Self Drafted High Low Tunic in French Terry

Have you ever messed up a ridiculously easy sewing project? That’s how this self drafted high low tunic happened. And the more I tried to fix it, the worse it got. It’s not awful, I think it’s super cute actually. But I only because I stopped before it got completely butchered.

High Low French Terry Top

This is French Terry that I won at Sew Country Chick a while back. I love the striped front and the neon loopy side equally, so I wanted a tunic with raw hems and neckline. I had to have both sides! Unfinished edges with contrasting colors are so trendy right now.

French Terry Top with High Low Hem

The first thing I did wrong was try to draft my own pattern. I don’t like drafting, I really don’t. There’s a balance between trying new things and knowing your weaknesses. I know for a dang fact that I hate drafting, and even if I were good at it; I’d still hate it. That’s 30 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

Self Drafted French Terry Tunic | SewsNBows

So I cut the front too low, in fact she’s wearing this tunic backwards right now. Yeah. And above, you can see the nice high low effect I was going for. But it’s in backwards, so I guess that makes it low-high. Sigh.

Self drafted high low tunic (worn backwards!)

I left the sleeves long and rolled them up. They are perfect for a giraffe. I’m thinking it might fit her well next year as a top, so I kept the length. Apparently I’m not capable of measuring, so I’ll just hack the sleeves/hem to the appropriate lengths when she grows into it.

Self Drafted High Low Tunic

I’ve had a series of projects that aren’t fitting my niece right. It’s really hard to sew and draft on nothing but measurements. I have such respect for women who make clothing to sell, or send to far away loved ones.

Girls Self Drafted High Low Tunic | SewsNBows

The bow is a winner though!

Double Stacked Neon Bow | SewsNBows

Flat drafting is something I’ll never enjoy. I also dislike using a rotary cutter, matching stripes in knit fabric, and shirring on a Brother. (Other machines are fine.) What sewing tasks do you least enjoy? Is there a skill or technique that you have absolutely no desire to learn?

Posted in Girl's Clothing, Sewing Techniques | Tagged , , | 2 Comments
Thoughts: Going Back To Work & My Big Revelation

I’ve had some heavy thoughts on my mind lately. Thoughts on going back to work, blogging, and purpose. I had a big revelation; but let me start at the beginning.

Thoughts On Going Back To Work: From a WAHM

In 2009, I left my career in insurance to run our construction business. I spent the next 2 years learning the ins and outs of an S-Corp. Tax forms, payroll, learning Quickbooks. I took classes and studied. The basic idea in any business is to get the paperwork and money where it needs to go before something bad happens.

Fast forward to 2011. My daughter is in school all day. What used to be a full time job is now second nature; and I have free time on my hands for the first time since I had a baby. I didn’t know what to do. 

So I joined the neighborhood association and the PTA. I helped coach soccer teams. I learned to write grants, the ugliness of politics, and to see the beauty in people. It was another stepping stone, all meant to prepare me for something. 

Twin OTT Hair Bows | SewsNBows

I started a bow business and had a few boutiques carrying my hair accessories. (Okay, one of them was a gas station…)

I wanted to start a blog and sell online. I have a fashion design degree, but hadn’t touched a sewing machine since college. I had a new baby niece and I wondered if I could remember how to make clothes.

Creative Motivation

The blog turned into a love story. I never did get around to selling much, but it’s a chronicle of my daughter, niece, and nephews growing up. A journal of my sewing successes and failures, what I’ve learned, what I want to learn. A place to meet people who were interested in the same things as me. I’ve made so many great friends here!

After over 2 years of writing here at SewsNBows, I’m starting to see some revenue. Not a lot, but enough to feel good about. My goal last year was to make  my blog pay for my sewing habit, and I did. The real validation is that people read it. I love that I have something to share!

Art Gallery voile- dress in progress

In January we moved away from the city to a farm. Our prayers were answered. I can’t even tell you what a big prayer it was, and how much God’s hand was in this thing. 

SewsNBows

I have a routine in place here. I have farm chores, things I need to do for the construction business, and things I need to do for the blog. The blog has really taken a backseat this year with moving and getting settled in. Rural internet is so slow, just maddeningly slow. I have to be in a patient mood to mess with it. So while SewsNBows is here to stay, I haven’t been promoting it like a good blogger, or putting in the time needed to make a hobby blog pay for itself.

My revenue has dropped, which is fine. Money is tighter since moving, but all our bills are paid. We have groceries and a little extra. We aren’t lacking anything. I certainly don’t need anything to occupy my time. But…

It sort of hurts my pride. I like having my own little pennies. I draw a paycheck from the construction business, because the government says I have to. My husband does all the heavy lifting, I barely lift a paper clip. In all fairness, my paycheck is really his paycheck; cut in half. He will tell you different, because he loves me and he’s proud of me. He has set up a very comfortable life for our family. He gets me, and how I need to be needed. He tries to make me feel valuable and appreciated. 

