Reversible Mouse Pad for Craftaholics Anonymous

Today I’m over at Craftaholics Anonymous with my first post as part of the 2015 Creative Team! Head on over for an easy tutorial to make your own reversible mouse pad!

Happy sewing!


Why Creativity Matters to Motherhood

I come across a lot of people who are astonished that I sew. Sometimes they’re amazed because they think sewing is a hard skill to learn (it’s not!). Usually, though, they’re baffled that I can find the time. They see me with my four kids, homeschooling, and they say – “Wow, how do you do it all??”

But in reality, I don’t do it all. I do a lot of things – some of them better than others – but I’ve made it a point to prioritize the things that I love. And creativity is a priority in my life. In fact, I think it’s a crucial part of motherhood. Sometimes I have a sink full of dishes, three laundry baskets of clothes that need to be folded, and floors that need to be mopped, but still I sew. I believe that creativity matters to motherhood.

“You are never too busy to make time for what you love. It’s just a matter of prioritizing — evaluating how you spend your days and dedicating time for what you value. If something is really important to you, you will find a way to fit it into your life.”
-Jessica N. Turner, The Fringe Hours

Why Creativity Matters to Motherhood

This post contains affiliate links.

1. I believe that we are designed to be creative, because God is creative. The Father made us with His own hands, and I think that He meant us to be makers. That means something different for each person. I create with fabric, but for you it might be music or baking or photography or words. No matter which outlet you choose, there’s a part of your soul that is itching to be creative.

2. I want my kids to know that art matters. Kids watch and learn. Even if you never tell them with your words (which, by the way, you should), they will see you doing that you’re passionate about and it will make an impression. They’ll watch you doing something creative, and it will help them believe that they can do it too. Kids are born to create – they need to feel things with their hands and make new worlds out of clay, paint, crayons, and paper. When they see their mama pouring her heart into something she loves, it affirms that natural creative desire they have inside themselves. If raising creative kids is a important to me, which it is, I need to model this to them and show them it’s a priority in my own life.


3. Creativity is energizing. Every time I sit down at my sewing machine, something happens inside me. As I take the fabric and make it into a dress, a pair of pants, a bag, whatever – my heart skips a beat. I can ride the “sewing high” of a successful project for weeks. When I’ve had a hard day, maybe the kids are sick or someone has flushed a mitten down the toilet (true story) or we’ve all been hibernating from the -40F windchill, sewing can turn my day around. It can put me in a good mood again and remind me that oh yeah, it was just a bad day… we’ll start fresh tomorrow.

4. Learning new skills keeps my mind active. Motherhood is a lot of repetition and sometimes it can make you feel like all your brain cells are slowly dying away. Between wiping booties and boogers and spending your days speaking to someone who can’t make conversation back to you about anything other than Daniel Tiger, it’s important to find something that sparks your creative side.

5. Kids need to see their mama doing something other than taking care of them. I spend a lot of time taking care of my boys. From the time they wake to the time the go to bed (and sometimes even after that), I’m caring for their needs. I’m teaching and training and breaking up brotherly squabbles. I pick up toys and wash dishes and make meal after meal. It’s hard work, and I’m so blessed to be able to do it, but I want my boys to know that being Mama is not everything that I am. When my boys see me sewing, not only do they see me working with my hands, but they notice that I’m doing something that doesn’t involve them. It’s good for them to see that they aren’t always the center of my universe!

6. Making time for me makes me a better mom. In the book The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner, she talks about how self-care is not a privilege, it’s a necessity. I agree wholeheartedly. Motherhood takes a lot of sacrifice, and it’s something I do willingly. But that doesn’t mean I should forget about who I am and the passions that drive me. Taking care of myself well means that I’m less cranky and more filled up inside, so I have more to give to my husband and my kids. I don’t need to feel guilty about the time I spend on myself. As Jessica says, “Choosing yourself is not wrong. The longer you go without taking time for yourself, the more resentment will fester, exhaustion will set in, and you will have nothing left to give — to anyone. Guilt has no place in the decision to take care of yourself.”


The book The Fringe Hours releases today, and it hits the nail on the head. This book isn’t just for moms – it’s written for every woman who has a hard time believing that making time for herself is important. I found myself nodding along with Jessica’s words, agreeing with her that if I don’t prioritize myself and my creativity, it doesn’t make me a better mom or wife. In fact, it makes it harder on me.

