Gwen Dress Test for Pattern Anthology

Pattern Anthology has recently released their latest pattern bundle, Unbiased. In it are four dress and top patterns, designed to flatter women of all sizes. I tested the Gwen, and wanted to share the dress version that I sewed.

There are many options in this pattern, and for this version I sewed the dress with a neck binding. The length of this dress is super flattering, and since it’s made with knit fabric, ridiculously comfortable.DSC_0531I used this fabulous french terry fabric from Girl Charlee, and my love of knit dresses lives on with this dress! Like all of Kate’s patterns, it comes together very smoothly, and the instructions are easy to follow. The pattern has a placket option, but when sewn without it like this one, you can be finished in less than thirty minutes.
DSC_0547I’m loving my new dress so much! Perfect for date night. So I have the dress and my man, now I just need the babysitter. ;)DSC_0555The Gwen is available as part of the new Pattern Anthology collection, and come back later this week for a different view of this fabulous pattern!

Wide Neck Tee for Remix the Stitch

My sweet friend Kimberly at Straight Stitch Designs is celebrating the one year anniversary of her pattern shop! She has accomplished so much in the last year. I’ve been such a fan of her patterns – I’ve sewn the Capitol Hill, the Ballard and the Greenwood, and I’ve loved So when Kimberly invited me to be a part of her Remix the Stitch tour – taking one of her patterns and mixing it up – I knew I had to sew along!

Wide Neck Tee from If Only They Would Nap

*this post contain affiliate links*

I actually started out with the Ravenna, but I made a cutting error that ended up… well, let’s just say it wasn’t working out in my favor. I knew I had to set it aside, and since I had three other Straight Stitch Designs patterns printed and ready to cut, I came up with a brilliant idea: combine the Greenwood with the Capitol Hill to make a wide neck tee!


It’s a super simple hack: I used the front and back of the Greenwood – the low back version, so the front and back are the same. Then I used the sleeve from the Capitol Hill. I shortened the Greenwood about 1/2inch from the shoulder to match up with the sleeve. I used a one inch binding for the neckline. I also graded the body of the shirt out just a little bit, as I wanted a slightly looser fit. When I make another one, I’ll also add another inch to the sleeve, since the shoulder is higher than the Capitol Hill, and I forgot to factor that in.

wide neck tee 5

This shirt is ridiculously comfortable. I looove the wide neck. Plus, I put it together from cut to sew (to photograph!) in less than two hours. So basically it’s faster to make a new shirt than to do a load of laundry. Clearly laundry is overrated.

wide neck tee 3One of the great things about owning multiple patterns from a designer is that often times, you can mix and match some of the pieces like the sleeves. I love Kimberly’s style, and all of the Straight Stitch Designs patterns have great features, fit well, and come together so nicely. They’re some of my go-to patterns for sure!

wide neck tee 4

I didn’t get a good picture of it, but the back of the neck mirrors the front. It’s unlike any other t-shirt I own, so it’s a fun way to mix up my everyday t-shirt and jeans wardrobe! I just adore this shirt! It’s starting to feel like fall, so this will be getting a lot of wear.

Wide Neck Tee 2

Kimberly’s having an amazing sale and giveaway in honor of her anniversary. Her PDF and paper patterns are 50% off and her stitch kits are 40% off through 9/20. I really can’t recommend her patterns enough!


Click here to enter the giveaway

Make sure you check out all the other stitchers on the #remixthestitch tour!

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, September 8th: Meg Cookin’ and Craftin’ | Jennifer Ginger Peach Studio
Wednesday, September 9th: Ajaire Call Ajaire | Heidi Handmade Frenzy | Stacey Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts
Thursday, September 10th: Melissa Rebel & Malice | Annika Näh-Connection | Abby Sew Much Ado
Friday, September 11th: Katie It’s Hard to Hear Up Here | Jane Buzzmills | Lisa Mabey She Made It
Saturday, September 12th: Elena Randomly Happy | Allie Indiesew | Jess If Only They Would Nap
Monday, September 14th: Jaime Made By Jaime | Lauren BASTE + GATHER | Sara Made by Sara
Tuesday, September 15th: Audrey Skirt Fixationy | Teri Fa Sew La | Hayley Welcome to the Mouse House
Wednesday, September 16th: Emi Just Add Fabric | Rachael Imagine Gnats | Teresa Dandelion Drift
Thursday, September 17th: Kaysie | KZJO’STUDIO Rita Conversas de Hermanas | Stephanie Swoodson Says
Friday, September 18th: Andreia In a Manner of Sewing | Nienke Pienkel | Abbey Sew Charleston