SewsNBows

When I asked him if I should get a part time job, his answer was, “If that’s what you want.” I tried to decide if he meant “I want you to stay home, but if you prefer working go ahead.” Or maybe he meant “If you want to contribute more, please feel free to take some of the pressure off me.” Edson is an Aries, a true ram. I realized he meant exactly what he said. Whatever I want. And the truth is, I didn’t know.

Still. I spent the week looking at jobs offers. My daughter sat next to me yesterday and asked what I was doing. I told her that if we can’t get decent wifi, I wanted to find a new way to earn a little spending money. I explained that I feel good when I have my own, independent income, and maybe it’s ingrained in me because I was raised by a single mother. She listened, and told me I should get a job at a fabric store. Ha! We all know that would end badly, right? Or maybe it makes sense. I work for fabric anyways…

Thoughts: Going Back To Work

I’m getting to the point of this post, I promise.  Bella and I chatted some, and she went off to hole up in her room; like girls her age sometimes do. Then she came back crying! She told me she didn’t want get up early and ride the bus to school. She said she doesn’t want to wait for both her parents to get off work in the afternoon. She needs my help with homework. She even told me, “If you go work I must deserve it; for thinking you’re so annoying! I’m sorry for thinking that.”

What? Me going to work is a punishment? I let that soak in a little. I’ve always felt it’s a privelege to be at home. A privelege for me, that is. I get to make my own schedule, and I have a few (glorious) hours each day to spend as I choose. A luxury. Have I been trying to earn it or justify it in some way? My mom never had that option, so maybe I beat myself up a little. Finding ways to earn a little extra money is is/was source of pride for me. Doing volunteer work, writing a blog; it’s all because I was searching for validation.

Thoughts On Going Back To Work | SewsNBows

All those things are good, but why did I not feel validated by driving my baby to school? Packing her lunch? Sitting on the couch and chatting about school? My husband sees the worth in that. My daughter does. How did I miss it?! That’s my great revelation. It took working at an insurance office, running my own business, volunteering for various board positions and organizations, starting side businesses and investments, writing a blog, and a buying a farm for me to realize that I was looking in the wrong place for personal fulfillment.

Retaining Wall

Everybody always says that God has a plan. I’ve seen the way each of my experiences prepares me for the next. I thought the plan leads you to where you are supposed to be. Now I’m thinking the plan is designed to make you who you are supposed to be. 

I want a pony!

I’m not saying I won’t go back to work when the time is right, or dream of buying a shop in town. Im still planning to invest in some cattle. I’m enjoying getting involved with our church and meeting people. Going to work or staying at home; by choice or neccesity… It doesn’t make you a good or bad person. You can make your “resume” look amazing, but what you do physically, or what you earn: it isn’t who you are. 

This isn’t a post about staying home or going to work. It’s about knowing your own worth. It’s a wonderful thing to be needed and valuable. I was just looking in the wrong places! It turns out, the little things are what make me important. The back rub before bed. Cutting the crust off the sandwich. I never thought I was fabulous for driving my child to school. Those things are just part of being a mom. But they are worth a lot, and us women tend to forget that.

Have any of you ever undervalued yourselves? Just in case, I wanted to write about it. It feels good to know that I am important to my family, even if I’m sooo annoying:)

Posted in Blogging, Country Living, Kids | 5 Comments
Seashore Dress pattern by Gracious Threads

This is the Seashore Dress, Top, & Tunic pattern by Gracious Threads. Here’s my review!

Seashore Dress pattern by Gracious a Threads: in vintage mint fabric! Love this pattern.

I’m obsessed with Gracious Threads patterns. I own the Seena Dolman Tee in girls and womens sizes; and the Lazy Day Lounge Pants (which I have made a dozen times and never have blogged about!)

Here's a cute girls dress pattern to sew: the Seashore Dress by Gracious Threads. Shown in vintage mint fabric with pink accents by SewsNBows

I actually forgot I owned this pattern. Can you believe?! Either I won it a long time ago in a rafflecopter, or maybe it was in a pattern bundle. I think it’s an older pattern because the newer GT patterns have a photo and technical drawing, while the Seashore Dress just has a photo. I’m drawn towards digital illustrations because it’s easier to see seams and construction details. Maybe that’s how I passed over it for way too long?

Seashore Dress | Girls Sewing Pattern from Gracious Threads

I chose this minty green vintage fabric. It has a teeny print with pink flowers that is very hard to photograph. I’m still shooting in automatic…and I’ll probably never take the time to learn manual. I’ve just accepted it. Sigh.