Your creative potential will never be reached if you don’t make time for yourself. By spending your fringe hours – the time you have set aside just for you – doing something creative, something you’re passionate about, you’ll feed your soul and be a better mom, wife, sister, or friend. Creativity is a key part of who you are as a whole person – spiritually, mentally, emotionally. Your creative side matters because YOU matter.


What are you going to do to make time for yourself? If you’re not sure where to begin, start by reading The Fringe Hours. Jessica gives you practical tips on how to prioritize yourself and take back your fringe hours. Motherhood is important work, but making time for yourself – for your passions and your creativity – is crucial. We need to model the behavior we want from our children. Show your kids that your fringe hours are a necessity. Your creativity matters, mama! Make the time. Do it for yourself and for your kids.


Disclosure: I was given a copy of The Fringe Hours in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.

My Creative Process: around the world blog hop

My lovely friend Julie from Our Chez Nous invited me to join the Around the World Blog Hop. The participants are sharing a bit about their creative process or what they’re creating. I love getting a little behind the scenes look at how other designers and seamstresses work!
PicMonkey Collage

I love Julie’s style and attention to detail. She was one of my Bottoms Up Pants testers, and I just loved having her as part of my testing team!  You can see her blog hop post here.


I’m a list maker. I like to put pen to paper, brainstorm, and plan, plan, plan. I write lists of ideas, patterns, blog posts. And then I make more lists for what I need to do for each of those things. I seriously love lists. Anything goes when it comes to brainstorming – no idea is too crazy. I write it all down and then choose the project that I’m most excited about sewing. Sometimes I sketch out my ideas as actual pictures next, but usually I just dive in and start cutting.


If I’m drafting a design from scratch, I draw out the pieces and then just try it. I’m pretty hands-on when it comes to designing, so I really don’t know if something will work unless I actually sew it and look at the final product. Then I tweak and make changes. I like to lay five or six different fabrics out at time before deciding which ones I’m going to use together. But sometimes I abandon that plan, because as I’m going through my fabric, I come up with a better idea. Suddenly it’s all I can think about, my excitement takes over, and I throw myself into that new project with all my creative energy!

I get ideas everywhere I go – I’m inspired by clothes I see people wearing (anyone else find themselves distracted by pants construction during church? no?), architecture, art, books, everything. Being the list lover that I am, I keep a running list in my phone so that no matter where I am, I won’t forget my idea. I also snap quick photos of things that inspire me when I can. Sometimes I even wake up in the middle of the night with a crazy idea that I need to write down. Ah, the life of a creative. ;)


I’m not super organized when I’m mid-project, and I’m pretty easily distracted by pretty fabrics (who isn’t?!) and new ideas. But if I have something in mind, I’ll obsess about it until it’s been sewn. Right now I’m working with this lovely pile of Riley Blake knits that are so incredibly delicious. I’ve been playing with different design combos for this fabric, and I’m super excited for the direction I’m going with this project.

PicMonkey Collage2

I’m passing along the blog hop baton to the lovely Laura of Craftstorming! She’s a fellow boy mama and I just love her designs – they’re fun, practical, and unique, and she always has a fresh take on everyday garments. So make sure you head over there next week to see her post!

Happy sewing!

Quilted Camera (diaper!) Bag for Blank Slate Sewing Team

Today I’m over at Melly Sews, with my Quilted Camera Bag turned diaper bag! Head over and see what has gotten me more compliments that probably anything I’ve ever sewn!

Quilted Camera Bag sewn by If Only They Would Nap

No Doubt inspired sewing: Sew in Tune

Today I’m letting the music be my muse, with one of my favorite blog series: Sew in Tune! I super love this series, put on by Stacey of Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts and Melissa of Melly Sews (you can see my looks from previous years here and here). Last year I came across an amazing pair of pants that were crying out to be upcycled, and as soon as I saw them I thought of Gwen Stefani.
No Doubt inspired sewing for Sew in Tune

If you’re a fan of 90s rock (and if not, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore. kidding. sort of.) you certainly know No Doubt. I was a huuuuge No Doubt fan in the 90s. In the Spiderwebs music video, Gwen Stefani wears these rad plaid pants:

So when I found a pair of red plaid pants at a thrift store, I knew they’d be perfect for this song. I mean, red.plaid.pants. What’s not to love?


