upcycle

FREE Summer Breezy Shorts Pattern for Boys!

For many of you, summer is starting to wind down. Here in Wisconsin, though, this is the time of year that keeps us going all winter long. So we are living it up outside as much as we can! My boys have been pretty rough on their wardrobes this summer – and have grown a LOT. So they were in need of some new play and sleep shorts. This FREE pattern, The Summer Breeze Shorts, is perfect for both! It’s a really quick sew (those are kind of my jam, in case you’re new here), and it’s also great for upcycling old pants!
My boys love to wear comfortable pants that they can move around in when they’re playing outside. They want to be able to jump, play basketball, and climb trees. But they’re also at the age where they don’t want little kid pajamas anymore (I can’t talk about it… I’m in denial that they’re that old). They love pants and shorts that double as lounge wear or pajamas, and these shorts fit the bill. Depending on the fabric you use, they can easily be sleep shorts, play shorts, athletic shorts… whatever your kiddos need!

These shorts are drafted for boys, but you may find them appropriate for your girls as well. For the pants above, the black pair is upcycled from a pair of my husband’s old athletic pants (I reused the waistband and pockets) and the grey pair is made from sweatshirt fleece. They are made to be a little more relaxed fit, longer shorts.

Materials:

  • knit, athletic fabric, sweatshirt fleece, french terry
  • 1inch non-roll elastic
  • sewing machine, thread, etc.

You can download your FREE copy of the Summer Breeze Shorts in my Facebook Group. The instructions will remain here on my blog. The layout of the pattern pieces is shown below:

Let’s Sew!

1. Cut out two front and two back pieces of your fabric. Put one front and one back piece right sides together. Sew down the long side and sew up the inseam (as shown by the pink lines). Repeat with the second leg.

2. Put one leg inside the other, right sides together. Sew along the crotch seam (shown in the picture not sewn).

3. Measure your child’s waist to determine elastic length. I used 1in. elastic, but if yours is slightly bigger, you will be just fine. Sew the ends together so it forms a circle.

4. I use a coverstitch for my waistbands, so I simply fold the waistband down over the elastic circle and sew the raw edge down. Do not sew over the elastic. You could also serge the edge of your fabric and sew it down with a stretch stitch for a similar effect. See the next photo for what to do if you don’t have a coverstitch.

If you don’t have a coverstitch, you could use a double needle or simply fold the raw edge under, pin in place, and sew the fabric in place. Do not sew over the elastic.

*You could also create a casing in the fabric and insert your elastic, but I much prefer to sew waistbands like this.

5. Hem your cuffs with about an inch hem (I recommend trying them on your child first).
So easy and Summer Breezy!!

Like I said, these are perfect for jumping. Ready, set…

…GO!

Don’t forget to head over to my Facebook Group to download the free pattern! This pattern would pair perfectly with the free Surfer Tank pattern, so grab that one if you don’t have it yet. 

This post was part of the Summer Fun series hosted by Emily of Life Sew Savory. I love this series, and it was so fun to be a part of it again! You can see the fun pool noodle boats I made for this series two years ago here!

Be sure to check out all the other summer fun posts over at Life Sew Savory!

Handmade Fish Toss Game by Patchwork Posse

Kids Hat Pattern/Tutorial Round Up – Made by Sara

Cute Dolls – Sprouting Jube Jube

Ruffle Knit Play Dress – Bonnie and Blithe

Cactus Cross Stitch by Story Piece

Free Boys Shorts Pattern by If Only They Would Nap

Travel Tic Tac Toe – Straight Stitch Designs

Dollhouse Rag Rug – Once Upon a Sewing Machine

 

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10 Skirt Refashion Tutorials for Skirting the Issue

July is such a great month for wearing skirts! They’re perfect for summer, easy to throw on after a day at the beach, and they can take you from the pool to date night with a quick accessory change. The lovely ladies at Simple Simon and Co. have an amazing series that they put together every July called Skirting the Issue. You can read all about it over on their site, but they spend the month gathering tutorials for skirts, pillowcases, and quilts. Then everyone who participates sews something to donate to kids in foster care! I love this idea so, SO much. This year I’ve collected 10 tutorials for refashioning skirts out of other materials, everything from shirts to dresses to pants! Most of these are super easy to sew and would be great for re-using materials that have gone unloved or even some of those XXL garments you find on the super clearance racks!