Seashore Dress by Gracious Threads

I wanted a pattern that wasn’t too busy. Something with clean lines to really show off my fabric, nice construction methods, and not plain or boring. The Seashore Dress pattern delivers all that! (It’s the perfect design for border prints too.)

Shoulder Seam Button Closure: the Seashore Dress pattern by Gracious Threads

My favorite detail is the 4 button closures on the shoulders. I made a size up (5) so it’s a little big for Sofie- and I probably could’ve made one side decorative buttons only. Just a lazy girl suggestion if you cut corners like I do.

*I should’ve pressed after finishing this dress. Skipping ironing= not a good corner-cut.

Seashore Dress pattern by Gracious Threads: this pattern has clean simple lines without being boring. This would be perfect for border prints, and the shoulder details are so pretty.

The neckline is finished with bias tape. This keeps the dress really light and airy. It would be very simple to line it if you prefer. I let my bias tape hang over the edge a bit for a bit of contast, and used it to finish the sleeves as well.

Cap sleeve and button closure shoulder detail: a Seashore Dress pattern from Gracious Threads

Speaking of the sleeves, those are my next favorite thing. It’s…the perfect amount of capped-ness. I love capped sleeves but I don’t like them too cappy. This dress pattern is classic.

Seashore Dress: pattern by Gracious Threads

Confession: these images are over exposed so eyes look dark. This picture was so creepy I had to crop it. In this particular photo; my niece looked like a scary little girl that crawled out of a well. You saw that movie, right? I really should take a photography class.

Seashore Dress pattern by Gracious Threads

If you’re a regular visitor here, you may have noticed Sofias expression is somewhat pensive. She’s normally super smiley and pretty much a total ham. That’s because she had an ulterior motive. The entire (4 minutes) duration of this photo shoot, she was edging closer to the tire swing.

Seashore Dress pattern by Gracious Threads

My poor baby. It’s almost never left unattended; so she had to seize the opportunity. She worked her way toward it slowly, under the guise of taking pictures of her new dress. If she had made a run for it, it’s a certainty that her bigger, faster brothers and cousins would’ve beelined and got there first.

Tire Swing

I don’t stage photos real well, preferring to keep it quick and let the child be the creative director. I really enjoyed being behind the camera on this one. It was fun to watch her strategy. Her sneakiness was military level. I was impressed. If you scroll back up and look at her face, you’ll see what I’m talking about! She was on a mission to get that tire swing.

Seashore Dress pattern by Gracious Threads

Pattern: Seashore Dress, Top, & Tunic by Gracious Threads; size 2T-8
Fabric: vintage mint floral from stash
Details: bias tape neck and sleeve finishing, pink buttons for shoulder closure. I made size 5, model is size 4 according to size chart.

Posted in Girl's Clothing, Pattern Review, Vintage | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments
Farmhouse Chair Makeover: Shabby Chic Plant Stand

This chair had been lingering around for a couple years. It’s pretty small; my niece is the only one who can fit in it anymore. Some of the joints were a little wobbly too. It lived outside for a while, spent some time collecting dust in our clubhouse, then somehow survived the move out here to the farm. It blended in and sucked the joy out of whatever corner it lurked in.

Farmhouse Home Decor! Wooden Toddler Chair Repurposed As a Shabby Chic Plant Stand

I’ve been on a decorating kick lately. I’m obsessively arranging and rearranging furniture, and busy filling my greenhouse and sunroom with plants. (The long term goal is to make my own jungle.)

Farmhouse Chair Makeover

I changed my color scheme in the new place so I’m finding tons of junk to paint. Did you see my dollar store lantern refashion? I thought this chair would make a great plant stand to add some height and color somewhere, so I got out the paint again! I’m not a furniture or home decor guru. In fact, it’s quite out of my element. But this is so easy, anyone can do it. It’s just slopping paint on old crappy stuff; to make it look less crappy.

Farmhouse Chair Makeover

Toddler Chair To Farmhouse Plant Stand

I started with a hunter green base coat. I used a sponge, and when that got annoying I just started wiping it on with a towel. But it was blah and boring.

Farmhouse Chair Repurposed: To Shabby Chic Plant Stand

So I added a coat of grey, so light it’s almost white. I was real careful to paint sloppy, because shabby chic is in vogue. I wanted bits of the wood grain and base coat to show through. If you want things to look rustic, just paint like you don’t give a damn. It usually works out fine, in my experience.

Home Decor Idea! Farm Style Chair Makeover: Into Rustic Plant Stand

It turned out like this. The light color is a perfect backdrop for greenery or bright flowers. Don’t you think?!

