Sewing to Sell Blog tour {and giveaway}

Recently I had the opportunity to read Sewing To Sell by Virginia Lindsay. It is a newly released book that covers just about anything you ever wanted or needed to know about selling your handmade items locally and/or online. The book covers everything from how to start up a business  and/or an etsy store, to the equipment you are going to need and how to price your items.

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 The book not only talks about starting up your own business but it also shares photography tips, ways to organize your craft space and how to present yourself and market yourself. Plus the book has a ton of copyright free patterns to help you get started. I really wish a book like this existed when I was starting up my etsy shop years ago. It really would have made things much easier! It took me years to learn what I could have learned in a few hours of reading this book.

 To help promote Virginia’s Book I decided to sew up one of the patterns in her book, The Grocery Tote. With Christmas right around the corner I thought these would make great gifts! Everyone loves and needs a bag right?!

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The Grocery Tote is a really quick and easy sewing project that only takes one yard of fabric to make. As you can see below I made five bags. I find it much easier to make a few items  while I have the pattern out. The more you make the faster you will get. Plus you learn new little tips and tricks that will make the process go smoother.

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You may notice that the construction of my bag is a tiny bit different then how it is done in the book. I used a technique that I learned from this pattern for the handles instead. It is just how I have done it in the past and find it easier for me. In her book Virginia encourages you to come up with your own unique designs or techniques. She gives you the basic foundation with the patterns but then you can customize them to meet your own personal style.

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And that is what I did with these bags. If you look really close at them you will see that three of my bags have handles on the same side and two of my bags have handles going on opposite sides. Again, make it your own and what works best for you.

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For each of my bags I used either a medium weight interfacing or a fusible fleece to give it a little more shape.

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I also ended up adding a pocket to the inside of the totes. Nothing fancy but a pocket big enough to hold keys and a small wallet.

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My littlest heads off to kindergarten next year and I plan on selling my handmade creations again. I have been a bit nervous about it and wonder if I will make any money…or if I should take a job elsewhere. By reading this book it has helped me better understand the business aspect of selling my handmade goods and how to actually make a career of it. I felt like I was ready to get started with this whole sewing to sell business thing once I finished the book and that I could really do this. I love seeing another mother take her passion for sewing and make it into a business…and even better she shares her tips and tricks for doing so!

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If you are thinking about selling locally or online I would highly recommend you reading this book first! Seriously, it will save you do much time and effort. You can focus more on the making end of things instead of the set up and logistics of the business.

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Now here comes the fun part! How would you like to win your own copy of Sewing to Sell by Virginia Lindsay? Simply enter the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway is open to US residents only and will end November 25th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to follow along with the rest of the blog tour. I am sure you will be seeing some other amazing creations!

Blog Tour

You can purchase a copy of Sewing To Sell through C & T here or from Amazon here.

kantha blanket review from uncommon goods

Recently I had the opportunity to review a product of my choice from Uncommon Goods.

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Have you ever heard of Uncommon Goods before? If not, it is the perfect time right now…especially with the holidays right around the corner. Their site is full of handmade and personalized gifts as well as fun and unique items I have never seen before. The best part is that half of what is sold on Uncommon Goods is Handmade or created right here in the USA. Plus one-third of their items are made from recycle or upcycled materials. How wonderful is that?! As you can imagine, I had a really hard time choosing what I wanted to review but in the end I decided on this beautiful Kantha Blanket

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I chose one of the warm colors in hopes that I would receive a blanket with some orange in it. Well much to my surprise the entire blanket was orange. I was completely thrilled! Kantha blankets are made from strips of saris that are hand stitched together. Once the blanket is piece together they use bright, ticked kantha stitching throughout the blanket to give it the textured look. The fabric itself is very soft and comfy against the skin. I am very pleased with the look and feel of it. It does not look cheap at all and kinda has a vintage look to it. It is a lightweight blanket which is perfect for layering on your bed or for using it in the living room as a throw blanket. I happen to be using mine as a throw right now. I have to say that my favorite part of the whole blanket is that cute little square of contrasting striped fabric.