 Communication, a telephonic invasion
I’m planning my escape…


In a nod to the old school phones all over the place in the video, I appliquéd one onto my little guy’s shirt and free motioned the phone cord. Of course, he has never seen a phone like this in his life. But 90s rock is educating in so many ways.DSC_3650

Sorry I’m not home right now
I’m walking into spiderwebs
So leave a message
And I’ll call you back


I re-used the existing waistband from the original pants, because I loved the three silver snaps. The fabric has a little bit of stretch to it, so they’re super comfy. I kinda wish I would have made this look for me instead, though I’m not sure I’d rock it quite as well as he does!DSC_3702

The pants have a little flare – I made them almost the same as these pants, and I’m thinking of drafting them into a pattern, because I love the fit.DSC_3782

The shirt? It’s a self-drafted top that’s upcycled from a jersey bed sheet. I love the stripe-plaid combo, and feel like Gwen would approve.


A likely story, but leave a message
And I’ll call you back

There are many more Sew in Tune posts that you have to see (and you’ll probably get a song or two stuck in your head)! Make sure you check them out over at Melly Sews and Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts. Plus, head over there this weekend for an awesome giveaway!

Happy sewing!

Easy, Last Minute Valentines

Easy Last-minute Valentines

So, it’s Wednesday. If you haven’t gotten Valentines yet, you’ll probably find that they’re fairly picked over at the store.DSC_4168

But no worries, you can make these incredibly fast and easy, last-minute Valentines!DSC_4162

In fact, they’re so easy, it will probably take you longer to read this post than to actually make them.DSC_4167


  • washi tape
  • pencils

That’s it!! I got these adorable sparkly pencils and this “Happy Valentine’s Day” washi tape in the Target dollar spot. If you can’t find actual Valentine’s Day washi, just grab a marker and write it on top of your favorite washi tape!


These are great for the playgroup you forgot about or even for just stashing in your child’s backpack for the teacher’s aide you didn’t realize helped out in their class.

If you’re a procrastinator, there’s still hope!

I love celebrating love. :)

Some fun news!

I just wanted to pop in and share some news with you! I’m so excited to be a part of the Craftaholics Annonymous 2015 Creative Team!2015-creative-team-members

I’m joining a group of fabulously talented ladies, and of course, the amazing Linda from Craftaholics Annonymous. Seriously, she is the Queen of Crafting! And I’m super excited to be sharing a DIY project over there every month.

So pop over to Craftaholics Annonymous and check out the other members of the 2015 Creative Team!

Bottoms Up Pants Pattern Tour with Sew a Straight Line

Today’s stop on the pattern tour is the ever-amazing Sabra from Sew a Straight Line. Sabra has the Midas touch – everything she sews is golden. And I absolutely adore her girlie version of the Bottoms Up Pants!

bottoms up pants sew a straight line

Head on over to her blog to check them out! And of course, the Bottoms Up Pants pattern is still 25% off through 1/18 (no code needed!)

 Add to Cart

We’ve got a few more stops left on the pattern tour this week, so stay tuned!

Jan 5th –> Sarah at The Crazy Tailor
Jan 6th –> Melissa at Sew Like My Mom
Jan 8th –> Marissa at RaeGun Ramblings
Jan 9th –> Emily at Naptime Creations
Jan 12th –> Me!
Jan 13th –> Sabra at Sew a Straight Line
Jan 14th –> RaeAnna at Sewing Mama Raeanna
Jan 15th –> Kacia at Coconut Robot
Jan 16th –> Scary at Shaffer Sisters

Add a Lining to any Pants Pattern

Today we have another change in the tour schedule, so you get to see another one of MY versions of the Bottoms Up Pants! I added a flannel lining (because babies in -25 F windchill need to stay warm!) and today I’ll show you how to add a lining to any pants pattern you have.Add a lining to any pants pattern

Adding a lining is super simple. It obviously adds a little bulk, so you may have to go up a size, especially if your little one is close to moving up to the next one. My little guy still fits into the 18 month size at 21 months, but I want the pants to last through the rest of the winter, so I went up to 24 months.


Let’s get started!

1. Cut out the front and back pieces in both the outer and inner fabric. Sew them together according to the pattern instructions – remember to add your pockets first! Keep your lining pieces inside out.


