Off Crew Cuts

Here are the dress details.  I started with Dana’s First Day Dress pattern, but made a list of changes.  I cut out the peplum bodice, lowered the neckline, narrowed the shoulders, and attached my own gathered skirt that was 2 1/2 the width of the bottom of the bodice.  I fully lined the dress, all using materials I had on hand.  The white fabric is an Ikea sheet that I had cut up for some other project and had bits and pieces leftover.  I did have to buy the gold paint for my project, but $2 isn’t too bad for a J. Crew look alike, is it?

Crew Cuts Knock Off Dress


The paint took a long time.  A really long time.  Each night I would grab my supplies and start stamping.  It was kind of soothing to stamp over and over and over.  The tiny dots were stamped with the head of a pin.  And those triangles were stamped with a cork that I had cut to the right shape and size.  If you look closely, it definitely isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t bother me.

Crew Cuts Knock off

Sweet Pea exclaimed that she looks like an Egyptian in this dress!  We are reading a series on Egypt right now, so Egyptian princesses must be on her brain!  Well maybe with all that gold she does look like royalty!

Knock Off J Crew

If you are interested in knocking off your own outfit, link it up to Heidi’s flickr pool.  She has some amazing prizes in store, over $100 worth of prizes!  And make sure to check out what the other ladies have made these past few weeks, Heidi’s been posting the details on her blog…there’s some amazing inspiration out there!

J crew knock off

City Gym Shorts

City Gym Shorts

Wow…this summer has been a whirlwind.  I know I’ve said that a few times, but we have been going non stop for the past four weeks.  And we are finally home and have no plans this week!  Woot!

City Gym Shorts

So what did I do?  As soon as we arrived home, I saw this pattern over at The Purl Bee for a free pattern for a pair of shorts, the City Gym Shorts.  This is what Sweet Pea would live in every day if she had enough pairs piled in her drawer.  Who am I kidding, I would live in these shorts every day!

City Gym Shorts

Sweet Pea’s new shorts are made out of cotton tencel chambray for the back, a scrap of polka dotted fabric for the front, and then I had the tinniest piece of vintage floral linen I had scored at the thrift store a few months back that I picked up to turn into bias tape.  That vintage fabric is my favorite!  Whoever sent the small scrap to the thrift store, thank you…I’m in love!

City Gym Shorts

Sweet Pea’s measurements put her in a size 8, but I went ahead and sized up to the 10, knowing that a little less elastic would make these work perfectly now, and last her a bit longer too!  The only pattern modification I made was to add a few stitch lines to the elastic waistband.  It’s the same technique from the Hudson Pants, just ensuring that the elastic won’t flip and twist when it is washed!

City Gym Shorts

I think I may need to cut a few more City Gym Shorts out this week, maybe sneaking a few pair in for myself!  🙂

Croquet Dress FLIP

Did you all know I’m in a sewing competition this week?  Over at Frances Suzanne, I joined three great bloggers / sewists and sewed my version of the Oliver and S Croquet Dress.  When Ashley and Emily asked me to compete, I knew I was going to say yes right away, but I also had this little butterfly feeling in my stomach!  And then I saw that I would be competing against a friend of mine.  Oh this is fun, but man this is hard.

croquet dress knit

Want to hear about this dress?  Immediately when I signed up to sew, the Croquet dress was begging to have embroidery added to it.  But I thought that wouldn’t be enough FLIP, so I made a few other changes.  My girl (who is just a month shy of 10) loves anything that is made out of knit fabric.  So I knew that I would have to use some knit fabric.  I had this organic cotton knit fabric in my stash…just a yard of it and it was just the right amount.  I cut out her size, size 8.  The front yoke and shoulder pieces were cut out just as the pattern is.  When it came time to cut the rest of the dress, I decided I just wanted an a line dress.  I widened the top dress piece (pattern piece 7) and added an inch of width at the fold line.  I also extended this piece down so that the dress would hit at my daughter’s knees.

knit croquet dress

I changed the sleeve pieces, thinking that I would love to have cap sleeves.  Things aligned perfectly when Dana released her newest pattern, the first day dress.  I just snatched the cap sleeve piece from that pattern, cut two out, just like in the first day dress pattern and got to sewing.  I lined the armhole of the dress with a piece of knit fabric, one inch wide.

croquet dress with embroidery

Last change was the gathering.  I prefer pleats to gathers, so I just made a simple inverted box pleat.  And then I did a bit of hand embroidery along the front yoke and shoulder pieces.  I’m entirely new to this embroidery thing, but found out I love it!  It’s just like doodling with a needle and thread.  I wanted this white embroidery to pop on the dark blue fabric, so I threaded my needle each time with three strands of embroider floss.  I would just free hand draw my design with a white chalk pencil and got to sewing.  The neckline is stitched with a blanket stitch and all of those flowers were created with this tutorial.  A few long car rides for summer trips helped me finish up all the embroidery on this dress!