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If blankets are not your thing, that is fine. Uncommon Goods is full of other handmade and personalized items. Here are a few of my favorites.

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Lastly I have to mention all of these kids arts and crafts kits. I am a huge fan of giving crafts to kids. That way they can explore their own creativity and it encourages them to be makers. I think it is so important to encourage to use their minds as well as their hands.

Next time you are looking to purchase a handmade or personalized gift make sure you give Uncommon Goods a chance. I promise you will not be disappointed!

sewing for kindergarten

 

Today I am participating in Sewing for Kindergarten by Mie from Sewing Like Mad.

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Sewing for Kindergarten is a fun little series were we make an outfit for that special little one starting kindergarten. Starting kindergarten is a big deal in this house. We choose not to send our kids to preschool at all so kindergarten is their first experience with school. Below are a few questions that Mie wanted me to answer. It’s been so fun reading through everyone else’s answers.

Is this your first time sending a child to Kindergarten? If not, what number child is this?
This is my second child starting kindergarten. Next year I will be sending her sister off as well. The worse part about having 3 kids in 3 years is that they all leave home way too quick!

 
Do you feel like crying or celebrating? And what about your child? I feel like crying for sure…and do! I love having my kids home with me and it feels so weird when they are not around. My little girl is celebrating all the way. She told me the other day that if I get sad and start missing her then I should look at one of her pictures and I would feel better. So then I asked her what would she do if she started missing me. And her answer was that she does not miss me at all. Ouch! Actually I am very thankful that she feels that way. It means that she is ready and she is just fine without me. Its a huge sense of relief. But I do know that she misses me a tiny bit. The way she yells “Momma” and runs off that school bus each day shows me so.

 What type of school (public, private, homeschool) will your child attend?My kids attend public school

What was your own first day of school like? I do not remember a thing about my first day. Actually I don’t remember much about kindergarten other then it was half-day classes…and I peed my pants. Crazy that is all I remember.

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For my little kindergartner I wanted to make something comfy and for the cooler weather that will be arriving soon. My girls are all about comfort and anything that can be paired with tights or leggings, so this is the perfect outfit. IMG_7681 copy

For the top I used The Perri Pullover pattern from Cali Faye. IMG_7631 copy

I used a soft sweatshirt fabric that I had in my stash. I sewed up a size 4 even though she wears a 5/6 right now. And as you can see it is still a little big on her. I have sewn the Women’s Perri Pullover Pattern a few times so I knew that the sizing was very generous. The pattern itself is a very easy to follow and a pretty quick sew. I highly recommend it. IMG_7662 copy

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For her pants I used the Hosh Pants Pattern from Lou Bee Clothing. This is my fourth time sewing this pattern and I just love it! These pants go together super quick and the sizing is spot on for my kids. The only modification I did to the pants was make them with a ribbed knit waistband.IMG_7670 copy

I used a fun floral print that I had in my stash. The fabric is a decor weight so I cut on the bias to give a little more stretch. IMG_7695 copy IMG_7658 copyIMG_7704 copy

It is still so hard to believe that she is in kindergarten!

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flip this pattern {voting opens today}

If you follow me on facebook or instagram you know that I am competing in the Summer Flip This Pattern over at Frances Suzanne. I shared my “flipped” look over on Frances Suzanne this week and today I am finally sharing it with all of you.

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First of all, here is an overview of the Flip This Pattern Series for those of you who have never heard of it before. Basically four Sew-ers were given the same pattern the Ethan Shirt Pattern by Sis Boom to start with. From there we could turn it into whatever we wanted to. All this week we got to have a look at everyone’s “flips” and they were all amazing! Each look is so different and unique but have the same basic pattern in common.  Today the voting finally opens, so head on over here to vote for your favorite look.

Now on to my “flipped” look!

I will admit, I was super nervous to reveal what I made. Flipping patterns is not really my thing and I had so many struggles along the way with this one but in the end, I really like what I came up with. More importantly my little girl LOVES it and that is all that really matters. She loved it so much that she decided to wear it on her first day of kindergarten. Way to make your Momma feel loved right?! Oh and by the way she LOVES school!

