Sewing Up A Storm

*All professional photos in this post were taken by the very talented Brandi Hoffman Photography.

I haven’t been sewing up a storm, per say, but I have been busy sewing. And now that it is the Christmas season my sewing list just got longer. I did manage, however, to sew a dress for the Doll Face for our family pictures.  The last family pictures we had done where when I was pregnant with her, so it was long over due. I really wanted to make something special for all the kids, but time was not my friend and Doll Face was in desperate need of a wintery dress so she won out.

Earlier this summer Violette Field Threads released the Matilda Dress and the Rosemary Pinafore and I knew immediately that I needed to make one for Doll Face. It is not in my usual style of dress, but there was something vintage about it that I absolutely loved!


I thought I was going to make a mustard yellow polka dot dress with a navy blue pinafore but found this gray damask in my stash and knew that was it. It took me forever to decide on the lace trim though. Should I add it, should I not. I couldn’t decide. I had never sewn with it before and I had a hard time visualizing it with the damask, but once I bit the bullet and bought the whole spool (yikes!) I knew there was no turning back.  The directions for both the dress and the pinafore were easy to follow and I adore how it turned out. And I’m happy to say that I am not as afraid of lace as I had been.


Here is our whole family, including the Honey Bear. Don’t ask how we managed to get everyone looking at the camera because it was no easy task, especially with those hay bales temping my little dare devils. The top I’m wearing is the Parisian Top by Go To Patterns. I made it last winter and it has become a quick favorite. I used a thick knit I found at Hancock’s so it is nice and warm. I’m not a huge fan of 3/4 length sleeves, and I don’t know why I made this top knowing this was the sleeve length, but I really like the way this looks on me. I may just start wearing more 3/4 length sleeves.

Currently, I am making lots of angel and shepherd costumes for our kids program at church, then it is back to my Christmas sewing and a coat for our oldest, Buddy Bear. If I manage to get all my Christmas sewing done in a reasonable time, I will be sharing a tutorial for this fox dress I made early this fall. If not, be on the look out before the new year!

Foxy Dress

Until then Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mama Bear


Old Coat/New Coat

Brrr!  It’s cold around here!  What ever happened to Fall?! I think I say that every year. I love Fall and it never seems to last long enough. I love the slightly cool air and cuddling under a blanket. And who doesn’t love jumping into a pile of leaves! But man it has gotten cold, and rather windy, fast! And miss Doll Face needs a winter coat. Fast!

I could go spend about 20 bucks and get her a coat from the store. Or I could spend $9 and make one myself. So that’s what I did. I bought the Michelle Jacket pattern from Shwin & Shwin a few weeks ago and now I needed to put it to use. I’ve been making a lot of stuff from them lately, mainly because there are so many free patterns. Secondly, because, well, I like the patterns offered. Plus they are all named after Beatles songs! Umm, yes!! I’m in!


When the weather started to turn cold (too fast for my liking) I had to do some thinking. Wait until I can get to the “big” fabric store or refashion something? I couldn’t wait and I happened to have this coat that I wasn’t wearing anymore.

Old Coat

This medium coat was just enough to get a size 2T. The pattern has some really cute peek-a-boo pockets, but I decided to keep the pockets already on the old coat. Why make more work for myself if I don’t have too. I used sweet aqua and white polka dot fabric for the lining.

Coat Lining

The existing pockets have a zipper closure and a seam that extends the length of the coat on the respective sides. This created a bit of a dilemma. The Michelle Jacket has some really cute box pleats on each side of the coat and on the sleeves. But because of the seams in the original coat, I had to omit them and cut about 1″ from the sides of each piece. For the sleeves, I just added 2 small pleats instead of the box pleat.

Jacket Pleats

The hood wasn’t supposed to be edged with the lining fabric. This was a happy accident that I really like.  After closing up the coat and turning it right-side out I discovered that the original seam on the hood was too thick to turn under, creating the edged hood.


I only added two of the four buttons because of the existing pockets. These were the only buttons I had that were big enough and didn’t clash. I think I’ll leave it this way.


To finish off the coat, I added this cute little face. Little stinker. 🙂


Coat Front


Coat Back

Mama Bear!

Game Day Dress

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Around here, college football is huge. HUGE I tell ya! Once you cross the border to reside permanently in this state, you are almost required to declare which team you are supporting. While I grew up pseudo-supporting The Ohio State Buckeyes, (my grandfather played football there, Go Bucks!) my hubby is a Alabama fan all the way. As such, our children are almost required to have their own game day attire. This is easy for the boys, especially since I have 7 years worth of boys clothes that inevitably include at least one Alabama shirt in each size. But Doll Face is a different story. Our budget can be tight and new, pre-made clothes sometimes don’t fit in. Or I just don’t find anything I like. So I went to my fabric stash and found some hounds tooth and some red knit fabric and decided to design a dress for her. Whoa there!! Designing my own dress!?! Yep, I sure am. I’m taking a big leap and doing something I’ve only read about on blogs. I never thought I would be sewing sans a pre-made pattern, but here I go!!

I had an idea of what I wanted the dress to look like and I sketched out a plan. I scoured my existing patterns to see what I could hack and searched Pinterest for more inspiration. Much to my surprise, I discovered an adult dress with the same general idea I had for the dress!

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Now I had my pattern for hacking, a general tutorial for construction, and a plan. I used the Flashback Skinny Tee from Made-by-Rae for the top, and, of course, there were a few modifications. I was going to add a little gather at the neck and the top of the sleeves for a little feminine touch, but instead I changed the collar and added a ruffle similar to the Pinterest dress.

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I also cut the bottom 6″ off the shirt and added a 3″ band of black knit to mimic a sash. I wanted the waist to be a bit higher than where the shirt fell.

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When I drew up my sketch, I couldn’t decide how to construct the skirt. Should I pleat the skirt or just gather it? While gathering it would be quick and easy and certainly less stressful, I really wanted a box pleat. I fiddled around with it until I got it where I liked it, which took what felt like forever. I attached the top and the skirt and had Doll Face try it on. The top was great but the box pleats were not working for me, so I undid the whole thing and gathered it instead. This was a good idea since the pleat did not allow for the stretch in the knit like the gather does.

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Finally, I added a decorative stitch to the hem and that was it! I may add another row just to make it show up a little more.

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I did it! I made a dress that I thought of all by my lonesome and I love it! I like that there are no fasteners on this dress. It just slips on over her head. I’m so happy with how it turned out and now Doll Face has her own, one of a kind, made by mommy, game day dress!

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Roll Tide, y’all!

Mama Bear