1.Dress to Skirt

This is one of my favorite upcycles that I did a long time ago! I took a thrifted dress that never fit on top and turned it into a skirt in just a few minutes.

2. T-Shirt to Skirt

This awesome tutorial from my girl Melissa at Sew Like My Mom is quick and can be for girls or women. The best part is that it’s so comfy because it doesn’t have an elastic waistband!

3. Jeans to Mini Skirt

Emily from Life Sew Savory turned a pair of jeans into this adorable mini skirt! It looks super easy, and I could imagine wearing this one at an outdoor summer concert!

4. Shirt to Baby Circle Skirt

How adorable is this little circle skirt?? My friend Dana at Sew Thrifty made this one from a t-shirt:  simple and comfy for little ones! You can use this same idea to make a circle skirt for yourself too.

5. Prom Dress to Skirt

I adore this super fun refashion from Fleece Fun! What a great way to use an old prom dress or even a bridesmaid dress that you normally wouldn’t get to wear again.

6. Shirt to Skirt

Here’s a different way to take a T-shirt and make it into a skirt from Make It and Love It. Re-using the existing hem makes it so fast!

7. Flannel Shirt to Skirt

How fun is this cozy upcycle from Randomly Happy Blog? Take a flannel shirt and turn it into a fall or winter skirt! Perfect for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere right now.

8. Sweats to Skirt

Here’s another comfy skirt from It’s Always Autumn. Take a pair of sweatpants and transform them into a skirt! She also has a tutorial for a kid’s version on her blog.

9. Sweater to Skirt

Since we’re talking cozy skirts, this refashion from Pearls and Scissors takes a sweater and turns it into a warm winter skirt. I’m imagining this with tights and tall boots – so cute, right?!

10. Vintage Sheet to Skirt

Here’s another one of mine that I loved – a favorite vintage sheet turned skirt! I added some doilies as pockets for a functional accent. :)

I love taking a garment that’s lost its luster and using it to create something brand new. It’s a great way to breathe new life into something that would otherwise be bound for a landfill! Search through thrift shops and clearance racks (or the back of your closets!) to find your fabric. With so many skirt tutorials to choose from, you should be set! Now get sewing – for yourself and also for Skirting the Issue! Make sure you pop over to Simple Simon and Co to get all the details on what to do with your skirt and to check out all the awesome ideas and inspiration. Love these ladies and their generous hearts!!

Happy sewing, friends!

Buffalo Plaid Sweater Pillow Tutorial

I’m going to make a confession: my house isn’t decorated for Christmas yet. Usually I’m way ahead of the game, but with a little baby, it just hasn’t happened yet. And I love decorating for Christmas! I may have to leave things up a couple extra weeks to make up for it. ;) This year I made a fun and  holiday pillow – it’s one of the few things I have out right now. This buffalo plaid sweater pillow is cozy, easy to make, and would be a great gift or addition to you own holiday decor. Christmas decorations are so fun to make, like this vintage-style Christmas light garland, and this one has a touch of whimsy that is sure to add to your festivities!

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Supplies:

  • old sweater
  • polyfill or pillow form
  • pom pom trim
  • buffalo plaid fabric scraps
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • thread

1. Grab an old sweater in the color of your choice. I’m a huge fan of upycling, and sweater pillows are one of my go-to decor options.

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2. Cut the sweater to your desired size – cut apart the seams so you have two separate pieces.

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3. Cut out your letters from your buffalo plaid fabric. The fabric I had on hand was a french terry (which is stretchy), but you can easily do this with a woven non-stretchy fabric. Pin the letters in place onto the front piece.

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4. Zig-zag stitch around the letters to appliqué them onto the front of the pillow.

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5. Sandwich your pom pom trim in between the front and the back, with the right sides together. The pom moms should be pointed toward the middle of the pillow. You can pin or clip the two pillow pieces together, but I found it easier to just tuck the trim in as I was sewing.

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6. If you are using a pillow form, you will want to sew only three sides of your pillow and then insert your pillow form. If you are using polyfill like I used, then you’ll want to leave a small opening at the bottom of your pillow, with your pom pom trim unattached as shown.