Wet Bag with Pocket Tutorial and tips for potty training

We’re about to enter a stage of life that I have to admit, is not my favorite. The potty training stage. Potty training seems to go one of two ways in my house: complete and total disaster or epic triumph. I have yet to have an in between experience. Having been through this three times already, I have a few tips, as well a tutorial for my number one must-have for potty training: a wet bag! With this in hand, I have all that I need to survive with hopefully as few disasters as possible.Wet Bag with Pocket Tutorial

Tips for Potty Training

  1. Follow your child’s leading. If he or she is not ready, you can’t force them to potty train. If they are showing signs that they are interested or ready (telling you when they go in their diaper, asking to use the potty, etc.) give it a try!
  2. Relax. Seriously, don’t freak out. Barring a medical issue, your child will not go to high school in diapers. You will get through this.
  3. Set a timer. Put your child on the potty every thirty minutes during the first few days of potty training. Even if they have accidents, you’ll probably get lucky and some of those times he or she will have to go, and they’ll start to get the hang of it.
  4. Be consistent. Come up with a mantra, potty routine, reward, a song you sing, whatever works for your family. Say it often and be consistent about it. Kids love routine!
  5. Remember that accidents happen. Your child could be one of those kiddos that gets it from the first try, but more than likely, accidents will happen. Keep calm and positive, and remind your child what to do next time.
  6. Use Pull-Ups when you’re out-and-about and for naptime. Since they pull up and down, they give your kiddo the independence of underwear, but they’ll help prevent a major disaster in aisle five. (see below for a coupon!)
  7. Carry a Wet Bag. Once you’ve started potty training, and for awhile after you think your little one has it down, you’ll want to carry a wet bag. This will give you a waterproof bag to carry soiled clothing, so that your diaper bag or purse stay dry. Much nicer than carrying plastic grocery bags everywhere. Wet bags have saved the day on numerous occasions!

Wet Bag with Pocket Tutorial


  • 4 pieces of your chosen non-stretchy fabric 10×13 inches (for the outside of the bag)
  • 2 pieces of PUL 10×13
  • Ribbon or twill tape (optional)
  • 7in. zipper for pocket (or longer – you will shorten it)
  • 9in. zipper for top (or longer – you will shorten it)

1. Take two of the main fabric pieces and put them right side together. Draw a narrow rectangle approximately 6 3/4in. long by 3/8in. high on the wrong side of one piece. I did this about 4.5 inches down from the top.


2. Stitch around the rectangle (through both pieces of fabric). Then cut down the center of the rectangle, making two small cuts toward the corners on both ends, as you can see in the photo. Make sure you don’t cut your stitches.

3. Flip the top piece to the other side and press. You will now have an opening for your zipper pocket.


4. Pin the zipper behind the opening and sew it to the fabric. Stitch close to the ends of the fabric.


5. Now place another fabric piece down right side up. Place the zippered piece on top (zipper pull on top). Then stay stitch these two pieces together all around. (In my photo, I accidentally put my bottom piece wrong side up. If you do this, you will see the wrong side of your fabric when you open the zipper.)

6. Sandwich your zipper in between your PUL and your outside fabric. The right sides of the fabric should be facing each other, and the outer fabric should be against the zipper pull. The right side of the PUL is the waterproof side – it’s shinier. Sew along this side, next to the zipper.

7. Flip those fabrics back and top-stitch them onto the zipper. (The picture below isn’t the best and it shows both sides sewn on, but it shows you the final product after top-stitching)

8. Now repeat with the second piece of PUL and the last piece of outer fabric. Again you will sandwich the zipper between your outer fabric and PUL with the right sides against the zipper (and the outer fabric against the zipper pull). The fabrics you just sewed will also be in between.


9. Now repeat the top-stitching on the zipper as you did in step 7. Now it really will look like this picture.

10. If you would like a handle, choose a ribbon or a piece of twill tape and fold in half. Place it in between the two zippers, with the raw (not folded) edge toward the outside. Pin the ribbon in place.

11. Open the zipper 3/4 of the way. Now lay the fabrics flat, right sides together. You will have your PUL on one side and the outer fabrics on the other. Pin/clip the sides together.


11. Sew around all four edges, leaving an opening to turn the bag right side out. Clip the corners and extra seam allowance.


Then turn it right side out, hand stitch the PUL lining closed, and you’re officially prepared for potty training accidents on-the-go! Or anything else you might need a wet bag for: swimming, road trips, canoe rides, etc.DSC_0788

Pull-Ups and Family Dollar have teamed up to ease the pain of potty training a little bit by giving you a deal on Pull-Ups. I do love a good deal. ;)


This being the fourth time we’ve potty trained, this really is a product we use at our house. And diapers are expensive, so I take a good deal whenever I can find one!


