Tips to Find Time to Sew

As a follow-up to my post about my struggle with finding time to sew with little kids around, I wanted to share some of the things that help me, and some of the great tips I received from other readers and friends. Some of these tips are great too, for anyone struggling with balancing it all {all women}, not just for moms of little ones. A few of the tips I credited to an individual, but a lot of what everyone said was along the same lines, or are things I do, so those I’ve just left uncredited.

Here they are:

1. Prep your machine the night before. Clean it, wind bobbins, change the needle, get the correct thread and foot ready for your next project. Then, it will be ready and waiting. {Tip from charliemarmalade on IG}

2. Have your project ready to sew. Much like the first suggestion, when you get to your planned sewing time, you can spend it sewing, not gathering supplies. This is also great, because if you get an unexpected free moment, you can actually sew, if you want to. I like to sort my projects into baskets, so that I can grab the one I want and work on it, then put it back when I’m done.

3. Sew where the kids are. Even though I have a sewing space, I spend most of my time at the dining room table sewing while my children play in the living, craft at the table, or eat a snack. {Jennifer Dewing, a mom of 9, echoed this sentiment}

4. Let them help out. Many of my sewing sessions are spent with a child on my lap, or my son pressing the foot pedal {my machine lets me lower the speed, so he can’t accidentally make it go too fast}. If I’m making something for my kids, I offer them fabric choices so that they’re excited to see the project progress.

5. Give them an alternate craft. When I really want to get a project done, I get out a craft for the kids to do at the same time. Whether we’re filling old water bottles with random things to make marrakahs, stringing beads, or coloring in a new coloring book, the excitement of their project keeps them occupied while I work on mine.

6. Have hand sewing at the ready. Whether it’s paper piecing, embroidery, or binding, having a hand sewing project that can go outside on sunny days, or to the living room while they play a game, this gives me a little fulfillment and keeps me right with them too.

7. Have a dedicated quiet time. This is an opportunity for children to learn self-entertainment, to recharge, and to give you a little break in your day too. We don’t do this in my house yet, but I’m going to start! {Tip from sevenblessingssewing on IG}

8. Take advantage of help. Whether it’s a free afternoon from grandma or hubby taking the kids to the store, use those unexpected free times to recharge and do what you enjoy without feeling guilty about it {it’s hard, I know}.

sewing-with-babyIt was hard to find a photo of me with Lydia on my lap sewing, as we don’t often have a photographer handy, but here’s one from last year, she was mesmerized by the machine! You’ll notice Legos and the play kitchen in the background, and that my dining room table are the setting.

I hope maybe these tips will help you sneak in a little more sewing {if that’s what you want to do!}. I know that our whole family is happiest when everyone gets a little time to themselves to pursue what they enjoy, even mom!

Playing with Color :: Lydia’s Quilt


With things settling down for fall, it is high time I got to work and made Lydia a quilt {she is one year old now!}. As you may have guessed, I really love purple {Clover & Violet}, but I feel like the options for purple in the fabric world are minimal and not always pretty {why is that? Do we as a collective quilt community dislike purple?}. So, over time, I’ve scouted out a few favorite purples and stashed them. I chose this stack {plus some more that I added later} for the quilt.


Then, I remembered seeing that Alyssa at Pile O’ Fabric made a Kona® Color Swatch for Adobe Illustrator. I went over to download it, did some internet searches, and discovered that, yes, I can use this in Photoshop Elements 12 too! So, now I am able to use her virtual Kona® card to make some pretty neat fabric photos too, for inspiration and for saving {and, of course, fabric shopping!}. Now, I just hope she adds the new colors so all 303 are there {and, I need a new Kona card too, since two of the colors I chose weren’t even on my color card, it is that old!}.

Lydia Quilt Small

So, here’s my stack for Lydia’s quilt with the Kona® colors next to it. Now I’ve just got to get the quilt sewn up!

Do you have a favorite color combo you’d love to see in fabric?

Turn your little artists drawing into a softie

This contributor post is written by Susi of Lilla Luise.


