Ribbon Tutu & Matching Pigtail Hair Bows

My nieces special day was forever ago but I’ve been wanting to show you her ribbon tutu birthday outfit. And guess what? I didn’t make it!

DIY Ribbon Tutu Birthday Outfit | SewsNBows

Her mama made it. Krystal got a sewing machine and this was her first project. She started making no-sew tutus way back in the day when I started making bows. We were selling stuff locally for a while, and even did a couple craft shows. In fact, the bow and tutu business sort of started this blog!

Pigtail Birthday Hairbows | SewsNBows

I’m trying to talk her into all sorts of things, like being a contributor on the blog and starting a Facebook page. I’d really love for her to start selling our stuff again. I have an Etsy shop, but it’s in sad shape. Selling bores me. Selling things on online is a terrible chore, and paying listing fees annoys me. I’ll let what I can talk her into! Oh, and we’re halfway through sewing another Sally dress.

DIY Ribbon Tutu Birthday Outfit | SewsNBows

Sofie’s tutu has satin ribbon sewn onto each individual strip of tulle, which makes it floof-tacular. I’m pretty impressed, because I hate working with tulle.


Birthday Outfit | SewsNBows

Isn’t the shirt cute? Krystal sewed all the ruffles on and used an iron on appliqué. She showed me the inside of the shirt and said her stitches look disgusting. She hasn’t been sewing long enough to worry about that!

Birthday Outfit | SewsNBows

When you start sewing, you’re supposed to have that blissfully ignorant period where you don’t know you have “mistakes”. I’m afraid I’ve turned her into a sewing snob!


I did make the matching pigtail hair bows. They’re huge & ridiculous, just the way I like them.

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Thomas The Train Boxers For Boys & Dolls

By Amy Mayen

I bought my niece Sofie a Bitty Twin girl doll for her birthday last year.The boy twin looks like her brother Evan. Don’t you think?

Boy And Bitty Twin Look Alike

Can you believe this is the clearest photo I have of my nephew?

Of coarse he’s getting a Bitty Twin boy for his birthday. He’s really excited about it. He asks about his baby Evan every day.

I made him these Thomas the Train boxers in 2 different prints- with baby Evan sized boxers to match.

Thomas The Train Boxers For Boys & Dolls

Why should girls have all the “dress like your doll” fun?

Check out the American Girl Doll & Wardrobe giveaway for a chance to win a free doll of choice, and a custom sewn Valentine wardrobe from the finest blogs and boutiques!

Thomas The Train Boxers For Boys And Dolls

You can see everything that’s up for grabs at the American Girl Valentine Outfit & Accessory roundup! Good luck:)



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PVC Pipe Photo Backdrop

A couple readers asked how Edson made our photo backdrop at Bella’s birthday party. I saw a ton of them on Pinterest. Here’s a link to a good tutorial:

Wedding Bee PVC Pipe Photo Backdrop

On the way to Home Depot, I found a photo of the PVC frame on Google and showed Edson. He glanced at it for half a second, ran in, and got the stuff. Our total was $40, but we had a few other small items. He used a thicker pipe than shown in the link above, so it wouldn’t be flimsy, and made ours 7″ by 7″. The wider and taller you go, the easier to crop photos later. Also, bigger means more room for group shots.

It took Edson about 4 minutes to put together. (But he’s real handy. It would’ve taken me an hour to figure out.) We were running out of time setting up for the party, so I literally threw some silver fabric over the top, tied a garland on the sides, and taped the fabric together in the back.


I used a roll of that fake snow stuff on the floor. (70% off at Home Depot) Next party, I’ll use some balloon bundles in the top corners to cover the bit of pipe that was showing. For Evans party, I plan to sew curtains. I’ll add an extra few inches on bottom so there’s no gap between the curtain & the floor.

(You can check out my Birthday Ideas for Evans party on Pinterest.)

The pics turned out great. If you have liked MayenDesigns on Facebook, you may have already seen these.



this is one of the only shots I got of Bella in front of the photo display

Krystal, Sofie, Johan (See the gap? Don’t do that.)