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7. Turn the pillow right side out, stuff the pillow, and then close up your opening (or your entire side of the pillow if you are using a pillow form). Use a small zig-zag stitch to close up your opening, as this will hold your trim in place a little better than a straight stitch.

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The trim and the buffalo plaid are so fun, they are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face this holiday season!

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I’m loving the red and teal combo – it’s a little out of the box for typical Christmas decor, but breaking from tradition is good sometimes! :)

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If the pom pom trim is a little too crazy for you, try some piping instead! The process is the same and still gives a fun touch to your sweater pillow.

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Buffalo plaid is everywhere right now, and I can’t get enough of it! This cozy sweater pillow is the perfect way to add some to your holiday decor!

Have you started decorating for Christmas? What are your favorite DIY decorations?

This post originally appeared on Skip to My Lou on 11-17

10 Things to Sew for Baby from a Flannel Sheet

We’re in full-on baby prep mode over here, and I always have a few projects I want to sew before baby arrives. So when Dana of Sew Thrifty invited me to be a part of her Thrifty Baby Celebration, it made perfect sense to participate! I love to upcycle, and baby clothes and accessories are PERFECT for this, because they’re so small.  So I’ve collected a list of 10 things you can sew from a flannel sheet.
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Flannel is great for fall and winter babies, and flannel sheets are excellent for getting lots of yardage for little cost. Between thrift stores and clearance sales (and your linen closet!), you don’t have to spend a lot of money on flannel. Sewing for baby can be super inexpensive!

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1. Prefold diapers – this is one of my most popular tutorials and one of my most-used baby items. Because babies use a lot of diapers. ;) I’ve sewn quite a few from flannel sheets as well as flannel remnants.

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2. Bandana drool bib – some babies are super drooly or spit up all the time, and these little drool bibs are so cute and perfect to catch the mess before it gets on their clothes.

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3. Cloth wipes and burp rags – if you’re cloth diapering, cloth wipes make total sense and are super cost-effective. If you aren’t using cloth diapers, these are the perfect size for wiping little baby noses or cleaning up after a meal. And of course, burp rags are a must-have for every household with a newborn!

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4. Changing pad cover – the vinyl changing pads (affiliate link to the one I personally own!) are great places to change baby’s diaper, but they aren’t super comfy. Especially with a fall/winter baby, I hate to put baby down on a chilly surface. This same concept could also be used to make flannel crib sheets!

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5. Easy baby blanket – of course, every baby needs blankets! The yardage that you get in a flannel sheet is perfect for making extra blankets for gifts or for when your baby spits up all over his blanket and you need a clean one.

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6. Baby blanket with piping – the piping adds an adorable accent to a flannel baby blanket!

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7. Ragged baby blanket – how great would this blanket be to lay on the floor for baby to play on? Or to throw over the carseat when the weather is cold? It’s also perfect for the scraps leftover from all your flannel projects. ;)

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8. Flannel pants – While itty bitty babies probably aren’t going to use flannel pants as jammies, they’re still so cozy to wear on chilly fall and winter days. Plus, baby pants take so little time and fabric to sew!

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9. Seatbelt covers – since flannel is absorbent, these would do a great job at soaking up baby’s drool in the carseat. Not to mention how soft they are! Make sure these don’t interfere with the use of the chest clip, and use your own judgment as to whether or not adding this to your carseat is safe or not.

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10. Baby bibs – whether you’re soaking up drool or baby is venturing into the world of solid foods, bibs are a must-have. I’m pretty sure we have zero cloth bibs left in our house (because after four kids, they’ve all long since bitten the dust!), and I will be making a bunch of these from this free pattern.

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There are SEW many things you can make from a flannel sheet! Happy baby sewing. :)

Striped Birthday Tank

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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!

 

5 Earth Friendly Sewing Projects

Happy Earth Day!

I’ll admit it… I’m a pretty crunchy mama. This is probably not surprising to you if you hang around my blog enough ;) I don’t like to be wasteful, and I don’t like to throw my money away on things that I’m just going to throw away. That is one of the things I love about sewing – using the resources around me and doing my best not to add more waste to the world. So I’m a fan of Earth Day, celebrating how we can be kind to our Earth and our future generations.