Hello dearest readers!

This is Susi from Lilla Luise again! Today I have something slightly different from what you are used to when it´s my turn to blog here. This isn’t a tutorial that will give you a specific template but rather a guide to talk you through making a softie from your kid´s drawing. It is probably the one tutorial that is as close to my heart as it could be – it will melt your heart too when you see the glow of excitement in your kid´s face when they realize that you animated one of their drawings.

Speaking from experience, let me tell you the most important part of this process – don´t try to make your kid´s drawing perfect in your eyes. To them it is already perfect just as they doodled it, if there is a wonky body this is exactly how they want it to be. We are grown up and sometimes forget to see the magical touch in imperfection. So let´s just abandon our perfect sewing theories for a little while and create something truly enchanting, okay?!!


Some tips on how to work your magic and turn your little one´s doodle into a softie.


Keep the shape as simple as your child has drawn it. If it is wonky don’t try to straighten it out…your little artist apparently wanted it to be wonky…that´s the beauty about kids, they see the magic in things that aren’t perfectly well-balanced and designed, so as an adult try to get a bit of that magic back by forgetting about perfect round circles and straight lines for a moment – it´s worth it, believe me :) I usually try to trace the shape exactly as it is and then add 1/4 inch seam allowance to my template. Dont forget to clip curves and corners to make sure it will finish nicely.



Try to stick as close to the doodle as you can.
If the eyes are dots only I like to embroider them with a simple French knot for each eye. If they happen to be larger you can appliqué them with wool felt in matching colors.
If the mouth/nose is drawn like a thin line already I like to use my sewing machine to carefully stitch it on, if it is a thicker line I would recommend to embroider it with a running stitch.


If the arms and legs are drawn like sticks I think it´s a really cute option to use baker´s twine. Simply tie a knot or two on one end and then sandwich it in between the softie front and back.
For thicker arms you could either go the “normal” way and sew a front and back piece of fabric together, turn it and stuff it or you could use some bias tape and tie a knot in again to represent the hand/foot.
Baker´s twine or bias tape would also work very well for a tail.
I tend to sew over the arms and legs on the seam allowance several times before I turn the softie right side out as it will certainly be well-loved by your little one and we don’t want the arms/legs to rip out easily!


Everything goes, really…baker´s twine, embroidery floss, yarn, wool felt, fur, fabric scraps.


I hope these tips are helpful to create the most perfect imperfect softie in the world!!!


Little Pearl Dress for Craft Book Month

If you’re anything like me, you probably buy a lot of craft books that you don’t use. Not for any real reason, except that you wish you had more time to make everything you want to make! September is Craft Book Month at Craft Buds, so everyone is encouraged {by prizes} to make something from their craft books!
Little-Pearl-Dress-FullThis year, I made the Little Pearl Dress from Libery Love by Alexia Marcelle Abegg. I had originally planned on making a much more complicated dress, but things weren’t really working out, so I found this one! The simple, A-line dress is fully lined and doesn’t use a ton of fabric {something I have a hard time doing for dresses that will be worn for so short a time!}.

Book-and-FabricSince I made such a small dress, I used a border print from Mustang by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel because it was just too pretty! The dress is lined with Free Spirit Voile in Seafoam that I bought last year to line a skirt with {I bought it at Shop Cucire, but she doesn’t seem to have any right now), which feels so soft and luxurious. I also picked up a pair of KAM snap pliers and assortment of snaps instead of using buttons for the back {my button hole attachment and I do not get along, and I knew that the seven buttons on this dress would cause some tears}.

Little-Pearl-Dress-BackI added a strip of interfacing to the dress body and little interfacing circles to the lining, to sturdy it up for the snaps. I really like the way they look on the back and they were much easier than buttons. I will be doing this more often.

Little-Pearl-Dress-FrontThe front of the dress in the book has a ruffle detail, but after an Instagram poll, I ended up leaving it off this time. Since the neck is kind of high, I’m glad I did.