Croquet Dress

When my girl put on her dress a couple Sundays ago, her first comment was “this is so comfortable”.  Translation…she’s going to be wearing this one a lot.  This is by far my favorite thing I have made for my girl!  The more I sew, the more I realize I love to take my time on a project, thinking about all of the details.  I sew because I enjoy it, and this project had me slowing down and enjoying the whole process.  Thanks Ashley and Emily for having me FLIP the Croquet Dress!

knit croquet dress with embroidery

So the competition part…you can head on over to Frances Suzanne and cast your vote.  You don’t have to vote for me…find your favorite version of the Croquet Dress and vote!  Okay, now I’m a bit nervous!  I might just have to stay away from my computer all weekend while the voting is going on!  Gah!

Retro Rucksack

One of the fun things about blogging is getting to meet new people.  It’s amazing how much talent is hidden out there.  Have you all heard of Sara from Radiant Home Studio?  She has a pdf bag pattern business and her bags are pretty great.


I was asked by Sara to sew up her Retro Rucksack pattern and I happily said yes.  This bag is full of amazing details.  The more I sew, the more I have learned that details are what make sewing go from homemade to looking store bought.  I love a pattern that is full of details, and this pattern is just that!

retro rucksack pattern

I’m going to warn you, when you are sewing a pattern full of details, like the Retro Rucksack, it’s not a quick sew.  But that is definitely not a bad thing.  I sew because I love to, not because I want to get to a finished product as fast as I can.  So this pattern took me a bit of time and had me enjoying the process.

retro rucksack bag

Want to know what I used to sew this bag up?  A rug, a $3 ikea rug.  Every time I go to ikea I see these signe rugs and immediately think of a bag.  Inspiration comes in the weirdest places.  The rest of the fabric is thrifted home dec fabric.  It is super thick, almost as thick as the rug.  And the lining (that I forgot to photograph) is leftover fabric from this great jacket (another pattern full of details).

retro rucksack stripes

I have a beast of a sewing machine that does great at sewing through thick fabric.  There were a few times, especially when I was asking my machine to sew through several layers of the rug, that it was angry with me.  But patience and perseverance brought us to this end product that I love!

rug retro rucksack retro rucksack buckle

Look at all these details.  There are side pockets, that are a little bit wider at the top, making them easier to put things in.  There’s a zipper pocket on the inside.  The buckles, love these two buckles.  A zip top opening.  The straps on the bag that have functioning sliders.  I love these details!  And I love my new bag!

retro rucksack back

And did you see that picture up there that shows the rucksack could be worn on my back or on my shoulder!  I love this bag (have I said that yet?)

retro rucksack retro rucksack sewing pattern

Want to take a look at some more Retro Rucksack inspiration?  Sara has a whole line up of great ladies sewing this pattern this week.

rug rucksack


Retro Rucksack Inspiration Tour:

Monday, July 14th

Radiant Home Studio || Sweeter Than Cupcakes

Tuesday, July 15th

Quarter Incher || Dandelion Drift

Wednesday, July 16th

Glitter + Wit || EmmylouBeeDoo

Thursday, July 17th

Casa Crafty || Behind the Hedgerow

Friday, July 18th

SewVery || Raspberry Sunshine

Saturday, July 19th

Mia’s Creations || Made By Sara

Retro Rucksack Inspiration Tour | Radiant Home Studio

Sara kindly provided the pattern for me to sew, but all opinions are 100% my own!

First Day Dress :: A Giveaway CLOSED

First Day Dress Peplum Top

Dana from Dana Made It has a new pattern out!  Have you sewn her patterns before?  They are unique for many ways, but my favorite is her instructions.  Her instructions are like she is sitting right next to you having a conversation with you.  Kind of neat and extremely helpful.  Because of this little conversation that Dana has, it makes her patterns extremely beginner friendly.  If you are new to sewing or new to pdf patterns, Dana exemplifies the benefits of buying indie patterns.

First Day Dress

Her new pattern is the First Day Dress.  It has MANY options.  Take a look at her site and all of the different styles she has sewn up with this one pattern.

First Day Dress Peplum

I helped Dana test out this pattern and therefore received this pattern for free.  But all opinions are 100% true.

These pictures show my test version of the pattern.  Dana has since widened the neck a bit for the larger sizes.  The only other change I will make to the pattern next time is to lower the front neckline a bit, and I definitely want to try this one out in knit fabric!

First Day Dress Made

Dana has kindly offered two First Day Dress patterns for me to giveaway.

Giveaway Details:

  • leave a comment on this post
  • one entry per person
  • two winners will be picked at random
  • giveaway closes Wednesday July 9 at 10 pm EST

UPDATE:: This giveaway is now CLOSED

You and Me

Running with Sweet Pea

Today you can find me over at Jenya’s blog talking about….swimsuits that I made.  What…swimsuits?  A year ago I never would have thought I’d be capable of making swimsuits, and it amazingly wasn’t too difficult.  Come over and take a look, and peek around Jenya’s blog while you are at it.  I love the things she makes for her little girl and herself!