The wet bag is nice and roomy, and you can easily alter the dimensions to make a larger wet bag for traveling or even at-home use, especially if you’re a full-time or part-time cloth diapering family.


You can use the inside PUL-lined pocket for wet items, and then use the outer pocket for extra diapers, wipes, underwear, etc.


And you can carry this bag around without everyone knowing you’re hauling diapers and wet undies around with you. And then when your kids are out of diapers, use the bag to carry your phone and keys to the pool!

You can click here to locate a Family Dollar store near you.DSC_0810

Happy sewing, friends!

12 DIY Lunchbag patterns and tutorials (sew and no-sew!)

I’ve been sharing a few tutorials lately for DIY lunchbags, but I wanted to put together a roundup of a few more different types. So whether you want to sew or not, make something complicated or simple, insulated or not, you can make exactly what you need!

DIY Lunch Bags 12 sew and no-sew patterns and tutorials
1.  Cloth Lunch Sacks from If Only They Would Nap – tutorial includes a lined or unlined versionDSC_0697

2.  Reusable snack bags from Girl.Inspiredreusable-lunch-bags16
3.  Star Student Lunch Box pattern from Peek-a-boo Patterns (affiliate link) – these look just like store-bought lunch boxes!


4. No-sew Leather {Paper} Lunch Bag from All the Good Girls Go to Heaven – this is perfect if you can’t or don’t want to sew.

5. Insulated Lunch Tote from Zaaberry – this one has a zippered top and will keep those lunches cold

lunch tote
6. Simple DIY Snack Bags and free lunch box notes printable! My tutorial over at Craftaholics Anonymous. A no-sew alternative to plastic bags, plus you can let them know how much you love them with a little note.

7. Reusable Lunch Bag from CraftbudsDSC_0027-685x1024

8. Peas and Corn Lunch Box pattern by Sew Sweetness – this version sewn by Hawthorn Threads

9. Free Lunch Bag pattern from The Long Thread

10. Another cloth lunch sack from A Lemon Squeezy HomeDSCF0904_thumb[7]

11. Monster Snack Bags from HaftaCrafta – so adorable!

12. And completely no-sew, Lego Lunchboxes from If Only They Would Nap – we use them for traveling, but how fun would this be to include in your kiddo’s lunch with a small bag of Legos?

Happy back-to-school!

DIY Lunch Bags and free printable!

Today I’m over at Craftaholics Anonymous sharing an easy DIY that will go perfectly with the lunch sacks I shared earlier this week. Lunch bags for sandwiches and snacks, plus a free printable for notes to tuck into your kiddos’ lunches! Head on over and check them out :)



And if you haven’t already, make sure you enter the For the Love giveaway!

Pretty pictures don’t tell the whole story

A few weeks ago, I was having a day. You know the kind, when your two-year-old has smeared poop all over himself and the crib, your house is an epic disaster, the dishwasher isn’t working, the kids are acting like bedtime is a newly invented phenomenon, and your husband is out of town. A long, exhausting kind of day.

And on that same day, an acquaintance posted a picture of her kids, smiling and adorable, in their perfectly decorated living room, on their sofa that has no rips or stains, holding their adorable handmade crafts that they just whipped up on the spur of the moment. Bless.

That’s when it happens… the comparison. Clearly, she has it all together. She obviously didn’t spend an hour cleaning up poop. I’m sure her kitchen is sparkling and her kids were all in bed by 8pm. She’s a modern day homemaking miracle, and for the love of bedtime, I’m just wondering when it’s too early to pour myself some wine.

We don’t want to put our mistakes and shortcomings on the Internet for everyone to see. It’s easier to let people believe that we’ve got this handled. So we post the pretty, the bright and shiny, the status-worthy, the everyone-will-want-to-pin-this stuff. Because it’s what we’re proud of. It’s how we want people to see us – as people who have it all together and aren’t failing at life.

But pretty pictures don’t tell the whole story. We all know it, but we somehow believe that they do. We see the blogger with the perfectly decorated living room, nothing out of place. But we don’t see how she carefully budgets for a weekly cleaning service. We notice a friend who looks like she belongs on the cover of a magazine, despite having given birth to a house full of children. But we don’t notice that her marriage is falling apart. We scroll through Pinterest, pinning beautiful pictures, pin-worthy projects, and delicious recipes. But we don’t see the late hours, countless fails, and cropped out messes that went into each post. Because who’s pinning that?