I made Norah the size 3 dress and it seems true to size compared to her other 3T clothes. Since the is just switching over from 2T to 3T, this dress is a little loose, but that will allow for a shirt under it for fall and hopefully it will still fit by spring.

I already have the 18-month size traced for a dress for Lydia too, now I just have to sew it up! This dress is easy to make, fully lined, and doesn’t use much fabric. The only drawback is the pattern only goes to size 4, so it’s only for little girls. However, until Norah outgrows it, you’ll be seeing more of this Little Pearl Dress around here!


More about Craft Book Month

Craft Book Month

September marks the 4th Annual Craft Book Month at Craft Buds! This year, we’re excited to celebrate all month long with a blog hop of inspiring craft book projects and LOTS of giveaways for sewing along with a sewing, knitting, cookbook or other craft book of YOUR CHOICE.

If you are a craft book hoarder, you are not alone. Several years ago, I had an urge to dust off my craft books, unfold those crisp pattern sheets and put those patterns to good use by actually making some projects.

2014 Craft Book Month Blog Hop!

I’ve teamed up with some fabulous bloggers who will be showing off their projects made from craft books, all month long!

Monday 9/1: Fabric Mutt / Lindsay Sews
Tuesday 9/2: Rae Gun Ramblings / Craftside
Wednesday 9/3: The Feisty Redhead / The Fabric Studio
Thursday 9/4: Marci Girl Designs / Small Town Stitcher
Friday 9/5: LRstitched / A Prairie Sunrise

Monday 9/8: Hopeful Threads / sewVery
Tuesday 9/9: 13 Spools / Lisa Liza Lou
Wednesday 9/10: Stitch This! / My Sewcial Hour
Thursday 9/11: The Littlest Thistle / Fabric Seeds
Friday 9/12: Sew Sweetness / Clover + Violet
Monday 9/15: Inspire Me Grey / amylouwho

Link Up

9/1-9/30: Link up your craft book project at Craft Buds from your blog or Flickr account, and enter to win prizes. To participate in the month-long contest, just link up any project you’ve made from a pattern in a craft book. That easy! You’ll tell us a little about the book, the project, how you personalized it, etc. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, October, 1!


1) One entry per person. 
2) Your craft book project must have been completed in 2014.  
3) Create a new blog post, instagram, or Flickr photo (dated September 1, 2014 or later) and link or refer back to Craft Book Month at Craft Buds (#craftbookmonth for instagram) in your post or photo description. Make sure to list the craft book you used and provide a link if possible.  
4) All winners chosen via Some prizes available to international winners, so please join us!


Visit Craft Buds and link up your craft book project during the window of Sept 1-30 and you’ll automatically be entered to win some fantastic prizes from the Craft Book Month sponsors!

Craft Book Month at Craft Buds

Tiny Tots: Fashionable

This contributor post is written by Rachel of Sew Happily

Hey yall! It’s Rachel from Sew Happily, here to bring you your monthly children’s post!!

Rachel from Sew Happily

One of my favorite things about fall is fall fashion! Tights, leggings, scarves, boots, layers, layers, layers…. Anyone else? This year, I’m especially excited for my Reagan to be able to start wearing fun fall clothes. Last year, she wasn’t quite two – and to me, just still a baby. This year, I see more and more of a free spirit in her – and I can’t wait to let her feisty personality shine.

But, since I have limited sewing time during the fall, I’m trying to be more organized and methodical with my sewing for her. So, I’m creating a fall wardrobe plan for her. I thought I’d share with yall some of my inspirations and patterns choices for her fall wardrobe.

fall mosaic

These are my four favorite photos for Reagan’s fall wardrobe ideas!
I’m hoping to make her these fun patterns:

1. Geranium Dress by Made by Rae

2. Audrey Dress by Violette Field Threads

3. Pippa Peplum by See Kate Sew

4. Fawn Lily Tunic & Dress by Willow & Company

I’ll probably add in some leggings, and hopefully her fur vest from last year still fits!
What about yall? Any fall sewing on your plate?