So I thought I’d highlight five of my favorite Earth-friendly sewing projects… a little upcycling, a little re-using… just what the Earth and I both love. ;)

5 Earth Friendly Sewing Projects

Sew your baby some prefold cloth diapers

How to make your own Prefold Diapers

Re-size a men’s button-up shirt for a kid

Re-size a men's button-up shirt for a kid

Sew a simple tote bag that you can re-use over and over

simple tote tutorial

Sew reusable baby wipes and burp cloths (or just wipes for kids who make messes of all.the.things)

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Sew a skirt from a vintage sheet (and add some doily pockets!)

vintage sheet skirt tutorial

Happy Earth-friendly sewing, friends!

Study Hall Jacket – Go To Patterns Tour!

When Andrea of Go To Patterns came out with the Study Hall Jacket pattern, I may or may not have squealed out loud. It is so.darn.cuuuuuute. And I bought it right away. Because after sewing up the Casual Lady [three times] and knowing how much I loved it, I knew I was getting a really, really good pattern. So when she asked me to join up with her pattern tour, it was the kick in the pants I needed to finally make it.

[Disclosure: I’m an affiliate of Go To Patterns. All opinions are, as always, my own.]


Study Hall Jacket  If Only They Would NapThis pattern has a bazillion options. You can girly it up with ruffles or keep it simple. Welt pockets, zipper pockets, hood… pretty much whatever you could want in a jacket.

DSC_0536I sort of mostly followed the pattern, but changed up a few details. I’ve never been a by-the-recipe kind of girl..

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I used a light corduroy for the main part of the jacket, and sandwiched a layer of flannel between the corduroy and the lining… because we live in Wisconsin, people. It’s cold here. Nearly all the time. [pants tutorial found here]

DSC_0531Then I lined it with the most fantastic not-actually-fabric ever.

DSC_0527This baby is an upcycled bedsheet from Target. It was on clearance. It was calling my name, obviously.

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The pockets were not in the pattern, but I wanted a print on the outside of the coat too. This was the other sheet set on clearance… it also called to me. I made the collar a little differently too. More like this jacket. The ribbing cuffs [which I made a little bit longer than the pattern called for] and waistband make this jacket so super comfy. Though there are options for these too if you don’t want to use knit fabric.

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I was pretty amazed at how quickly this pattern came together. I maaaay have freaked out before I sewed it, thinking I wasn’t going to have it done in time [since my sewing time is pretty unpredictable], and then I did it in a few hours. Which included me cutting the wrong size hood and not realizing it until I was trying to attach it and then scrapping it and going with the collar… which I like even better. I love happy accidents like that!

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And… what’s a photo shoot without a weird face, right? That means he likes it.

If you haven’t already, definitely check out all the other stops on the Go To Patterns tour over on Andrea’s blog. I have really loved seeing what everyone has been sewing. I’ve especially loved Stacey’s cowl neck Casual Lady and Justine’s comic Anywhere Dress. So cute.the-tour

And because Andrea’s so super awesome, she’s got a sale on her patterns this week —

Use code KCW10 to get 10% off your entire order

Use code KCW20 to get 20% off your order of $30 or more

Happy sewing, friends!

Casual Comfort: Sewing for Kindergarten

This year, my oldest started kindergarten. [cue the mama tears!] Yes, we are homeschooling… but that doesn’t make it any less “my baby is growing up too fast!!” But since I have a kindergartener this year, I get to be a part of the Sewing for Kindergarten series – hosted by Sewing Like Mad!

 

While we could stay in our jammies all day if we want to, I’m not usually that kind of mom. I like to get myself dressed and ready for the day – and the kids too. But we do like to keep it casual and comfy.
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Not only is this look comfy for school at home, but it’s also totally appropriate for field trips or our weekly homeschool group.
DSC_0982The sweatshirt is upcycled [if you’re new here – that’s my jam] from a thrifted sweatshirt. People.. this is the softest sweatshirt ever.in.life.

DSC_0029The pattern is the Paperback Writer Cardi from Shwin Designs. [affiliate link]DSC_0975

Shauna is the sweetest and sent me this pattern, just because she thought my boys would like it. She’s so amazing like that. I knew it had to be a part of this outfit. This fabric gives it an old-grandpa-sweater feel, which I totally love. The pattern is a dolman-style cardigan, so it doesn’t have separate sleeve pieces [even though it looks like it does here… that’s just because of my upcycle]

DSC_0101The T-shirt is another upcycle, from a local band that sadly broke up. This boy was in my belly at many of their shows, little does he know.

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Now the pants… I have had these color blocked pants [my own pattern] envisioned in my head for quite some time.DSC_0060They’re fun and bright, just like my boy.

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I’ll admit that I’m not super crazy about this denim, because it’s a little on the stiff side until it’s washed a bazillion times. It’s the same denim I used on these shorts.
DSC_0057But obviously that doesn’t bother him. Still good for homeschool P.E.

DSC_0030Who are you sewing for this year? Mie at Sewing Like Mad has three different flickr groups for you to post your outfits for all different ages, then she’s giving away prizes! [Prizes!] Plus, isn’t it just fun to show other people what you’ve sewn for your kid? Says the blogger…

Thanks for letting me sew along, Mie!

When pajama pants make you feel successful..

I know I’m not alone when I say that getting to my sewing machine these days is work. Sometimes life takes over and babies don’t sleep and two-year-olds dump out every box in the cupboard and your sewing table becomes the catch-all for everything.

But when days like that come, pajama pants will rescue you. They will make you feel like successful and productive and like you do something other than wipe noses and bums.

DSC_0670These pants, upcycled from a tee that I loved for years but no longer fit, I had begun sewing months ago. [constructed using the DIY baby pants tutorial]DSC_0669Sometimes it’s the quick and easy projects, the ones that are practical and don’t require details, that give you the most satisfaction.
DSC_0229Because I may not sleep at night or have time to take a shower every day, but I made pajama pants. And that, my friends, makes for a good day.

**Psst… Peek-a-boo Patterns has a sweet Thrifty Thursday deal today! The Varsity Cowl Sweatshirt is only $4! [affiliate link]**Varsity_Cowl_Neck_Pullover

Coastal Craze Baggies and Lazy Days Romper [peekaboo pattern shop tour!]

Hi friends! Today I’m excited to be a part of Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop’s summer tour! Amy has an amazing stock of children’s patterns. There’s something for everyone in every season.

Disclosure: I’m an affiliate of Peek-a-boo Patterns. I received these patterns in exchange for my review. All opinions are honest and my own, and this post contains affiliate links.

coastal craze baggies and lazy days romper Click here to visit Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.

As I mentioned in this post, my kids are in need of some more summer clothes. So I knew I needed to sew up the Coastal Craze Baggies for my older boys and the Lazy Days Romper for my littlest ones.

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Find the Coastal Craze Baggies here.

DSC_0627My five-and-a-half-year-old is super tall and skinny, so I made his with a size four waistband and a size six length. They fit perfectly. I upcycled an old sweatshirt for the shorts and the stripe fabric [which matches his brother’s romper!] is from Girl Charlee.

DSC_0638My three-year-old’s are made from a woven [Michael Miller that I got from Anna awhile ago]. The 3T size was a perfect fit for him. This pattern goes all the way up to size 12, so we’ll be able to use this for a long time!

DSC_0645The romper went together really smoothly. It’s a little bit time consuming, with all the little arm and leg bands, plus the snap facings. But it’s worth it, because it is seriously cute. My son will be two at the end of July, and he fits nicely in the 24 month size. He wears cloth diapers, though, so it’s definitely a little snug. Since that is the largest size, I’ll probably extend the romper a little bit for him next time.

DSC_0632And baby got a romper too! This fabric [also from Girl Charlee] you might recognize from my Sew in Tune rockstar look.

DSC_0679He’s three months and fits perfectly in the three month size [even with cloth diapers!], though I’ll probably size up for the next one, just so he can wear it for the whole summer.

You can find the Lazy Days Romper pattern here.

DSC_0597Don’t they look set for summer? [some more enthusiastic than others…]

Make sure you check out all the other stops on the Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop tour! These ladies have all been sewing up some lovely things for their littles!

And what would a pattern tour be without a super fun giveaway? Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop is giving away a ten-pack of patterns to THREE lucky winners! So fun! Amy has designed such a wide variety of patterns for boys and girls, and every one has clear step-by-step instructions with photos that are easy to follow.
Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!