I don’t think it’s being dishonest, to put your best face forward, because you don’t need to air your mess to the world. But newsflash: no one has it all together. I don’t. You don’t. Your favorite Pinterest-guru blogger doesn’t.


There’s a lot of freedom in letting go. Letting go of the expectations we put on ourselves and the people around us to be and do every.single.thing. And to do it all perfectly.

I had the (amazing) opportunity to pre-read Jen Hatmaker’s new book For the Love that just released. This book is like sitting on the front porch with your bestie. The one who pops by your house, sees you in your ratty pajamas with your three day old hair and your toddler who is coloring on the wall, and she still tells you what an amazing mom you are. Jen reminds us that not only is living a perfect life impossible, we don’t even have to try.


Jen helps you to put aside your unrealistic expectations for yourself and live in the freedom found in a grace-filled Father who loves us in our imperfection and calls us to love others in theirs. Plus, she’s pee your pants funny. Seriously, you might pee just a little bit.

So I’m going to sew my kids clothes, but they won’t always (ever?) be perfect. I’m probably going to let my dishes pile up a little too long. I’m going to let my kids play outside in the backyard instead of signing them up for soccer and zoo classes and gymnastics. I’m not going to care if my couches are ripped. Okay, maybe I’m going to care a little about that. But I’ll try not to. You might always have a clean sink, but you are perfectly happy buying all your clothes at Target. My thing isn’t your thing, and that’s okay.


As Jen says in For the Love, “We need to quit trying to be awesome and instead be wise.” If sewing, cooking, scrapbooking, running, (insert chosen hobby here) fills you up and makes you feel like a better person, daughter, sister, friend, wife, mom… then do that.  And let’s remember the people behind the pictures. Their pictures might be pretty, but they don’t have it all together, and neither do we. Let’s just live in the mess together and do our thing.

I wish I could give every one of you a copy of this book, but I can’t, so one lucky reader will win a copy of For the Love by Jen Hatmaker!

Click here to enter to win!

Open internationally, but winners outside the United States will receive a digital copy.

Easy to sew Lunch Sacks for Back to School

If your kids are headed back to school soon, you probably need to pack at least a few lunches this year. Rather than use paper lunch bags (especially on those days when your kiddo left the insulated lunch bag at school the day before), make your own cloth lunch sack that won’t get confused with anyone else’s!Cloth Lunch Sack Tutorial

You can make this lunch bag lined or unlined. If you have a sturdy home dec fabric, laminated cotton, etc. you can make this without lining. If you want to use quilter’s cotton, you will want to make it lined and interfaced.


  • 14in. x 27.5in. fabric (another for lining)
  • 14in. x 27.5in. interfacing if lining
  • snaps or velcro

Note: if you are not lining the lunch sack, make sure that you finish all edges with either a serger or a zig-zag/faux overlock stitch.

1. Fold fabric nearly in half, stopping 4.5in. from the top.

2. Mark four lines on the fabric: 3 inches from the bottom, make a 2.5 inch line (this green line is faint in the picture); mark two lines 2.5 inches in from the sides, 4.5 inches long.

3. Cut down the top two lines and then across to the sides, removing two small rectangles.

4. Cut along the 2.5inch line near the bottom of the fabric – cut through both layers.

5. Pull the bottom section of fabric away.

6. Sew along the sides.

7. Flatten the bottom. It may not lay completely flat just yet.

8. Cut off the small rectangle of fabric (you won’t need this piece)

9. Sew along this edge to form the bottom of the lunch sack. Repeat on the other side. If you are using a serger, leave the tails long and tie them off – don’t just cut them off! If you are using a sewing machine, make sure you backstitch at the beginning and the end.

10. If you are using one layer of fabric, finish all around the top edge. You can serge, zig-zag, or do a rolled hem on either your sewing machine or serger. If you are lining your lunch sack, skip this step.

11. If you are lining your lunch sack, apply interfacing to one of the pieces of fabric. Repeat steps 1-9 with your second fabric. Turn your lining inside out and the outer piece right side out. Put them together as seen in the photo.

12. Sew the raw edges together, leaving an opening on the front flap.

13. Turn the lunch sack right side out through the opening.

14. Press and topstitch all around the top.

15. Fold in the center of the sides.


Then attach either velcro or snaps inside the sides.

16. Attach snaps or velcro onto the front flap to finish

Then send your kiddo to school in style! (I shortened the red lunch sack about 3/4in.)

You can stop buying paper lunch sacks (win for the environment!) and personalize your kiddo’s lunch bag to fit their style – use fabric with their favorite character or embroider their name onto it.