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As you can see I decided to turn the Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom into a dress for my little girl.

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I had to make a lot of changes to the pattern in order to get a well fitting dress for my daughter. Starting with the shoulders I had to adjust the width as well as the armhole a few inches. I also made the back of the shirt under the yoke slightly gathered. I just added a few extra inches to the width of the pattern to allow for the extra gathering and then matched the gathered piece up to the altered yoke piece.

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Then I did the same gathering technique to the front of the dress as well. Since there was no “yoke” piece for the front of the dress I just cut the front of the pattern where I wanted to gathering to be and then added in the seam allowance. I didn’t make any changes to the collar but should have made it a bit larger. It is too tight around my little girls neck and cannot snap it. I should also mention that I used snaps instead of buttons. I am just not a huge fan of buttons on my kids.

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I made a little tie belt as well as added some belt loops to the dress.

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I decided to make some flutter sleeves instead of the long sleeves so that my little girl could wear it now as well as into the cooler months. A cardigan layered over it will allow for wear throughout the seasons.

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 Surprisingly I did not adjust the length of the pattern at all. I happen to love the length and it even looks super cute with a pair of leggings or tights underneath.

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 Now make sure you head on over here to vote for your favorite look. Voting is only open until Saturday, August 30 and I know all of us would love to see our “flips” shown a little love!

First day of school

Yesterday was the first day of school. My little girl started kindergarten this year.
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While my little guy headed into the second grade. 14875019960_4e3e235dc6_o copy

Both kids loved their first day and I loved all of the stories they had to tell when they got home.
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tooth fairy pillow

This past weekend my little girl lost her first tooth, so I stayed up late Saturday night making her a tooth fairy pillow.

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I had seen these tooth fairy pillows over at The Homemade Home and just fell in love with them. I decided to use the same basic concept for mine but mix it up a little bit.

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 My little girl woke up super early Sunday morning to see if the tooth fairy had come. When she saw her pillow hanging on her bed she was excited. She was even kind enough to wake up her sister to show her. The excitement from both of them was so contagious! I wish I could keep it like this for forever!

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Of course her favorite part was the magic fairy dust that the tooth fairy left.

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baseball 2014

The past month and a half have been filled with baseball non-stop. If we were not at practice or a game, we were outback playing baseball. My son was honestly living for baseball and couldn’t get enough of it! I have to admit, it was super fun and I am really going to miss it too.

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Sucker Fishing

Last year one of my husband’s cousins brought us sucker fishing and we ended up having a blast. So this past weekend we headed out to see if they were running up stream yet.

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It’s fun getting there because you have to walk through the covered bridge in order to get down to the river.

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There are lots of big rocks to walk and climb on which is one of the kids favorite part.

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The sucker fish were running but they were very sparse.

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Daddy searched for awhile before he could catch one. We even got caught in a brief downpour while waiting, but Daddy was determined to catch one for the kids. Luckily hanging out under the covered bridge was a lot of fun.

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The girls found a little pool of water with rocks in it and proceeded to fish out every singe rock to stash into their pockets.

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When Daddy finally caught a sucker fish we all cheered and ran to check it out.

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My little girl of course wanted to keep it, but when we told her that we had to throw it back in so that it could finish swimming upstream to lay its eggs she was OK with it.

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We have been told that in years past people used to catch sucker fish by the hundreds in this spot. Then they would salt them in a wooden barrel for storage.

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We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful area and that we can catch sucker fish just for the fun of it…and not for survival.

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Have any of you gone sucker fishing before?

Guest posting over at while she was sleeping

I am guest posting over at While She Was Sleeping today as part of Jenya’s You and Me series.

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Head on over here to see what I made for myself as well as my two little girls.

momma’s Little Ballerina’s

I had to share some pictures from my girls ballet recital this past weekend. I can’t help but think they were the cutest little ballerina’s ever!

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