If you like this project, you may want to visit some of my Pinterest boards!

Garden & Outdoor Decor

Furniture DIY

Decorate The Dream Home

Thanks for reading!

Posted in Country Living, Crafty, Gardening, Home Decor, Repurposing | Tagged , , | 5 Comments
Best Loungewear Sewing Patterns For Tweens

Here are my top picks for loungewear sewing patterns. All are pdf format and include tween sizes. These patterns are great for lounging around or active wear, layer well, and are ideal for almost any weather.

For more tween sized sewing patterns, be sure to check out my Tween PDF Pattern Masterlist!

The Best Loungewear Sewing Patterns For Tweens & Teens. Make clothes they actually wear!

Best Loungewear Sewing Patterns For Tweens & Teens

 

Asymmetrical Drape Top by EYMM, size NB-18 Tween

Best Loungerwear Sewing Patterns For Tweens| Asymetrical Drape Top by EYMM

Knit top with sleeve variations. Choose the regular hem or asymetrical drape version. Perfect for light to medium weight knits.  Also available in girls + womens bundle up to 5X!

 

 

Lacy Slope Top by Greenstyle Creations, women’s size XS-3XL

Best Loungewear Sewing Patterns For Tweens! Lacy Slope Top by Greenstyle Creations

High low tank with 2 length options. The women’s Lacy Slope Top starts at size XS, which will fit most girls size 14-16. (Size 12 and smaller is available in the Girls Lacy Slope Top.) Click this link to shop: Greenstyle Creations.

 

 

Four Seasons Cardigan & Duster by EYMM, size newborn-18

Best Loungewear Sewing Patterns for Tweens: Four Seasons Duster by EYMM

Open front scarf-neck cardigan with with 2 length options, 5 sleeve options and an optional integrated hood.

 

 

Star Top by blaverry, size 9 months-16

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The Star Top is a 3 quarter sleeve boatneck tee. (Read my review here.) Blaverry recently extended pattern sizes, up to girl’s 16. And there’s a new line of patterns this season, eek!

 

 

Brassie Joggers by Greenstyle Creations, size XXS-3XL

Best Loungewear Sewing Patterns For Tweens | Brassie Joggers by Greenstyle

Brassie Joggers are super comfy but can also be dressed up depending on your fabric choice. They have sleek lines, optional decorative stitching, and streamlined pockets to reduce bulk. The XXS will fit younger tweens, XS will fit most girls size 14-16. Read the size chart and adjust for length if needed.

 

Hampton Hoodie by PAB, size XXS-XXXL

Best Loungewear Sewing Patterns For Tweens: Hampton Hoodie by PAB

Fitted hoodie with placket, 2 sleeve lengths, and banded wrist and waist. XXS fits 00, XS fits 2-4. (Also see the Hangout Hoodie for this pattern in kids sizes up to children’s 10.)

 

Jammin’ Hoodie by Ellie Inspired, size 1-16

Best Loungewear Sewing Patterns For Tweens: Jammin Hoodie by Ellie Inspired

Zippered or pullover hoodie with optional kangaroo pocket. Unisex, versatile, functional. This is a staple for your collection!

 

Too Cute Ruched Shorts by Cole’s Creations, size 10/12 girls-XXXL women

Too Cute Ruched Shorts by Cole's Creations: Best Loungewear Sewing Patterns For Tweens & Teens

Designed for woven fabric or stable knits, these shorts can be made with or without ribbon ties and cinched a little or a lot.

 

 

Gymnastics & Dance Shorts by TumblenTwirl, size 2-14

Gymnastics Shorts pattern by Mountain Ash Design: Loungewear Sewing Patterns for Teens & Tweens

 

Mountain Ash Designs (TumblenTwirl on Etsy) has dozens of dance and swim patterns. These shorts would be great for all of the above, or as lounge/sleepwear. Get in my stash!

 

 

Matey Muscle Tank by Patterns For Pirates, size 3m-14

Matey Muscle Tee by Patterns For Pirates: Best Loungewear Sewing Patterns For Tweens & Teens

Loose fitting, sleeveless tank with ribbed neck and arm holes. A great pattern for boys and girls. Its perfect for up-cycling old t-shirts too! 

Loungewear Sewing Patterns For Tweens

I hope you enjoy pattern hunting with me! I’ve been being a good girl this year and not buying fabric or PDFs. I own a few of these already and I’m itching to sew for spring. Which of these patterns would you most like to try?

This post contains some affiliate links. If you click one of my links (or ads in my sidebar) and make a purchase, I recieve a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only affiliate with brands I love. When I make commission I usually just buy a pattern myself. So thanks for reading and sharing; your support means a lot!

Posted in Boy's Clothing, Girl's Clothing, Tween Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments