June Income & Expense Report

My June Income & Expense Report is in. It’s ugly….

June Sewing: Inpcome & Expense Report

Sewing/Blogging Income
$18.50 etsy sales

Sewing/Blogging Expenses
.60 etsy fees
$18.93 L’Ouseau (fabric)
$907.53 The Stitching Post (cuss words here. My machine broke.)
$72.68 JoAnns (more fabric, thread, zipper)
$4.68 shipping
$64.75 Hobby Lobby (lingerie elastic, exacto-kit, gluegun, etc)

Total Spending: $1069.17
Total Earning: $18.50
Total: $1050.67

So….my old sewing machine didn’t survive surgery, and it turns out I’m not a doctor. Who knew?


This is the 6th month of my expense report…and I think I’m done with them. I’m still going to track my spending, but not on the blog. And I’m giving myself a monthly allowance based on my spending this year.

I learned a lot in 6 months; and cut my sewing splurges at least in half; probably more. I’ve stopped making impulse buys, and only go to the fabric store with a specific project or items in mind. I have a good idea of what my minimum spending is for each month. I feel like I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to do.

The only area I’d like to improve in is sewing through my massive hoard of fabric. I really have been using it- my sewing machine gets more mileage than my car. But fabric multiplies! I’m curious, what do you all do with your scraps? And what size of scrap is too small to keep?

Below, you can see my & expense report for each month.



Posted in Blogging, Organization | 7 Comments
Cruise Chino Shorts + Blaverry Discount Code

We love the Cruise Chino Shorts from the 2014 Nautical Collection at Blaverry. After my tween summer shorts patterns post, several of you asked about Blaverry patterns- so here’s my answer!

(Scroll the the bottom for a discount code on Cruise Chino Shorts!)

Cruise Chino Shorts | Blaverry sewing patterns

I’m really proud of these shorts. I made a list of sewing skills I wanted to learn last year in my Tween Sewing Survival Guide. A zip fly was the only thing I hadn’t conquered.

Blaverry | Cruise Chino Shorts pattern

I know, I’m being a peacock; but this, my friends, is a zip fly that I made. Me! See, zip flys have defeated on all counts. I’ve tried commercial patterns, I’ve tried blog tutorials…it’s just something that hasn’t “clicked” in my brain yet.

Girls Chino Shorts from Blaverry | SewsNBows

(I’m not the only peacock. Someone is dying to show off her new accessory.)


I’d say this pattern is advanced beginner or maybe intermediate. I confessed to Blaverry designer, Christie;  that this pattern is more complex than the clothing I normally sew. She gave me lots of guidance, which made me feel more confident.

Here’s what she told me.

“I do recommend high quality fabrics and patience with creating these shorts. The shorts are more involved than your basic pattern. It is very much a commercial style pattern, even down to the zipper fly’s construction. Even though it may take more time to make than a basic quick sew pattern, the end results are well worth all of the effort that goes into them. And all the wear your little one will get will justify the little bit extra you might spend on a higher end fabric.”

2014 Nautical Collection | Blaverry sewing patterns

I’d say that was a dead accurate description. I went into this project with the mindset that I was going to take my time and do it right. I’ll need to use this pattern a couple more times before I’m really comfortable with zipper flys. I’m still at the point where I have to read the instructions a couple times.

I want to tell you that tutorial was well written and step by step. I find that some of the higher skill level patterns assume you know how to do everything or have missing instructions- not the case here. Even though I still struggled with parts of it, it’s my lack of experience that gave me pause.

Cruise Chino Shorts pattern by Blaverry | SewsNBows

I wasn’t worried about the welt pocket at all. Puhlease. I’ve made welt pockets in doll clothes. This is what Christie told me about the pocket construction.

“The welt pocket will be the most challenging part of the pattern. If a welt pocket is new to you I recommend you search some videos on line and watch. Then just take your time when making them. Best tip is to be sure not to make the darts too long. The top of the welt should go right to the end of the dart.”

Another pearl of wisdom. It turns out doll welt pockets are different than people pockets. This is because people are real, and dolls are not. People tend to put things in their pockets; which is why there is a pocket lining. So I was cocky and thought I really knew what I was doing, but inserting the lining threw me off . There’s a fold thing in there that caught me off guard. I didn’t get them quite right, but those fully functional welts back there.

Girls Chino Shorts from Blaverry

Blaverry Cruise Chino Shorts

Professionally Drafted: These shorts fit perfectly everywhere. The back hem has a slight downward curve, which keeps them the same length in front and back. No riding up! There are also belt loops, not shown in my version.

Print Options: You can print full scale for print shops, or tile the pieces & tape them together. Not scary random tiling, it’s just like putting together any PDF. The print shop option is really nice for European clients.

Customer Service: Impeccable. Seriously. I was a BUGABOO.

Value: At $14.95, Blaverry PDFs are higher than I normally spend. I think it’s a justifiable purchase, especially for a staple pattern like the Cruise Chino Shorts. It’s kind of steak…and Blaverry is a filet mignon.

Wearability: My kid wears these ALL. THE. TIME. I always feel like I should get an award when I make something she likes, because she’s so picky. Bella wants functional, high fashion and she isn’t into the frilly boutique style outfits that I love sewing. The design aesthetic is very tween friendly, and definitely creates clothing that you’d see in Delia’s, Justice, and Crew Cuts lines.

Cruise Chino Shorts pattern from Blaverry

Soon I’ll be showing you the Star Knit Top, which is a cute boatneck top with 3/4 sleeves. I’m also keen to sew the Knotlin Nautical Dress. Which is your favorite Blaverry pattern? I’d love to see your creations; so grab one this month!

Through July 31st, use code CHINO12 to save $2.95 off the regular purchase price on Cruise Chino Shorts.


Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , | 8 Comments
Breeze Top Pattern Tour- and Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Breeze Top Pattern Tour! (Scroll all the way down for an awesome Peaches & Peanuts + The Ribbon Retreat giveaway!)

Breeze Blog Tour Pic

Peaches & Peanuts patterns manage to effortlessly pair bold details with classic styles, while catering the the specific demands of older kids. There are so many challenges for tween sized garments; the most obvious one being fit. This age group is all over the charts growth wise.

Tween Sized Pattern Review: the Breeze Top by Peaches & Peanuts

Meet the racerback top’s edgier big sister: the Breeze Top. The stand out feature of the design is the high back neckline with open shoulders.

Breeze Top Pattern Tour | SewsNBows

The high front yoke is a cute design element, but secretly acts as a clever solution to one of the most common problem areas for fitting young ladies.

Breeze Top by Peaches & Peanuts

The elasticized back panels ensure modest coverage and allow room to grow. Nothing in this pattern is an afterthought. It has tons of function that you’ll appreciate if you sew for tweens.

The Breeze Top

Tween Sized Sewing Pattern! Breeze Top by Peaches & Peanuts, size 8-16.

Pattern Specs

Sizes are from 8-16. The top has fully lined knit and woven pattern pieces. There are 2 functional buttons for the woven version, and optional decorative buttons for knit.

Breeze Top Pattern Tour | SewsNBows


I lengthened the top to create a dress with a slight high-low hem. (I love hi-lows right now. It’s like a mullet for your clothes. But better.)


Seagull Silhouette jersey knit fabric from Girl Charlee, also used for Basic Leggings earlier this year.

Breeze Top Pattern Tour | SewsNBows

Overall Impression

The PDF is easy to put together and the instructions leave nothing to be desired. Shannon has secret ninja design skills that keep girls covered, comfy, and stylish.

You can buy your copy of this pattern at Peaches&Peanuts. Use promo code “BREEZETOUR” for a 25% discount until midnight tonight!

Breeze Top by Peaches & Peanuts

To celebrate the Breeze Top Pattern Tour; Shannon is also giving away 3 patterns and 3 $25 gift certificates to The Ribbon Retreat! The giveaway ends tonight at 11:59 P.M. EST, so there’s a little time left. Enter the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Girls Clothing, Pattern Review, Tween Sewing | Tagged , | 11 Comments
Big Girl Briefs from Serger Pepper | Tween Pattern Showcase

I’m showcasing the newest pattern from Serger Pepper today- Big Girl Briefs. The size range is huge, all the way from 3-14. That makes it a perfect underwear pattern for tweens!

It’s the first pattern I ever used to make underwear, although you saw a pair of men’s briefs on Fathers Day. I’ve been using it over and over; just waiting until the release date to show you.

I got addicted to making them! They use up smaller bits of knit fabric, and look great mixed and matched. There’s a cute detail in the front that uses strips of woven fabric. I like the way the crotch part is contructed; with no open seams or unfinished edges. This pattern also has nested sizing, which is a really neat feature. How great is it to only print the size you need?!

Big Girl Briefs | Serger Pepper

When I made my first pair of Big Girl Briefs, I was a little nervous. Undergarments were foreign territory! I used leftover scraps, because I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. But I managed, and each pair got easier.

Modified Big Girl Briefs (into adult sized undies!)

For this pair, I increased the waistband and leg measurements and made Big Mama Briefs. Ha!! It has full booty coverage, so there’s nothing hanging out…that’s why the size range will go way past the girls size 14.

Big Girl Briefs pattern with fold-over elastic, using L'Ouseau knit fabric

Lately, my undie sewing is looking more professional. This pair was the first time I tried fold-over elastic. (The pattern works great without the woven strips too!) Even though they aren’t quite perfect…they’re my favorite pair so far.

I now have lots of fold-over elastic and pico edge lingerie elastic in the stash. As soon as I get a chance, I’ll show you some of my latest undies. (They are cute, and I’ve gotten better at making them!)

Until then, you should visit Serger Pepper to see the Big Girl Briefs pattern release. While you’re there; stop by the shop and use promo code BIGGIRLDISCOUNT20 for a 20% discount. (Good until June 27th.)

This pattern has been added to the Tween PDF Pattern MasterList:) Hope you’re all having a great summer; sew on!


Posted in Girls Clothing, Pattern Review, Tween Sewing | Tagged , , | 9 Comments
How To Match Stripes in Knit Fabric

Ever wonder how to match stripes when sewing a knit garment? I found lots of great tutorials, and I thought you might like to see what worked for me.

How to Match Stripes in Knit Fabric

How To Match Stripes In Knit Garments

How To Match Stripes (so they don't look like this!)

Matching your seams starts with cutting. There are some excellent links at the bottom of this post that will help you cut your garment properly. Once your pattern is cut, keeping the prints lined up in a knit garment takes a little extra finesse. Not much though, don’t be scared!

If you match the edges of your fabric, your seams won’t come out quite right. This is the case with knit or woven fabric.

How to Match Stripes On The Seams

That’s because you need the stripes to match on the seam allowance; where the stitches will go.

Garment Sewing: How Match Stripes

Mark your seam allowance on both sides of your garment. Makes sure the pin goes through the seam allowance marking on each side. I horizontally pinned every other stripe. Knit fabric moves around a lot, so a few vertical pins don’t hurt!

Knits have lots of different properties. The more you sew with them, the easier it is to predict. If your fabric is moving around a lot and hard to keep aligned, you may want to enlist the help of a walking foot. It will help your top and bottom fabric feed through your machine at the same time.

Prints that really tricky to line up might even need from a basting stitch. Pins will work with most fabrics, but can sometimes pull your fabric just enough to mess up your match.

Matching Stripes On Your Seams

I’m not the seam police; so I was pretty pleased when my last dress (Simplicity 1358) matched up perfectly. Here are some good posts about matching your fabric prints at the seams.

Tilly & The Button- Cutting & Sewing With Stripes

Sewaholic- 3 Tips For Sewing With Stripes

Colletterie- How To Match Plaids & Stripes

As soon as you have time, watch this video (below.) Its almost 20 minutes long, but it’s the best resource I’ve found for cutting and sewing garments with directional prints. I haven’t had trouble matching my seams since I watched it! I highly recommend it.

Professor Pincushion- How To Sew With Plaid.

Until next time,







Posted in Textiles, Tutorial | Tagged | 7 Comments