Me & Krystal

Edson, Julian, Johan


Edson & Yours Truly

Those are great looking photos. You just crop all the junk around the edges and voila! Instant professional looking photos. (Unless there’s a gap between the curtain & the floor, or the tape came undone and the curtain gaps, but I’m sure you’ll do a better job than I did!)

Now I’m going to go play around in photoshop. I wonder if I can edit out fat arms, etc? Hey, it’s easier than working out! :)

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Bella’s 8th Birthday Party

I’m the best mom ever.

“Best party ever mom!”

It’s true. I rock.

But I’m the worst blogger ever. I didn’t run around with the camera frantically getting pin worthy shots.

I passed the camera around and asked everyone else to do the dirty work…while I danced with hubby and spent time with family and friends.

I don’t regret it. I had the best time, and so did Bella!


Here’s the PVC pipe photo display I told you about. This also works great at craft shows.


I took a couple pics when we were halfway done setting up. Don’t Edson’s snowflakes look great?


By the time we had all the pink stuff up I barely even noticed the yellow walls. Something like that triggers my crazy gene & usually I’d lose sleep over it.



More pink stuff going up on the walls. It was getting close to appointment time and I couldn’t get anything to stick. Panic ensued and a couple ugly words came out of my mouth. Best mom ever was nowhere to be found at this moment.



I always like to do a giant birthday card.


See it starting to come together?

I need to stop right here and say thanks to my friend Cynthia. She stayed long after I had to leave to finish setting up. I owe her SO BIG. Her hubby brought all the sound equipment and managed all our music. A fog machine even showed up. It was amazing. I hope I get rich so I can pay for their kids college or something. I have no idea how to repay them.

A list of awesome things I wish I took photos of:

The finished room! (I was late because I couldn’t find my contacts and I got puked on a little bit when I was heading out. No big deal. )

The DJ booth. It was really cool.

Bella’s table. We had it decorated so cute with a reserved sign…we made it really special. Bella got to invite her friends from school to sit with her. I loved it! (Cynthia’s design, btw.)

The cake! It was so pretty!


fighting over piñata candy

Here’s my favorite photo. This is Bella, past her bedtime, hopped up on cake and candy.


Now you know why I limit sugar in my house. Seriously. Look at her.

I’m back to sewing now that we’ve survived the party. I made a romper & I’m halfway through a summer dress for Bella. I couldn’t be happier to be back at my sewing table.

Although, my nephew Evan told me he wants me to make him a carnival for his March birthday….and Evan is the nephew that brings me cookies, flowers, and steals his moms nail polish for me when I ask him too. So I gotta make him the biggest carnival ever. If you want to see my ideas coming together, follow my Party Ideas board on Pinterest!


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Birthday Wall Decor & Crafts

Do you guys like my new header?

I’m still a birthday factory over here. I thought I’d save money by designing and printing my own invitations last week. I spent $40 on Avery blank postcards…the kind that are perforated and you use their template. Anyways, the point is, I couldn’t get anything to work on the template, and I had to get help anyways. Lesson learned.

Luckily, I found Kim from Silly Me Baby & Design. She fixed me right up! Then I asked her about designing me a simple header. I love it! (I’m not going to tell you what I paid, because I think she gave me such a super good deal because she felt sorry for me since I’m so dumb clueless.

Edson build a PVC pipe backdrop for Bella’s party. It also doubles as a photo backdrop for my blog photos! It cost him $40 to make, and he literally put it together in 5 minutes. I’ll show you in a future post!

He cut a bunch of snowflakes out of styrofoam. They will look neat hanging from the ceiling.


I’ve been working on tissue paper poms and flowers.

Here is our snowflake wall decor made from paper plates and coffee filter snowflakes.


I did a few paper fans too.


I’m excited for our party. I invited Bella’s class, so I’m pretty sure either nobody will come, or the entire school district will show up with their extended families.

Here’s another garland:


In case you missed it, click to see my birthday centerpieces and upcycled birthday decorations.

Tutorials for many of these projects (and more) can be found on my Pinterest board, Party Ideas.

I got Krystal’s dress hemmed. I had to dust off my blind hem foot. I don’t use enough blind hems.
I hand stitched a patch onto a pair of jeans. I’m having sewing withdrawals…bad ones. I’m hoping my machines won’t be mad at me for abandoning them the last 2 weeks.


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