Strawberry Summer Day Dress

Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime.
In honor of Daylight Savings (which my husband hates and would lobby to get rid of)
((Spoken as a true Arizonian))…well, I’ve got sunshine and summertime on my mind.

Are you a summer lover too?
Or is winter more your vibe?—sitting by a fire, reading a good book and crocheting? Lucy wishes it would rain every day. I keep telling her she should live in the PNW when she grows up. It’s totally gorgeous. And totally that vibe.

Weather is a funny thing—like it’s part of our personality. Or rather, our relationship to weather is part of us, in our DNA. A Nature vs Nurture thing? I have a friend that grew up in Portland and never knew what it was like to see so much sunshine till she moved away as a teenager and fell in love with the sun. And then we know people who left sunny southern California this year for the giant green forests of Oregon and love it.
Potato, Potahto.

Whatever your weather language is, I think most of us agree that knit fabric is one of the best ideas ever. I love a good knit. And THIS KNIT IS THE SOFTEST THING AROUND. I’ve said that before. And probably before. But it really is soft!

This is the Backyard Berry knit from my Summer Side fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabrics. There are three knits in this collection, and sixteen quilting cottons. You can browse them on my site here, or check out the AGF lookbook here.

For this dress I used the Summer Day Top pattern (which you can watch a video for here and here). I used the peplum tunic version and added some length to make it into a dress. Voila!

I also added the sleeve cuffs, because that is my favorite look. It’s the version we used on the pattern cover (in picnic plaid fabric).  And I smiled at this pic below (from Boden I think??) because it has a similar feel. And with the orange background, totally ties into the whole Summer Side collection!

If you’ve never sewn with knits before, DO NOT STRESS. They’re fun, they’re an adventure, but they’re not scary. I have tons of content here on my site about sewing with knits. And I have detailed videos here and here and here.

The key with knits (in this instance) is to not stretch the fabric as you sew. The nice thing with this pattern is that the bias strip binding for the neckline (when cut out of quilting cotton) will help you avoid that all together. And it looks so stinking cute when you cut the binding from a striped fabric. Watch me sew a neckline binding in this video here.

The downside to using a knit here (or rather, the “make it work” moment I experienced) is that AGF knits are a bit on the heavier side. This is fabulous when sewing a pair of leggings. But I found that it added more bulk and weight around the waistline seam. So I scaled back the width of fabric used for the peplum. And even then, the finished dress felt too “big” to me (it would feel totally different if this was sewn in a rayon fabric). So, I added a simple tie around the waist, and then I loved it!

Like I said, knits are always an adventure. Each one acts and stretches differently than another.  For this waistband tie, I simply cut a long strip of fabric, yanked it on the ends so it curled up around itself and that was that! No sewing or finishing anything off, since most knit fabric does not fray at the edges.

Now I want to make more summer clothing from the other knits in the collection…. tanks, a beach coverup, or how about this cute shirt that was tagged to #agfsummerside on Instagram?? Love her energy!

Happy sewing, friends!
> Purchase the Backyard Berry Knit Fabric here
> Grab the Summer Day Top Pattern here
> Sunglasses are from A Beautiful Mess
> Bag is from Target

Patch Pockets

Hello friends!
It’s a new year! It’s a new change of gear.
How ’bout sewing some pockets??


We’re not related.

(But speaking of unrelated things…this is my new favorite background. Half Square Triangles for all future video backdrops! They are so happy.)

Okay back to Pockets. I really love pockets.
If there happens to be an item of clothing in my closet that does not have pockets, I never want to wear it. In fact, why did I even buy it?? Pockets are a must! And they are so easy to sew, especially this kind.

They’re the kind of pockets that you can ask mid-project,
“You think we need some pockets?
You think we need some pockets.
Okay, we’ll add some pockets.”
(Name that movie)
((And sorry. Brad Pitt and George Clooney are not part of the pocket-sewing process.))

So let’s make some easy pockets for your pants, shorts, or even a skirt.
These skinny pants are so much fun (they’re another spin on the KID Shorts pattern). I love them! I want them for me. They remind me of the stuff I wore as a kid in the early 80s.

Just add a bit of piping (the homemade stuff, or the pre-made kind from a fabric shop)…

Throw on a pair of DIY Saddle Shoes

And you’ve got one sweet looking ensemble.

…with a lot of personality.
Clara kills me with our photo sessions.
I give a little direction, she gives me a lot of robo cop and high kicks.
Or maybe it’s more Freddy Mercury?
Yes.  Definitely channeling some Freddie.

Ready to see pockets and pants in action??
Just hit the play button below!
Or you can watch on my youtube channel here:

Ah, I love Clara. She’s almost EIGHT!
What happened to 2012??
Cue the Thriller dance…

Thank you BAGS for YOU!

It’s November! Which feels like the calm before the storm.
It’s that short break, when you take a decor breather before red + white twinkle lights show up. Of course it’s also my favorite month to start making pumpkin pie (or any pie). It’s time to get cozy in the house, and most of all to give THANKS!

And I want to say THANK YOU to YOU!
Thank you for always stopping by and leaving fun comments. I love interacting with you guys and seeing what you make and share online (tag me so I can see!)

So. For this month I want to keep saying THANK YOU to YOU with a few thank you gifts each week. Cause, when in doubt:

And take time to stop and smell the cactus.
If cacti have a scent?
Or maybe they don’t have a scent?
But they’re always pretty to look at (and to make!)

I designed these canvas bags with some of my artwork from my fabrics.
And I want to give some to you!
They’re such a great size to use as a purse, for knitting and sewing projects, for books. Hey they’d make a great GIFT bag to put something else in, and to gift away. It’s the bag that keeps on giving. And keeps making you hungry.

• I’m giving away TEN OF THESE BAGS! (winners pick Tacos or Cactus)

• Open to all Newsletter Subscribers WORLDWIDE! (10 winners will be picked at random)
• All you have to do is be a newsletter subscriber,
>>> Sign up by the end of Friday Night, November 8th <<<

That’s it!

If you already subscribe to our newsletters, then you’re set!
If you’re not a newsletter subscriber, SIGN UP HERE.

I love sending newsletters out to you. They’re like a mini blog post, with a personal note, and links to fun projects. I try to send them weekly, depending on the craziness of life.
So. If life were perfect, you’d get one every Friday.
And cactus blooms would smell like coconut lotion.
And tacos would be served for Thanksgiving dinner.

>>> Sign up by the end of Friday Night, November 8th<<<

And stay tuned for more fun free things I’m giving away over the next few weeks.
Have a great afternoon!