The lunch sack opens up nice and wide when unsnapped, giving you plenty of room for all the yummy foods that will fuel your little one through their school day.


Happy back-to-school sewing, friends!

Cloth Lunch Sack Tutorial from If Only They Would Nap

I Sew Love This

I adore when other bloggers share things they find and love; things they’ve found interesting or noteworthy. New tutorials, free patterns, great article, fun inspiration. So I’m starting a new tradition here, called I Sew Love This, where I’ll be sharing things I love from around the internet. I imagine they will be mostly sewing related, but I reserve the right to share anything I find that I love. ;)

i sew love this - on if only they would napCrafterhours shares a coupon code for a pattern every Friday, giving you a chance to buy it for only $5! Today’s Friday Fiver is the Soleil Dress from Baste + Gather. It’s super adorable, and only $5! Who doesn’t love that?


If you’re going to make pants, you want to make them as professional looking as you can. These tips for sewing professional looking pants from Handmade Boy for Peekaboo Pattern Shop are fantastic, and a must-read, especially if you’re new to sewing pants.


This is a great round-up of $10 DIY Gifts from Andrea’s Notebook. Handmade gifts can still be meaningful and look great, without breaking the bank. (Also, you may see one of my tutorials in here!)10-dollar-gifts

My girl Melissa from Sew Like My Mom has this fabulous free pattern for Ginger Shorties in sizes 12m-8. Perfect for sewing up for under all those play dresses for back-to-school.


Speaking of back-to-school, Stacey at Boy, Oh Boy has a fantastic collection of Free Back-t0-School Patterns and Tutorials. So if you’ve spent all your money on school supplies and fabric, no fear! You can still sew the clothes your kiddos need.

Back-to-School Sewing Patterns

And for some inspiration, I love this Alice Dress sewn by Mie at Sewing Like Mad! Such a beautiful fabric, and it could easily transition from summer to fall.Alice--2

What are you loving?? Share a link in the comments!

Happy sewing, friends!

Snapdragon Dress + Giveaway!

Since I have a house full of boys, I jump at the chance to make dresses for my nieces. My lovely friend Melissa from Sew Like My Mom sent me her new Snapdragon Dress pattern, and if I had girls, I’m pretty sure this is all I would make them.
Snapdragon Dress pattern by Sew Like My Mom sewn by If Only They Would Nap

If you’re a regular reader, you know how much I love Melissa’s patterns, and oh my goodness, I am in looooove with this one.

snapdragon dress 9
This dress is super versatile – there’s the tank version that I sewed, but you can also choose from three different sleeve options. This pattern is so perfect for every season!

snapdragon dress 3

I love all the gathers … even though I hate the actual gathering process. ;)

snapdragon dress 8

I used a fabulous double knit from JoAnn’s that I’ve seen in a few different colorways. The polka dots are on one side and the stripes are on the other, so I mixed and matched throughout the dress. If I hadn’t started making this dress (ahem) the night before we left to visit, I would have hacked the pattern a bit to make this dress reversible. But I guess now I just have to make another one!

snapdragon dress 6

The knit is so soft and the design of the pattern is made for girls who love to run and play, my niece actually wore it for 48 hours! I’m all about making clothes that kids can play in, and this dress perfect for it.

snapdragon dress 7

Even when playing means waiting for your cousins to move out of the way, so you can bike through.

snapdragon dress 5

This might be my go-to dress pattern for the little girls in my life!

Snapdragon dress 1

And Melissa is so amazing, that she is giving away a copy of this PDF pattern to one lucky winner!! Click below to enter to win your own PDF copy of the Snapdragon Dress pattern – giveaway closes Tuesday night.snapdragon-listing-main1

 Click Here to Enter to Win!

Striped Birthday Tank

Boy number three turned four yesterday. To celebrate, I made him a striped tank.

striped tank 1

The tank is self-drafted and upcycled from an XL men’s tank top.

striped tank 6

The stripes on this tank are so rad. I love finding t-shirts on clearance to use as fabric, because sometimes you can find some fabulous prints that you can’t find elsewhere.

striped tank 4

Tanks are quick and easy; I made this one in less than 20 minutes – including a serger re-thread!

striped tank 5

He loves this tank so much, he insisted on sleeping in it as well. Point one for mama-made!

striped tank 7

I used ribbing for the neckline and coverstitched the armholes. You can get this same effect with a double needle.striped tank 8
I love four. When they’re really out of toddler-hood, but not quite a kid. You can reason with them, but they still curl in your lap and need you to kiss their owies. So perfect. :)

Happy sewing, friends!