2. Since the Bottoms Up Pants don’t have a separate waistband piece, you will need to trim your lining pieces. Cut one inch off the top of the lining to avoid bulk in the waist. If you’re using a different pants pattern that has a waistband, you won’t need to trim your fabric.

There are two different ways to attach the lining.

Here’s option one (this is a great option if you want to cuff the pants so the lining shows):

  • Tuck your lining (still inside out!) into your outer fabric, making sure the bottom of the outer and lining fabrics meet at the bottom. If you’re using the Bottoms Up Pants pattern or another without a separate waistband, your lining won’t reach the top.


  • Turn the outer fabric inside out, holding the bottoms together.


  • Sew the lining and outer fabrics together with the right sides together. Do this carefully so that you only sew through the two layers. Repeat with the second leg.


  • Now pull the lining and outer fabrics together!



Here’s option two (this is great if you don’t plan to cuff the pants):


  • After trimming one inch off the top of the lining, trim 1/2 inch off the bottom of the lining. Then hem as the pattern instructs, tucking the lining into the hem.

Now finish the waistband according to the pattern instructions, making sure the lining is tucked inside!


Now you have some nice and cozy lined pants! Perfect for keeping those baby legs warm. :)


I used the same lining fabric for the pockets, and I used the flap pockets that I loooove.


My little guy is still pretty short for the 24 month size, so we have a pretty wide cuff on these pants. I could have used the 18 month length, but we should get some great wear out of them throughout the whole winter!

DSC_2886 copy

And because a pattern tour is much more fun with a discount, the Bottoms Up Pants pattern is on sale, 25% through 1/18 – no code needed!

 Add to Cart


The tour continues with some fabulous Bottoms Up Pants fun all week long! So make sure you come back and check out all these bloggers and their lovely versions :)

Jan 5th –> Sarah at The Crazy Tailor
Jan 6th –> Melissa at Sew Like My Mom
Jan 8th –> Marissa at RaeGun Ramblings
Jan 9th –> Emily at Naptime Creations
Jan 12th –> Me!
Jan 13th –> Sabra at Sew a Straight Line
Jan 14th –> RaeAnna at Sewing Mama Raeanna
Jan 15th –> Kacia at Coconut Robot
Jan 16th –> Scary at Shaffer Sisters

Great Big Leather Tote from Sewing to Sell

My blogging bud Virginia from Gingercake Patterns just wrote a book called Sewing to Sell, and it’s about exactly that… helping you to launch or improve your handmade business. I took a look at this book, and I made one of the projects to share with you.
Great Big Leather ToteI was super impressed as I went through this book. Virginia has covered pretty much everything from A to Z in regards to starting a handmade business. Not only that, she has included 16 projects that you can make and sell at craft fairs or in your own shop.

dsc_1818I made the Great Big Tote, but I put my own spin on it. The basic look is the same, but I decided to use leather, and I didn’t have enough to make it as “great big” as the project in the book. So I made a Medium Big Tote. ;)


The Great Big Tote from the Sewing to Sell book by Virginia Lindsay

The projects in the book also include tips for sewing a bunch of them at once and for highlighting your product to sell. If you need a few more tried and true handmade goods to add to your inventory, you have a wide variety to choose from a few different categories: useful items, best use of materials, and great sellers. There are projects for kids, babies, women, or the home, covering a range of customers.

dsc_1817Even though I don’t have any plans to sell my handmade goods, there are so many great tips in this book, about photography, finding your personal style, even having the right sewing equipment. I learned a lot, and plan on going through the book again to glean some more of Virginia’s wisdom. :)


Plus, Sewing to Sell covers the business side of selling handmade, which is an invaluable resource. You basically have everything you need in this one book!

11060_FrontCover_FullSizeI think one of my favorite parts of the book, though, are the interviews with bloggers/handmade shop owners. I love reading through the experiences of others and hearing what has or hasn’t worked for them.


I love how this tote worked with the leather, and you know my love for bags, big and small. All of the projects in this book are perfect to customize to your own style. The book is available in hard copy or as an e-book, and I get to give away a hard copy of this book to one of my lucky readers! Yay!!


 Click here to enter the giveaway!

(open to US residents only, sorry!)


Make sure you check out all the other fantastic bloggers on the book review tour!

Disclosure: I received an e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.